The following statement was issued by the Vatican Press Office Nov. 3, 2009:
STATEMENT OF THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION OF INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE, CARD. FRANC RODÉ, C.M., ON THE APOSTOLIC VISITATION OF INSTITUTES OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS IN THE USA
Since the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious was first announced in January 2009, there has been great interest in the study that the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) has undertaken to look into the fundamental aspects of women religious in the United States. This Apostolic Visitation hopes to encourage vocations and assure a better future for women religious. Having read many news accounts and received various inquiries, I offer the following in response.
For many years this dicastery had been listening to concerns expressed by American Catholics – religious, laity, clergy and hierarchy – about the welfare of religious women and consecrated life in general, and had been considering an Apostolic Visitation as a means to assess and constructively address these concerns.