Women Religious Address U.S. Visitation

Leaders representing 59,000 women religious are questioning what they call a lack of full disclosure about what is motivating the Vatican’s apostolic visitation to study the contemporary practices of U.S. women’s religious orders. In a press statement on Aug. 17, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious also said the leaders “object to the fact that their orders will not be permitted to see the investigative reports about them” when they are submitted in 2011 to the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and its prefect, Cardinal Franc Rodé. Furthermore, no details about the study’s funding have been released by the office of the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States. Mother Mary Clare Millea, the apostolic visitor charged by the Vatican with directing the study, had said on July 31, “The reason we’re doing this is we want to help assess and promote the vitality of all the sisters.”

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