Open Letter

An Open Letter to Pope Francis About Women’s Leadership in The Church

His Holiness, Pope Francis PP.
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano

Dear Pope Francis

We write with respect and gratitude for your extraordinary leadership in our Church.

Sadly, we also write with concern and dismay at the behavior that Cardinal Gerhard Müller recently exhibited toward women leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and especially toward Dr. Elizabeth Johnson CSJ.

Cardinal Müller’s preemptive public criticism of LCWR leadership and Dr. Johnson, one of the most beloved and respected theologians in the world, eclipsed any opportunity for public dialogue.

This communicates that faithful Catholic female leaders are disrespected and discounted in our Church.

On numerous occasions you have expressed a desire to expand leadership opportunities for women. We respectfully suggest that the place to begin is to listen to faithful women who are already exercising leadership.

We ask you to personally intervene with Cardinal Müller and Archbishop Sartain and remove the unjust mandates imposed on LCWR over two years ago.

In addition, a public apology to Dr. Johnson and LCWR leadership would speak volumes about the institutional Church’s intent to truly listen to women and honor their voices.

In closing, we express our love and solidarity with you as together we joyfully proclaim the rich diversity revealed in the Good News of Jesus Christ, a message ever ancient yet ever new.

Sincerely yours,

The NunJustice Coalition

American Catholic Council
Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests
Call To Action
Catholics Speak Out / Quixote Center
Federation of Christian Ministries/RCFCC
FutureChurch National Coalition of American Nuns
New Ways Ministry
Pax Christi Maine
Roman Catholic Womenpriests – USA
Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference
Voice of the Faithful
Women’s Ordination Conference

Sr. Carol Zinn and Sr. Janet Mock
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller
Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193
Roma, Italy

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain
Archdiocese of Seattle
710 9th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó
Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20008

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
President, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20017