Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle issued a statement on Saturday, August 11, coinciding with the close of historic gathering of Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Archbishop Sartain has been assigned by the Vatican to “reform” the organization that represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the U.S.
I am very pleased to see Archbishop Sartain respond in like manner and tone to that which was offered by the LCWR at the close of their meeting–one of solidarity, intense respect, and a shared desire to move forward in faith.
“The Holy See and the Bishops of the United States are deeply proud of the historic and continuing contribution of women religious to our country through social, pastoral and spiritual ministries; Catholic health care; Catholic education; and many other areas where they reach out to those on the margins of society.
As an association of women religious, the LCWR brings unique gifts to its members and to the Church at large. This uniqueness includes sensitivity to suffering, whether in Latin America or the inner-city; whether in the life of an unborn child or the victim of human trafficking.
Religious women have made a lasting contribution to the wellbeing of our country and continue to do so today. For that they deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our prayers.
Along with the members of the LCWR, I remain committed to working to address the issues raised by the Doctrinal Assessment in an atmosphere of prayer and respectful dialogue. We must also work toward clearing up any misunderstandings, and I remain truly hopeful that we will work together without compromising Church teaching or the important role of the LCWR. I look forward to our continued discussions as we collaborate in promoting consecrated life in the United States.”