On May 9, 2013, I wrote the following headline: "For LCWR, the more the papacy changes, the more it stays the same."
One year later, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sadly, has confirmed my suspicions.
I wrote the headline after the head of the doctrinal congregation, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, announced that the newly elected pope had affirmed the findings of the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
At that point, Francis' papacy had barely hit the two-month mark. Many saw hopeful signs that the Vatican would soon undergo substantive changes and that the whole LCWR debacle would fade into distant memory.
Some even posited that Francis was barely aware of what Müller was doing. Once the new pope got up to speed, many commentators said, he would put a stop to the scrutiny of the nuns. He'd probably get rid of Müller altogether once he started his curial cleanup.
Instead, Francis not only kept Müller in his job, he elevated him to cardinal.