Holy See acts quickly to correct Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s gaffe about dissenting US religious women

The Holy See has acted with remarkable swiftness to correct Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s gaffe about US religious women dissenters in which he appears to criticise the CDF.  The seriousness of Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s gaffe is reflected in The Catholic Herald’s headline, ‘Vatican cardinal criticises the way LCWR reform was handled’.  Within a couple of days the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life issued a joint statement re-affirms both their commitment to the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and reiterated Pope Francis’ determination to reform the LCWR.

The joint communique stated:

‘“Recent media commentary on remarks made on Sunday, 5 May, during the General Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, has suggested a divergence between the CDF and the Congregation for Religious in their approach to the renewal of Religious Life. Such an interpretation of the cardinal’s remarks is not justified. The prefects of these two Congregations work closely together according to their specific responsibilities and have collaborated throughout the process of the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR. Archbishop Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Braz de Aviz met yesterday and reaffirmed their common commitment to the renewal of Religious Life, and particularly to the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR and the program of reform it requires, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father.’

The Catholic Herald had reported  Cardinal Braz de Aviz saying the following:

‘The head of the Vatican’s department for religious life has said that dialogue has been missing from the Vatican-ordered reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said that should change in future.

“It is not a matter of ‘We’re right and they’re wrong’, but of believing it is possible to have a dialogue, something which did not take place previously,” the cardinal said, in a rare criticism of another Vatican official. He spoke after celebrating Mass with and answering questions from some 800 superiors of women’s religious orders from 76 countries.

“The positions are very different; there’s also a programme to complete, but don’t exclude dialogue,” the cardinal said in a video interview posted on Vidimus Dominum, a news website operated by the women’s and men’s international unions of superiors.

In his homily at Mass with the women superiors, Cardinal Braz de Aviz spoke about the painful differences of opinion among the early Christians over what was required of pagans who wanted to join the Church. The matter was resolved through a dialogue in a spirit of prayer and an invocation of the Holy Spirit, he said.

“This is what we always must do in the Church; we must constantly discern in order to move forward,” he said. It is essential “to have this constant dialogue about our lives as consecrated men and women and as people who live and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus”.

In the video interview later, he said, “All of us who have power in the church — mothers general, fathers general, cardinals, bishops — must rethink how we act” and whether “our power is authentic, or is it domination?”

Protect the Pope comment: It is re-assuring that Cardinal Braz de Aviz’s gaffe has not been allowed to stand unchallenged, and that he has publicly re-affirmed the findings of persistent and defiant dissent among the LCWR and re-committed himself and his congregation to Pope Benedict’s reform programme. The Tablet and other dissenting Catholics should take note of the fact that the CDF has now categorically stated that Pope Francis accepts the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR and wants them reformed. No doubt if this joint communique had not been issued The Tablet would have insinuated that Cardinal Braz de Aviz was the ‘true voice of Pope Francis’. He’s not.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/05/06/vatican-cardinal-criticises-the-way-lcwr-reform-was-handled/

http://www.news.va/en/news/press-office-communique-on-collaboration-between-c

 

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