US Nuns to Vatican: We're Not 'Radical'

Leaders will go to Rome later this month for talks
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2012 6:30 AM CDT
A nun crosses her hands in front of her Rosary beads as more than 40 American Catholic nuns stroll through Hide Park in Sydney, Australia in 2008.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

(Newser) – The American nuns who were slammed by the Vatican in April for featuring "radical feminist" beliefs are fighting back, asserting that the criticisms against them came from "unsubstantiated accusations” and a “flawed process,” reports the New York Times. The Vatican had said it would send three American bishops to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents about 80% of the nation’s 57,000 nuns. But after a three-day meeting in DC, the national board decided not to accept the Vatican's verdict and said it would send its leaders to Rome on June 12 to talk with church officials.

"We do want to go and speak the truth as we understand it about our lives," said Sister Pat Farrell, president of the leadership conference, adding that the sisters had been "stunned by the severity" of the Vatican's judgment. Farrell particularly took issue with the accusation they had promoted "radical feminist themes." “Here you see women, very competent, highly educated, doctorates in theology, masters in ministry, CEO’s of hospitals, heads of school systems, being treated as if they were children,” said Sister Christine Schenk, leader of a liberal reform group. “That in itself goes to the issue of where are the women in the decision-making structures in Rome.” (Read more Leadership Conference of Women Religious stories.)

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