"Open and frank" discussions take place between Rome and LCWR

Pope Francis has given his backing to the Vatican’s reform of the US-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the nuns’ group that he had “discussed the doctrinal assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the programme of reform for this conference of major superiors”.

The doctrinal congregation met the LCWR leadership and Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, who had been assigned by the Vatican to oversee the reform, last week. In a statement on its website, LCRW said that “the conversation was open and frank”.

Representing LCRW at the meeting were the organisation’s president, Franciscan Sister Florence Deacon, president-elect Sister Carol Zinn and executive director Sister Janet Mock.

LCWR is a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims to have about 1,500 leaders of US women’s communities as members. Last April, the doctrinal congregation issued an assessment of LCWR, citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life.”

The assessment called for the organisation’s reform to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality. LCWR’s canonical status is granted by the Vatican.