Vatican liaison to religious communities talks about his job

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Thursday 21, July 2011 | Category:   Clergy,Consecrated Life

BRAZILIAN Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz, 64, was appointed in January as the new prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Vatican body responsible for overseeing Roman Catholic religious life.

Bráz de Aviz
In a recent interview with the Italian journal 30 Giorni, Archbishop Bráz de Aviz was asked what kind of start his work in the congregation had gotten off to. "We’ve had to confront many difficulties," he said. "There was little trust on the part of the religious, on account of some positions taken previously. Now, the focal point of the work is precisely that of rebuilding a relationship of trust. I work together with the secretary of the congregation, Archbishop Joseph Tobin. We talk a lot, so that decisions are taken in common."

Commenting on the Vatican visitation of of women’s religious congregations in the United States, the archibishop said: "That, too, has not been an easy matter. There was mistrust and opposition. We’ve spoken with them, and their representatives have come here to Rome. We’ve started to listen again. That’s not to say there aren’t problems, but we have to deal with them in a different way, without preemptive condemnations and by listening to people’s concerns. By now, we’ve received many reports which we have to work through. There’s also the relationship with Mother Clare Millea [the Vatican-appointed head of the visitation], which will be important."

From John L. Allen, Jr.'s report on the NCROnline blog.

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