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The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life have for some time been collaborating on a renewed theological vision of Religious Life in the Church.
The concern of the Holy See, expressed partially in the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, is motivated by a desire to support the noble and beautiful vocation of Religious so that the eloquent witness of Religious Life may prosper in the Church to the benefit of future generations.
The initiatives of the Holy See in this area are concerned primarily with the faith of the Church and its expression in Religious Life. The Church’s faith—in the loving plan of the Father who sent his Son to be our Savior, in the inspiration of Sacred Scripture, in the gift of grace through the Sacraments, in the nature of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit—this faith is at the heart of the Evangelical Counsels. It motivates the passion for justice shared by so many Religious women and men, and it seeks ever to be expressed in active charity towards those most in need.
Recent media commentary on remarks made on Sunday May the 5th during the General Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, has suggested a divergence between the CDF and the Congregation for Religious in their approach to the renewal of Religious Life. Such an interpretation of the Cardinal’s remarks is not justified. The Prefects of these two Congregations work closely together according to their specific responsibilities and have collaborated throughout the process of the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR. Archbishop Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Braz de Aviz met yesterday and reaffirmed their common commitment to the renewal of Religious Life, and particularly to the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR and the program of reform it requires, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father.