onsdag 12 augusti 2009

Kvinnliga ordensledare samlas inför inkvisitionen

"Facing two Vatican investigations, some 800 women religious leaders from throughout the country have gathered here to discuss their congregations’ uncertain futures.

Many women, in informal conversations, spoke of their determination not to let these Vatican actions get in the way of their ministries and religious life, hammered out over decades, both through experience and through exchanges with Rome on congregational constitutions.


A number of women said their knowledge of the nature, scope and the reasons behind the Vatican actions is still sketchy.

Levada informed leadership conference executives in his February letter that his congregation’s doctrinal concerns date back to a 2001 meeting with the women leaders. He wrote them that his congregation had asked the women to report on initiatives “taken or planned” to promote three areas of doctrinal concern - ordination, the primacy of the Catholic church and homosexuality. He said that since then the women had failed to adequately respond.

The letter has confused some of the religious leaders here. Several women in executive leadership positions told NCR that the leadership conference executive team has visited the Vatican each year since 2001 and no one there had raised those three specific concerns.


Sister of Mercy Camille D’Arienzo, emphasizing she was speaking for herself, talked of her pain and disappointment.

They [the Vatican] should be awarding medals to these women, not investigating them. What’s going on is very painful and disrespectful because women religious have been so loyal to the church. I feel sorry for all the women who are now placed under suspicion. I know my sisters and they deserve better.”

Becoming philosophical, she added, “I came to religious life not to please an institution. I came to follow Jesus. Christ suffered. This pain gives us a particular connection.”

Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Mary Daniel Turner, long respected for her scholarship and thoughtful perspectives on religious life, said tensions between the Vatican and the women religious of America date back at least to the 1950s “when we [the congregations] began to see we shared a common vision. “At the heart it is hard for Rome to understand us as moral agents in our own right.”


As outlined to the women by the Vatican, the final result of the investigation of the congregations will be put together by the Vatican appointed Apostolic Visitator, Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Sister Mother Mary Clare Millea.

Her report will be secret and will not be shared with the U.S. women religious. The reports made by visitation teams to various congregations, a phase of the investigation, are also to be secret and not shared with the individual congregations.

This particularly disturbs the women. Virtually all those who spoke with NCR called for transparency. Some said it would be a minimal requirement for active participation."

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