LCWR announces decision to continue to dialogue on Vatican assessment
Published: August 13, 2012
ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- Members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious announced Aug. 10 at the close of their four-day assembly in St. Louis that they will continue to dialogue with church officials about the Vatican's doctrinal assessment of their organization. LCWR's outgoing president, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, said the group's leaders would begin dialogue with Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who is charged with overseeing the group's reform. He attended the organization's board meeting the following day. Sister Farrell said LCWR members hoped its leaders would have "open and honest dialogue" that would lead to greater understanding and to greater opportunities for women to have a voice in the church. She said the officers would "proceed with these discussions as long as possible but would reconsider if LCWR is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission." Archbishop Sartain said that along with LCWR's, he remained "committed to working to address the issues raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of prayer and respectful dialogue. We must also work toward clearing up any misunderstandings, and I remain truly hopeful that we will work together without compromising church teaching or the important role of the LCWR," Archbishop Sartain said in a statement released Aug. 11 after his meeting with the LCWR board. "I look forward to our continued discussions as we collaborate in promoting consecrated life in the United States." In its assessment issued in April, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said a reform of LCWR was needed to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality. Archbishop Sartain said in his statement LCWR brings "unique gifts to its members and to the church at large. This uniqueness includes sensitivity to suffering, whether in Latin America or the inner-city; whether in the life of an unborn child or the victim of human trafficking."
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