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Sisters’ cooperation with Vatican hopeful sign Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Apr. 30, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

The statements in the recently released Final Report on the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to the effect that Jesus Christ is central and Sisters should be implementing “an ecclesiology of communion” echo past documents on the Religious Life. Some may miss why this is significant in the new report — after all, isn’t that a given for Religious Sisters?

The painful ground-level reality has been that some Sisters and whole LCWR congregations have grown apart from the Church in heart and mind and come to feel estranged from what they call “the institutional Church.” More than a few have questioned whether they want to be part of it.

Locally, one group of LCWR Sisters’ rejection of communion in the Catholic Church resulted in their departure to form the non-Catholic sect Holy Wisdom Monastery. I have twice written to LCWR about this particular tragedy and the alienation of some within current LCWR communities, asking, “help keep Sisters Catholic and faithful.”

I did receive a heartening reply. LCWR’s cooperation with the Vatican and commitment to being “an instrument of communion” is a yet more substantive reason for hope.

Early reactions to the report have been polarized; on one side is triumphal glee that “the Vatican backed off”; on the other side a mirror misperception of Vatican capitulation, with cynicism and anger about it.

I myself believe this is a desirable result, period. Now continuing faithful choices must bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Let’s pray lovingly for the Sisters.

Elizabeth Durack, Madison