Yes, you read the title of this post correctly.
The St. Louis Review has published this article confirming the address. The LCWR sisters, as you might expect, are delighted to welcome him.
The article does note that His Grace "understands some local Catholics might be upset that the assembly is
being held in St. Louis and perhaps be confused by some of the content
to be covered." With greatest respect to His Grace, the upset experienced by some local Catholics arises precisely because there is no confusion about some of the content to be covered.
From the full article:
Recent attention to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is
expected to increase as almost 900 women religious will converge upon
St. Louis for the organization's annual assembly Aug. 7-11 at the
Millennium Hotel Downtown.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will deliver the opening greeting at the
assembly Tuesday evening, Aug. 7. In an interview with the Review, he
said he is fully aware of the recent controversy with the LCWR. In light
of the dialogue between the Holy See and the LCWR the archbishop said,
"I think it is very important that we don't politicize this, but rather
that we do it within the community of the Church."
The archbishop said he understands some local Catholics might be
upset that the assembly is being held in St. Louis and perhaps be
confused by some of the content to be covered. However, he noted that
his "style for 42 years as a priest and 28 years as a bishop has been
one of dialogue. I find that an effective way to be a man of the Church
and to live out the Gospel."
His presence at the assembly, he said, "would only indicate my love
for the Church, and my hope that the concerns of the Holy See — which I
support — and the memory of the wonderful religious who have helped me
during my earliest days as a child, help to resolve the challenges which
exist at this time."
Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM, associate director of communications,
said that the organization was not granting interviews, but she
responded to several questions submitted via email.
In her response, she stated that the LCWR was "pleased that
Archbishop Carlson will be present at the opening of the assembly,"
adding that the LCWR officers have gotten to know the archbishop through
his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated
Life and Vocations. In that role, he has a certain responsibility for
meeting with the groups that represent clergy and religious. [...] __________________
This disappointing news does not require further comment from me. However, as an observer of the local Catholic media scene, I just have to point out an excerpt from the article that contains one of the most bitterly enjoyable understatements I have yet read. Barbara Marx Hubbard, a published proponent of the so-called "New Age" heresy, will be delivering the keynote address at this Assembly. The Review acknowledges this, but describes the situation this way:
This year's keynote speaker at the assembly will be Barbara Marx
Hubbard, an author, speaker and educator who holds a belief in conscious
evolution. She will speak on "Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the
If you have no idea what exactly that means, as I suspect many readers of the Review will not, the article gives the LCWR's party-line attempt to make a silk purse out of this sow's ear of a speaker:
The LCWR, in its written reply, said that Hubbard was invited to
speak "in order to gain some perspective on the context of the world in
which women religious are living and ministering. LCWR is interested in
hearing Dr. Hubbard's understanding of the rapid shifts occurring in the
world today so that the leaders can reflect on the role of and call to
women religious in light of what Dr. Hubbard offers."
Please pray for the Church.