October 3, 2012 Martin Mallon (Ireland) Martin's previous articles
Vatican & Religious: going backwards or forwards?
the September 30 edition of Independent Catholic News we read that Archbishop
Joseph Tobin, who is Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated
Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the
the article the Archbishop points out that since Vatican II religious life has
changed because “this Council was the first to describe a theology of
religious life rather than simply treating it as a set of rules. The emphasis in
religious life had shifted from rule and observance to Gospel and community.”
the article continues:
discussion, a sister said: “we are at a divisive moment in the life of the
Church” as some seem intent on going back to rule and observance. In response,
Archbishop Tobin said that the Church does not go backwards but that there was a
need to consider how best to move forwards.
is a very encouraging and hopeful statement from the Archbishop and let us hope
he can encourage others in the hierarchy with the same attitude to be more
forthcoming. However, he does appear to be overly optimistic as the evidence to
date would suggest that the current administration in the Holy See does appear
to be intent on going backwards, as demonstrated by the new translation of the
Mass and the Apostolic Visitation to investigate the Leadership Conference of
Women Religious (LCWR) in the
The investigation into the LCWR really flies in the face of the Archbishop's statement that "The emphasis in religious life had shifted from rule and observance to Gospel and community.” In this case it appears "rule and observance" is favoured as opposed to "Gospel and community".