PRESS RELEASE: Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters
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.
Nun Justice Project contacts:
Kate McElwee:(Rome) +39 06 320 3331 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Fitzgerald (USA) 773 404 0004 x262 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Pinto 570.618.2120 (c) email@example.com
Marianne Duddy-Burke 617.669.7810 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Rose-Milavec 513-673-1401 (c) 216-228-0869 x 4 (w) email@example.com
New Ways Ministry,
Frank DeBernardo 301.277.5674 firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholics Speak Out Quixote Center,
Dolly Pomerleau 301.699.0042 email@example.com
RAPPORT (Renewing a Priestly People, Ordination Reconsidered Today),
Gloria Ulterino 585.455.0389 (c) firstname.lastname@example.org
Voice of the Faithful,
Nick Ingala 617-291-3495 Cell, email@example.com
WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual,
Mary Hunt 301 589-2509 firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Ordination Conference.
Erin Saiz Hanna 401.588.0457 (c) ehanna@ womensordination.org
Kate McElwee +39 06 320 3331 (Italy) email@example.com