The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has initiated a doctrinal investigation of the largest U.S. women’s religious leadership organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
The Vatican already announced a separate study last December to assess the “quality of life” in apostolic women’s religious communities throughout the United States.
The Vatican congregation informed the leadership conference officers of its new “doctrinal assessment” in a February 20 letter, which the officers received March 10. The letter came from Cardinal William Joseph Levada, the congregation’s prefect.
In his letter, Levada explained the congregation is undertaking its “assessment” of the women’s leadership conference after initial Vatican doctrinal concerns were expressed in 2001.
Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2005.