27 June 2008

Response from St. Cronan re: Sister Louise Lears

In three separate documents, which have been formatted in such a way that I am unable to post them in the blogger window, the folks at St. Cronan Parish have issued statements about Sr. Lears' interdict penalty:

All of them focus on the lack of loving dialogue, but don't address--either positively or negatively-- the issue of support for, and counseling others to, pretend women's ordination in contradiction of infallible Church teaching.

Read them for yourself, but really, it is like asking the Judge in a robbery case to engage in dialogue with the defendant instead of finding facts and sentencing him-- after he admits he committed the robbery but doesn't think robbery is wrong.

If anyone at St. Cronan wants to send me these documents in an email, I will copy and paste them here.

The Archbishop's departure has dwarfed this story-- but it is instructive to show why the Archbishop was so well thought of by those who adhere to Church teaching.  Whenever a person stands up for the truth in these times, they will be opposed and attacked.  The good Archbishop stood for the truth in spite of the hatred of the world.


Anonymous said...

"...it is like asking the Judge in a robbery case to engage in dialogue with the defendant instead of finding facts and sentencing him-- after he admits he committed the robbery but doesn't think robbery is wrong."

As a Roman Catholic, you know what is sad about your comment? You see the teaching authority of the church as a court of law where judgement is handed down and the "convicted" are looked upon as "criminals" who are required to serve their due sentence. Tell me where in the Gospels did Jesus act in the same way?

A Non Judgemental Faithful Catholic

Anonymous said...


Wasn't Jesus who said that if someone should cause the least of these to offend it would be better for that one if a millstone were hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea?
Now is it not true that the accusations against Sr. Louise fall into the category just recently issued as specifically incurring excommunication automatically?
I think that those who cry judge not lest ye be judged (ala Sean Hannity) so very quickly are taking a very conveniently superficial understanding of Jesus' words. He is also the same Jesus who gave the apostles, of which the Archbishop is a legitimate successor, the authority to bind and loose.

Jesus was speaking of condemnation, and reminding them that all of them were sinners as well. But then he still gave them the authority of binding and loosing. Guess what? The Church has never declared anyone condemned. And neither has Sr. Louise been condemned. She has been disciplined. If she comes back in repentance she will be reconciled and that is the purpose of the discipline. From her statement it doesn't appear that she is yet willing to do that. From this point it is up to her.

Based on Jesus' statements about causing another to sin, perhaps he would have been more harsh with her than the Church or this blog.

Mark said...

Dear Non Judgemental Faithful Catholic,

There are the three texts (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; and John 20:23) where the Lord bestows upon the apostles authority to act in judgement in matters of church discipline giving the power to bind or loose, or forgive or not to forgive sins.

Matthew 16:19
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven."

Matthew 18:18
18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[a]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven.

John 20:23
"After Our Lord's resurrection, He appeared to His disciples in an upper room, He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit! Whose soever sins you forgive are forgiven, whose soever sins you retain are retained!'"

The purpose of the Archbishops action is clearly to bring a sinner back to repentance, If he does not have that authority then he has no authority at all and nether has the church. Children do not like correction, even if it is done in love and with the intention of beneficial correction.

Catholics, serious about their Faith submit to this authority as an act of obedience as if to Christ himself, we mostly fail and need repentance hoping for the forgiveness promised by Christ when on earth. It is up to the individual if one is to seek this forgiveness or not. The Church will give it freely and is so concerned about one who has gone astray in public it will even try to bring them back by correction in public (which is meant within the Church not CNN et al) If one rebels against this faith once having held it I would caution on other lesson

2 Peter 2
20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"[f]and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

Anonymous said...

I have read all of the statements at St. Cronan's website.

What puzzles me is that they wanted the archbishop to be more pastoral; but where were they in trying to be more authentic, pastoral and true when they were advocating for a doctrine contrary to the faith?

Progressives only see one way: their way. The real victims here are those Catholics under her care who truly believe that women should and can be ordained to the priesthood. Now, they will hate the church more, thanks to the teachings of Sr. Lears. She advocated this distrust and hatred because she beleived that the Magesterium was wrong about women priests. She went out of her way to belittle both the church's hierarchy and what we believe as Catholics. Her loyalty to the Pope and to her archbishop was not existent because she did not respect or regard their authority as being God given. The only authority that Sr. Lears recongized was her own and that of those theologians who agree with her. If that weren't not the case, why did she actively participate in a mock women's ordination. Any theologian would tell her that such an action in most cases would warrant automatic excommunication, but she isn't even grateful that at least the archbishop didn't excommunicate her.

For the past 50 years, women religious have shove this idea down our throats; they knew that the instiutional church did not accept it, but they chose to disregard the Magesterium's teaching.

Now, they cry foul and don't understand why Catholics, but women religious in particular shouldn't be acting as "ordinands" at a liturgy that mocks everything that we believe as Catholics.

This was Sr. Lears' decision and now there are consequences to it.

Anonymous said...

What also struck me in this entire situation was the statement by the Sisters of Charity "President."

1. She claims that she was never brought into the conversation about Sister Lears, but yet if I remember Sister Lears brought her "President" with her on her first summons. If the Sisters of Charity no longer want a superior (hence a president) the bishops will no longer relate to them as if they do have one. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

2. She writes as if Canon Law shouldn't be applied because it is not pastoral. No matter what group, church, organization or communities or even schools - we all have rules and regulations. The question that should be asked instead is why do the Sisters of Charity believe that the same rules that govern the entire church should not govern them. Why are they so special and exempt?

3. Their president's condescending attitude toward the Archbishop is a relfection of their arrogance. She writes as if "How dare he tells us what to do." She, as many other religious, forget that all of us belong to one church and that church has laws that govern her.

4. Her community, the Sisters of Charity, created this problem, not the archbishop. Sister Lears probably did act out of a good conscience, but a conscience that was poorly formed by her religious community. I'd imagine her rebellious community of sisters had sponsored seminars, retreats; I bet many of her fellow sisters wrote books and taught at schools - all advocating for women priests. My guess is that their liturgies probably don't even resemble the average parish Mass. Why? because the reject the entire notion that the church acts as one and celebrates together the one sacrifice of Christ through our common Liturgical celebrations, not some quasi women priests slideshow of puppets and bozo the clown marching in singing Jesus Christ Superstar.

5. Sister Lears and others have acknowledged how "angry" everyone is about this decision. I don't think Sister Lears and her co-religionists know just how angry we Orthodox Catholics really are. We had to put up with this cafeteria like Cathoilicism for years and now the hierarchy is finally responding, thanks in part to the leadership of John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict.

6. It seems the more that they "push the envelope" on these unorthodox ideas, the more Church responds and in this case, definitively acts. Sister Lears can no longer receive the sacraments nor can she work in St. Louis Archdiocese. Her chances of getting an active church related job are nil if not existent. These are very harsh penalities - she led a fight for what she considered "good and honorable" and now the church has acted in good conscience by banishing her from publicly celebrating the sacraments of the church.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note in St. Cronan's current bulletin that Sr. Louise Lears implies that she will be celebrating the Liturgy with the parish for the next few months.

This is her problem. She is obstinate and refuses to submit to ecclesitical authority. The archbishop's decision was immediate, not when the good nun decided that it was convenient.

Again, they are pushing the button and now will force the new archdiocesean adminstrator into a corner.

Also, check out their rainbow banner for the Gay Parade.

Anonymous said...

The clearest statement of Our Lord on the matter is:

Matthew 18:15-17

But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.

And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

Anonymous said...

"It is interesting to note in St. Cronan's current bulletin that Sr. Louise Lears implies that she will be celebrating the Liturgy with the parish for the next few months."

The other effect of this inderdict is that it puts an onus on any priest who would conduct a mass for the sisters. If he ignores the interdict he comes under its penalty as well.
If the "priestettes" do their own mass without an ordained minister of the sacraments, then it is not a sacrament at all, but simply more play-acting.

fra A.R. said...

Father, have you seen recently the home page of St Cronan parish? Not only do they support ideas and actions of sister Louise, but also the redirect people to the St. Louis gay Pride!!
Here we have a bigger problem: not only a single heretic sister, but at least also a very disobedient and temerary pastoral council and church webmaster.

Anonymous said...

One down...More to go!

Thank you Your Grace, Raymond Burke!

thetimman said...

Sorry, I think I accidentally deleted an attempted comment on this post-- if it was you, please retry.

Peter said...

I think the huge elephant in the room is where is the pastor in all this? He is in as much need for a censure as well. This is a more subtle but no less sinful disobedience of Church teaching as St. Stan's.
There bulletin from this past weekend wishes them a 'Happy Pride Weekend' and plus has a note about women priests too!!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

May the Lord have mercy on us all!