National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Authoritarianism and anarchy

 |  NCR Today

In her address to LCWR, Sr. Pat Farrell said, "There is an inherent existential tension between the complementary roles of hierarchy and religious which is not likely to change."

Indeed. When people have asked me over the years about the relationship of sisters' communities to the hierarchy, I have usually described this tension as parallel streams of authoritarianism and anarchy. On the one hand, we have popes, vows of holy obedience and dogma. On the other hand, we have the desert fathers who sat on poles, the mystics and holy poverty.

Both authoritarianism and anarchy are imperfect states. But this is an imperfect world.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 4-17, 2014

07-04-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.