LCWR – Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
This conference is the one that the majority (95%) of catholic nuns belong to in the United States. It has been very supportive, resourceful and helpful to religious congregations. It is unfortunate that the Vatican is taking this approach, appointing a ‘man’ – Cardinal to oversee the Conference, get approval for speakers, etc … The Leadership of the Conference has only issued a preliminary response which is listed below. They are taking the time to study the Vatican’s response and then will formulate a more reflective public response.
After reading the articles below, a means of support is growing in various locations. One is Facebookhttp://www.change.org/petitions/support-the-sisters?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall
The other is Fr. James Martin’s twitter account which is listed below.
Here is a sampling of articles and if you google LCWR and the Vatican you will get more. These are all the articles in chronological order from the most recent to the beginning on April 18th.
American nuns stunned by Vatican accusation of ‘radical feminism,’ crackdown
American Nuns, Conscience and the Vatican
Vatican Criticizes Nuns' Stance On Social Issues http://www.npr.org/2012/04/19/150984872/vatican-criticizes-nuns-stance-on-social-issues?ft=1&f=1003
The instructive timing of the crackdown on nuns
Rev. James Martin Twitter Drive "WhatSistersMeanToMe" Supports US Nunshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/rev-james-martin_n_1437532.html?ref=tw
National Catholic Reporter article: LCWR 'stunned' by Vatican's latest move
Vatican: American nuns need reformhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/vatican-orders-crackdown-on-american-nuns/2012/04/18/gIQANRvWRT_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop
National Catholic Reporter: Options facing LCWR stark, canon lawyers sayhttp://ncronline.org/news/women-religious/options-facing-lcwr-stark-canon-lawyers-say
Vatican seeks reforms of women's religious orders-Positions of nuns, sisters contrary to teachings, it says By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
http://www.jsonline.com/features/religion/vatican-seeks-reforms-of-womens-religious-orders-c052iri-148029765.htmlLCWR Statement from Presidency on CDF Doctrinal Assessment Vatican [Silver Spring, Maryland] The presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was stunned by the conclusion of the doctrinal assessment of LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. We had received a letter from the CDF prefect in early March informing us that we would hear the results of the doctrinal assessment at our annual meeting; however, we were taken by surprise by the gravity of the mandate.This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.
Vatican orders crackdown on American nuns by David Gibson|Apr 18, 2012 http://www.religionnews.com/faith/leaders-and-institutions/vatican-orders-crackdown-on-american-nuns
Citing doctrinal problems, Vatican announces reforms of US nuns' group By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
Vatican Names Archbishop Sartain To Lead Renewal Of LCWR April 18, 2012
Vatican orders LCWR to revise, appoints archbishop to oversee group
News comes as 'doctrinal assessment' of organization is released Apr. 18, 2012 By Joshua J. McElwee
Vatican announces reform of US women's religious conference By Michelle Bauman April 18th, 2012
Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes By LAURIE GOODSTEIN http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html?_r=3
Editorial "American Nuns, Conscience and the Vatican""The Vatican is reining in the leadership conference that represents 80 percent of American Catholic nuns, accusing the group of “serious doctrinal problems” and promoting “radical feminist themes.” That seems a misreading of the very fine work in schools, charities, prisons and impoverished neighborhoods being done by about 60,000 nuns across the nation." NEW YORK TIMES
· Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes (April 19, 2012)
"These nuns and their leaders continued to bolster the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church even as it suffered one of its greatest scandals in the sexual abuse of schoolchildren by rogue priests and the cover-ups by diocesan authorities.
The Vatican has now appointed a bishop to oversee the operations of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious — the 1,500 superiors who run the sisters’ communities — citing individual nuns at conference gatherings challenging church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood. The announcement also accused the group’s leaders of focusing too much on poverty and economic injustice while allegedly keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
A crucial focus in the inquiry appears to be the fact that dozens of American nuns involved in the conference and in antipoverty and hospital work provided prominent support to President Obama’s health care reform. Conference leaders said Vatican investigators had pointedly raised the issue and the fact that the conference had split with American bishops, who opposed reform.
The sisters’ leaders said they reaffirmed their opposition to abortion but also claimed the right to speak out on a “moral imperative” like health care, just as the bishops had.
The nuns clearly are caught in a classic crossfire of church doctrine, politics and hierarchical obedience. It would be a tragedy, far beyond the church, if their fine work and their courageous voices were constrained."