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Speaking of nuns, Amy Koehlinger’s recent essay at Religion & Politics  makes an unfortunate (perhaps unintentional?) suggestion that the church, and American sisters in particular, only became concerned with the poorest and most marginal post-Vatican II. That can’t be. St. Katherine Drexel began her ministry to blacks and American Indians (which culminated with the foundation of Xavier University) near the turn of the century. I note that Prof. Koehlinger has a book on the subject, where I’m sure all this comes into sharper focus.

More supportable is the observation that many post-conciliar Catholics, priests and nuns especially, came to substitute prosecution of various political causes for the life of piety. This is what led the LCWR astray and threatens to lead us all astray if we treat the Vatican’s visitation as the latest episode in the culture wars. It is, rather, the simple fulfillment of the episcopal duty to preserve Christian faith and practice, without which no enterprise of the church can long survive.

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