This is really big news:
April 18, 2012
Critiques doctrinal aspects of LCWR assemblies, publications
Faults work with Network social justice lobby, financial, legal Resource Center
Calls for advisory group of bishops, sisters and other experts to assist in renewal WASHINGTON—The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its Archbishop Delegate for the initiative.Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were also named to assist in this effort.
The CDF outlined the call in a “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” (http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55544), released April 18. The document outlines findings of the 2008 CDF-initiated doctrinal assessment of LCWR, conducted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, which included his findings and an LCWR response submitted at the end of 2009, as well as a subsequent report from Bishop Blair in 2010.
A statement by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is also available at http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55673 The 2010 report included “documentation on the content of LCWR’s Mentoring Leadership Manual and also on the organizations associated with the LCWR, namely Network andthe Resource Center for Religious Institutes,”CDF said. Network is a social justice lobby founded by nuns. The Resource Center provides religious orders with legal and financial advice.
The Archbishop Delegate’s role is to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work of the LCWR,” the CDF document said.
The mandate for the Delegate “will be for a period of up to five years, as deemed necessary,” the document said. It calls for additional advisers – bishops, women religious and other experts – “to work with the leadership of the LCWR to achieve the goals necessary to address the problems outlined in this statement.”It also asked for a formal link between the Delegate and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“It will be the task of the Archbishop Delegate to work collaboratively with the officers of the LCWR to achieve the goals outlined in this document, and to report on the progress of this to the Holy See …. In this way, the Holy See hopes to offer an important contribution to the future of religious life in the Church in the United States,” the CDF document said.
CDF said Pope Benedict XVI approved CDF’s taking action January 14, 2011, two days after a regular session of the CDF decided that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious Congregations in other parts of the world.” CDF also recommend that after the Apostolic Visitation of Religious Communities of Women in the United States, the final report of which was submitted to the Holy See in December 2011, “The Holy See should intervene, with the prudent steps necessary to effect reform of the LCWR.” It also said CDF would “examine the various forms of canonical intervention for the resolution of the problematic aspects present in the LCWR.”
The mandate for the Delegate includes:
·Revision of LCWR statutes
·Review of LCWR plans and programs, including its General Assemblies
·Creation of programs for LCWR member congregations in initial and on-going formation
·Review LCWR’s application of liturgical norms and texts
·Review of LCWR affiliation with Network and the Resources Center for Religious Life.
The doctrinal assessment criticized positions espoused at LCWR annual assemblies and in its literature as well as the absence of support from LCWR for Church teaching on women’s ordination and homosexuality.