(National Catholic Reporter) The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that is part of a three-year study of the congregations. Leaders of congregations, instead, are leaving questions unanswered or sending in letters or copies of their communities’ constitutions.
“There’s been almost universal resistance,” said one women religious familiar with the responses compiled by the congregation leaders. “We are saying ‘enough!’ In my 40 years in religious life I have never seen such unanimity.”
The Vatican initiated the study in January, saying its purpose is to determine the quality of life in religious communities, given the decline in vocations in recent decades. From the outset, the women have complained they were never consulted before Vatican officials announced the investigation and there is no transparency in the process. Some have called the effort demeaning and intrusive.
NCR contacted more than a dozen women religious familiar with the responses. Almost no one would allow her name to be used, citing fear of reprisal against their congregations and the desire to have the apostolic visitator receive their letters before word of the actions became public.
She said women religious have been virtually unanimous in spirit that they have been living out their missions, as directed by the gospels and by the Second Vatican Council…
“Vatican II took us out of the ghettos and into ecology, feminism and justice in the world,” she said. “The Vatican still has a difficult time accepting that…” [reference]
Some sources have said that only on percent of these religious communities replied to the questionnaires. Not sure how no answer is going to do anything other than to show exactly why the Apostolic Visitation was needed in the first place. Rampant disobedience does not exactly show that there is not rampant disobedience. Though if they had answered the questionnaires truthfully they would have the same problems. But if they really believe that there way is the truth than they should not have a problem responding. The martyrs died for their faith, can’t even one of these dissidents standup up for what they believe is the truth? Trying to hide behind canon lawyers and other tricks is in no way a sign of obedience. Their actions are the actions of a guilty party who know that they are not on the right side. They are not the actions of innocents being guided by the Holy Spirit.