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Vatican denies clear signs of discord on handling of LCWR

Catholic World News - May 07, 2013

Responding quickly to clear indications of discord between two leaders of the Roman Curia, the Vatican has released a statement flatly denying that any tension exists.

The May 7 statement from the Vatican press office criticized “media commentary” on public remarks by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation for Religious. The Brazilian cardinal had reported that he was not consulted about a 2012 decision to impose reform on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). Cardinal Braz de Aviz said that the decision, which was made public by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), caused him “much pain.” He added: “We have to change this way of doing things.”

Although the cardinal’s remarks were universally recognized as a rare public display of disagreement between leading Vatican officials, the Vatican statement insisted otherwise. “Such an interpretation of the cardinal’s remarks is not justified,” the press office declared.

Cardinal Braz de Aviz and Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the CDF, “work closely together,” the Vatican statement claimed. Their two dicasteries “have for some time been collaborating on a renewed theological vision of Religious Life in the Church.” The statement did not deny the substance of the Brazilian cardinal’s public statement, that he had been unaware of the CDF plans to impose a plan for reform of the LCWR.

Cardinal Braz de Aviz and Archbishop Müller met on Monday, May 6, after the Brazilian prelate’s remarks were made public, the Vatican statement revealed. The press office reports that the two prelates “reaffirmed their common commitment to the renewal of Religious Life, and particularly to the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR and the program of reform it requires, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - May. 07, 2013 6:35 PM ET USA

    My reaction to the Vatican's latest disclaimer? "Oh,shut up already!"

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - May. 07, 2013 6:35 PM ET USA

    It sounds like the Brazilian Cardinal stepped on the Popes toes.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 07, 2013 6:32 PM ET USA

    This is yet another example of the "changes" the Vatican implemented in the media program a few years ago, all of which has done nothing but to make them look foolish.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - May. 07, 2013 3:26 PM ET USA

    As a lifelong newsman and sometime media trainer, I can say the Vatican press office needs some adult supervision. They seem to be taking their lessons from Chico Marx (often attributed to Groucho, perhaps because Chico was dressed as Groucho at the time in Duck Soup): "Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?" Yet another example of an inept flack making a bad situation worse.

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