Vatican rebukes ‘radical’ U.S. nuns for ‘promoting issues of social justice’


The Vatican this week rebuked the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – an umbrella group representing most American nuns – for spending too much time “promoting issues of social justice” and failing to speak out often enough about “issues of crucial importance to the life of the church and society,” such as gay marriage.

In a stinging “doctrinal assessment,” the Vatican found that the nuns promoted political views at odds with those expressed by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops, and chastised them for airing discussions about the ordination of women, the church patriarchy and ministry to gay people, reported Reuters.

The lengthy of investigation, led by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, noted the good work the nuns did with the poor and in running schools and hospitals, but documented what it called a “grave” doctrinal crisis.

But the report chastised American nuns and said they were promoting radical feminist themes and criticized them for challenging the bishops, who it said were “the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals”.

“The current doctrinal and pastoral situation of the LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregations in other parts of the world,” said the eight-page statement issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which (Pope) Benedict led for a quarter century before his election.

The directive, which follows a two-year investigation by Rome, also comes as the Vatican appeared ready to welcome a controversial right-wing splinter group of Catholic traditionalists back into the fold, possibly by giving the group a special status so that they can continue to espouse their old-line rites and beliefs.

via: USA Today

The Vatican said it has appointed Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to lead a reform of the LCWR and bring the organization in line with the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church.

The 1,500-member LCWR represents 80 percent of America’s 57,000 nuns.

Sartain has recently called on Catholic churches in Seattle to circulate anti-gay marriage petitions in an effort to repeal Washington state‘s marriage equality law.

This Story Filed Under