Archive for category Religious Women

Vatican dialogue with U.S. women religious continues, says cardinal / Catholic Herald

More than a year after the conclusion of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of US communities of women religious, the Vatican has begun asking more than a dozen orders to send their superiors to Rome to discuss concerns that surfaced.

“‘We did a very positive report at the conclusion of the visitation,’ a report that looked at the life of women’s congregations in the United States as a whole and was released in December 2014, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

“But ‘there remained about 15 — more or less — congregations that we needed to speak with about a few points,’ the cardinal told Catholic News Service on June 14. The cardinal had attended a news conference about a new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith looking at the relationship between the hierarchy and communities or movements that arise from ‘charismatic gifts.'”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in Catholic Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Global women religious leader asks them to do synod’s unfinished work / National Catholic Reporter

The leader of the umbrella group for some 600,000 global Catholic women religious has said that in the wake of this month’s Synod of Bishops the women are called to carry forth the pastoral work that the official church is sometimes not able to do.

“Maltese Sr. Carmen Sammut — who participated in the Oct. 4-25 Synod as one of 32 women who took part in non-voting roles alongside the 270 prelate-members — said the women religious should engage with people church institutions may not even know need help.

“‘I think that we should not give up our role at the frontiers of the church,’ said Sammut, who heads the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Editorial: LCWR and the Vatican: relations were fixed, not transformed / National Catholic Reporter

The U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious, meeting for the first time since the Vatican put an end to an investigation of the organization, had much to celebrate. It had survived intact, apparently free for the time being from further Vatican interference. The women expressed warm feelings toward those who helped them work through the crisis, particularly Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, who received high marks for integrity and skill at mediating the controversy.

“In our community of faith, there is no planning or accounting for grace or the movement of the Spirit, just an expectation that both infuse our lives and actions in abundance. At the same time, the tension in the serpent and dove analogy is also always with us.

“So we dare to note, amid the celebration and despite the salutary outcome of the LCWR investigation and the earlier investigation of U.S. women religious generally, that a number of institutional realities regarding the Vatican’s attitudes toward women remain unchanged.”

By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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LCWR president: a new era of communion with Vatican closes ‘cultural chasm’ / Global Sisters Report

The controversial investigations of U.S. women religious by the Vatican — and resulting tensions — stemmed largely from a ‘cultural chasm,’ the group’s president said Wednesday (Aug. 12).

“But that chasm is closing, she said, and a new era of communion seems to have begun.

“Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Sharon Holland, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, told the group’s annual assembly that behavior that is very normal for a woman in American culture — such as asking questions and thinking critically — might easily be perceived as disrespectful in another setting.

“Holland understands one of those settings well: She spent 21 years as a canon lawyer in Rome, where she was one of the highest-ranking women in the Vatican. Now vice president of her community in Monroe, Michigan, and in her final days as president of LCWR, Holland gave the presidential address Wednesday (Aug. 12) morning to the approximately 800 LCWR members gathered here in Houston. The organization is made up of Catholic women religious who are leaders of their orders in the United States; communities in LCWR represent about 80 percent of the nearly 50,000 women religious in the United States.”

By Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Hierarchy’s flaws persist despite collegial end to LCWR investigation / National Catholic Reporter

It seems, in what can be gleaned from the final report of the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, that a certain reasonableness ultimately prevailed in an exercise that has rightfully been called ‘a disaster.’

“Religious women remain one of American Catholicism’s great treasures. Of all the matters in the church in need of investigation, the organization whose members are leaders of more than 80 percent of women religious in the United States was not one of them.

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s ‘assessment’ of LCWR was a disaster, an unnecessary sign of distrust. Keeping that assessment in mind should temper the celebration coming from some quarters of the church and commentariat acclaiming the success of ‘dialogue.’”

Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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Vatican ends controversial three-year oversight of U.S. sisters’ leaders / National Catholic Reporter

A controversial three-year program of Vatican oversight of the main leadership group of U.S. Catholic sisters has come to a curt and unexpected end, with the sisters and the church’s doctrinal office announcing that the goal of the oversight ‘has been accomplished.’

“The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has accepted a final report of the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, ‘marking the conclusion’ of the oversight, the Vatican announced Thursday (Apr. 16).

“The lengthy process saw the Vatican issue what the sisters called unsubstantiated sharp critiques of their work and life while appointing Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to oversee a program of reform for LCWR. Thursday’s news release says the Vatican and the sisters both noted the ‘spirit of cooperation’ of the ordeal.

“The end of the mandate, the Vatican release says, came in a meeting Thursday morning between LCWR officers, Sartain, and officials of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation. Sartain and the LCWR officers presented a joint report on the implementation of the mandate, which the doctrinal congregation approved.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Sisters deserve an apology for apostolic visitation / National Catholic Reporter

Now that the quaintly named apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious is over and the current leadership of the Vatican agency that oversees religious orders has decided that the women are worthy of praise, admiration and gratitude, it is quite appropriate to ask: “What was that all about?”

“The investigation can now be seen for the sham it was, and we as a church should be ashamed of the abuse these faithful women suffered because of it. They deserve an apology.”

By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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