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Vatican conducting 'doctrinal investigation' of US nuns' leadership group

April 16, 2009

The Vatican has launched a "doctrinal investigation" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the umbrella group that represents most of the women's religious orders in the United States. The National Catholic Reporter, which made public the plans for the Vatican inquiry, indicates that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has expressed concerns for several years about the LCWR's attitudes toward Church teachings on issues such as homosexuality, the necessity of Christ's Church for salvation, and the impossibility of ordaining women.

In a February 20 letter to LCWR leaders, announcing plans for the inquiry, Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the CDF, said that the Vatican's concerns had been renewed by "both the tenor and the doctrinal content of various addresses" given at LCWR meetings.

The Vatican's probe into the doctrinal orthodoxy of the LCWR-- which will be conducted under the auspieces of the CDF-- follows soon the February announcement of an apostolic visitation to assess the overall health of women's religious orders in the United States. That inquiry has been organized by the Congregation for Religious.


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