WASHINGTON D.C., August 7, 2013 – Next week, hundreds of Catholic nuns are expected to gather in Orlando, FL for the annual meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).
On August 11, 2013 in solidarity with U.S. women religious, thousands of Catholics will join in prayer http://nunjustice.org/download/ on the Feast of St. Clare.
“The pope intentionally chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake, and he has shown himself to be open to dialogue” stated Erin Saiz Hanna, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project. “St. Francis of Assisi’s sacred friendship with St. Clare is well documented. St. Francis worked collaboratively alongside his sisters rather than against them. We pray Pope Francis, and Archbishop Sartain, will not only speak but listen and authentically dialogue with the sisters as St. Francis did with St. Clare.”
LCWR, an umbrella group representing 80% of the 57,000 nuns in the United States, remains under scrutiny from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). In the spring of 2012 the CDF issued a statement accusing LCWR of promoting “radical feminist themes" and “corporate dissent," causing outrage among Catholics around the globe.
LCWR responded that the CDF statement was based on “unsubstantiated accusations’ and the result of a “flawed process that lacked transparency.” Last August, the organization’s president, Sr. Pat Farrell, announced that “open and honest dialogue" would be LCWR’s next step with Archbishop Sartain who had been appointed to oversee the mandate.
Last summer, nearly 70,000 Catholics signed a Change.org petition and hundreds organized vigils to rally around the sisters.
"Catholics around the country have been inspired by the faith and work of the sisters and will continue to support them; we urge Pope Francis to recognize their commitment and contributions and dismiss the mandate," said Jim FitzGerald, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project.
DignityUSA, a founding member of the Nun Justice Project, has urged its members and Chapters to pray for LCWR during its conference, and many Chapters will use at least part of the prayer service in support of the Sisters during gatherings the weekend of August 10-11, 2013.
The Nun Justice Project is a grassroots movement supported by the following organizations: American Catholic Council, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church , Call To Action, Catholics for Choice, CORPUS, DignityUSA, Federation of Christian Ministries, FutureChurch, New Ways Ministry, Quixote Center, RAPPORT, Voice of the Faithful, WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual, and Women’s Ordination Conference.
For more information, visit www.nunjustice.org