The Catholic church has much to learn from the recent encounter between the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which recently concluded an investigation into the sisters’ theology, procedures and program choices. How to learn from such an event, the details of which remain somewhat shrouded, is a challenge.
A case study approach, a teaching and research tool used by many universities, could be helpful. In this case, it would take the form of a post-hoc review available to the public of the step-by-step critical decision-making used by all parties to the encounter. Thinking this way about what we do know of the LCWR encounter leads to many questions — and the answers would be of great benefit for the future for all dimensions of the institutional church.