As Tom Fox reports on this blog, Loyola Marymount and Mt. St. Mary's college have joined the procession celebrating the example and service of American sisters.
Similar tributes have been forthcoming in the face of the Vatican's investigation of religious communities and the beliefs of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. LCWR earlier contributed its own in the form of an exhibition of the history of U.S. sisters now showing in Washington.
These honors are well deserved and often overdue. Do they also constitute a conscious effort to combat the Vatican's attempt to find fault with them? I don't know how much, if any, coordination has prompted the tributes, but it seems plausible that it does represent at least a loose coalition of desires to display a collective "character witness."
The strategy of open protest against the "visitation" has, by comparison, been used rarely. For a variety of reasons, most sisters have refrained from publicly rejecting the initiative. The most striking example has been indirect as many communities refused to comply with sections of the investigation's questionnaire.