Well, my head is just swimming with all the stuff out there about the LCWR and the Vatican. Mostly I am just disappointed in the way it has been handled, which seems to be most of the sisters’ reactions given the thoughtless way in which the issues were brought to the LCWR. When I talked with some sisters about what has been going on I frankly had to ask what it was that the LCWR actually did. Turns out they are sort of a networking association for the Leadership of many US religious women’s’ orders and as such they do have a corporate voice.
The scope of the [LCWR’s] concerns is broad and includes collaborating in Catholic church and societal efforts that influence systemic change, studying significant trends and issues within the church and society, utilizing our corporate voice in solidarity with people who experience any form of violence or oppression, and creating and offering resource materials on religious leadership skills. We serve as a resource to our members, as well as to members of the public seeking information on leadership for religious life. (LCWR.org)
The LCWR is canonical, which means they are under the Vatican’s jurisdiction which is why Rome was able to investigate and create the guidelines for their reform. This is going to be a five year thing as I understand it so it’ll be interesting to see how this play out. I hope and pray that this can be about true inclusive dialogue and therefore growth for all involved. Here is a great prayer for the leadership involved in this process.