The Common Good

Renewal for the church

After releasing its first public statement in response to Vatican criticism, Leadership Conference of Women Religious president Sr. Pat Farrell did an exclusive interview with the National Catholic Reporter.

In the statement, you also say that the Vatican order has caused “scandal.” What is the nature of the scandal as you see it? How are you defining that?

I think the inference that many people could draw from the publication of the Vatican document is that we are unfaithful, that we are not in communion with the church. We really do not see ourselves in that way.

However, there are genuine questions that we bring -- the conversations that need to happen. And I think the outpouring of support that has been manifested across the country is another manifestation of that. There are conversations and questions that need to happen that are also shared by a lot of the laity of the church.

The insinuation that I think many people could draw from reading that Vatican document is that if we raise those questions, we’re unfaithful to the church. That’s not true. And I don’t think that’s really fair. I think, in fact, that that is a sign of our deepest faithfulness to the church -- questions that the people of God need to raise, that we need to talk about together in a climate of genuine dialog.