The Vatican has turned its fury toward the nation’s largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns accusing them of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” for questioning the church’s stance on homosexuality and male-only priesthood.
The group was also punished for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
The New York Times reports that the Vatican has appointed an American bishop to “rein in” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements disagreeing with the bishops over their attacks on health care reform.
The conference is an umbrella organization of women’s religious communities with approximately 1500 members who represent 80 percent of the Catholic sisters in the United States. It was formed in 1956 at the Vatican’s request and answers directly to the Vatican.
News of the reprimand took the sisters by surprised. Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby stood strong and insisted the nuns were doing nothing wrong. “I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,” Sister Campbell said. “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.”
Because the nuns had the audacity to challenge Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops they will now be required to pre-clear any speakers or information supplied to the public. It’s part of an ongoing inquisition launched by the Pope into the activities of American nuns and religious communities making it crystal clear that the leadership of the Catholic church believes its faith has no place for women of independent minds.
Photo from Ed Yourdon via flickr.