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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis reaffirmed the Vatican's call for reform of the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the U.S.-based nuns' group that he had "recently discussed the doctrinal assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the program of reform for this conference of major superiors."
The doctrinal congregation met April 15 with the LCWR leadership and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who had been assigned by the Vatican to oversee the reform of the pontifically recognized leadership group.
LCWR, in a statement on its website, said its representatives included Franciscan Sister Florence Deacon, president; Sister Carol Zinn, a Sister of St. Joseph, president-elect; and Sister Janet Mock, a Sister of St. Joseph and the organization's executive director.
LCWR is a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis told young inmates that, just as Jesus came to help and serve others, he, too, was at their service as a priest and bishop.
During the evening Mass at Rome's Casal del Marmo prison for minors, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 young people of different nationalities and faiths, including at least two Muslims and two women, who are housed at the juvenile detention facility.
The ceremony of washing another's feet "is important," the pope said, because it shows that "the person who is most high among us must be at the service of the others."
It also means that "we have to help one another, each one," he said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper March 28.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.
"He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," both the permanent residents -- priests and bishops who work at the Vatican -- as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Father Lombardi said March 26.
The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.
WASHINGTON (CNS) – New proposed regulations governing the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act continue to violate basic principles of religious freedom, said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In comments filed March 20 with the Department of Health and Human Services, the USCCB raised a series of concerns, among them being that the new proposals keep in place "an unjust and unlawful mandate" regarding the provision of contraceptive and other pregnancy services and that the rules provide no exemption, or accommodation, for "most stakeholders in the health insurance process, such as individual employees and for-profit employers," who are morally opposed to such coverage.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has decided to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper in a Rome juvenile detention facility and wash the feet of some of the young detainees.
It marks a change in venue of the previously scheduled March 28 Holy Week event from St. Peter's Basilica to Rome's Casal del Marmo prison for minors.
While the practice of his predecessors has included washing the feet of priests or laypeople, the ceremony was normally held in either St. Peter's Basilica or the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
The Vatican said that, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis used to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper – which reflects on the call to imitate Christ by serving one another – in prisons, hospitals or shelters for the poor and marginalized.