Mother Mary Clare Millea, Vatican-appointed Apostolic Visitator in charge of he Vatican’s three-year study has filed her report with the Vatican and released a summary statement to the media:
“Although there are concerns in religious life that warrant support and attention, the enduring reality is one of fidelity, joy and hope…As I learned and observed firsthand the perseverance of the religious in the United States in their vocations, in their ministries and in their faith… I have been both inspired and humbled,” she said after submitting her report to the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
But if everything is going so well with women’s religious orders, what was the point of the visitation? No one at the Congregation for Consecrated Life would go on the record about the visitation and what motivated it. However, a phone message was left by an anonymous priest using the name “Fr. Vincenzo”, who works in the Congregation:
“We must respond to the complaints from America. America good country, generous people, nice hotels and restaurants. Clean bathrooms. American Catholics don’t like it seeing so many, how you say—rough women--taking over convents and teaching witchcraft to children. Sister Millea, nice lady, had to make statement, so we write her a statement. But she can no say the truth. And the truth is we not gonna do nothing. We discover that orders of rough ladies all old ladies too. They die soon. New young nuns take over, problem solved.”
His message was interrupted by two men shouting in Italian, followed by Fr. Vincenzo hanging up.
Readers may recall that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a paramilitary agitprop organization devoted to the secularization of Catholic education and the election of pro-choice politicians, opposed the visitation from the beginning. Sister Gladys Renfrew, spokesman for the conference said that she’s glad it’s over. “The inquisition has poked around here for three years now and they got nothin’! NOTHIN’! Now this ‘Mother Mary Clare’ can pack up her habit and go back to making rosaries.”