Vatican Criticizes U.S. Nuns for Being Too Progressive

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Apparently America's nuns are being way too lenient on gay rights, abortion, and women's ordination--which is why the Vatican reprimanded and ordered disciplinary action against the largest group and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States on Wednesday. The other offenses that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents most of the 55,000 Catholic nuns in the United States, has, in the Vatican's eyes, committed are "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith" and supporting Obama's health care overhaul.   

"While there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death," the Vatican said in a statement picked up by The Washington Post's David Gibson. Gibson adds, "The directive, which follows a two-year investigation by Rome, also comes as the Vatican appeared ready to welcome a controversial right-wing splinter group of Catholic traditionalists back into the fold, possibly by giving the group a special status so that they can continue to espouse their old-line rites and beliefs."

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So far, the LCWR hasn't responded to the reprimand. But, The New York Times' Laurie Goodstein spoke to Sister Simone Campbell, an executive director of a social justice lobby called Network, which was also cited by the Vatican for (prepare yourself; this sounds kind of puzzling), "focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping 'silent' on abortion and same-sex marriage."  “I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,” Sister Campbell told Goodstein, in reference to a letter her organization and the LCWR signed in support of Obama's 2010 health care overhaul . “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.