FSPA stays course in spat with Vatican

2012-06-14T00:00:00Z 2012-06-14T06:16:27Z FSPA stays course in spat with VaticanBy Jessica Larsen | jlarsen@lacrossetribune.com La Crosse Tribune

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration is standing with its parent group in a spat between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents more than two-thirds of U.S. nuns.

Catholic bishops have scolded the nuns for focusing on social justice issues instead of speaking out more strongly against abortion, homosexuality and women priests. The Vatican has also said the nuns suffered “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

Members of the La Crosse-based FSPA declined to be interviewed for this story, saying the Leadership Conference of Women Religious had asked they not speak on its behalf. But the local nuns issued a statement Wednesday through the umbrella group calling the Vatican’s accusations “misrepresentations of LCWR and U.S. Catholic Sisters.”

“The FSPA mission and ministries remain unchanged — from ministering with the poorest of the poor in Zimbabwe to meeting the health care needs of the people in La Crosse through our works at St. Clare Health Mission,” the statement read.

The squabble reached a boiling point in April, when the Vatican gave three American bishops authority to overhaul the Leadership Conference. Catholics across the country responded with vigils and petitions in support of the nuns.

For their part, the Leadership Conference called the Vatican’s accusations “the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency,” saying that Rome’s two-year investigation into the group “caused scandal and pain throughout the church community.”

Members of the Leadership Conference flew to Rome to meet Tuesday with top Vatican officials, who seemed unwilling back off their assertions. The Vatican issued a statement after the meeting reminding that the group “remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See.”

Locally, the FSPA has in the past sponsored events like the Social Justice Stations of the Cross, which involve group prayers on topics such as immigration, incarceration, greed, health care, non-violence, power, war and patriotism.

The Leadership Conference plans to hold a national gathering later this summer, when the group will discuss a response to the Vatican mandate.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(22) Comments

  1. ChurchofKindness
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    ChurchofKindness - June 14, 2012 11:12 pm
    You are so right. Jesus was the model capitalist. Jesus never criticized the rich, always put the poor inn their place, owned businesses, worked solely for money no matter what environmental damage he caused or harm to workers, tried to buy his way into the government. he was The Boss!
  2. Saints
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    Saints - June 14, 2012 7:51 pm
    The Vatican is opposed to the sisters promoting social justice over the church's mission? Which mission would that be? The one in which the Pope's assistant was laundering money to be sent to the Sicilian mob? The same Catholic church that has protected priests and bishops who are accused of sexual molestation of children?
    Hypocrisy reigns in the "Holy See". Let the sisters do the work that Jesus started. He was a social activist with twelve disciples to spread the Gospel, the truth about salvation, not a church doctrine or "mission".
    Keep printing the information, Tribune. Truth always wins.
  3. Jobaba
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    Jobaba - June 14, 2012 6:22 pm
    Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
    He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
    Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
    Reckon they'd just nail him up if He come down again.

    'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
    Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
    Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
    If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

    Get back, John!

    Egg Head's cousin Red Neck's cussin' hippies for their hair.
    Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
    Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
    Most of us hate anything that we don't understand.

    'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
    Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
    Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
    If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

    Help yourself, brother.
    Help yourself, Gentlemen.
    Help yourself Reverend.

    Kris Kristofferson
  4. LovMeHateMeDontCare
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    LovMeHateMeDontCare - June 14, 2012 3:45 pm
    I love that the FSPA are independent thinkers. I love that they actually work daily at making the world a better place and don't sit back and pray that someone else does it. I may not always agree but I sure respect their efforts!
  5. Jobaba
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    Jobaba - June 14, 2012 2:09 pm
    The church has changed radically from when it started. Change is normal and natural. It is exactly these kinds of issues that bring about change. Nothing wrong with that.
  6. ao
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    ao - June 14, 2012 1:33 pm
    Catholic mean universal. If the church is universal then its beliefs are called to be universal. In order for the universal church to remain for over 2000 years it has had to share the unchanging teachings of Jeus Christ through the apostles. Our good sisters need to decide if they want to be Catholic and a part of the universal church or if they want to belong to some other belief structure. It is not an issue about change, authority, or control but the question needs to be asked "Whom do I want to follow". When we pick and choose it leads to leaving the universal church for one of our own creation. (33,000 denominations and counting).
  7. Histurn
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    Histurn - June 14, 2012 1:10 pm
    Big Jimmy is just upset that the Catholics don't care for transgender folks like himself.
  8. smalltownmom
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    smalltownmom - June 14, 2012 10:00 am
  9. logical thinker
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    logical thinker - June 14, 2012 9:53 am
    Oh stop. All last year we heard nearly weekly (and on the front page) about some local bishop being promoted, the sweet new organ that was purchased, etc. This is NOT some anti-Catholic conspiracy. It's just another news story that gets front page coverage. You don't like it because it happens to be negative instead of positive. Don't take it personally, please. I certainly don't think any less of people for their religion even if there is "scandal".
  10. RINO Cowboy
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    RINO Cowboy - June 14, 2012 9:51 am
    So this isnt news and therefore shouldnt be reported - or report it only if you agree with the content of the article? This is hardly "promoting a war against religion" (please stop the tired metaphors) as the issue appears to be between the power in the Vatican against American nuns. Dont blame the messenger. Congrats on your faith, but as a non-Catholic I can say the "hatred" often is generated because of an attitude that the only faith period is Roman Catholic, every one else is doomed to an undesirable eternal fate. So much for a religion focused on the teachings of Christ as opposed to the power generated by a top-down politico/religious heirarchy with considerable muscles to flex - thus the content of this article. It is interesting that the priesthood actively supports and covers up those "disappointments" but throws the nuns under the bus for doing exactly what Christ did by example.
  11. Jobaba
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    Jobaba - June 14, 2012 9:42 am
  12. DontMessWithTexas
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    DontMessWithTexas - June 14, 2012 9:31 am
    And if the backwards Holy See refuses to backdown, the nuns will en masse leave the roman catholic church, and form their own non profit religious organization. That would be a big mistake for the catholic church. Since that would mean losing millions upon millions of donations.
  13. DontMessWithTexas
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    DontMessWithTexas - June 14, 2012 9:29 am
    LOLOL ^^^ I laughed pretty hard
  14. LiberalAlways
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    LiberalAlways - June 14, 2012 9:17 am
    So, you're saying Jesus was anti-union?
  15. taxedout
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    taxedout - June 14, 2012 8:58 am
    The Tribune staff is promoting a war against religion which goes along with their far left ideology . This is second article this week on the nuns and Pope issue. They chose to pick up the first piece from an AP editorial and today, they decided to put a local spin on the same topic. The fact that this article, along with many others regarding troubling church issues, gets front page coverage does not go unnoticed by Catholic readers.

    It seems that those who have the most to say regarding the Catholic church and it's concerns, are bent on demeaning the people of faith and it's hard to understand their motives. What is disheartening is the need to humiliate the clergy and those who have dedicated their lives to the church. Why is it important to demonize all priest for the actions of some? Do you know any of exemplary priests that work in the La Crosse diocese?

    I was brought to the Catholic faith at birth and taught by my wonderful grandparents, parents, the holy sisters and priests. I have been disappointed by the scandals but I have stayed faithful because the people that I have loved most in this world, set an example for me which included a belief in Catholic church. As a child, the kids in our neighborhood ridiculed us because of our faith but parent forbid us to say anything against them. They hated us for being Catholic. I didn't understand it then and I don't now.

  16. logical thinker
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    logical thinker - June 14, 2012 8:55 am
    No, my dear mocha, before being a quitter, try to CHANGE the club rules. And then if that doesn't work, make your own club.
  17. ShudaElectedBigJimmy
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    ShudaElectedBigJimmy - June 14, 2012 8:18 am
    FSPA's supported OBAMACARE and they brought in the Communist/Socialist group WISDOM/AMOS to LaCrosse.

    Jesus was not a Communist/Socialist.

    He taught the employer and the employee individually have a contract of employment, no unions needed. Individual enterprise is the lofty goal of everyone and it's reward and bounty is to be shared through the gift of charity to those truly in need, not stripped away under the guise of democracy.
  18. mocha1
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    mocha1 - June 14, 2012 7:40 am
    I you want to belong to a club, follow club rules. If the nuns want to be part of the Catholic club they need to follow the Catholic Rules. Otherwise form you own club. Maybe something like Women for Social Justice.
  19. LiberalAlways
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    LiberalAlways - June 14, 2012 7:32 am
  20. Jobaba
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    Jobaba - June 14, 2012 7:30 am
    Without a firm grasp on their convictions to minister (OOoo did I just say that?) to the community, La Crosse would be vastly different today.

    The FSPA has accomplished much here and always been extremely humble about it. They seem to have an innate sense of their true mission and pursued it whole-heartedly over the years. I do not think their focus has gone awry but rather built over the decades while the church, as usual, has been slow to modernize and accept the world as is.

    I stand with the FSPA.
  21. RINO Cowboy
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    RINO Cowboy - June 14, 2012 6:17 am
    Good one Seriously. I may burn in Hades for eternity, but I like it. Now, as for those pesky priests ... . While I am not Catholic (ok, as an Anglican a fallen Catholic) I think what the nuns are all about are more in keeping with the message Jesus wanted us to hear than the perversion the priests keep on with.
  22. Seriously Now
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    Seriously Now - June 14, 2012 6:05 am
    Why God Doesn't Have a PhD

    1. He had only one major publication.

    2. It was in Hebrew.

    3. It had no references.

    4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.

    5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.

    6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?

    7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.

    8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.

    9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.

    10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.

    11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.

    12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.

    13. Some say he had his son teach the class.

    14. He expelled his first two students for learning.

    15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.

    16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.

    17. No record of working well with colleagues.
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