We say: It is no coincidence that the Vatican jousting with U.S. nuns came to a conciliatory end under the papacy of Francis.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
"I was impressed just at the universality of [the Vatican's] concern as well as some of the things that they were focused on."
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has advised bishops' conferences not to take "doctrinal and disciplinary decisions" on issues that rightly fall under the magisterium of the church.
Cardinal Gerhard Muller said while bishops' conferences have authority on some matters, "they don't constitute a magisterium within the magisterium, independently of the pope and out of communion with other bishops."
Bishops of dioceses around the world have an obligation to work to prevent clerical sexual abuse and to ensure that priests in their dioceses do not commit acts of abuse, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The move is an attempt by the pontiff to address concerns that some accused clerics were not getting an adequate opportunity to defend themselves.
"Above all we have to clarify that we are not misogynists, we don't want to gobble up a woman a day!" Cardinal Gerhard Müller told L'Osservatore Romano.
LCWR spent four days conducting business any large organization requires -- despite the subtext of an ongoing Vatican investigation and orders to reform.
In accepting LCWR's Outstanding Leadership Award, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson praised the sisters and urged them to stay the course.
"In this place of prayer, in this place of faith ... this place is a fertile ground to talk about our love of the Lord."
As the Leadership Conference of Women Religious prepare to gather, the group is on a precipice. What lies on either side, no one can say.