Channel 10's Berkeley Brean aired a story tonight on the local effects of the ongoing Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious.
The investigation is making some nuns here in Rochester and around the country nervous. The investigation is to see if they're "living in fidelity."
Both the local congregations of the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Saint Joseph have been contacted. The RSMs are being mum for the time being, claiming that it's too early to comment, while a spokesperson for the SSJs feels that "the initial meeting with the investigating nun went very well and that good news was going back to Rome."
Brean also sought comments from Nazareth College religion professor Tim Thibodeau who told him that "the Vatican is investigating nuns because they may have drifted away from the church."
They're thinking about this as what have we done to warrant this kind of scrutiny, this kind of community by community investigation.
I think there's just this perception out there in some parts of the hierarchy that they may not be as faithful to the teaching of the church as they should be.
Perception? In many cases "documented fact" would be closer to the truth.
Anyway, according to the professor,
If people are going to approach them in a paternalistic condescending way they're in for a real surprise. It's a kind of catch 22 in that you don't want to alienate the female religious who are contributing so much to an increasingly female institution that's a real problem.
The good professor is absolutely correct. The Church, especially here in DOR, is becoming an increasingly female institution. That seems to have been Bishop Clark's plan for some time now.