Francis to religious: Don't sweat too much the CDF

Pope Francis met last week with the presiding board of CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women). Reportedly, they had a cordial and informal meeting, with Francis, as he is prone to do, speaking off the cuff.

A reported transcript of the conversation covers a lot of ground. Reportedly at one point, he encouraged the religious leaders to continue to take risks on behalf of their mission and not worry too much about some of the consequences of their commitments.

Reading the transcript in light of longtime tensions between U.S. women religious and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should offer solace to the women, especially the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

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Ponder these reported words of our pontiff:

"Perhaps even a letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine (of the Faith) will arrive for you, telling you that you said such or such thing ... But do not worry. Explain whatever you have to explain, but move forward ... Open the doors, do something there where life calls for it. I would rather have a Church that makes mistakes for doing something than one that gets sick for being closed up ..."

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