'Power of Sisterhood': Women Religious Discuss the Apostolic Visitation

Special Podcast

Before the Dec. 16 release of the Vatican's final report on the “apostolic visitation,” an inquiry into the lives and ministries of American nuns, Judith Valente, America's Chicago correspondent, spoke with Sister Mary Ann Zollmann and Sister Jean Wincek, co-authors of Power of Sisterhood, a collection of essays that record the experience of women religious during the visitation, and Margeret Cain McCarthy, a professor at Canisius College in New York, who surveyed 143 superiors whose communities received visits from the Vatican.

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Walter Sandell
4 years 1 month ago

An excellent presentation in a Christian spirit.

Malcolm Nazareth
4 years 1 month ago

After all the hoopla, the Final Report has turned out to be similar to an O. Henry ending. In a sense, it comes as a pleasant surprise. Perhaps the benign shadow of Pope Francis deserves part of the credit for the overall happy outcome for all and sundry. However, the Vatican still owes an apology to the LCWR for the anxiety and outrage it generated under Pope Benedict XVI for this senior and highly committed segment of the "Christifideles" and for all who admire and care about religious sisters. Just because the patriarchal hierarchy has been feeling uncomfortable with the feminist movement, for example, a Vatican "investigation" of the sisters seemed hardly called for. There's much that the entire world, including the RC Church, owes in aeternum to radical feminism. Women are equal to men, period; no colon or semi-colon. Too, whether or not Vatican dicasteries support women's ordination, this is simply going to be a feature of the Catholic Church going forward. A male-dominated church is not in step with the times when, insensitive to and disrespectful of women's equity with men in all matters, it refuses to play a prophetic role in the world, and as such, can hardly be a "light to the nations" in keeping with the lofty vision of Vatican II. LCWR has, without a doubt, embodied this vision maxima cum laude. Kudos to the final editors of the Final Report for having given our religious sisters in the US, and by extension, to sisters worldwide two thumbs up. May the sisters' love of Jesus, so obvious in their dedication to service of the marginalized and to the cause of justice, continue to blossom in the RC Church and spread the divine fragrance and benevolence to the ends of the earth.


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