Today the president and executive director of the Leadership
Conference of Women Religious met in Rome with Cardinal William Levada, prefect
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Peter Sartain
of Seattle, the Vatican delegate overseeing the reform of the LCWR.
The statements released by the Vatican and the LCWR reveal little of
went on behind closed doors. It is expected that more will come to light in
August, when the LCWR holds its annual assembly in St. Louis and will “determine
its course of action in response to the CDF assessment,” according the group’s statement
about today’s meeting.
From the LCWR statement:
The meeting had been requested by the LCWR to address what the
conference considered deficiencies in the process and the results of the doctrinal
assessment of the organization released by the CDF in April.
“It was an open meeting and we were able to directly express our
concerns to Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Sartain,” said Sister Pat Farrell.
Pat Farrell, the president of the LCWR, told reporters
after today’s meeting, “We are grateful for the opportunity for open
dialogue, and now we will return to our members to see about the next step.”
The Vatican statement about the meeting was also brief:
The meeting provided the
opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues
and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness
According to Canon Law, a conference
of major superiors such as the LCWR is constituted by and remains under the
supreme direction of the Holy See in order to promote common efforts among the
individual member institutes and cooperation with the Holy See and the local
conference of bishops (cf. Code of Canon Law, canons 708-709). The purpose of
the doctrinal assessment is to assist the LCWR in this important mission by
promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and
the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the
guidance of the Magisterium.