Vatican Cracks Down on 'Liberal' US Nuns

They're not hard enough on gays, abortion, women priests, says Rome
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2012 12:29 AM CDT
Updated Apr 19, 2012 3:51 AM CDT
Vatican Cracks Down on 'Liberal' US Nuns
Catholic nuns in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. They crossed the bishops.   (Getty Images)

The Vatican is launching a massive crackdown on US nuns for their failure to attack gay marriage, female ordination, and abortion. Officials blasted the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group that oversees some 55,000 American nuns, for sponsoring conferences that feature "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith," reports USA Today. The situation is "grave and a matter of serious concern," concluded a Vatican report following a two-year investigation of the LCWR. Seattle's archbishop is now in charge of cleaning house at LCWR, overhauling its governance system and all programs.

Bishops are particularly perturbed by the women, especially because the LCWR—along with the Catholic Health Association and Network, a nuns' social justice lobbying group—endorsed President Obama's health care reform over the bishops' objections. A Network spokeswoman said she was "stunned" by the Vatican's condemnation. "It concerns me that political differences in a democratic country would result in such a a censure and investigation," said Sister Simone Campbell. The crackdown comes as the Vatican appears ready to welcome back a booted controversial right-wing splinter group of Catholic ultra-traditionalists. (More Vatican stories.)

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