Nuns group professes hope for talks, stands firm for their religious life
Source: St. Louis Beacon
The next step for the leaders’ network of most of Catholic sisters and nuns will be to to talk with the Seattle archbishop whom the Vatican appointed to oversee the group. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious ended its annual meeting in St. Louis with plans for its board to meet with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain tomorrow in "civil, respectful dialogue." Since April when the Vatican issued its mandate to reform, its board has had no official discussions with him.
“The members expectation is that open and honest dialogue may lead not only to increasing understating between the church leadership and women religious but also to creating more possibilities for the laity in particular for women to have a voice in the church.“ LCWR President Pat Farrell said in news conference Friday afternoon. She also said the organization will reconsider discussion if it gets to the point that its integrity is compromised.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began a secretive assessment of LCWR after Catholic lay and religious theological conservatives complained that the American nuns' group held secular ideas. The Vatican reprimand called a “doctrinal assessment” said the organization had long tolerated dissent at its national assemblies and included “radical feminist” responses to the all-male priesthood and tolerance of homosexuality. It also said the group was not vocal enough in standing with the church against artificial birth control and against abortion.
“Sisters’ leaders are constantly challenged to honor a wide spectrum of opinions. We have learned a lot about creating community from diversity and about celebrating diversity. We had come to trust diverse opinions as powerful pathways to greater clarity. Our commitment to community compels us to do that, as together we seek the common good.”