A senior Vatican official has tried to defuse the damaging rift between the Vatican and US religious women, after a recent rebuke over obedience and doctrinal differences, reports the Religion News Service in NCR Online.
Cardinal João Bráz 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.'
Bráz de Aviz was speaking at the launch of a campaign by Catholic nuns, backed by the US 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 Sr 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 organisation, 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.
In early May, the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, Cardinal Gerhard Müeller, reprimanded officials from the LCWR for honouring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged 'seriously inadequate' and promoting ideas considered out of step with official Church doctrine.
FULL STORY Cardinal seeks a truce in fight between U.S. nuns and Vatican’s doctrinal office (NCR Online)