Half the adults in an Oakland parish signed a petition after Masses Oct. 25 in support of U.S. women religious who are facing two Vatican investigations.
"They were very supportive. The response was very positive," said Fr. Brian T. Joyce, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Pleasant Hill, Calif. "We announced the petition drive, had tables outside after the masses, and invited people to sign."
Joyce said the petition, which will be sent to Vatican officials, drew some 1,500 signatures, or roughly half the 3,000 adults in the parish.
After learning about the investigations, which Joyce described in a parish bulletin, Christ the King parishioners reacted in two ways, he said. They were supportive, and they were puzzled as to why the Vatican would want to investigate the U.S. women religious.
Joyce attempted to answer the latter question with essays he wrote in the parish bulletins dated Oct. 18 and 25.