CATHOLIC Religious Australia (CRA) has sent a letter of support to the United States’ Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) following the recent announcement of a Vatican proposal to reform the association.
The announcement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was based on an investigation by Bishop Leonard Blair began on behalf of the Vatican in April 2008.
The Vatican has appointed Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle to provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary” of the reform work.
CRA national president Josephite Sister Anne Derwin wrote to LCWR president Sr Pat Farrell on behalf of the Council of Catholic Religious Australia.
“I write to offer you and all your Sisters in LCWR our support at this time,” Sr Derwin wrote.
“We appreciate that your board is yet to meet and discuss the conclusions of the Congregation for Faith and Doctrine of the Faith’s doctrinal assessment and the implementation plan put forward by that Vatican Office.
“We thank you for your example of conducting this discussion calmly, without judgment and in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue. This way of operating is the norm for you.
“Be assured that the women and men religious of Australia are praying for you.
“We know of the incredible witness to Christ the women religious of the United States, and indeed all around the world, have been for centuries.
“Generation after generation of women religious have continued to be faithful to the Gospel way of life, loving God and neighbour and especially the neighbour who is poor, vulnerable, isolated, shunned by society and even at times by our own Church.
“Women religious have been the compassionate face of Church and, for so many, the only face of Church.
“We pray that the Spirit of God and the spirit of your founders be with you to inspire you with courage and wisdom in your deliberations.
“We await the outcome and will support you in whatever way you may wish.”