Do not mess with the nuns.
The group that represents Catholic sisters in the United States indicated it would challenge Vatican attempts to pull its doctrine closer to Rome and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In a statement, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said it would send a high-level delegation to Rome on June 12 to meet with senior Vatican officials over the dispute.
The announcement came after a three day meeting was convened to address the Holy See’s decree that American nuns were having “serious doctrinal problems” by focusing too much on issues of poverty and social justice and not enough of lobbying against contraception and gay rights. “Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency,” the conference’s statement said. “The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization.”
Disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who fled to U.S. to evade responsibility for his role in enabling and supporting pedophiles throughout Catholic parishes for decades, was among those leading the attacks on the nuns. He can’t be happy about their refusal to simply sit down and shut up like directed.
This is an encouraging, though not surprising development in the battle between American Catholic sisters and the Vatican. Some of my first introductions to feminism and social justice came from the sisterhood. This is one fight the Vatican may want to reconsider.
Photo from John Picken via flickr.