The largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States has been reprimanded by the Vatican for promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."
This conclusion and others, including that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious — an umbrella group that represents most of America’s 55,000 Catholic nuns — has “serious doctrinal problems,” come from an assessment released by the Vatican two weeks ago. The assessment's release followed a two-year investigation by Rome. The episode has remained in the headlines, as both critics and defenders of the Vatican’s claims continue to speak out on the matter. This comes as no real surprise, as Rome’s claims focus heavily on the always-contentious issues of gay marriage, abortion, and male-only priesthood.
Sister Simone Campbell is the executive director of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby founded by Catholic sisters. Her group was cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference. John Allen is senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.