Washington D.C., Apr 20, 2012 / 16:31 pm
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) says that it “was stunned” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent assessment of the group.
Voicing strong concerns over the conference’s commitment to Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, the Vatican announced on April 18 that it was appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to head renewal efforts for the LCWR.
In an April 19 statement, the presidency of the conference said that it was “taken by surprise” by the announcement and would need time to prepare a thorough response. The group also asserted that it already “follows canonically-approved statutes.”
However, the Vatican document maintains that a multi-year assessment of the LCWR has revealed significant need for reform.
It referenced letters from LCWR officers suggesting “corporate dissent” from Church teaching on topics including the sacramental priesthood and homosexuality.
The group has also hosted regular presentations that demonstrated theological and doctrinal errors, as well as a “prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith,” it said.
In one presentation, a speaker discussed “moving beyond the Church” and even beyond Jesus.
By hosting conference speakers whose messages are “incompatible with religious life” and often show little regard for the Magisterium, the LCWR risks distorting crucial Church teaching on the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture and the divinity of Christ, the assessment document explained.