No 'middle ground' possible with LCWR on key issues, Bishop Blair says
Published: July 26, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- There can be no "middle ground" on matters of faith and morals, the bishop who conducted the Vatican-ordered doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in an interview that aired July 25 on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program. Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, one of two U.S. bishops assisting Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle in providing "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of LCWR, was responding to a call for dialogue by Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, LCWR president, on the same program July 17. "If by dialogue they mean that the doctrines of the church are negotiable and the bishops represent one position and the LCWR presents another position, and somehow we find a middle ground about basic church teaching on faith and morals, then no," he said. "I don't think that is the kind of dialogue that the Holy See would envision. But if it's a dialogue about how to have the LCWR really educate and help the sisters to appreciate and accept church teaching and to implement it in their discussions and try to hear some of the questions or concerns they have about these issues, then that would be the dialogue," he added. But the bishop said that "up till now there's been a lot of just denial" by LCWR on the concerns raised by the Vatican. Named in April 2008 to carry out a doctrinal assessment of LCWR, Bishop Blair submitted an eight-page report to the Vatican in July 2010. In April 2012, the Vatican announced a major reform of LCWR, citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life."
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