Lcwr Board Says Vatican Order to Reform Based on 'Flawed Process'

Catholic News Service
June 1, 2012

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said June 1 the assessment that led to a Vatican order to reform the organization "was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency."

"Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise their (board members') ability to fulfill their mission," the board said in a statement. "The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community and created greater polarization."

The board released the statement the morning after it concluded a special meeting in Washington May 29-31 held to review and plan a response to the report issued to LCWR by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life," the doctrinal congregation April 18 announced a major reform of LCWR to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.

The Vatican appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of LCWR.

LCWR's board members raised concerns about both the content of the doctrinal assessment and the process by which it was prepared.

The board said in its June 1 statement that LCWR's president, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, and its executive director, Sister Janet Mock, a Sister of St. Joseph, will return to Rome June 12 to meet U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Sartain "to raise and discuss the board's concerns."


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