Despite attempts by the Vatican to rein in women’s religious orders, Catholic Religious Women continue claim to the right to ‘faithful dissent.’
The annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious took place from 13-16 August 2013 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The main topic of the meeting was how to respond to a mandate of reform of the organisation issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on 17 April 2012.
That mandate directed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to accomplish in five years: a revision of the LCWR’s statutes; review and reform of LCWR plans and programs; creation of LCWR programmes to help member congregations deeper formation in Church doctrine; review and application of liturgical norms and texts; and review of LCWR links with the affiliated organisations Network and Resource Center for Religious Institutes.
Archbishop Sartain met in closed session with the entire membership to discuss the CDF assessment and to answer questions. An LCWR press release issued at the end of that three-day meeting said: “Although we remain uncertain as to how our work with the bishop delegates will proceed, we maintain hope that continued conversations of this depth will lead to a resolution of this situation that maintains the integrity of the LCWR and is healthy for the whole church
Meanwhile, the Conrad Hilton Foundation has awarded a grant to the National Catholic Reporter to continue to tell the sister’s story.