Most Holy Father,
We are deeply concerned by the recent order from your Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith appointing three bishops to oversee the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The bishops are to revise LCWR statutes; review LCWR plans and programs; create new programs for LCWR; review and offer guidance on application of liturgical texts; and review LCWR's affiliations with other organizations, especially NETWORK and the Resource Center for Religious Institutes.
We ask that you rescind this order.
We see how these Sisters strive to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They show us by their example what it means in daily life to love God and love our neighbor. Eschewing material wealth, they dedicate their time, their talents, their energies, their very lives to service in our schools and hospitals and charities and parish programs and prison ministries and homeless shelters and so much more. They show us how to be church.
We are dismayed to hear that the Congregation has judged them so harshly, causing their concern and ours for their very continuance as canonical entities. We love and respect and value the Sisters. They are for us examples of how to live in this world as Catholics, committed followers of Jesus Christ.
Please remove this cross from the hearts of the Sisters, and from the hearts of the laity, by rescinding the order issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
With love in Christ,