Talks between Vatican and U.S. women's religious break down
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/12/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Women's religious in the U.S. have felt pressure from the Vatican to reform for years amid allegations they have liberalized.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) which represents women's religious groups from the United States, said last week that efforts to dialogue between them and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith had failed (CDF).
In a statement released on Thursday, LCWR said, "In our meetings.[LCWR] was saddened to learn that impressions of the organization in the past decades have become institutionalized in the Vatican, and these institutionalized perceptions have led to judgments and ultimately to the doctrinal assessment."
"During the meeting it became evident that despite maximum efforts through the years, communication has broken down and as a result, mistrust has developed. What created an opening toward dialogue in this meeting was hearing first-hand the way the CDF perceives LCWR. We do not recognize ourselves in the doctrinal assessment of the conference and realize that, despite that fact, our attempts to clarify misperceptions have led to deeper misunderstandings."
For years, American women's religious orders have been under suspicion from the Vatican for their allegedly liberal interpretation of the faith and their sometimes controversial practice of it. However, it should be clear that these religious orders are not "the Nuns of the Bus" but rather mainstream religious within the U.S.
Still, both the Vatican and the LCWR say they are committed "to find a way through that honors the integrity and mission of both offices."
The Vatican issued a reform mandate in 2012, however it is unclear how many of those reforms have been completed.
The LCWR conceded that recent statements by the CDF's Cardinal Gerhard Müller and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, a CDF delegate in charge of monitoring the reform mandate's implementation, were accurate, meaning little progress has actually been made.
Still, the LCDR praised the "frankness" of the talks and the "lack of ambiguity" but said they still felt misperceived by the CDF.
Talks are expected to start afresh, and both sides have expressed optimism that the new round of talks will be more productive than the last.
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