If you live out in the country you know what a nuisance ground hogs and moles can be. If you live anywhere in the south you know all about termites and watch out for signs your home might be infested. All these pests undermine the integrity of buildings and land and create hazards for farm animals as well. They are the perfect metaphor for the internal enemies of the Church. Any Catholic with an ounce of awareness knows there are groundhogs, moles, and termites in the Church undermining the faith. And among the worst are the members of the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) distorting what it means both to be a Catholic woman and a consecrated religious. Since the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) exposed problems in the organization a few months ago and called for reform, the dissidents have been busy lining up supporters and painting themselves as victims of the mean old misogynist males at the Vatican.
They've outlined their immediate strategy in a position paper that rejects the reforms and outlines their strategy for the dispute with Rome. It ends with an interesting statement: “Created in 1956, LCWR has a history of being at the forefront of change and renewal in the US Catholic church as well as acting as a strong advocate for social justice in society.”
Let's take this apart. First of all, there is no such thing as a "US Catholic church." (Note the small c for "church"). There is only the Holy Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ on the rock of Peter whose successor is Pope Benedict XVI. By using this phrase, LCWR has already declared its separateness from Rome, the same thing that happened in the 19th century with the heresy of Americanism. Americanism basically declared the situation unique in the U.S. and emphasized individualism thereby undermining Church authority. John F. Kennedy's speech in Houston in 1960 where he declared his independence from the Church was a prime example of Americanism. It's been echoed by other Catholic politicians like Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and John Kerry.
But not only politicians promote the mindset. Priests and religious who use personal conscience to undermine Church doctrine (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was an expert in this department.) also illustrate the infection of Americanism. A particularly insidious example is the healthcare debate. Waving the flag of independence, Sr. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association, defied the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) and was so instrumental in passing Obamacare the president invited her to the signing and she received one of the pens. LCWR honored her for it. So LCWR immediately places itself among those thumbing their noses at Church authority proclaiming by their actions that the U.S. "church" is different and the hierarchy have no right to exercise authority here.
But what does LCWR mean when it says since 1956 their organization has been at the "forefront of change and renewal?" Change for change's sake is typical of the modernist heresy which is characterized by a break from the past. All tradition is suspect and novelty is pursued for its own sake. That attitude of rejecting the past is certainly reflected in the history of LCWR, it's speakers and its positions. Donna Steichen outlined numerous heretical activities of the group in her 1996 book Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism. The '70s marked a radical departure by the LCWR from traditional charity (the works of mercy) to espousing women's rights including the Equal Rights Amendment, female ordination, women's empowerment, goddess worship, and a decidedly non-Catholic approach to "social justice." In 1986, LCWR held a "think tank" which issued papers written by teams that summarized LCWR's principles. Steichen says the essays: “disclose a desperately uncertain religious vision, only tenuously related to the "symbol" of Jesus Christ, which looks to a feminist version of ‘liberation’ for the world's earthly salvation. The notes and reading lists constitute a coprehensive bibliography in feminist theology.”
But the extremism of LCWR isn't just historical. If people want to see how loopy the LCWR continues to be, they have merely to look at the keynote speaker scheduled for LCWR's 2012 August meeting. Barbara Marx Hubbard's address is titled Mystery Unfolding: Speaking in the Evolutionary Now. Hubbard teaches a program called Agents of Conscious Evolution the purpose of which is to transform individuals to: “become a powerful catalyst of conscious evolution and play a role in one of the most exciting events ever envisioned: a planetary Birth Day on December 22, 2012. This day will help us shift beyond fearful separation toward a global sense of oneness, symbolically marking the start of a new era in human development....This intense and often emotional drama has one powerful solution: our conscious evolution as a species. We have within us extraordinary creative potentials that have yet to be massively unleashed, leading to wide-scale cooperation, innovation, sustainability and peace. The solutions are available; it is only the human software that needs an upgrade.”
This says it all as far as LCWR is involved. Jesus' new covenant wasn't enough, but we need to "evolve" through a new age course in "conscious evolution" that makes us "co-creators" of the "next stage for humanity" to be welcomed on December 22, 2012. Hubbard's program is the same type of new age nonsense promoted by Marianne Williamson, Echhart Tolle, and Oprah Winfrey. In fact, Hubbard participated with Williamson and Tolle last February in the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment. Take a look at Hubbard's video below and then read the description of her course on the website. Hubbard has a background as a liberal and at the 1984 Democratic Convention, 204 delegates placed her name in token nomination for Vice President. (Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro were on the ticket that year.) Hubbard is also a proponent of population control and has frequently written about it in her books. Her initial work with conscious evolution was funded by the Rockefellers. Reading what she says about herself is eye-opening and it is clear that she is as far from Catholic teaching as one can be. She believes Eve was correct in disobeying God to seek knowledge and describes hearing an "inner voice" that told her, "I will not let you die." (Do you hear the hissing?) That the LCWR would invite this woman to keynote their annual meeting epitomizes their misguided activities over the past forty years. They are unregenerate in their dissent and scandal.