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Vatican Cracks Down on American Nuns for Not Being Anti-Gay Enough

America's Catholic nuns are getting too out-of-control progressive for Rome, the WaPo reports:

PopeThe Vatican has launched a crackdown on the umbrella group that represents most of America’s 55,000 Catholic nuns, saying that the group was not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women’s ordination.

The Vatican called "inadequate" an explanation from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) that it did “not knowingly invite speakers who take a stand against a teaching of the church when it has been declared as authoritative teaching," and suggested that the nuns are not loud enough on opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and gay marriage:

The Vatican announcement said that “while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death.”

It added that “crucial” issues like “the 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.”

The NYT adds:

Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise, Sister Sanders said. She said that the group’s leaders were in Rome on Wednesday for what they thought was a routine annual visit to the Vatican when they were informed of the outcome of the investigation, which began in 2008.

“I’m stunned,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby founded by sisters. Her group was also cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference, for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.

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  1. The pope himself wen ton to say "those nuns can't even lure a decent boy into my lair to save their lives. have you seen the boys they bring to me! they already have pubic hair! that's DISGUSTING!"


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 18, 2012 7:00:10 PM

  2. How dare they concentrate on making lives better for real, living people rather than protecting a bundle of cells or attacking the gays! So un-Christ-like!

    Posted by: Josh | Apr 18, 2012 7:01:09 PM

  3. It still amazes me how they can keep getting closer and closer to a complete caricature. It's like they are applying for an editorial job at the Onion or SNL.

    Posted by: Jon B | Apr 18, 2012 7:27:14 PM

  4. The nuns have it right. Years ago the nuns in KC offered their empty parsonage for HIV housing... for nothing. They were a driving force behind HIV care then.
    Recently, the 'indited' Bishop of KC forbit the KC men's choir from performing in Catholic facilities... afer doing so to raise funds for a new organ. Oh yeah, they took the proceeds.

    Posted by: kansastock | Apr 18, 2012 7:37:02 PM

  5. There are so few Roman Catholic nuns left in the U.S. Most of the few new nuns spend their days caring for the much larger groups of elderly nuns. This is the backdrop for this inane vatican action. I don't think they could do more to make the Roman Catholic nun more irrelevant in America. I guess the remaining question is who is going to care for the aging sisters. Good work, Cardinal Ratzinger! In my lifetime, the Roman Catholic church has already gone back two lifetimes.

    Posted by: Fahd | Apr 18, 2012 7:56:55 PM

  6. The bishop they appointed to try to suppress the women religious is Sartain - the Seattle bishop who has a mutiny on his hands - the bishop who has pastors refusing to distribute the petition against same sex marriage because they rightly identify the campaign as divisive. The Vatican is good at investigating everyone else, but they keep their doors and windows shut tight so no one can investigate them. Their campaign against women religious will not succeed. These women are too intelligent and not at all about to let a bunch of men shut them up or suppress them.

    Posted by: john patrick | Apr 18, 2012 7:59:45 PM

  7. Keep it up, your helping with the downfall of the catholic church!
    The church needs to stay out of government business unless they want to pay taxes.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 18, 2012 8:18:29 PM

  8. The RC church has fallen, and it can't get up. Last one out, blow out the candles.

    Posted by: can i get an amen? | Apr 18, 2012 8:31:12 PM

  9. "...for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping 'silent' on abortion and same-sex marriage."

    Remind you of Anyone Else?

    Posted by: Justin in Oaklawn, Dallas, TX | Apr 18, 2012 8:34:26 PM

  10. Oh, I get it now. They're not Republican enough!

    Posted by: can i get an amen? | Apr 18, 2012 8:48:27 PM

  11. @JUSTIN -- exactly!

    Posted by: kit | Apr 18, 2012 8:50:44 PM

  12. As a former catholic this is very sad to hear but not surprising. I know many catholics who are becoming increasingly disturbed by the pope and his cronies. They need to start speaking up. But Benedict is on a crusade and nothing is going to stop him. He's obsessed with the the gay for obvious reasons.

    They've never had any respect for women to begin with. Look at the hatchet job they did on Mary M.

    More hate. Less love. You're doing it wrong.

    Posted by: IAN F | Apr 18, 2012 8:58:53 PM

  13. Charity may begin at home but it's pretty clear it ends in Rome.

    Posted by: DanO | Apr 18, 2012 8:59:21 PM

  14. So in other words, they are continuing the work of Jesus, instead of involving themselves in (right wing) politics.

    Posted by: Rocco | Apr 18, 2012 9:31:49 PM


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 18, 2012 10:03:09 PM

  16. So a bunch of guys that wear dresses (and some that wear Prada loafers) get to diss a bunch of women that serve God and live a harder life than they do?

    Righteous indignation #Fail.

    Posted by: bkmn | Apr 18, 2012 10:13:48 PM

  17. Well, the guy in the dress that should be brought up on internation hate crimes charges for this global homosexual hate campaign finally got a clue that American Catholics see his bizarro, hate-filled policies don't mesh with reality. Apparently, he's one of those really dim villians.

    Posted by: Tarc | Apr 18, 2012 10:21:25 PM

  18. David Ehrenstein - I love your link!

    Posted by: john patrick | Apr 18, 2012 11:08:57 PM

  19. Nuns are much more likely to live a life of personal sacrifice than priest or church hierarchy - as well as to embody the spirit of Jesus's teachings (in my experience as a former catholic, at least). I hope they continue to speak up and act on what better values of the church that remain.

    Posted by: mike128 | Apr 18, 2012 11:17:18 PM

  20. How dare these women not listening to the Pope and the bishops who happen to be all men.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 18, 2012 11:27:43 PM

  21. Another interesting tidbit is that the "congregation for the doctrine of the faith", the group that investigated the nuns, is also know as "the inquisition."

    Posted by: Jim C | Apr 18, 2012 11:32:43 PM

  22. To ALL the good Catholics out there...I ask you know where your money goes when it goes from your wallets into that basket every Sunday? Here's a hint...some of it goes to anti-gay organizations like NOM, who literally are spending millions on keeping civil equality away from the LGBT community. Do you have any gay friends or relatives...? Do you feel that your church is spending your money the way Christ would want it spent?

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 18, 2012 11:39:37 PM

  23. "Leave the molesting of young boys to the non-gay priest professionals!"

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Apr 18, 2012 11:41:50 PM

  24. Nuns are seriously badass. The ones I know are wholly focused on social justice, education, and the betterment of humanity -- which includes, as they well know, embracing everyone and not excluding people for petty differences. I heard a story that years ago Pope JP II was going to crack down on a group of feisty Benedictines, and the head of the Benedictine order essentially threatened that the ENTIRE ORDER would resign from the Church. Not just that convent, not just those particular nuns that were causing problems -- the ENTIRE BENEDICTINE ORDER would just cease to be part of the Church overnight. This would mean no teachers, nobody to run the schools, nobody to run the hospitals, etc. and the Vatican blinked.

    The are so tied to their outmoded, outdated past and cannot even conceive of what it would mean if the nuns in the US simply stopped being nuns. All of the Church's ground-work is being done by those women; without them the Church is finished.

    Bring it on, I say. The sooner the better.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Apr 19, 2012 12:18:55 AM

  25. This makes me sad, given the Catholic tradition of social justice and service to the oppressed. The pope and his creeps are really trying to turn the church into a medieval nightmare.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Apr 19, 2012 12:41:14 AM

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