Religion News in Brief

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 11:00 AM

HAMDEN, Conn. -- Major work has been completed on a Vatican-ordered investigation of Roman Catholic sisters in the United States.

Mother Mary Clare Millea, who is leading the review for the Vatican, announced Tuesday that the onsite visits of American women's religious orders have been finished.

The review began in 2008 and was "intended as a constructive assessment and an expression of genuine concern for the quality of the life" of roughly 59,000 U.S. Catholic sisters, according to a Vatican working paper sent early in the inquiry to leaders of 341 religious congregations.

However, some sisters and religious order leaders interpreted the investigation as a prelude to a dressing-down amid claims from critics that many sisters are unfaithful to the church.

The Vatican working paper for the review asks communities of sisters to describe how they respond to members who dissent publicly or privately from church teaching and about the doctrine the women teach. Additional questions cover financial management and efforts to recruit new members. The numbers of U.S. religious sisters has dropped dramatically in the last few decades.

The Vatican office that ordered the inquiry - called an apostolic visitation - is the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Millea, of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will be writing summaries of the findings that she will send to the Vatican by the end of this year. It's unclear whether the results will ever be made public.



Cuomo meets with Catholic bishops on future of NY Catholic schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Archbishop Timothy Dolan emerged from a private lunch with Gov. Andrew Cuomo with quips, quick feet to dance around tough political questions and a pledge to take a new look at the role of Roman Catholic schools.

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