The Holy Spirit? Smart PR? Or karmic blowback from the Vatican's curial disasters? Sister Maureen Fielder reports that when a group of protestors supporting the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which has come under the Vatican thumb, showed up at the Vatican Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, welcomed some of them into the embassy.Vigano invited two people to sit down and chat and he received their petition asking that the sanctions against LCWR be withdrawn:

In the course of the conversation, he [Vigano] made it known he had been at the beginning of the LCWR board meeting (which started Tuesday and ends Friday). Later, he invited about 20 people into the embassy to see the chapel and offer prayers.I don't have much hope that his welcome represents any new approach from the Vatican to LCWR (or anyone), but it is refreshing in Washington to see any protestors welcomed by any authority for a chat, at least.Vigano was removed from a Vatican post after cleaning up the Vatican Bank, a process in which he surely made enemies. The recently leaked documents include a letter of his to the pope, asking not to be moved outside the Vatican because of the message it would send. He may have some sympathy for LCWR, given his own experience.

Read the rest here at NCR.

BONUS: Mark Silk puts Pope Benedict's very bad week into historical perspective, namely that of Adrian IV.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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