Friday, October 16, 2009

Director Of Jesuit Retreat House: Sister Mary Ann Flannery

Sister Mary Ann Flannery is under investigation. So is Sister Pat Rogers.

And all the other Catholic nuns living in the United States.

But the two sweeping investigations by the Vatican in Rome are being conducted so quietly that the nuns themselves are not sure what the inquiries are all about.

"We can't figure out why this is happening," said Flannery, director of the Jesuit retreat house in Parma. "We're just doing our jobs."

One investigation, known as an "apostolic visitation" to "look into the quality of life" in sisters' religious communities, began in December.

The other inquiry, begun in the spring, targets the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents 95 percent of the nation's 59,000 nuns.

Both investigations have raised questions and speculation.

"What do they mean by 'quality of life?' " asked Rogers, a nun for 60 years who is now retired from teaching and civic work and living in Fairview Park. "We think we have done very well with living our lives."

The visitation was ordered by Cardinal Franc Rode who appointed Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior of the Connecticut-based Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to carry out the inquiry. Millea has begun sending teams of investigators to interview mothers superior.

Those investigative reports are to be kept confidential and sent to Rod . The nuns will not be allowed to see them.

"It's ludicrous," said Sister Jane Pank, who lives in Sheffield Lake and runs a program that finds housing for seniors and for women and children coming out of shelters. "Everything is secret and we won't know what's in the report. So what's the point?"

Critics of the investigations believe the Vatican is trying to rein in U.S. nuns seen as too independent and generally open-minded about hot-button issues like ordaining women, gay marriage and contraception.

1 comment: said...

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