I just finished reading my issue of the latest NZ Catholic. A very good read.
However, in this latest edition, something was not so good. In fact, something was downright bad.
I’m referring to one of the book reviews. It was a book review by Pat Lythe, and it was very strange, given what it said about a very disturbing book and its rather haughty author.
In this book review, Lythe heaps praise on the author (a woman, and apparently a nun, Sr Sandra Schneiders) and the book itself which, by all other accounts from trustworthy people, is heretical, dissident, astonishingly un-catholic, and very dangerous for unformed catholic minds.
The well known and illustrious Fr Z has written about this book just recently here. He links to an online version of the book (as a collection of essays, which is what the book is).
Fr Z says:
Sr. Schneiders – like so many of these liberal nun exponents of the Magisterium of Nuns – has put out some really bad books.
For example, there is her line of thought – NunThink – in the 2009 essays Fishwrap published [this is the collection of essays reviewed by Pat Lythe in book form].
Sr. Schneiders has taught her sister women religious that, since Lumen gentium confirms that nuns aren’t actually members of the hierarchy, then nuns don’t have to pay attention to the teaching of the hierarchy which they don’t like or promote or enforce the teachings that come from the hierarchy. Furthermore, according to NunThink, they now make their vows to God, not the Church. Basically, Schneiders exalts the sisters who defy the hierarchy and she runs down those who are in the ‘CMSWR-type communities continuing the older form’. For Schneiders, the women religious have evolved away from consecrated religious life, into ministerial religious life. They see themselves as ‘ministers’. But they are not members of the hierarchy and therefore have a kind of prophetic ministerial church authority over and against the official institutional church.
According to Schneiders, the hierarchy considers women religious a kind of work force, foot soldiers, who will promote official teaching, etc. But Schneiders sees religious as being freed from that role by the Spirit of Vatican II.
There is actually an entire planet between her thought and Vatican II on religious.
Sr Schneiders has been under investigation by the Vatican.
Cardinal Levada, – Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is currently attempting to evangelize the dissident religious leadership (the LCWR) and bring them home to true faith in Jesus – mentioned, that had he known that Sr Sandra Schneiders would be speaking at the last LCWR conference, he would have refused permission, and withdrawn approval of the conference, and shut it down.
LCWR = Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It is an umbrella group which represents about 80% of American women religious. One can see why the Vatican is finally moving to clean things up; they have held negative sway for years, with very little true fruit. These nuns have been doing whatever they want for a long time now. They have bluntly hacked out a version of being Catholic in their own image and likeness, called themselves prophets, and worshipped at that polluted altar without much fraternal correction from anybody. If it was offered, they preferred their ‘prophetic’ idol to the truth. And now that Rome is finally pulling the plug, in their pride, they refuse to budge, and no longer have any proper sense of obedience, i.e., listening. They are so convinced of their own self importance and role that they have become blind in their pride. They are pharisees who know better than everybody else and who refuse to reform. That’s the true spirit of phariseeism: prideful inflexible rejection of true spiritual reform.
On this point, Cardinal Levada conceded that his attempts with the nuns could well end up being a ‘dialogue with the deaf’.
This nun (and her writing) is poisonous. Read what Fr Z has to say about her here in another blog entry, where he discusses her ‘theology’ further.
Notice how she has removed the mediation of the Church in her ‘theology’ – which is exactly what Martin Luther did. It suits her to only report to God. It’s easy to owe obedience to God and not human beings. Human beings make mistakes and are sometimes difficult to deal with, and therefore it seems unworthy to obey them when they are in true authority. So she gets rid of that divinely instituted dimension of the Church. Schneiders is utterly protestant in her thinking, yet, in her insolence she remains within the walls of the Church, because she knows she needs it for her income, and in order to spread her ‘gospel’.
And yet, the review in the NZ Catholic heaps glowing praise on the views contained in the book, and refers to the Vatican’s efforts at converting the nuns back to the true faith, as an ‘unprecedented assault.’
Promoting such a book is, in my opinion, helping to distort others’ faith. Recently Cardinal Marc Ouellet, whilst visiting Ireland, prayed for healing of the sexual abuse crisis. He did penance there, as requested by the Pope, in reparation for the grievous Irish offences against children. He said, ‘It is a sin against which Jesus himself lashed out: “It would be better for him if a millstone was put around his neck and he is thrown in to the sea than for him to cause one of the little ones to stumble” (Lk. 17:2).’
Causing another to stumble, especially in their understanding of the faith, by promoting harmful and erroneous books, is also a way by which we offend Jesus and endanger our salvation. We have to be very careful that we don’t become ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing when promoting such material.
Why is the NZ Catholic, normally a cracking good read, allowing such a positive review from Pat Lythe to be published about such a terribly anti-catholic book?