Vatican religious congregation contacting about 15 orders of US sisters for 'serene' dialogue

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by Joshua J. McElwee

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The Vatican's congregation for religious life is contacting about 15 U.S. orders of Catholic sisters to clarify "some points" following the controversial six-year investigation of American communities of women religious, the head of the congregation said in a brief interview Tuesday.

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said the conversations involve "listening to what they say in a transparent way, without fear, without judging."

"What I have liked most is that the climate of this dialogue is very serene," Braz de Aviz said. "There is listening on both sides. There is a rapport."

The cardinal spoke to NCR after his congregation requested that the leaders of the Kentucky-based Sisters of Loretto, one of the major orders of U.S. Catholic women religious, come to Rome in October.

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