Vatican releases statement after meeting with LCWR — UPDATED

This just in, from the Holy See Press Office:

Today the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met with the President and Executive Director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States of America. Most Rev. Peter J. Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle and the Holy See’s Delegate for the doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR, also participated in the meeting.

The meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal Assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.

According to Canon Law, a Conference of Major Superiors such as the LCWR is constituted by and remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See in order to promote common efforts among the individual member Institutes and cooperation with the Holy See and the local Conference of Bishops (Cf. Code of Canon Law, cann. 708-709). The purpose of the doctrinal Assessment is to assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.

Stay tuned.

Rocco has additional details and background.

Also, the AP’s Rachel Zoll looks at some history behind this dispute.

UPDATE: The sisters have also spoken.  This, from CNS:

After meeting with top officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said she was thankful for the chance to have an open dialogue about a recent Vatican-ordered reform of the organization.

Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, LCWR president, and St. Joseph Sister Janet Mock, executive director, met with U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, and with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle June 12 to talk about the mandate.

“We are grateful for the opportunity for open dialogue, and now we will return to our members to see about the next step” and decide how to proceed in light of discussions with the doctrinal office, Sister Pat told journalists immediately after the meeting.

The LCWR will have an assembly in August, she said, and “we have no plan other than to take what came from the meeting today to our members” and decide as a group what the next step should be.

“We were able to directly express our concerns to Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Sartain,” said Sister Pat said in a statement released by the LCWR headquarters.

The Vatican statement about the meeting said the encounter “provided the opportunity for the congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment.”

The Vatican said the gathering took place “in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.”

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