The radical nun’s habit…

There is a rather astonishing row being played out in the media between the Vatican and a group of Catholic nuns in America, called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. This is no fringe movement, but rather is the largest organisation of Catholic nuns in the US. The LCWR is a social justice lobby and has been active in promoting civil rights (including Obama’s controversial health care bill.)

The current swing towards conservatism in the Catholic church, which has undoubtedly led to a move towards much greater central control on all sorts of matters of faith and liturgy appears to have found a visible battleground.

What then are the concerns of the Vatican about these dangerous nuns? This from the BBC;

…issues of “crucial importance” to the church, such as abortion and euthanasia, had been ignored.

Vatican officials also castigated the group for making some public statements that “disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops”, who are the church’s “authentic teachers of faith and morals.”…

…It says the group is undermining Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is promoting “feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith”.

The radical nuns do not concur. Sister Simone Campbell, head of of the Leadership Network has been reported here as making some of the following statements;

“I’ve no idea what they’re talking about,” Sister Simone Campbell, head of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told the BBC.

“Our role is to live the gospel with those who live on the margins of society. That’s all we do.”

Sister Campbell suggested a difficult time ahead: “It’s totally a top-down process and I don’t think the bishops have any idea of what they’re in for.”

Who is this radical dangerous firebrand? See for yourself;

I fear for this woman, and for the Catholic church. May they find a path towards a generous, open orthodoxy.

And may this kind of radicalism increase exponentially!

8 thoughts on “The radical nun’s habit…

  1. Was reading about this last night on a SofF thread. Looks like the RCC is trying to deflect attention from certain other recent ‘mishaps’ with their priests as well as reining in the extremities of the church.

    • Hmmm- Church politics. In crisis, lurch to the right. Defend, focus on core values, manage and marginalise those who disagree, particularly women. God help us!

      I suppose as well Simon- can these Nuns really be regarded as extreme?

      • Only in regard to their distance from the Vatican. They could be regarded as ‘central ground’, which shows how far to the right Rome has shifted in recent years.

  2. Goodness. An intelligent, articulate woman, arguing for universal equal rights and the idea that we are all one under the sun? What is there for the Vatican to be concerned about? Its attitude towards equality, towards women, nay towards anything bordering on intelligent thought has always been extremely progressive.

    She could probably learn a thing or two from the RCC’s inclusive, humble, magnanimous approach.

  3. ‘The Vatican’ should be reading the New Testament more often. They had the same attitude towards Oscar Romero when he campaigned for human rights and for prevention of the sale of arms by the US. I am a Catholic, but the Vatican has to realise that some of the ideas they are sticking by are in conflict with the teachings of Jesus. I think read that is discontent in the priesthood as they have to live in the real world and also abide by the Vatican, must be a tricky juggling game indeed.
    Cheers, NIk

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