We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican cardinal questions decision to reform LCWR

Catholic World News - May 06, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has complained that his office was not notified about Vatican plans to require reforms in the American Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Last April the Holy See appointed Archbishop James Sartain of Seattle as the Vatican's delegate to oversee a reform of the LCWR, finding that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern." The Vatican move came after an apostolic visitation of the LCWR, which was conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Speaking on May 5 to a group of religious superiors, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation for Religious, said that he was dismayed to learn that the CDF had embarked on a plan to reform the American group without consulting his office. He said the decision caused him “much pain.”

“We have to change this way of doing things,” the Brazilian prelate said, saying that cardinals working in the Roman Curia should learn to trust each other’s judgments and coordinate their plans.

The cardinal's candid expression of dissatisfaction with another office of the Roman Curia was a rare break from the usual display of public unity among Vatican officials. His call for changes in the operation of the Roman Curia, however, echo statements made by many prelates before the conclave that elected Pope Francis.

The Brazilian cardinal’s own dicastery, the Congregation for Religious, has conducted its own separate apostolic visitation of women’s religious orders in the US. Although the results of that investigation have not been finalized, the congregation has signaled that it will not call for any major reforms.

Cardinal Braz de Aviz made his complaint about the CDF action just a few weeks after the CDF confirmed that Pope Francis had given his approval to the critical appraisal of the LCWR that prompted the CDF intervention.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - May. 07, 2013 12:08 PM ET USA

    What will it take to finally excommunicate a nun, a priest, a bishops, or a cardinal who directly or indirectly supports the slaughter of the unborn?

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 07, 2013 2:20 AM ET USA

    The pope has already given his approval to CDF intervention, obviously because the LCWR is widely known to have expressed views in contradiction to the Magisterium. Cardinal de Aviz's report seems like it will be completely at odds with the CDF's, which is probably the reason why the cardinal went public.

  • Posted by: florentine - May. 06, 2013 10:05 PM ET USA

    What this exposes is the need for Cardinal Braz's removal from his office subito! Unfortunately he is one among many who has been negligent in his duty to protect and preserve the faith. The so - called "sisters" of LCWR are liberal feminists using the Catholic Church to promote a very specific pro - choice, women priests, SS "marriage" agenda. For all their charitable works, they are leading many astray w/ their outspoken heresies.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - May. 06, 2013 7:52 PM ET USA

    Another unfortunate and false "leadership" in Vatican, expect more disaster to come out of this - if you wonder about "sisters'" reaction, please read comments to this article by National Catholic REPORTER ... and remember what this NCR stands for - ordination of women, among other "good ideas" ...

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - May. 06, 2013 6:00 PM ET USA

    I thought it was common knowledge that there was an investigation of the LCWR. At least I was informed of it; I'm surprsed the Cardinal was not. Maybe he should subscribe to this news service if he feels out of the loop on Catholic news and affairs! I'm also aurprised his congregation can't find any need for major reforms in the LCWR. That need is as obvious as the red hat he was given for his head. Or maybe he can't find that either.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - May. 06, 2013 5:15 PM ET USA

    The real problem, aside from the disastrous state of the LCWR that anyone still awake is aware of, is exposed in 2 sentences above: "The Brazilian cardinal’s own dicastery, the Congregation for Religious, has conducted its own separate apostolic visitation of women’s religious orders in the US. Although the results of that investigation have not been finalized, the congregation has signaled that it will not call for any major reforms."

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 06, 2013 1:24 PM ET USA

    Well, I think we now see one Vatican office in need of reform.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21