FaithWorld

Vatican tells accused U.S. nuns they remain under its authority

June 12, 2012

(Sister Pat Farrell (R), president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), and Sister Janet Mock, the executive-director, walk in Saint Peter's Square following a meeting with Cardinal William Levada at the Vatican June 12, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

The Vatican on Tuesday sternly told leaders of American nuns who were accused of being too feminist and politicised that their group “remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See”. The nuns, who requested the meeting to face Roman Catholic doctrinal officials over the accusations, said they would go back to the United States to decide their next move.

“We had open dialogue,” said Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), after she and Sister Janet Mock, the executive-director, met Cardinal William Levada.

In April, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Levada heads, issued a blistering report on the LCWR, which represents some 80 percent of the more than 60,000 American Catholic nuns. The assessment was issued after a Vatican investigation determined the LCWR had “serious doctrinal problems” and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith”.

A Vatican statement said the meeting provided the opportunity to “discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.” But the statement sternly reminded the nuns that the LCWR “remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See”.

The two nuns, who seemed confident as they left the Vatican, said they would refer to an assembly of the group in August before deciding their next move and responding to the Vatican’s charges.
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