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Q&A on the Vatican's ëbutler did it' saga

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Today the Vatican confirmed it's proceeding to a criminal trial against Paolo Gabriele, the 45-year-old former papal butler charged with being the mole at the heart of the Vatican leaks scandal, which has featured revelations painting an unflattering picture of corruption, cronyism and palace intrigue.

tAlso to stand trial is 48-year-old Claudio Scarpelletti, a computer specialist working in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, charged with a minor offense of aiding and abetting Gabriele's crime, based on discovery of an envelope containing sensitive materials found in his Vatican desk.

ëIf it can't be reformed, then it doesn't have a right to continue'

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By now many of those who have been following the activities of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Saint Louis this past week might have seen the video interview by Cardinal Raymond Burke as he considered the situation of the women religious in the U.S.

Not sure how anyone can bridge this gap.

Let's keep praying to the Holy Spirit.

What Happened in St. Louis?

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Granted, trying to fashion a policy agreeable to 900 sisters is no mean task, given the striking varieties of views within the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Maybe what emerged -- a pledge to talk more with the bishops along with a vague suggestion that the LCWR might run out of patience -- is the best response possible under the circumstances.

But to see that as a favorable outcome rather than a sad defeat requires some assumptions that are difficult for me to grasp.

Perhaps the greatest is that there is a discussion to be had. Where is the evidence that the Vatican or the three bishops picked to shape up the LCWR have the slightest inclination to conduct any sort of open reconsideration of conclusions their superiors in the CDF have already declared non-negotiable.

Then there is the assumption that a precondition to answering the CDF's demands is to recognize sisters as "equals in the church" whose religious mission, already censured, is "respected and affirmed." Wasn't utter rejection of those ideals at the core of the Vatican's attack? To repeat it in case someone had missed the point?

LCWR response offers new vision for being church

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In its response to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith doctrinal assessment to their organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Aug. 10 issued a statement reflective of its belief that life is a journey, and that if one responds affirmatively to risk-taking in a loving and generous way, albeit within the context of Great Mystery, then one is properly answering a call to participate in God’s plan for humanity and the wider creation process.

These nuns are the real thing

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On the last night of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly, just prior to a dinner banquet honoring Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Sandra Schneiders, the 900 or more assembled Catholic sisters took time to thank the hotel staff. First they called more than 100 staff to the front of the large assembly hall to thank them personally. Then with many sisters waving their table napkins they sang the staff a blessing. It was a gesture unlike any I had witnessed before. Turns out it is part of the annual LCWR program, a genuine thank you to those who worked quietly behind the scenes to make the assembly carry on as planned.

How do you inspire people to be Catholic?

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A couple weeks ago NCR editor at large Tom Roberts was All Things Considered Weekends with Guy Raz. It was part of a much bigger piece about religion in America, but in Tom's bit, he said this:

The question today is, how do you inspire people to be Catholic? What is the community about? And I think that's a huge question today, given the mix of societal forces, the challenge that has come out of the sex abuse crisis and just the general disposition toward organized religion today.

That's your assignment this weekend, NCR reader. How would you propose inspiring people to be Catholic?

LCWR: If 'forced to compromise,' we will reconsider discussion

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Update: The full story has just been posted: LCWR will continue dialogue, but not compromise mission

At the end of its annual assembly Friday in St. Louis, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said it will proceed with discussion with the Vatican "for as long as possible" but will reconsider if the sisters are "forced to compromise the integrity of [their] mission."

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September 12-25, 2014

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