Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On LCWR Reform, The Sister-President Speaks

As the group representing the superiors of a majority of the US' religious women approaches its all-important St Louis assembly early next month -- at which it is slated to decide a formal response to the recent Vatican mandate for its thoroughgoing "renewal," the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, made her most extensive comments to date on the situation on today's edition of NPR's Fresh Air.


For balance's sake, the revered daily program's host, Terry Gross, said that the show would air an interview next week with Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo -- the CDF delegate whose conclusions from a four-year Doctrinal Assessment precipitated the reform push.

Himself a onetime Curial staffer, Blair now serves as one of two deputies to Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, who the Holy See tapped to oversee the effective reconstitution of the LCWR.

As previously noted, since the move was among the final acts taken by the office charged with maintaining church teaching under the stewardship of Cardinal William Levada, what will become of the inquest under the California-born prelate's freshly-named successor, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, is a key variable that bears watching as, over the coming months, the German prelate settles into the post whose occupant was previously termed the "Grand Inquisitor."

Despite heated complaints from traditionalist quarters over the changing of the guard at the "Holy Office," it is a particularly telling sign of the Pope's esteem for his pick to lead the dicastery he himself helmed for 23 years that Müller -- whose appointment gives Germany two of the Vatican's top three offices (a dominance heretofore known only by Italians) -- has been given the apartment just outside the Vatican's Santa Anna Gate last occupied by one Joseph Ratzinger.