The showdown between the Vatican and America’s largest group of Catholic nuns is expected to peak this week when group leaders will meet to determine a response to the Vatican’s reprimand for the group’s “radical feminist themes.”
The church also demands major reforms from the nuns’ group.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, initially surprised by the Vatican’s report last month, “plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment” when the group’s 21-member board meets for three days inWashington, D.C., beginning Tuesday.
“The board will conduct its meeting in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue and will develop a plan to involve LCWR membership in similar processes,” the group said in a statement. “We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. We ask your prayer for us and for the Church in this critical time.”
Last month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Catholic church’s doctrinal watchdog, did a years-long “doctrinal assessment” investigation of the group — which represents 80% of the Catholic nuns in United States — and found “serious doctrinal problems.”
The Vatican accused the LCWR of sponsoring “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some of the programs and presentations.”
The Vatican report, made public by theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the doctrinal assessment began in part because of the group’s dissent on the Holy See’s teaching on the ordination of women and human sexuality. The Catholic Church ordains only men to be priests and says sex is to be between a man and woman who are married in the eyes of the church. [More]