Not uncommon at all, but still very sad.
The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that is part of a three-year study of the congregations. Leaders of congregations, instead, are leaving questions unanswered or sending in letters or copies of their communities' constitutions.I wonder, though, if this "vast majority," the "universality" on which they report is any such thing, or merely a majority of those sisters who are known to the often dissenting and equally-in-need-of-intervention NCR community.
"There's been almost universal resistance," said one women religious familiar with the responses compiled by the congregation leaders. "We are saying 'enough!' In my 40 years in religious life I have never seen such unanimity."The deadline for the questionnaires to be filled out and returned to the Vatican-appointed apostolic visitator, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Mary Clare Millea, was Nov. 20. On that day, according to an informed source, congregation leaders across the nation sent Millea letters and, in many cases, only partial answers to the questionnaire. Many women, instead of filling out the forms, replied by sending in copies of their Vatican -approved orders' religious constitutions.
Of course, the ones refusing to participate in a process that may be key to any chance of their own survival are probably the communities most desperately in need of aid.
But it is like salvation -- no one forces you to cooperate in the process.
Some people just will not be helped.
I pray to St Joseph, that the death of these fast-fading communities will be happy and painless.