Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cardinal Levada at the Vatican orders second visitatiion to U.S. female religious orders - Doctrine this time!

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Message from the National Catholic Register's blog

Cardinal William Levada, formerly Archbishop of San Francisco, now head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now, Benedict XVI) has ordered an investigation of U.S. female relgious orders, concentrating on their adherence to and promotion of their faith. The visit will concentrate it's activities of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LWCR) the more liberal of the two female religious organizations.



The other organization is the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR).

"An article published yesterday by the National Catholic Reporter details the reasons why Rome ordered the visitation.

The article notes that some of the activities of the LCWR, which is the largest U.S. women’s religious leadership group, were called into question by the Vatican several years ago because the LCWR appeared to be promoting dissent regarding the ordination of women, the unique salvific role of Christ, and homosexuality."

Second Women’s Visitation

Posted by Tom McFeely

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 4:04 PM

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered a visitation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Late last year, a broader visitation of U.S. women’s religious institutes was ordered by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The new visitation will focus on doctrinal issues.

An article published yesterday by the National Catholic Reporter details the reasons why Rome ordered the visitation.

The article notes that some of the activities of the LCWR, which is the largest U.S. women’s religious leadership group, were called into question by the Vatican several years ago because the LCWR appeared to be promoting dissent regarding the ordination of women, the unique salvific role of Christ, and homosexuality.

According to the Reporter — which often reports sympathetically about dissent in those areas — American Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, informed the LCWR of the doctrinal visitation in a Feb. 20 letter.

Cardinal Levada’s letter pointed out that the LCWR had been invited in 2001 to respond to the Vatican’s concerns about the three areas where the LCWR appeared to be promoting perspectives that dissent from Church teachings.

“Given both the tenor and the doctrinal content of various addresses given at the annual assemblies of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the intervening years, this Dicastery can only conclude that the problems which had motivated its request in 2001 continue to be present,” Cardinal Levada wrote in his letter, according to the Reporter.

As a consequence the Vatican has concluded “a doctrinal assessment” of the “activities and initiatives of the LCWR would be helpful,” Cardinal Levada stated.

The visitation will be conducted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, who is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.

Asked by the National Catholic Reporter to comment about the investigation of its activities, the LCWR provided this statement:

“The Leadership Conference of Women Religious received on March 10 a letter dated February 20, 2009 from Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The letter announces CDF’s decision to conduct a doctrinal assessment of LCWR’s activities and initiatives.

“At this time, LCWR knows neither the process nor timeline for completion of this assessment. As more information is made available to LCWR, the conference will take the appropriate steps to prepare for its participation in the assessment. LCWR faces this process with confidence, believing that the conference has remained faithful to its mission of service to leaders of congregations of women religious as they seek to further the mission of Christ in today’s world.”


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