Statement of the Officers of LCWR Regarding SNAP October 3 Requests

(Officers: Christine Vladimiroff, OSB, President; Beatrice Eichten, OSF, Vice President; Constance Phelps, SL, Past President; Carole Shinnick, SSND, Executive Director)

 The officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, who met on October 3 with five representatives from SNAP, express great appreciation to those individuals for heightening our awareness of the long-term effects of sexual misconduct by women religious. Conversations such as these underscore our conviction that women religious must do all that we can to prevent future incidents of abuse. Furthermore, they have raised our consciousness regarding the areas where women religious need to keep working for the healing of victims.

 The executive committee of the LCWR national board took very seriously the requests made by the SNAP representatives at that meeting. Our discussion of these requests has strengthened our commitment to do all that is possible within the scope of the LCWR mission to assist women religious leaders in their response to sexual misconduct by their own members.

 While we share both the concerns and hopes for healing and reconciliation expressed by the SNAP members at that meeting, we are not able to meet their specific requests in the manner they indicated. LCWR’s function is to provide its members with resources, education and support. It is not within LCWR’s purview to issue directives but rather its mission is to provide assistance to those in leadership. We believe, however, that the efforts that LCWR has made, is making and will continue to make to address the problem of member misconduct respond to many of the concerns that the SNAP representatives raised on October 3. Our hope is that these efforts will lead to justice and healing for survivors, those accused and all those affected by abuse.