Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin
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Two longtime Madison nuns who lead an interfaith spirituality center have been banned by Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction or guidance at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese.
Sisters Maureen McDonnell and Lynn Lisbeth, both Sinsinawa Dominicans, have diverged too far from Catholic teaching, according to a confidential memo sent Nov. 27 to priests on behalf of Morlino. A copy of the memo was leaked to the State Journal.
Two other women connected to the interfaith center, called Wisdom's Well, also have been banned as part of the same action.
The memo says Morlino has "grave concerns" about the women's teachings, specifically that they "espouse certain views" flowing from such movements as "New Ageism" and "indifferentism." The latter, according to the memo, is "the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another."
The women "may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church's approach to interreligious dialogue," the memo said.
The memo sent to priests says the four women "are not to be invited or allowed to preach, catechize, lead spiritual or prayer instructions or exercises, or to provide spiritual direction or guidance at churches, oratories or chapels within the Diocese of Madison." No publicity materials from Wisdom's Well are to be allowed inside parishes.
The prohibition against the sisters came only after the diocese "patiently and prudently" investigated the matter, King said. The memo says the diocese "sought clarification" from the sisters, but "the responses from these individuals proved insufficient and inconclusive to resolve grave concerns."
It is to be hoped the ladies return to their senses.