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Senior Vatican official wishes to repair rift with U.S. sisters

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Relations between religious orders and the Holy See, he says remained 'very close'

Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a senior Vatican official tried to defuse the damaging rift between the Vatican and U.S. nuns this week following a recent rebuke over obedience and doctrinal differences.

The cardinal, who heads the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life that oversees men's and women's religious orders, admits that there has been some 'sensitive times.'

The cardinal, who heads the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life that oversees men's and women's religious orders, admits that there has been some "sensitive times."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/21/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, disruption, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The cardinal, who heads the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life that oversees men's and women's religious orders, admits that there has been some "sensitive times."  He insisted that relations between religious orders and the Holy See remained "very close.

"There are positive aspects and less positive aspects," the Brazilian cardinal said during a press conference on human trafficking ahead of the World Cup. "We have chosen the path of dialogue. We have to speak positively."

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Speaking at the launch of a campaign by Catholic nuns, backed by the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican, Braz de Aviz was there to lend his support in the fight against human trafficking at the soccer World Cup in Brazil next month.

A question, originally put to Sister Carmen Sammut, head of the International Union of Superior Generals, about the thorny relationship between the Holy See and the American sisters was interrupted by the cardinal before she could respond. She, too, stressed the need for dialogue.

"What is important for us is to dialogue together. We are starting to work together. Like every other organization, we can have differences but it is important that we can be true to each other and we can try and find solutions together," she said.

Sammut's group is roughly the worldwide equivalent of the Maryland-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which is an umbrella group that represents the leaders of 80 percent of the United States' 57,000 Catholic sisters.

The head of the Vatican's doctrinal office, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, reprimanded officials from the LCWR in early May for honoring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged "seriously inadequate."

After a series of tense meetings with Mueller's office, the LCWR issued a statement saying it was "saddened" to learn that impressions of the organization had become "institutionalized" at the Vatican.

"Communication has broken down," the sisters said, "and as a result, mistrust has developed."

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