LCWR has not supported social justice for all


To the Editor:
“We cannot, we will not obey this unjust law,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan regarding the HHS mandate.  Similarly, Vanderbilt Catholic, a student group cited, but NOT defended, in Frank Wessling’s April 12 editorial, stated:  “(Vanderbilt University) is forcing religious groups to open leadership positions to all students regardless of whether or not they practice the religion or even know anything about it. We  cannot in good conscience affirm that we comply with this policy” (March 26 press release).
Contrast the April 12 editorial with that of April 26 which defends the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) as do diocesan leaders on page 1. They conveniently ignore the Vatican statement praising “the great contributions of women religious in schools, hospitals and institutions of support of the poor.”  I’m over 50, and remember grade school with gratitude.  Today, mostly laywomen and men teach in such schools.  Nostalgia is no defense for today’s reality.
LCWR has not supported social justice for all from conception to natural death. I have heard a former LCWR president unjustly condemn pro-lifers. My aunt told me that she defended me to Sisters in her congregation who criticized my pro-life writing. In a college, run by a congregation, a current LCWR member, my required reading in biology and theology included hostile and poorly reasoned criticism of Catholic teaching.
The biased support of LCWR ignores the many places where bishops, vowed religious and laywomen and men work together in joy and mutual respect to serve all from conception to natural death in many ways.
Think of the Sisters of Life in New York supported by the late Cardinal John O’Connor that help pregnant women, AIDS patients, etc.  Think of the Diocese of Peoria with its extensive health care ministry, increasing vocations and other ministries.  Now, THAT’S a consistent ethic of life!
Mary Rourke

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