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From the Wisconsin State Journal

Quote:Two longtime Madison nuns who lead an interfaith spirituality center have been banned by Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction or guidance at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese.

Sisters Maureen McDonnell and Lynn Lisbeth, both Sinsinawa Dominicans, have diverged too far from Catholic teaching, according to a confidential memo sent Nov. 27 to priests on behalf of Morlino. A copy of the memo was leaked to the State Journal.

Two other women connected to the interfaith center, called Wisdom's Well, also have been banned as part of the same action.

The memo says Morlino has "grave concerns" about the women's teachings, specifically that they "espouse certain views" flowing from such movements as "New Ageism" and "indifferentism." The latter, according to the memo, is "the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another."

The women "may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church's approach to interreligious dialogue," the memo said.

Brent King, a spokesman for the diocese, said three other potential parish guest speakers, all male, have been banned "in recent years." The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King said. Asked whether they could contribute to parish life in other ways, such as reading Bible passages from the pulpit or chairing a church committee, King said that would be up to individual priests.

The action comes amid a papal crackdown on nuns. Earlier this year, the Vatican accused the most influential group of Catholic sisters in the U.S. of "serious doctrinal issues" for not following Rome's lead on topics such as the male-only priesthood and homosexuality.

Interfaith approach

Wisdom's Well was founded in Madison in 2006. The center has no physical facility but offers workshops and retreats on topics such as nonviolence, contemplative living and Christian meditation.

The center's website says it "serves to support those who desire to grow spiritually, seek inner wisdom, and yearn for a transformative spirituality." Its mission statement says the center is "grounded in the Christian tradition, while embracing the wisdom found in other religious traditions."

Along with the sisters, the third staff member is Beth O'Brien, a married mother of two and a religious layperson affiliated with the Benedictine community. She also is banned, as is Paula Hirschboeck, a philosophy professor at Edgewood College in Madison who helped found Wisdom's Well but is no longer on its staff.

The women declined comment, referring questions to the Dominicans of Sinsinawa Congregation, based in southwestern Wisconsin.

'Valued members'

The order's spokeswoman, Tricia Buxton, released a statement saying McDonnell and Lisbeth are "respected and valued members" of the order, and that both women "have been dedicated to religious life and preaching and teaching Gospel values for nearly 50 years." The Sinsinawa Dominicans "wholeheartedly support our sisters and hold them in prayer as we continue our mission of participating in the building of a holy and just church and society," the statement said.

Buxton said Sinsinawa Dominicans have never before faced a prohibition like this in the diocese. The order has 521 sisters.

Both McDonnell and Lisbeth are well-known in Madison. McDonnell served for 21 years on the campus ministry staff at Edgewood College, her alma mater. Lisbeth regularly leads classes in spirituality at the Madison Senior Center.

At the time the memo went out, McDonnell was co-facilitating a series of weekly classes with 12 students at St. James Catholic Church in Madison titled, "Just Peace Initiative: The Challenge and Promise of Nonviolence for Our Time." The class has been moved, according to an organizer, who did not want the new site published.

Diocese's 'duty'

The memo sent to priests says the four women "are not to be invited or allowed to preach, catechize, lead spiritual or prayer instructions or exercises, or to provide spiritual direction or guidance at churches, oratories or chapels within the Diocese of Madison." No publicity materials from Wisdom's Well are to be allowed inside parishes.

The memo does not give specific examples of things the women may have said that violate church teaching. Rather, the memo references problematic statements on the center's website, including that the sisters embrace "the wisdom found in other religious traditions."

King said it is both the diocese's duty and right to ensure parish speakers transmit true church teaching. "A proposed speaker's association with a group whose philosophy is inconsistent with the Catholic faith disqualifies a proposed speaker," he said.

The prohibition against the sisters came only after the diocese "patiently and prudently" investigated the matter, King said. The memo says the diocese "sought clarification" from the sisters, but "the responses from these individuals proved insufficient and inconclusive to resolve grave concerns."

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/bisho...z2ElJl1ljc

Deo gratias, a Catholic bishop upholding the Catholic Faith!
Hmm, seems the breeze may be changing direction.

tim
Thanks for posting this good news.
good for the Bishop
I wonder who leaked the memo.  My guess would be one of the dissident nuns, in an effort to gain the support of the liberal media. 

Nice to see the bishop use an old fuddy dud word like "indifferentism."  The nuns probably leaked the memo in an effort to find someone who could tell them what it means. 

Good for him.  Hopefully he uses the strength of his office to stand by his decision and make others like it.
The Vicar General has now released the documentation (since it was evidently leaked anyway) of heterodox views taught by these folks. This one in particular caught my eye:

Quote:WHO IS SOPHIA? - In the West, divine wisdom is known as Sophia. In the East she is Mother Tao and Prajnaparamita. Sometimes she is recognized as incarnate in Mary and Kuan Yin. Indigenous peoples and others of Earth based spiritualities know her by many names, from Spider Woman to Danu to Tonantzin. She is celebrated as the Soul of the World. She is the wisdom of Earth as Gaia. The wisdom of evolution calling to us from the future is seen as a manifestation of Sophia. These are just a few of her aspects which cross cultures, eras and faith traditions. Many contemplatives say that manifesting Sophia’s wisdom and compassion is the task of our time.

Did they just compare Our Lady to some mythical "Spider Woman" or am I not understanding this neo-gnostic BS?
Good on His Lordship! Now, let's pray that other bishops follow his lead!
(12-12-2012, 12:00 AM)Servus Immaculatae Wrote: [ -> ]The Vicar General has now released the documentation (since it was evidently leaked anyway) of heterodox views taught by these folks. This one in particular caught my eye:

Quote:WHO IS SOPHIA? - In the West, divine wisdom is known as Sophia. In the East she is Mother Tao and Prajnaparamita. Sometimes she is recognized as incarnate in Mary and Kuan Yin. Indigenous peoples and others of Earth based spiritualities know her by many names, from Spider Woman to Danu to Tonantzin. She is celebrated as the Soul of the World. She is the wisdom of Earth as Gaia. The wisdom of evolution calling to us from the future is seen as a manifestation of Sophia. These are just a few of her aspects which cross cultures, eras and faith traditions. Many contemplatives say that manifesting Sophia’s wisdom and compassion is the task of our time.

Did they just compare Our Lady to some mythical "Spider Woman" or am I not understanding this neo-gnostic BS?

No, I'm pretty sure they're saying that she is the spider woman and all the rest.  Kinda like how Gandalf is recognized by different names to different cultures.  Of course, instead of Mary being recognized as different things by different cultures (which would of course still be likely very problematic considering the source) they're saying Sophia (the greek for wisdom) is equally embodied by different religious figures of different cultures.

The article said that the women were not censured against Holy Communion.  I hope that's because they've made a good confession and hopefully publicly retracted these teachings, as they are blatantly heretical, and an offense to Christian piety. 
(12-12-2012, 12:07 AM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]The article said that the women were not censured against Holy Communion.  I hope that's because they've made a good confession and hopefully publicly retracted these teachings, as they are blatantly heretical, and an offense to Christian piety. 

In the newspaper article, it said, "The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King [spokesman for the Diocese] said." Perhaps this is a quiet statement that these women are NOT Catholic.  One of the women involved is an oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery, a former Benedictine monastery which was released from their Religious vows and status as a Catholic institution a few years back by the Holy See, and the bishop consequently forbade Mass from being said on-site. They instead have "Ecumenical Eucharistic Celebrations" led by female ministers from Protestant churches.

(12-12-2012, 12:07 AM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]No, I'm pretty sure they're saying that she is the spider woman and all the rest.  Kinda like how Gandalf is recognized by different names to different cultures.  Of course, instead of Mary being recognized as different things by different cultures (which would of course still be likely very problematic considering the source) they're saying Sophia (the greek for wisdom) is equally embodied by different religious figures of different cultures.

I get that sophia is Greek for wisdom, and that in Catholic tradition wisdom is referred to as feminine (such as in the Book of Wisdom). But I still can't wrap my mind around their idea of this SOPHIA (is she a goddess?). Perhaps it's a good thing that I can't understand it.

And well, compare the Blessed Virgin to a "Spider Woman", or say that she is, in fact a "Spider Woman", either way is a horrendous blasphemy. Perhaps these women need to stop inventing a new false concept of Mary and start imitating who she actually was. May God give them the grace for such a conversion, impossible though it may seem to me.
Now it's at least two bishops (Bp. Morlino and Bp. Williamson) who hammer the heresy of religious indifferentism. Smile Deo gratias!