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Former Charleston nuns criticize pope’s crackdown on women’s groups


Pat Hussey and Barbara Ferraro, former Roman Catholic nuns who lived in Charleston for many years, criticized Pope Benedict XVI for launching a crackdown on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

LCWR is a group of organizations that represents 80 percent of the 55,000 Catholic nuns in the United States.

On Wednesday, Pope Benedict released a document criticizing LCWR for focusing too much on efforts to eliminate poverty and economic injustice. The Pope also attacked the group’s failures to speak out strongly against allowing women to become priests, abortion and gay marriage.

“This is the same struggle that occurred with us in the 1980s,” Hussey and Ferraro told the Gazette on Thursday.

“Nuns for decades have been at the forefront of justice issues both nationally and internationally addressing poverty, health care, war, equal rights for all, both within and outside of the church.

“And now, as the world has evolved, so too have the positions of nuns and women of the church. These rights now include gay rights, marriage equality and reproductive rights,” Hussey and Ferraro said in a prepared statement.

“As evolutionary advances have been made by women in the Roman Catholic Church, the positions of the hierarchy have regressed. But the issue continues to be the same — power and control over women’s lives. These actions by the hierarchy are despicable and abusive.”

Hussey and Ferraro headed the Covenant House, an organization that helped provide shelter and meals to poor people, for 25 years before they left Charleston in December 2006.

They moved back to Maine to live near other members of their families. [More]


The Charleston Gazette



  1. francis Joseph says:

    Boy! are we in a Reformation! Our house is so divided. The Bishops are hated and laughed at because of the sex abuse scandal. The Vatican that allow the sex abuse scandle to go on for years are now condeming the religious sisters in America for living the gospel. Yet we are told to evangialize the world? “Take the plank out of your own eye before you take the speck our of your brother/sisters eye

  2. Tom Tracy says:

    Salvation comes from God, who in His infinate wisdon sends the graces for salvation to us from the Holy Spirit. What we do with these gifts is up to us.

  3. Stephen says:


    Salvation comes from foillowing Jesus Christ who stood with the poor, oppressed etc. Salvation does not come from following the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. At times, through history, some of those teachings have been reprehensible.

    • ron says:

      the teachings of the Catholic Church have never been reprehensible. They have developed but never changed. Only the confused would believe one could fully accept Christ without accepting his body the Church.

      • Tomas says:

        Excuse me… please read your own reply… you state “the body of the Church.” The body of Christ, the body of the church is all of us – not merely the Pope nor all the Bishops, etc Thus, your reply contradicts your stated view. If you believe the words you yourself chose , your thesis is dead wrong!

    • K Scarbrough says:


  4. Tony says:

    I am shocked that thee conservatives concentrate in abortion homosexuality and birth control and seem to neglect social justice issues. The is more to the gospel than not being gay, or practicing birth control.

  5. John says:

    They are stunned because someone actually pointed out that salvation comes from following ALL of the teachings of the catholic church and not just social justice issues?

  6. Tony says:

    The Vatican is trying to tell us to look at how bad the nuns are so we don’t see how horriable the clergy sex abuse scandel is and how incompetant the bishops are.

    • Betty says:

      All of those you speak of are from the same generation. They don’t want to obey the teachings of the Church and they are hurting the lukewarm Catholics and not helping them to know the one true Church. If you don’t rant to follow the teachings if the Church and obey our Pope then don’t be Catholic!,,,

    • K Scarbrough says:

      right on– you nailed it.


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