Vatican Reaffirms Need for LCWR Oversight

A Vatican communique from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.



Today the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States of America. Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle and the Holy See’s Delegate for the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR, also participated in the meeting.

As this was his first opportunity to meet with the Presidency of the LCWR, the Prefect of the Congregation, Most Rev. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, expressed his gratitude for the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years.

The Prefect then highlighted the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the important mission of Religious to promote a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium (Cf. Lumen gentium, nn. 43-47). He also emphasized that a Conference of Major Superiors, such as the LCWR, exists in order to promote common efforts among its member Institutes as well as cooperation with the local Conference of Bishops and with individual Bishops. For this reason, such Conferences are constituted by and remain under the direction of the Holy See (Cf. Code of Canon Law, cann. 708-709).

Finally, Archbishop Müller informed the Presidency that he had recently discussed the Doctrinal Assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the Assessment and the program of reform for this Conference of Major Superiors.

It is the sincere desire of the Holy See that this meeting may help to promote the integral witness of women Religious, based on a firm foundation of faith and Christian love, so as to preserve and strengthen it for the enrichment of the Church and society for generations to come.

Update: The LCWR Statement is here.

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Mike Evans
5 years 1 month ago
Looks like a mixed bag to me. What does it mean, the pope "reaffirmed" the findings of the Assessment and the program of reform?" Is this another effort to suppress 'apostolic' nuns in favor of cloistered 'praying' nuns?
G Miller
5 years 1 month ago
You are right Mike. It means that the Vatican is going to try to undo the activities of the Nuns. The work that they have been doing for fifty years in the Spirit of Vatican II. It is the best work of the Church in the last 50 years. It is what keeps thinking Catholics in the pews. The thing is that the nuns have done their homework and then done their discernment of Spirits. The bishops have not attended to their formation. In the end, this is punishment for not standing with the Bishops and Republicans against Obamacare. It is also a distraction for the Church. It will gives the Church cover and distracts it from cleaning up the pedophile scandal and the reform of the Curia.
Bill Mazzella
5 years 1 month ago
The Curia routinely state that the pope agreed or confirmed what they did. It is not always so in actuality. The Curia tries to to run the pope while feigning obedience. Let's see what Francis actually says or not says.
Carroll C.
5 years 1 month ago
What was that again?: "It is the desire of the Holy See....promote the integral witness of women Religious...based Christian love...preserve and strengthen...for the enrichment of...Church and society...." This is nothing but empty rhetoric with pious overtones. What did Pope Francis actually say, if he said anything at all?
Kevin Faulkner
5 years 1 month ago
As one who has had experience of religious women who have passed "beyond" Catholic Christianity, I am thankful for the intervention of the Congregation. Yes, I know that there are good orders that do good work, but within a stone's throw of where I live, there is a house that no longer uses "God" language and has removed many symbols in the name of "uselessness" to their liturgical life. If they want to leave and go off to do their own thing, that is fine. But to remain within the Church is to adhere to the tenets of the faith. This is not talked about in many circles, but it exists.


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