Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

American nuns square off against the Vatican

by Patt Morrison

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Nuns wait for Christmas mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels December 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Nuns are fighting back, and not just against any opponent; they’re squaring off with the Vatican.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently issued a report accusing American nuns of espousing and supporting “radical feminism” and falling away from church teachings by focusing too much on social justice and not enough on big ticket issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, and euthanasia. Many nuns have taken offense to the assessment, and they’re speaking out.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents close to 80% of American nuns, issued a statement saying the CDF report has “caused scandal and pain throughout the church community and created greater polarization.”

NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby, has also come out in support of the LCWR’s stance, claiming the CDF assessment was “based on unsubstantiated accusations” and that “the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised.”

The LCWR plans to meet with the Vatican and CDF officials soon, but it’s yet to be seen how it will respond to sanctions.


What could this conflict mean for American nuns, and for the Catholic church as a whole?


Simone Campbell, executive director, NETWORK

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