|Archbishop Joseph Tobin|
A recent development in the Vatican's investigation of U.S. nuns has the sisters and their supporters breathing a little easier. Archbishop Joseph Tobin, an American who acknowledges the investigation has caused "anger and hurt" among U.S. nuns, has been named secretary of the Vatican panel conducting the investigation. Tobin, who grew up in Detroit, has said he will work to heal any rifts between American sisters and the Catholic hierarchy in Rome. He also hopes to lift a shroud of secrecy surrounding the probe. "We're very excited by his appointment," said Sister Mary Ann Flannery, director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma. "He's coming from an American culture that believes you have a right to defend yourself, a right to have your voice heard." The investigation, officially known as an "apostolic visitation," is meant to "look into the quality of life" in sisters' religious communities, according to the Vatican. Currently, the investigative reports are to be kept confidential and turned over to the Vatican panel. Not even the nuns will be allowed to see them. "That is so offensive," said Flannery. "We basically don't trust any of this."
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