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LCWR leaders announce 'honest sharing of views' with Vatican delegate, but no plans for reform

Catholic World News - August 20, 2013

At the conclusion of a 4-day annual assembly, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) issued a cautious statement expressing hopes that a Vatican mandate for reform of the group could find “a resolution of this situation that maintains the integrity of LCWR and is healthy for the whole church."

LCWR members conducted their discussions on the Vatican mandate quietly, meeting three times in executive session. The meeting heard a presentation from Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, who has been appointed by the Vatican to oversee reform efforts within the group, and held a feedback session in which women religious offered their responses, characterized in the LCWR statement as “a profound and honest sharing of views.” Archbishop Sartain also meet with the group’s board members, for what the LCWR said was an “extraordinarily rich and deeply reverent conversation.”

The LCWR statement avoided any discussion of the substantive issues mentioned in a Vatican report that was released last April, which pointed to a pattern of dissent from Church teachings and “serious theological, even doctrinal errors” in LCWR statements and in addresses to LCWR assemblies.

The LCWR—which represents leaders of roughly 80% of the women religious in the US—has avoided direct confrontation with the Vatican over the plans for the mandated reform. But Ann Carey, the author of Sisters in Crisis, observed in a National Catholic Register report that the group has not taken any concrete action to address the Vatican’s concerns.

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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Aug. 21, 2013 12:59 PM ET USA

    I have little hope that anything will be done on the part of Archbishop Sartain and the Vatican. The LCWR is a powerful force and lobby and a mandate to them will result in a split that the Vatican wants to avoid at all costs. So they will continue to meet and discuss with "rich and deeply reverent conversation" and so it will go, praising them for what they have contributed to the Church in the past, and yadda yadda yadda. Nothing will be done. The Vatican is too fearful of the 80%.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Aug. 21, 2013 11:31 AM ET USA

    "But Ann Carey, the author of Sisters in Crisis, observed in a National Catholic Register report that the group has not taken any concrete action to address the Vatican’s concerns." Nor will they, as long as they can keep this interminable dialog going for ever and ever amen. The time has come for the Vatican to put its foot down and declare them excommunicated for their heresy. Time and their approaching death will then care of this LCWR renegades.

  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 21, 2013 4:50 AM ET USA

    At some point, the LCWR will realize that the Vatican wants action, not talk. Then, "By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (Matt 7:16)

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