Vatican spokesperson hopes for 'understanding' in meeting with nuns

by John L. Allen Jr.

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ROME -- Responding to an NCR question, the Vatican spokesperson today said he hopes tomorrow’s meeting between leaders of the largest organization of women religious in the United States and Vatican officials will lead to “reciprocal understanding.”

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi spoke during a daily news briefing, which was largely devoted to the latest developments in the on-going “Vati-leaks” scandal, which at the moment are focused on the recently deposed president of the Vatican Bank, Italian layman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

Asked by NCR to comment on the Vatican’s hopes for tomorrow’s meeting involving two officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, along with Vatican officials and Archbishop James Sartain of Seattle, tapped by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to oversee a Vatican-mandated process of reform, Lombardi said he couldn't add much, but that the hope is always for mutual understanding.

Lombardi said he hoped the meeting will achieve better understanding of “the positions of the congregation, the reasons for their judgment,” referring to the recent doctrinal assessment of the LCWR issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Lombardi also expressed hope for a “constructive approach to the process which this [assessment] began,” referring to the five-year overhaul of the LCWR envisioned by the doctrinal congregation and to be led by Sartain.

“We hope this can be carried forward in a positive way, based on understanding of the positions of all the parties involved, including the congregations of women,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi said that there “may be” an official statement after the meeting, scheduled for tomorrow morning, June 12, Rome time.

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