After Visitation, Reconciliation

Rome must acknowledge the “depth of anger and hurt” provoked by the apostolic visitation of American nuns, the Vatican’s number two official for religious life said in an interview on Dec. 6 with John Allen, a correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter. Archbishop Joseph Tobin, secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, called for a “strategy of reconciliation” with women religious. The archbishop said that he does not expect any “punitive” fallout from the visitation. He said that before any decisions are made resulting from it, women’s communities should have a chance to know the results and to respond. Many women religious in the United States have objected to what some perceive as the secrecy of the process. Archbishop Tobin said that as a matter of “justice and charity,” he will “strongly advocate” for feedback and a right of reply for women religious.

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