Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Visited are Many but the Visitators are Few

Mother Mary Clare Millea, appointed to head up the Apostolic Visitation of U.S. Women Religious decreed in December, is asking the heads of the orders to suggest visitators.

"I am offering each superior general the opportunity to suggest names of potential team members, principally among her own sisters," she wrote, "who will be acting in the name of the Apostolic See," in the daunting task of interviewing more than 340 U.S. women religious leaders.

Those wishing to serve in the name of the Apostolic See are asked to make the same pledge all who do so are, namely, the recitation of the Creed and to assert,
“With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in tradition, which the church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

“I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

“Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”

In a story on this totally standard expectation, NCR reports:
Most women religious interviewed for this article did not want to be quoted by name, fearing they would draw attention to their religious communities. Nearly all remained skeptical about the Vatican-mandated study. Several questioned the need for a profession of faith and an oath in order to be part of the visitation teams. The requirement, these women said, would narrow ranks of potential applicants, making the teams less representative of U.S. women religious today.

Is anyone still scratching their heads about the need for a visitation?