PRESS RELEASE: Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters

Written By BFC

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December 16, 2014

For Immediate Release December 16, 2014

 
Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters, Demand immediate removal of sanctions against LCWR leadership

 
It is praiseworthy that the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious issued a generally positive report about the outcomes of its three year apostolic visitation of U.S. Sisters. The Nun Justice Project is encouraged by Sr. Sharon Holland’s characterization of the report as “affirming and realistic.” Holland is the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) an umbrella group representing 80 percent of U.S. women religious.

Nevertheless, the visitation process was both demeaning and a huge waste of time and energy for the Vatican and especially for the sisters who had to divert precious resources away from ministries to the marginalized just so Rome could discover what Catholics have known all along: U.S. women religious are among the most inspiring and faithful of Catholics and led the way in implementing Vatican II reforms.

While the report is a positive first step, reconciliation will not be fully accomplished until the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removes its unjust mandate against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

We renew our call to Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to immediately rescind the mandate and apologize to LCWR sister leaders, especially in light of Pope Francis’ recent praise for diversity of theological views, pluralism and reading the “signs of the times.” Until the mandate is removed, the faithful and creative leadership of U.S. sisters remains under unjust Vatican scrutiny.

Over the past five years, the Nun Justice Project organized massive support for women religious. Tens of thousands of Catholics petitioned the Vatican and participated in hundreds of public demonstrations, prayer services, vigils, and media events. Their voices have been instrumental in advancing due process, raising up women’s leadership voice and promoting justice in the church. They will not desist until the LCWR mandate is removed.

We believe it is important to learn what sisters themselves have to say about their experience of the Visitation. Power of Sisterhood: Women Religious Tell the Story of the Apostolic Visitation is an inspiring narrative told from their perspective. For example, Sr Addie Lorraine Walker reflects “… within a context of subjugation women religious found a unique sense of liberating power along with the meaning and purpose of their prophetic voice.” (Full review can be found here)

For background on the Nun Justice Project’s work addressing the LCWR mandate visit nunjustice.org.

 

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Nun Justice Project contacts:

Kate McElwee:(Rome) +39 06 320 3331 kmcelwee@womensordination.org

Jim Fitzgerald (USA) 773 404 0004 x262 jim@cta-usa.org

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Media Contacts for the Nun Justice Project Organizations

American Catholic Council,
Sheila Peiffer 518.334.6076 (cell) Sheilapeiffer.acc@gmail.

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church,
Joseph Boyle 484.480.8311(home) 610.462444 (work) Josephboyleoil@ comcast.net

Call To Action,
Ellen Euclide 773.404.0004 ellen@cta-usa.org

CORPUS,
Linda Pinto 570.618.2120 (c) pinto.linda@gmail.com

DignityUSA,
Marianne Duddy-Burke 617.669.7810 execdir@dignityusa.org

FutureChurch,
Deb Rose-Milavec 513-673-1401 (c) 216-228-0869 x 4 (w) debrose@futurechurch.org

New Ways Ministry,
Frank DeBernardo 301.277.5674 director@newwaysministry.org

Catholics Speak Out Quixote Center,
Dolly Pomerleau 301.699.0042 dollywood20722@hotmail.com

RAPPORT (Renewing a Priestly People, Ordination Reconsidered Today),
Gloria Ulterino 585.455.0389 (c) glorialbf@aol.com

Voice of the Faithful,
Nick Ingala 617-291-3495 Cell, nickingala@votf.org

WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual,
Mary Hunt 301 589-2509 mhunt@hers.com

Women’s Ordination Conference.
Erin Saiz Hanna 401.588.0457 (c) ehanna@ womensordination.org
Kate McElwee +39 06 320 3331 (Italy) kmcelwee@womensordination.org

4 Comments

  • Elia Cuomo says:

    I thank The Holy Spirit for guiding those involved in writing the final report on the “visitation.” My faith with the Sisters has never wavered. Along with my mother they are the ones who formed and led me on the path to God and to continue growing in love with Him. Thank you, Sisters, you did not need this approval but it’s good to receive it.

  • Walter G Sandell Jr says:

    While the report is a positive first step, reconciliation will not be fully accomplished until the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removes its unjust mandate against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

    We renew our call to Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to immediately rescind the mandate and apologize to LCWR sister leaders, especially in light of Pope Francis’ recent praise for diversity of theological views, pluralism and reading the “signs of the times.” Until the mandate is removed, the faithful and creative leadership of U.S. sisters remains under unjust Vatican scrutiny.

    I believe that the status and situations of Women’s Institutes is severely restrained by the refusal of the hierarchy to admit women to Holy Orders.’
    The ‘attempt to ordain women’ has been classified a ‘delecta gravia,’ incurring ‘excommunication.’ It has been classified with the sexual abuse of children, which does not incur excommunication.
    I consider it a ‘delecta gravia’ to exclude half of the Church from Sacramental Ministry.
    Retired priests continue to receive stipends for Masses, as well as regular retirement benefits.
    Masses in convents, once typical, are almost unheard of today. This has to have an impact on religious’ spirituality.
    A priest I knew, and thought I knew well, was credibly accused of abusing pre-teen girls in conjunction with Confession. Should girls and young women have to go to a male priest for Confession? I think, NOT!
    The status of women in many areas is ‘Second Class,’ or even less.
    It appears that the Holy Spirit has taken over in this instance; but there’s a long way to go.

  • Pat McSweeney says:

    Catholic Sisters have been a saving grace for the Church at a time when its reputation has been brought low, mostly, by members of the clergy.

    It is a supreme irony that those who everlastingly emphasized not “bringing scandal” are the very ones responsible for scandals world- wide, not only by their unspeakable abuse of children but by their glaring failure to live according to the message of the Gospel.

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