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New Vatican prefect criticizes predecessor, promises to 'rebuild trust' among religious

July 05, 2011

The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has said that his main goal is to “rebuild trust” in the Vatican office—implicitly criticizing his predecessor for efforts to address doctrinal and disciplinary problems in religious orders.

Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz told the magazine 30 Giorni that his congregation must recover the confidence of religious because of “some positions taken previously.” His reference was evidently to Cardinal Franc Rodé, who headed the Congregation for Bishops before Archbishop Braz took over in January.

Cardinal Rodé had insisted on calling attention to the rapid decline in membership of many religious orders, and suggested that some religious communities had “simply acquiesced to the disappearance of religious life or at least of their community,” while others “have opted for ways that take them outside communion with Christ in the Catholic Church.” It was Cardinal Rodé’s initiative to undertake an apostolic visitation of women’s religious orders in the US—a visitation that is now winding down, with ample indications that the Vatican will avoid any confrontation with fractious nuns.

Archbishop Braz said that under his leadership the Congregation for Religious would emphasize listening to the concerns of religious communities and work “without pre-emptive condemnations."


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jul. 06, 2011 2:08 PM ET USA

    Rodé was right! What does the Vatican have to lose by "outing" and admonishing and reprimanding the dissident sisters and their orders? They are dying out anyway which is a sure sign of their apostasy. I have no trust in the Congregation for Religious Life under its new prefect. More and more I see that the Vatican is filled with traitors, spies, working against the Church and our Holy Father. Rodé was absolutey right!

  • Posted by: Erik George - Jul. 05, 2011 6:14 PM ET USA

    This seems like post-conciliar business as usual. Pandering to dissidents combined with an utter lack of corrective discipline ends up scandalizing the faithful and rendering the existence adminstrative bodies such as the Congregation for Religious virtually useless. Shame on the Vatican for this display of cowardice. We Catholics deserve better!

  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Jul. 05, 2011 3:34 PM ET USA

    I read this in absolute disbelief....the Congregation has to start listening whom??? a bunch of radicalized feminist left wing nuns who have not listened to what the Church or Pontiffs have been saying for decades...God save us!