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Chastisement of American nuns is seen to backfire on Rome


A Vatican crackdown on American female religious over hot-button issues, chiefly contraception and homosexuality, has evoked a big push-back that includes 11,500 signatures on an electronic petition.

The activism and autonomy of America’s nuns has vexed recent popes, including the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter, Benedict XVI, and his predecessor, John Paul II.

Last week, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith faulted the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for alleged grave error, dissent from the magisterium’s teachings on sexuality and “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

It set Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain as overseer to accomplish reform of the Maryland-based leadership conference, which represents more than 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S.

“We are shocked by the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s recent crackdown on nuns in the United States,” the Change.org petition said.

“The mandate forced upon LCWR, which threatens their works of justice, is a prime example of how the hierarchy in the Roman Catholic Church misuses its power to diminish the voice of women. We value the prophetic witness of women religious and appreciate their commitment to social justice.” [More]





  1. Ann says:

    Poor Philthy and John seem to be more sexist than Christian.

  2. Philthy says:

    I stand with the bishops. It will take a while to repair the damage from the “progressive” movement within the Church – both among the consecrated religious and especially those laity who think of themselves as good Catholics while embracing secularism and rejecting the Magisterium.

  3. Tom says:

    No wonder their numbers are dwindiling! Who would want to be subjected to this type of abuse. And it is abuse. The nuns dedicate their lives to Christ. They are prayerful, humble, educated and premier citizens! They vow obedience to the Church. They are encouraged to become academics and acquire degrees in all areas of academia. They raise legitimate, real questions and are not even given the courtesy of dialogue. They work with the marginalized, the poor, homeless and the sick. Then, instead of saying: “Thank you.” Church slaps them in the face. Tony is correct.

  4. Mary says:

    It’s quite simple. You are either obedient to Christ (which means you are obedient to the Church) or you decide to be disobedient) which means you make up your own version of Catholicism.Anyone who does not follow the teachings of the Church does not follow Christ! It’s just that simple!

    • Nilkinggary says:

      This is a breathtaking example of closed-mindedness in its most refined form.

      • Philthy says:

        Not at all – it’s called the Catholic faith. What you are confusing is that your own opinion is somehow more “open” than hers when, in fact, your mind is as closed as you allege hers to be.

  5. Jerry says:

    All this means is that there are 11,500 yahoos out there who don’t know their Faith, in addition to the nuns.

  6. Recovering Catholic says:

    It seems all the doors and the fresh air that Good Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council opened 50 years ago are being forcibly shut in our faces by these last two dictatorial monarchial popes.
    This has been their agenda: Appoint only narrow-minded, self-righteous bishops and cardinals who are “yes-men.” Its not a concern whether they are pedophiles or sexually deviant, as long as they obey. This will also assure that the next pope(s) will also be a fascist and carry on the process of re-stagnating the air and slamming the doors shut in the face of the People of God and women in particular, who must be held in their place (as only a control freak would see it).
    Replace theology and critical thinking with sentimental appeals to the “deposit of faith” and to “the pope says this.”
    Centralize every decision possible and silence and excommunicate those who dare to theologically question.

    • John says:

      The only person who is a “yes-men” are people like yourself. Your “Yes” is to anything that has to do with your passions and following the catechism just gets in the way. If these religous houses were so wonderfull, why are they in decline? They can backlash all they want, but these 57,000 nuns are a declining and aging population. Those who follow the faith and the catechism are bursting at the seams. Gee, can you tell me where the Holy Spirit is truly at work?

    • Philthy says:

      Let me help you in your “recovery” as a Catholic:
      Believe it or not, and despite your misinterpretations regarding Vatican ll, there are certain dogmas of the faith that are not open to “theologically question”. When those in a visible position within the Church promote scandal, the Church needs to correct them – just like it always has.

  7. Noel says:

    We catholics, laity, religious, clergy, do not need or deserve to be treated with such dictatorial bullying from “on high”. Note that the teaching of Jesus is on our side. Peace!

  8. Eileen Kovatch says:

    Where can we sign? This latest “mandate” put me over the top, as in crisis of faith. Those Vatican walls are keeping the curia in and the people out! Oh for the return of John XXII!

  9. Tony says:

    I am convinced that all of this finger pointing of the hierarchy is being done to try to deflect attention given to the male clergy sex abuse scandel and the male bishops coverup.
    It’s the bishops saying look at them and not at us.


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