The president of the primary group of U.S. Catholic sisters has asked Pope Francis to consider appointing women to "major leadership posts" in the church and to be open to dialog with women religious.
Franciscan Sr. Florence Deacon, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), makes those encouragements in the May issue of U.S. Catholic, the magazine published by the Claretians.
"Recent popes have ex-pressed gratitude for Catholic sisters’ deep love of the church and generous service to God’s people," Deacon, whose organization represents some 80 percent of the country's 57,000 sisters, writes.
"However, there were two investigations of Catholic sisters undertaken during Pope Benedict’s era. We hope that Pope Francis, a member of a religious order himself, will be open to a dialogue with women religious and will work with us to support our mission."
"Today young women in the United States are leaving the church in larger numbers than young men, and parents are questioning raising their daughters in a church that doesn’t seem to value women’s participation," Deacon continues.
"We hope Pope Francis hears their concerns and appoints significant numbers of women to major leadership posts in the universal church."