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Leadership Conference of Women Religious taken to task by Vatican for honoring controversial theologian

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/7/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Concept of conscious evolution' found to be lacking

Using blunt language, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office Cardinal Gerhard Müller rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR for honoring a Catholic theologian judged "seriously inadequate" and for promoting ideas he described as being "opposed to Christian revelation."

Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012

Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/7/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Vocations

Keywords: Leadership Confernce of Women religious, Cardinal Muller, Barbara Marx Hubbard


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the remarks late last month in an address to the presidency of the LCWR. The organization is a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.

The Vatican announced a major reform in 2012 of the LCWR to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality. Appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to implement the congregation's "doctrinal assessment," by providing "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the LCWR.

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Cardinal Müller voiced "increasing concern" about the LCWR's promotion of the "concept of conscious evolution" in various publications and in the "directional statements" of some member congregations.

Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012. Hubbard's Web site describes the concept as "part of the trajectory of human evolution, the canvas of choice before us now as we recognize that we have come to possess the powers that we used to attribute to the gods."

According to the cardinal, the "fundamental theses of conscious evolution are opposed to Christian revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the incarnation of Christ, the reality of original sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the paschal mystery.

"Conscious evolution does not offer anything which will nourish religious life as a privileged and prophetic witness rooted in Christ revealing divine love to a wounded world," he said. "The Gospel does. Selfless service to the poor and marginalized in the name of Jesus Christ does."

Cardinal Müller also said he was saddened by plans to give a major award at the group's annual assembly in August to St Joseph Sister Elizabeth A Johnson. In 2011, the US bishops' Committee on Doctrine criticized one of Sister Johnson's books as containing "misrepresentations, ambiguities and errors" related to the Catholic faith.

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