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New prefect for Congregation for Religious

January 04, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has named a Brazilian prelate, Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz of Brasilia, to become the new prefect of the Congregation for Religious.

Archbishop Braz de Aviz replaces Cardinal Franc Rodé, who is retiring at the age of 76, after just short of 7 years as head of the Congregation.

The appointment is an important one, particularly for women religious in the US. The Congregation for Religious is currently conducting an apostolic visitation of American women’s religious orders. Cardinal Rodé had made it clear that he believed the declining health of many orders could be attributed to the influence of secularism and the decision by some nuns to experiment in ways that “take them outside communion with Christ in the Catholic Church.”

Last August, however, Pope Benedict appointed an American cleric, Archbishop Joseph Tobin, to the second-ranking post in the Congregation for Religious. The new secretary of the Congregation has indicated that he favors a “strategy of reconciliation” with women’s religious orders, and believes the apostolic visitation should not produce any “punitive or overly prescriptive norms” for American nuns.

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  • Posted by: Obregon - Jan. 04, 2011 10:40 PM ET USA

    "The new secretary of the Congregation has indicated that he favors a “strategy of reconciliation” with women’s religious orders, and believes the apostolic visitation should not produce any “punitive or overly prescriptive norms” for American nuns." In other words, the Sisters can rest assured "nothing" will be done, period! They will continue to self-destruct until they all die of all age!

  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Jan. 04, 2011 9:03 PM ET USA

    The Obama administration is implementing the most comprehensive government mandated national health care coverage, including federal tax payer funding for elective abortion, in this nation's history. President Obama and Pennsylvania Senator Casey commended Daughter of Charity Sr. Carol Keehan, President of the CHA for her "extraordinary leadership in advancing our national discussion." We Catholics are the ones who are "angry and hurt" by such disgraceful leadership by a Catholic religious.