Journalist Ann Carey examines the many forces that have contributed to the decline of women's religious communities in the United States, concluding that the radical agenda of activist nuns has done more than anything else to bring about collapse.
John Peter Rooney, Plymouth, Massachusetts (For the record,I have had sixteen years of Catholic education, from grammar school through the only Catholic Engineering college in NYC.)
The story is painful to read, but Carey documents how one once-vigorous order after another chose the path of self-destruction. And the treatment of nuns who wanted to follow the authentic path of renewal remains a scandal.
The book is weaker when it tries to get at the causes of the decadence of religious orders. I'm not so sure that the "elites" of LCWR were really that much different from the average nun back in the school or the hospital. I also don't think that the key Church documents on reform of religious life were somehow hidden from nuns. Most of these documents were published in the local diocesan paper or could be easily picked up (at modest cost) from a Catholic bookstore. Many nuns simply chose to move in a different direction---and they and the church are immensely poorer for it.