Pope Francis spent 50 minutes with a delegation from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious on April 16. The symbolic encounter came after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the L.C.W.R. announced that they had reached a positive conclusion to a three-year effort by the congregation to ensure that the L.C.W.R. carries out its work in harmony with the Catholic Church’s teaching. Thus ended, on an amicable note, a controversial process involving the C.D.F. and the leadership of the umbrella organization of over 80 percent of the 57,000 American sisters that had made international headlines. “We learned that what we hold in common is much greater than any of our differences,” Sharon Holland, I.H.M., president of the L.C.W.R., commented afterward. It had been known for some time in Rome that Pope Francis wanted to bring closure to this contentious and unhappy chapter in the relations between the Vatican (spurred on by some U.S. bishops) and the L.C.W.R. and to open a new, positive and constructive relationship with the sisters.
L.C.W.R. Report Issued