Priests criticize head of doctrinal congregation for rebuke of LCWR

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests in a letter to Pope Francis criticized the head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for his recent comments chastising the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The Seattle-based association, which claims 1,000 U.S. priests as members, focused its letter to the pope on comments made by the congregation's prefect, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, in an April 30 welcoming address to LCWR leadership.

LCWR is a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious. The group is currently undergoing a major reform ordered by the Vatican in 2012.

Müller's remarks were "self-confessedly blunt," said the letter, signed by Fr. David Cooper of the Milwaukee archdiocese, the association's president, and members of the group's board.

Dated June 2, the letter was released to the media June 12.

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