Who would believe it? When a group of protestors supporting the Leadership Conference of Women Religious showed up at the Vatican Embassy on Tuesday, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, welcomed some of the group into the embassy. Two people were actually invited to sit down and chat with him. He received their petition asking that the mandate against LCWR be withdrawn ... without any expectation that would actually happen, of course.
In the course of the conversation, he made it known he had been at the beginning of the LCWR board meeting. Later, he invited about 20 people into the embassy to see the chapel and offer prayers.
I don't have much hope that his welcome represents any new approach from the Vatican to LCWR (or anyone), but it is refreshing in Washington to see any protestors welcomed by any authority for a chat, at least.
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Vigano was removed from a Vatican post after cleaning up the Vatican Bank, a process in which he surely made enemies. The recently leaked documents include a letter of his to the pope, asking not to be moved outside the Vatican because of the message it would send. He may have some sympathy for LCWR, given his own experience.
Click here to see great photos and an account of Tuesday's Vatican Embassy action.