Vatican Undertakes Reform of Nuns' Group
Archbishop Sartain of Seattle Appointed as Delegate
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ROME, APRIL 18, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its archbishop delegate for the initiative.
Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were named to assist in this effort, according to information in a press release published today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The archbishop delegate’s role is to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR,” according to a document titled “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” by the CDF.
The mandate for the Delegate “will be for a period of up to five years, as deemed necessary,” the document said. It calls for additional advisers – bishops, women religious and other experts – “to work with the leadership of the LCWR to achieve the goals necessary to address the problems outlined in this statement.”
It also asked for a formal link between the Delegate and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The document outlines findings of the 2008 CDF-initiated doctrinal assessment of LCWR, conducted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, which included his findings and an LCWR response submitted at the end of 2009, as well as a subsequent report from Bishop Blair in 2010.
The document listed a number of matters of concern. It noted that addresses given at LCWR assemblies contained serious theological and doctrinal errors. Letters sent to the CDF from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, including LCWR officers, on matters such as women priests and homosexuality were not in agreement with Church teachings.
Some of the presentations and programs sponsored by the LCWR contained a certain radical feminism, the CDF document noted.
“The findings of the doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) released today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are aimed at fostering a patient and collaborative renewal of this conference of major superiors in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation for its many laudable initiatives and activities,” said the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal William Levada, in a statement.
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On the Net:
Full text of the “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious”: http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55544
Statement by Cardinal Levada: http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55673