LCWR speakers: Failure to listen leads to judgment, cynicism, fear

Members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious listen to panels Wednesday. (Dan Stockman)

Editor's note: For an ongoing list of all coverage of the assembly, go to this series link: LCWR 2014.

The largest leadership organization for U.S. women religious began its first full day of its annual assembly Wednesday by focusing on one of the criticisms leveled against it: the contemplative, collaborative process for making decisions.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, made up of Catholic sisters who are leaders of their orders in the United States, represents about 80 percent of the 51,600 women religious in the United States. Nearly 800 of the group's 1,400 members have gathered here for their four-day annual conference.

Wednesday morning's session began with an examination of the decision-making process LCWR uses: contemplation, observation and exploration, reflection and dialogue, and finally, decision and action. The process is in stark contrast to the hierarchical decision-making process used by the Catholic church.

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