Betty D. Thompson manages the online presence for Solidarity with Sisters, a DC-area lay group of companions with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Catholic Sisters. Retired from the federal government, Betty is also involved with Pax Christi and other organizations. She and her husband are happy to live near their children and grandchildren.

Twitter handle: @SolidaritywSist

Website: solidaritywithsisters.weebly.com

Facebook: facebook.com/SolidarityWithSisters

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Assembling the people of God like LCWR

It's one thing to speak truth to power. But sometimes, it's much more daunting to speak truth to each other. Do we know how to create inclusive processes of truthful illumination and contemplative discernment in parish councils, church-reform conferences and beyond?

Being church: We can do this

Lay-led organizations offer working models at every level from international to parish. The most illuminating model I've seen is the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and its congregations – all lay women like me. Very quietly, with no spotlights, they've been evolving innovative ways to be a community of communities since the 1960s.  

Two ways to speak the truth in love

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious  (LCWR) spent three years in private conversations with the bishop-delegates of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which led to a joint final report in April 2015.\ Sister of Loretto Jeannine Gramick suffered more than a decade of Vatican investigation because of the ground-breaking, heroic ministry she co-founded. Comparing her experience with that of LCWR, Sister Jeannine states that she believes that LCWR “chose the path of secrecy and self-silencing” because they offer no details of their conversations about the CDF’s charges and because she believes the joint final report will constrain them.