Friday, January 13, 2012

Apostolic Visitation Finalized...Vatican reviews results

In Oregon, the Apostolic Visitation led by Mother Mary Clare Millea gathering an overview of women religious in the United States was welcomed by many of the laity disturbed by the Archdiocese of Portland's lax oversight of some of these Orders.

This Visitation was first mentioned in 2009 here as well as the dissenting Orders of woman religious.

There is support of the woman's ordination movement among other heresies.  They are so ingrained here that having any help is welcomed for sure.

Understanding that the Church confused many people forty years ago, there was much disappointment regarding the clergy, the times were changing, so many Religious bailed.

Change to right the wrongs seems agonizingly slow, but fighting for Christ just gives us perseverance. We pray that the women who broke their vows would make it right for their own Souls. 

Three-year study of women religious completed; Vatican reviews results
 CNS Story:

VISITATION-REPORT (UPDATED) Jan-11-2012 (810 words) With photo posted Jan. 10. xxxn

Three-year study of women religious completed; Vatican reviews results

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A three-year study of U.S. women religious called for by the Vatican has been completed with the final comprehensive report recently sent to Rome.

No details of the findings in what the church calls an apostolic visitation were released by Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the apostolic visitator appointed by the Vatican to undertake the study.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed Jan. 10 that reports had been received by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life "and is now studying them."

"At this time, it is premature to expect comments from the congregation," he said.

The Vatican spokesman said the congregation is expected "to make known its evaluation of the results of the visit" at some future date.

The apostolic visitation office in Hamden, Conn., did not respond to several requests for an interview.

In a Jan. 9 press release, the visitation office said a comprehensive report was sent to Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, the congregation's secretary. In addition, the release said, Mother Clare had submitted most of the reports on each of the nearly 400 religious congregations in the U.S. and continues to work on completing them by spring, the release said.

Mother Clare said in the release that the visitation "generated widespread interest."

"The attention to it has resulted in a renewed appreciation for the role of religious in the church and society and has increased dialogue and mutual awareness among the various communities in the United States," she said. "These tangible benefits of the visitation will continue to be realized."

The visitation was initiated in December 2008 by Cardinal Franc Rode, then prefect of the congregation who has since retired. He cited the desire to learn why the number of members in U.S. religious communities had declined since the late 1960s and to look at the quality of life for some 67,000 women religious as prime reasons for the investigation.

As the process began, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 95 percent of U.S. women religious, questioned what its officials considered a lack of full disclosure about what motivated the visitation. They also objected to the plan to keep the orders from seeing the final reports.

The decision to conduct the visitation, combined with the subsequent announcement that the LCWR would undergo a doctrinal assessment by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, cast a shadow over the work of women religious.

As the apostolic visitation and doctrinal assessment were carried out, both were conducted with little formal comment from the parties involved. Privately, however, some sisters and leaders of religious orders questioned why the two inquiries were being undertaken and they expressed concern that their ministries, often among people on the margins of society, were being misunderstood by church leaders.

Cardinal Rode subsequently said in a statement released by the Vatican that he hoped the visitation process would encourage vocations and "assure a better future for women religious."

In an interview on Vatican Radio after the statement's release, Cardinal Rode said some media presented the investigation "as if it were an act of mistrust of American female religious congregations or as if it were a global criticism of their work. It is not."

Cardinal Rode also asked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help cover the cost of the visitation, which was estimated at $1 million.

The visitation process began with meetings between Mother Clare and 127 superior generals. It was followed up with the distribution of a questionnaire to the religious orders. Topics covered were related to the life and operation of the orders: identity; governance; vocation promotion, admission and formation policies; spiritual life and common life; mission and ministry; and finances.

Once the information was collected and compiled, teams of visitors fanned across the country throughout 2010 to meet with congregational leaders as well as individual members of religious orders. About 90 congregations were visited by dozens of volunteers.

Archbishop Tobin, an American, became congregation secretary in October 2010. He told Catholic News Service last August that the congregation would review all of the visitation reports when received and that its responses to the participating religious communities would be marked by dialogue and would be a step toward healing.

Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, was appointed apostolic visitor for the assessment of LCWR. He completed his report in July 2010.

Sister Annmarie Sanders, LCWR director of communications, told CNS in late December that the last contact the organization had with Vatican officials occurred when its leadership team made its annual visit to Rome April 27-May 4.

"They (the team) were informed that the congregation had no new questions," said Sister Annmarie, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. "That's the last communication we've had."

- - -

Contributing to this story was Cindy Wooden in Rome.


“Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts”
Saint John Chrysostom


Shirley said...

Thanks so much, Carolyn! Most informative!

VOCAL said...

The Vatican seems to be well aware of our plight here in Oregon. There has been much correspondence informing them of the laity being led astray by some Religious who think they have a better way than the Pope.

Anonymous said...

On another web site, I saw the headline "no punishment for dissenting nuns!!". I then read the actual article which said the results of the apostolic visitation would not be published for a while pending review. What an incredible misleading headline ! The author of the article knew that many people only read the headline but not the article and that nothing would be done regarding heretical nuns. Your headline was honest and accurate. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Very good, it's very useful to me, thank you very much!

VOCAL said...

I'm so happy that this helped you. It's so comforting to me that the Vatican is looking into this.

VOCAL said...

Things never go fast enough in changing things back to 'normal' in the Church. These gals have been so hurt that they are lashing out. Best for them not to bite the hand that feeds them.

VOCAL said...

We always have to read the whole article. There are many gems we would miss.