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Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters; Demand immediate removal of sanctions against LCWR leadership
Release date: 
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For Immediate Release                                                                                             
Organizational media contacts:    See list below
For general background:                

Kate McElwee:(Rome)  +39 06 320 3331                                                               

Jim Fitzgerald  (USA)    773 404 0004 x262
Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters: Demand immediate removal of sanctions against LCWR leadership

Statement from the Nun Justice Project:
It is praiseworthy that the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious issued a generally positive report about the  outcomes of its three year apostolic visitation of U.S. Sisters.  The Nun Justice Project is encouraged by Sr. Sharon Holland’s characterization of the report as “affirming and realistic.”  Holland is the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) an umbrella group representing 80 percent of U.S. women religious.

Nevertheless, the visitation process was both demeaning and a huge waste of time and energy for the Vatican and especially for the sisters who had to divert precious resources away from ministries to the marginalized just so Rome could discover what Catholics have known all along: U.S. women religious are among the most inspiring and faithful of Catholics and led the way in implementing Vatican II reforms.
While the report is a positive first step, reconciliation will not be fully accomplished until the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removes its unjust mandate against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
We renew our call to Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to immediately rescind the mandate and apologize to LCWR sister leaders, especially in light of Pope Francis’ recent praise for diversity of theological views, pluralism and reading the “signs of the times.”  Until the mandate is removed, the faithful and creative leadership of U.S. sisters remains under unjust Vatican scrutiny.
Over the past five years, the Nun Justice Project organized massive support for women religious. Tens of thousands of Catholics petitioned the Vatican and participated in hundreds of public demonstrations, prayer services, vigils, and media events.  Their voices have been instrumental in advancing due process, raising up women’s leadership voice and promoting justice in the church.  They will not desist until the LCWR mandate is removed.
We believe it is important to learn what sisters themselves have to say about their experience of the Visitation. Power of Sisterhood: Women Religious Tell the Story of the Apostolic Visitation is an inspiring narrative told from their perspective.  For example, Sr Addie Lorraine Walker reflects "...  within a context of subjugation women religious found a unique sense of liberating power along with the meaning and purpose of their prophetic voice."  (Full review can be found here)
For background on the Nun Justice Project's work addressing the LCWR mandate visit
Media Contacts for the Nun Justice Project Organizations
American Catholic Council,                                                                                    
Sheila Peiffer 518.334.6076 (cell) Sheilapeiffer.acc@gmail.
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church,                                             
Joseph Boyle 484.480.8311(home) 610.462444 (work)  Josephboyleoil@
Call To Action,                                                                                                               
Ellen Euclide  773.404.0004
Linda Pinto 570.618.2120 (c)
Marianne Duddy-Burke  617.669.7810
Deb Rose-Milavec 513-673-1401 (c)  216-228-0869 x 4 (w)
New Ways Ministry,                                                                                                     
Frank DeBernardo 301.277.5674
Catholics Speak Out   Quixote Center,                                                                                                                 
Dolly Pomerleau  301.699.0042
RAPPORT (Renewing a Priestly People, Ordination Reconsidered Today),
Gloria Ulterino  585.455.0389 (c)
Voice of the Faithful,                                                                                                 
Nick Ingala  617-291-3495 Cell,
WATER: Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual,             
Mary Hunt 301 589-2509      
Women's Ordination Conference.                                                                                      
Erin Saiz Hanna  401.588.0457 (c)  ehanna@
Kate McElwee +39 06 320 3331 (Italy)


About FutureChurch Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a national coalition of 3,500 parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.