The head of the Vatican's doctrinal office has rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for honouring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged 'seriously inadequate,' reports the Catholic News Service.
Using what he acknowledged was unusually 'blunt' language, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the remarks in an address to the presidency of the LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of US women's communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.
He also criticised the theologian's work as promoting futuristic ideas he described as 'opposed to Christian revelation.' The text of Cardinal Muller's remarks was posted on the congregation's website.
LCWR officials have characterised the assessment as a 'flawed process that lacked transparency,' and the disciplinary measures imposed by the Vatican as 'disproportionate,' saying they compromised the organisation's ability to fulfill its mission.
At the April 30 meeting with LCWR officials, Cardinal Muller 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 website describes the concept as 'part of the trajectory of human evolution, the canvas of choice before us now as we recognise that we have come to possess the powers that we used to attribute to the gods.'