Cardinal seeks a truce in fight between U.S. nuns and Vatican’s doctrinal office

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A senior Vatican official on Tuesday (May 20) tried to defuse the damaging rift between the Vatican and U.S. nuns after a recent rebuke over obedience and doctrinal differences. Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, who heads the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life that oversees men’s and women’s religious orders, said there had been “sensitive times,” but relations between religious orders and the Holy See remained “very close.” “There are positive aspects and less positive aspects,” the Brazilian cardinal said during a press conference on human trafficking ahead of the World Cup. “We have chosen the path of dialogue. We have to speak positively.” Braz de Aviz was speaking at the launch of a campaign by Catholic nuns, backed by the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican, to fight human trafficking at the soccer World Cup in Brazil next month. A question about the thorny relationship between the Holy See and the American sisters was put to Sister Carmen Sammut, head of the International Union of Superior Generals, but the cardinal jumped in before she could respond. She, too, stressed the need for dialogue. “What is important for us is to dialogue together. We are starting to work together. Like every other organization, we can have differences but it is important that we can be true to each other and we can try and find solutions together,” she said. Sammut’s group is roughly the worldwide equivalent of the Maryland-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group that represents the leaders of 80 percent of the United States’ 57,000 Catholic sisters. In early May, the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, reprimanded officials from the LCWR for honoring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged “seriously inadequate” and promoting ideas considered out of step with official church doctrine. After a series of tense meetings with Mueller’s office, the LCWR issued a statement saying it was “saddened” to learn that impressions of the organization had become “institutionalized” at the Vatican. “Communication has broken down,” the sisters said, “and as a result, mistrust has developed.” The investigation falls under Mueller’s doctrinal office, but Braz de Aviz, who is seen as more sympathetic to the sisters, has tried to serve as a peace broker in the standoff. Because religious communities fall under his portfolio, his office is expected to have some role in the final outcome of the investigation. KRE/MG END McKENNA The post Cardinal seeks a truce in fight between U.S. nuns and Vatican’s doctrinal office appeared first on Religion News Service.

2 Responses to “Cardinal seeks a truce in fight between U.S. nuns and Vatican’s doctrinal office”

  1. Zappa912

    It appears to be a positive step that the office of Cardinal Braz de Aviz has become involved in the differences between LCWR and the out of touch Cardinal Mueller, who sits in his comfortable Vatican setting parsing church doctrine with the good sisters, while they provide the real backbone to the good works being done for the poor and needy. The good works that Pope Francis encourages us all to perform in carrying out the compassionate teachings of Jesus. Real action, not a lot of talk, which is the hang up for the non-action oriented Mueller. With the involvement of Cardinal Braz de Aviz, it looks much more like that the Mueller dispute with LCWR will be resolved diplomatically, which I am sure is exactly what the Holy Father wants. The nuns move on and Cardinal Mueller moves on to pick a fight on church doctrine with someone else.

  2. Denis Eble

    “The nuns move on and Cardinal Mueller moves on to pick a fight on church doctrine with someone else.”

    Yes indeed.

    The photo accompanying this story is a hoot! Is this 2014 or 1420?

Comments are closed.