Mercy for sisters?

 
The word is out that Pope Francis is meeting face to face with the Sisters today.

Women religious leaders have been meeting in Rome for the last few days for a conference of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), a membership group for the leaders of the world's congregations of sisters and nuns. The UISG includes members of LCWR, the US group of women religious recently put under scrutiny by the Vatican.

After some early indications that Pope Francis backed the original assessment critical of the nuns, it seems that the Vatican is now back-pedaling. Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, the new head of the Vatican’s department for religious life, has said that dialogue has been missing from the Vatican-ordered reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

On Sunday, Braz de Aviz claimed that he was never consulted him on the investigation of LCWR and said the lack of communication caused him "much pain."

Ah, the sounds of sausage being made.

While it is maddening that a group of committed, intelligent and holy women has to wait for a male champion to ride to their rescue, the realities of the Church today require it. And, sexist context or not, a dialog requires two parties. The Sisters have been calling for dialog for a long time. Perhaps now they will have a partner willing to engage them  - if not as equals, exactly, then as respected and maybe even loved.

Holy God, we have made you wait forever before recognizing the worth of your women servants. May our leaders continue to engage in honest, fruitful dialog, through which your Holy Spirit may be known. Amen.

With info derived from National Catholic Reporter and CNN .