The U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious is not the first national group of religious reined in by Rome because of “serious doctrinal problems.” Two decades ago the Vatican appointed a bishop to oversee the work of the Latin American Confederation of Religious, known by its Spanish acronym C.L.A.R. “It was a very difficult moment for the confederation,” said Gabriel Naranjo Salazar, a Vincentian priest who is now secretary-general of the organization, because it “affected [C.L.A.R.’s] ecclesial independence and its mentality, but also because it seemed completely unjustified,” he said. Now the group has a strong relationship with the Vatican and the Latin American bishops’ council. Father Naranjo said the transition, while painful at the time, was made easier by a good working relationship with the Vatican delegates.
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