The attack on the Nuns is a case of perception not reality according to Vatican Cardinal William Levada, who admits to being saddened by people’s assessment of him, his office and the report on the nuns.
Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), insists neither he, nor the Vatican is picking on the nuns.
“We’re sad if people somehow think that these guys in Rome are trying to bring the hammer down on our nuns, or don’t appreciate them. The assessment is actually effusive in its praise of the work nuns have done over the years,” Levada told NCR’s John Allen.
In an open and frank conversation, Levada, tried to set the record straight.
“I could say that some of my best friends are nuns,” he said.
It’s “not about the sisters in the United States. It’s about the Leadership Conference of Women Religious”.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is a co-ordinating body for about 80% of the religious women in the United States.
According to Levada, the basic issue is LCWR exists because of a Church law that provides the Holy Father to invite them to do this co-ordinating work, and because their position exists at the invitation of the Pope, what they say has to be in sync with Church teachings.
Rejecting criticism of Bishop Blair’s investigative assessment Levada said he did not accept the accusations of a lack of transparency or ‘unsubstantiated accusations’ in the process.
“This is not about people accusing LCWR of anything, it’s about observing what happens in their assemblies, what’s on their website, what they do or don’t do,” he said.
Levada said he is concerned that this process has been going on for four years and during that time not much has changed.
“It seems to me like a dialogue of the deaf,” he said.
“Sometimes people have different images of dialogue. For some, dialogue is an end in itself, while for some of us it’s a means to an end.”
“People who have a representative role as spokesperson in and for the church also have a higher responsibility,” the said CDF Head.
Calling the Church a “broad umbrella” Levada said its not just a question of different views, but also behaviour.
“It’s about keeping faith with Jesus,” said Levada.
“Ultimately this is about a group that represents the church doing so in a way that is accountable to the teaching and tradition of the Church.”
News category: World.