The Tablet outrageously insults the memory of Blessed Mother Teresa in its advocacy of the dissent of US Women Religious

The Tablet has published yet another editorial supporting the dissent of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, but this time the editor has gone out of her way to offend faithful and orthodox Catholics by referring to Blessed Mother Teresa’s ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ in support of the public and defiant dissent of some US women religious. The Tablet editorial states:

The basic question is not whether the Vatican should rewrite the Catechism to bring church teaching into line with “advanced” ideas circulating round some of the more adventurous American religious orders, but how much open dissent from its various official teachings the Church can accept and tolerate among its nuns before it has to intervene. How much, in short, does this matter? That in turn touches on the nature of the religious vocation to which the nuns are called. Do they have an obligation to bear public witness to official Catholic doctrine in every detail, or for that matter to obey every instruction they receive from the bishops?

There is an authoritarian streak among some American bishops that brooks no dissent from hard-line episcopal positions. But this was not a style of leadership favoured by Pope Francis when he was Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. American nuns very often specialise in just the sort of work to which he thinks the Church should give preference – work with the poor, with immigrants, with the sick, with prisoners. Just by doing all this they bring people closer to Christ.

They are by far the most admired part of Catholic life in America. They do not have to stand at the street corner and preach, nor must they suppress every doubt and hesitation about current church teaching. Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, whose beatification has made her the very exemplar of the modern nun, struggled with doubts about God’s very existence.”

Protect the Pope comment: Blessed Mother Teresa’s experience of the ‘Dark Night’ and the brazen dissent of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States couldn’t be more different. By making this comparision the editor of The Tablet either shows yet again she has no real knowledge of the basics of Catholic life and spirituality, or else she has gone out of her way to insult the memory of a saint who is known for her faithfulness and obedience to the Magisterium, and her staunch defence of the Catholic faith.

Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause wrote that Mother Teresa’s true dark night of the soul was an instense trial of faith that tested and purified her fidelity.  He went on to write that Mother Teresa ‘persisted in radiating invincible faith and love while suffering inwardly from the loss of spiritual consolation.’  The contrast between Blessed Mother Teresa and the dissenting Us women religious couldn’t be starker. On the one hand Mother Teresa radiated invincible faith, and on the other hand the  CDF’s ‘Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ reveals a catalog of dissent and heresy among the leadership group of US women religious that is beyond belief.  For example, the CDF state:

‘The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s address about some Religious “moving beyond the Church” or even beyond Jesus. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life.  Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR, which should provide resources for member Congregations to foster an ecclesial vision of religious life, thus helping to correct an erroneous vision of the Catholic faith as an important exercise of charity…these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.  It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church’s teaching.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States is so infamous for its infidelity, that to refer to them in the same paragraph as Blessed Mother Teresa is offensively disrespectful to one of the great saints of the 20th century.

18 comments to The Tablet outrageously insults the memory of Blessed Mother Teresa in its advocacy of the dissent of US Women Religious

  • Carol Collins

    Considering the source, and the relativism with which this group functions even the title of the group ” Women Religious” it does not surprise me that many are placing themselves outside of the church’s teaching. The function, aim and agenda is to promote women in religious power PERIOD.
    Hence they will continue to work, produce, lead where ” no man has gone before ” and neither will Good, True Loving Catholic women either. Our Lady is the Vessel and Completeness of all women. So despite these radical nuns, women of religious disorder I for one sit at the foot of the cross of Our Lord like Our Lady.

  • I’ve wondered sometimes if some of the comments in The Tablet are made by people who basically don’t understand Catholicism: who treat the paper as a sort of religious extension of “Comment is Free”, where the comment is valid because it is made, rather than because of any intrinsic value it might have.

    Calling her “Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata” gives clues about the writer’s lack of understanding of the titles of the beatified and about the right-on-ness of those who know how Calcutta is spelled in English in India

    • Haslam

      The spelling of the official name of the city was changed in 2001. It is a matter of accuracy rather than being right-on.

      • Bob Hayes

        Blessed Mother Teresa died in 1997 before the Kolkata spelling was adopted. Renaming – in this context – is inappropriate and indicative of weak understanding of time and place in history. Would you consider it appropriate to refer to the Oświęcim Concentration Camp, after all that is the name of the Polish town which the Nazis called Auschwitz?

  • Delia

    The editor can’t possibly have read the wonderful ‘Come by my light’ if she takes that line – highly recommended!

  • Joseph Matthew

    There is a real difference between the elderly LCWR nuns who have sadly lost their faith and Mother Teresa whose faith was purified in this life by the fire of God’s love. Teresa of Lisieux underwent a simlar “Dark Night”

  • The LCWR are sooooo far ‘out there’ that it’s just not funny!!

  • Wake up England

    A few months ago there was a campaign mounted by several young Catholics in England to discourage the sale of The Tablet in churches. How is this campaign progressing? Many readers of this blog would be very interested in an update. The Tablet has become an absolute disgrace and a matter of grave scandal. Why are our bishops silent on this matter?

    • El Nino

      The Tablet isn’t stocked in our parish church.

      The Catholic Herald is sold out by the time I attend 12:00 Midday mass on Sunday.

      Says it all, really.

  • Patrick Fahey

    There are people within the Church who are looking to undermine its teaching and bring about its fall. We must be on our guard at all times for this challenge and confront it with offical teaching.

    In Domino.

  • John

    The Tablet has really gone off the rails. Catherine Pepinster is apparently a semi-detached Catholic who was not practising when she took over the job as editor. She obviously has little background in theology or Church history and is little more than a left-wing journalist. Her predecessor John Wilkins already steered the magazine towards the extreme left both politically and ecclesiastically and Pepinster has simply carried this orientation even further. I think we should see the Tablet no longer as a bone fide Catholic newspaper but more as a left-liberal Anglican rag. They are in the same stable as bogus Catholic organizations such as Catholic for Choice who advocate abortion and who have been denounced by the Catholic hierarchy.

  • I often wonder what adjective you would have to use if something genuinely outrageous happened.

  • Ioannes

    The Holy Office has reported; the Pope has endorsed its report; the LCWR, which was established by and is answerable to, the Holy See, will be reformed and in short order; so what is the point in Ma Pepsi & Co trying to resuscitate a dead horse?

  • Joannw

    Hello! Please could someone just tell me: What will actually happen to the sisters if they are judged not to be in line with the Church’s teaching? Would they all be excommincated? Or does the Church have the power to throw them all out of the religious life? Can the Church forcefully reform religious orders? I’d love to have someone answer. Thanks!!

    • savvy

      They can be disbanded, if they refuse to reform, esp. since the issue is as serious as “moving beyond Jesus”. Most likely there might be a spilt in the LCWR, with those agreeing to the reform and those who do not.

      But, nobody knows for sure.

  • ms Catholic state

    Some good news from a region that has suffered much.

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