Vatican Reprimands American Nuns for Promoting 'Radical Feminist Themes'

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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.


John Allen and Sister Simone Campbell

Produced by:

Marc Kilstein

Comments [8]

Diane from Santa Rosa, Calilfornia

Many non-religious also work for the good of the poor. Where I live there is a R.C. that feeds people in this community with all sorts of food and fresh veggies & fruits. Also there is St. Vincent De Paul's that provides hot meals seven days a week-then there is the Catholic Charities org. and there may be others sponsored by lay Catholics. I find it hard to believe the article when poses a problem the good sisters have with God as our Father. Our Father in heaven is the One that keeps me going in this life. I would have given up a long time ago!

May. 02 2012 09:54 PM
Jacob from San Buenaventura

So we finally got those commie nuns? Now the real nuns can get back to doing the work of the Church while secular people keep becoming drug addicts and denouncing the Church only to rely on it when they're poverty stricken and drug addicted from their secular lifestyles.

May. 02 2012 01:29 AM

This a call to conversion.

May. 01 2012 10:32 PM
Tara from Irvington

I stand in solidarity with the sisters and the wonderful work they've done over the years. I'm saddened that to younger sisters, loyalty to church is more important than doing the work of God.

May. 01 2012 09:38 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Vatican didn't criticize the Sisters' devotion to the poor: they said that they can't ignore doctrine and prayer at the same time.

With all the good work they've done, they've become a scandal and a confusion to Catholics by fighting Church doctrine: Sister Carol Keenan with Obamacare is an example.

Some lay Catholics will support these sisters because they see the good work that they do, but they don't understand the doctrinal problems they have, and their obligations in religious life.

May. 01 2012 08:28 AM

This former catholic supports the Sisters.

May. 01 2012 06:55 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Hurray for the Vatican! We've been waiting for this for years.

May. 01 2012 06:07 AM
Ed from Larchmont

There are two leadership groups of Catholic sisters, one is loyal to the Vatican and to their constitutions, and the other, the one reprimanded, is not. In the loyal group the sisters' average age is 30 or so,and they are getting vocations and are growing. In the disloyal group the average age is 70 or so, and they are getting no vocations and haven't gotten any for years. They are dying out.

The dispute of these sisters goes back to Pope Paul's encyclical Humanae Vitae, and they are part of the incorrect idea that one can be in conflict with the teaching and practice of the Church and be a good catholic.

It's a tragedy because these communities did a great deal of good over the years in education, health care, vocations.

But now they disagree with Church teaching and they don't follow Catholic living, so they are a scandal. The Vatican is gently putting down regulations to help them return to a Catholic life, but it's a question whether they will accept it.

May. 01 2012 06:06 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.