Some Catholic sisters resist Vatican’s scrutiny

As reported previously (in April, July, and August), pressure and scrutiny have been applied by the Vatican into the lives of Catholic sisters living in the United States. Now, AP reports, it seems some sisters are exercising resistance.

Scrutiny comes in the form of a kind of investigation called an “apostolic visitation” ostensibly intended to inquire into the lives of Catholic sisters, whose orders have experienced a downturn in numbers. Some, though, question the true purpose of the visitation.

Leaders of a significant number of the nation’s Roman Catholic sisters are challenging aspects of a Vatican investigation of their communities, declining to answer questions they say are ambiguous, inappropriate and out of step with the probe’s stated purpose.

The heads of three large congregations of sisters said in interviews with The Associated Press they did not fully answer a questionnaire that was due in late November — potentially leaving large holes in a three-year study of more than 340 orders with 59,000 members.

Sister Mary Waskowiak, president of the 4,000-member Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, said most of the roughly 28 congregational leaders she has spoken with either left some answers blank or sent copies of their constitutions, which spell out their congregations purpose and mission and are approved by the Vatican.

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