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.