Leaders of some of the congregations of women religious invited to Rome last year for further discussion of the apostolic visitation in the United States told Global Sisters Report they considered their trips constructive and a sign of better relations with Rome.
Analysis - Following the report at the conclusion of the apostolic visitation, the letters to sisters' communities are said to be part of the dialogue the sisters asked for and that the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life promised would occur.
The Sisters of Mercy, the largest order of women religious in the United States, are among the communities being asked to come to Rome for further conversation following the apostolic visitation, Global Sisters Report has learned.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are among the recipients of letters from the Vatican asking congregations to explain matters learned during the apostolic visitation.
Global Sisters Report has identified another of the 15 communities of U.S. Catholic sisters being asked to provide the Vatican with further clarification in the aftermath of a controversial investigation that concluded 18 months ago.
On NCRonline - The Vatican's congregation for religious life is contacting the orders to clarify "some points" following the controversial six-year investigation of American communities of women religious.
The Vatican's congregation for religious life has summoned to Rome the superior of one of the major orders of U.S. Catholic sisters, asking her to "report on some areas of concern" following the controversial six-year investigation of the country's communities of women religious.
The announcement six years ago of an apostolic visitation of United States congregations of women religious caused a stir among many sisters. This attempt by the Vatican to exert unwanted control posed a threat to the identity and mission of the congregations and initiated a crisis. However, a good number of the congregations faced the challenge head on with a response reminiscent of the swarming behavior of starlings.
Twice in recent months Catholics have breathed a sigh of relief when press conferences in Rome announced the friendly settlement of difficulties between Vatican officials and American women religious. Although Pope Francis gives evidence of androcentric thinking, I believe his commitment to initiating processes of reform that allow for the voicing of divergent views is promising where justice for women is concerned.
Recently I had an opportunity to lead the discussion following the screening of the film, "Band of Sisters," which I am in. It tells the story of how we women religious became involved with various ministries following the Second Vatican Council. It focuses on the emerging works of social justice, political advocacy, the movement toward sustainability and ecological centers and the transformation of consciousness rooted in contemplation. Woven within the film is the challenge women religious faced with the investigations initiated from two different Vatican Congregations.
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