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LCWR leaders meet with Vatican officials to discuss reform

Catholic World News - June 12, 2012

Leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) met on June 12 with officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to discuss the Vatican’s call for reform of the American group. Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, who has been designated by the CDF to supervise the reform, also took part in the meeting.

A brief statement released by the Vatican press office after the meeting said that the conversation had taken place “in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.” The LCWR leaders agreed: “It was an open meeting and we were able to directly express our concerns to Cardinal Levada [the prefect of the CDF] and Archbishop Sartain.”

The LCWR leaders—Sister Pat Farrell, the president of the group; and Sister Janet Mock, the executive director—said that they will discuss the Vatican’s plans with members at regional meetings and at the group’s August assembly “to determine its course of action in response to the CDF assessment.”

The Vatican statement on the meeting clarified that the CDF was concerned about the role of the LCWR—an umbrella group representing most of America’s congregations of women religious—in promoting dissent from Church teaching. The statement noted:

According to Canon Law, a conference of major superiors such as the LCWR is constituted by and remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See in order to promote common efforts among the individual member institutes and cooperation with the Holy See and the local conference of bishops (cf. Code of Canon Law, canons 708-709). The purpose of the doctrinal assessment is to assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.

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