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Intro: "The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing most of America's 55,000 nuns, is in trouble with the Vatican because they've apparently have not been vocal enough in their opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and women's ordination."

The Vatican has decided to crack down on American nuns. (photo: Jezebel)
The Vatican has decided to crack down on American nuns. (photo: Jezebel)



American Nuns Busted for Being a Crazy Bunch of Radical Feminists

By Cassie Murdoch, Jezebel

20 April 12

 

ffering further proof that the world is becoming an increasingly weird place, the Catholic Church has decided to crack down on American nuns who, as anyone who has been around a nun recently knows, are a bunch of freewheeling party sisters. Wait, what? Yes, the Vatican has just taken disciplinary action against a group of American nuns who they say are proponents of "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." Oh no?

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing most of America's 55,000 nuns, is in trouble with the Vatican because they've apparently have not been vocal enough in their opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and women's ordination. So now it's not enough to just be opposed to things the church is against? You also have to stand up and yell about it? That's some bullshit right there. As far as those radical feminist ideas they've been spreading, that evil has supposedly been taking place at conferences sponsored by the LCWR.

This directive came as the result of a two-year-long investigation - excellent use of resources, boys - and appears to be part of what is seen as the church veering into more conservative territory. You might not think nuns would be the obvious target of any investigations, considering it's the priests who've been causing most of the actual problems the church has faced recently, but of course organized religion never lets a little thing like logic get in the way.

In terms of the Vatican's specific issues with the LCWR, it appears they're mostly angry because the nuns have been "silent on the right to life from conception to natural death." Also they maintain the LCWR hasn't taken certain things seriously enough:

[T]he church's biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.

How dare a sister challenge a bishop! Anyway, it seems that one of the Vatican's main objections is with a smaller group of nuns called Network, which pushes progressive causes in Washington. Some feathers were ruffled when LCWR and Network endorsed President Obama's health care reform even though the bishops objected to it. The two nuns' groups have also recently endorsed Obama's compromise with the bishops over the contraception coverage mandate - even though the bishops are still fighting about it... And somewhere God is rolling his eyes.

For its part, the LCWR does not believe it's done anything wrong, and they say they don't intentionally invite speakers to their conferences who will oppose a teaching of the church "when it has been declared as authoritative teaching." The LCWR gave no official comment on the charges, but Sister Simone Campbell, who is the executive director of Network said she's "stunned" to have been singled out by the Vatican, and she says, "It concerns me that political differences in a democratic country would result in such a a censure and investigation." She also maintains that LCWR is not a bunch of militant feminists:

I know LCWR has faithfully-served women religious in the United States and worked hard to support the life of women religious and our service to the people of God.

But it's not enough to serve people, you have to indoctrinate them too, don't you see? And that appears to be at the heart of this controversy. As David Gibson points out in the Washington Post, many nuns have traditionally seen their role more as one of serving others, not so much adhering to the letter of Catholic doctrine - and to that end many nuns have felt comfortable openly disagreeing with church leaders on some controversial issues.

The LCWR investigation took place from 2008 to 2010, but in 2009 a separate, larger investigation - called a visitation - was launched by the Vatican to examine the commitment of American nuns to church doctrine and to find out why their numbers were falling so dramatically. As you might expect, the nuns weren't too pleased with being checked up on. The results of that probe haven't been released yet, so it's possible the nuns are in for even more censure in the near future. Though it seems likely that they're tough enough to take bit of a licking from the Vatican and keep on ticking.

Vatican orders crackdown on American nuns [Washington Post]

 

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-76 # american 2012-04-20 08:45
thank goddness -there are many HOLY nuns who do OBEY the Vatican but there re MN=ANT ORE WHO ARE THESE RADICls and need to be weeded out of our church. they are a disgrace and big big detriment to our holy catholic church to God ND TO This country. they have harmed 50 years of generations of catholic children and been hertical in their actions attitude and beliegfs and need to be rooted out now,,Thank You Pope Benedit we have awaited this for many years here in America !!!Let us get this cgurch back to where Gid instructed it to be and his brides back to what they are to be by HIS edict- not humans interpretation. GOD CENTEED-NOT HUMAN!!!!
 
 
+19 # Dreamwidow 2012-04-20 09:46
I would like to put forwards that I am not a catholic, Though I have many friends whom are. While I fully respect their faith, they also respect mine. This means that our differences are very rarely brought up. This aside, I can see where certain people whom feel themselves above others due to their personal faith would take offense at someone not being as radical as they are when it comes to said faith.Let me put it politely as possible. It says that one should give themselves to god, to love him above others and to hold him in your heart. It does not say "Shove this book that has been re-written at least 12 times over the years into their faces and call them heathens if they do not follow every verse within." I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I have Faith in the Lord.. I do not always Faith in the "common man."
 
 
+10 # humanmancalvin 2012-04-20 11:09
Oh dear..thank you, you made my day with that rambling screed of yours. Please tell me that was just for yucks, grins, & giggles.
 
 
+27 # NanFan 2012-04-20 11:45
Having been raised Catholic, I didn't always "like" the nuns who taught me, but I got the best education from them, NOT the from the priests or bishops, who we had to act toward with great reverence: stand up when the priest walks in, kiss the bishop's ring, yada, yada....pfft to you and the male-dominated, antiquated Catholic Church.

Go, Sisters!

N.
 
 
+40 # Bill Clements 2012-04-20 08:55
Yes, lets put those crazy nuns in their places for caring too much about the poor, social justice issues, etc. and not nearly enough about opposition to gay marriage, abortion, etc. Clearly the Vatican has it's priorities firmly in place. Has the Vatican decided to throw it's weight behind the GOP's attack on women? Keep the ball rolling? Why not, right?

And then you've got this story of a bishop (Jenky) comparing Obama's policies to Hitler and Stalin.

The Catholic Church and the GOP: loving bedfellows.
 
 
+45 # sark 2012-04-20 09:22
I really like that these nuns put forth and practice the teachings of Jesus rather than blindly following church doctrine.
 
 
+31 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-04-20 09:26
Inquisition Light; & renewing an ancient attack since the time of the Celtic Church in Ireland on the independence of Monastics. As for the Sisters, they’re women, they ought to be feminists.
 
 
+30 # dick 2012-04-20 09:31
Why does anyone take these chronic, serial, psychotic child molesters seriously? The Church, noted for Inquisition, with torture focused mainly on young, unruly, but alluring females, perpetrated the biggest criminal cover-up in 500 years so clergy could go on VICTIMIZING the vulnerable, especially children. Talk about a two thousand year war on women. Perhaps the greatest irony in human history is the Church's support for misogyny & autocracy, the DIRECT OPPOSITE of Christianity, & most compassionate nuns & priests. National Catholic Churches should CONFRONT the creepy Vatican before it totally self destructs. Or SO THAT it self destructs.
 
 
+14 # Hank 2012-04-20 09:58
Perhaps, Cassie, somewhere God may be rolling her eyes.
 
 
+2 # jederfr7 2012-04-20 10:38
Next thing you know they might join the
republican party
 
 
+3 # Dreamwidow 2012-04-20 11:16
I would like to put forwards that I am not a catholic, Though I have many friends whom are. While I fully respect their faith, they also respect mine. This means that our differences are very rarely brought up. This aside, I can see where certain people whom feel themselves above others due to their personal faith would take offense at someone not being as radical as they are when it comes to said faith.Let me put it politely as possible. It says that one should give themselves to god, to love him above others and to hold him in your heart. It does not say "Shove this book that has been re-written at least 12 times over the years into their faces and call them heathens if they do not follow every verse within." I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I have faith in the Lord.. I do not always have faith in man.
 
 
+26 # amye 2012-04-20 11:41
Nice...the Vatican is more concerned about nuns and their belief in women's rights than all the priests sexually molesting young boys (and girls) who are are usually destroyed for life after such a horrid experience! I know this because I used to work with sexually abused children! And so what if the nuns are for womens rights? It makes total sense to me to support healthcare in this richest of countries in the world that still does not give healthcare to everyone for FREE! Our tax dollars pay more than enough to cover this! Take it from the bloody war budget!!
 
 
+8 # CandH 2012-04-20 12:17
Funny, Italy, the The Vatican is located, HAS Universal Healthcare. Let's not pretend that The Vatican ISN'T well greased by political memes vis-a-vis policy papers written by think tanks, worldwide...
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-04-20 14:39
Believe me, within 20 years there will be women priests. Soon after, there will be a woman Pope. It's gonna happen.
 
 
+6 # athena 2012-04-20 17:17
It's a problem now, But if women were ordained and became bishops, there would be agreement! Let's hear it for the progressive nuns!
 
 
-1 # tswhiskers 2012-04-21 09:56
The Catholic Church is surely a prime example of male pig headedness! The early Church was financed and largely run by wealthy widows. Until approx. 1000 A.D. priests were allowed to marry. As Amye says, it's relatively OK for priests to molest altar boys, the Church willingly covers that sort of thing up. But when WOMEN declare that they want to joint the priesthood and men are refusing to become priests because they can't marry the Vatican has a huge hissy fit and says it isn't traditional. This is certainly not the first time the Vatican has let pride and stupidity get in the way of its own best interests. As for outspoken nuns, the Vatican has always had a war on women. The Vatican took Paul's admonishment that women should not sing in public so seriously that for many centuries adolescent boys were castrated before their voices changed so there would be sopranos for church choirs. This is and has always has been the true attitude of the Church toward women; they are to stay at home or in their convents and do what their husbands or the Church tells them or allows them to do.
 

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