radical feminism

Nuns Gather to Plot Response to Vatican Crackdown

St. Peter's Basilica, r.nagy  / Shutterstock.com
St. Peter's Basilica, r.nagy / Shutterstock.com

As hundreds of nuns met in St. Louis on Wednesday to begin crafting an answer to Vatican demands that their leaders toe the line on orthodoxy, there was a pervasive sense that this week's discussions could lead to a fateful juncture in the history of Catholicism in America.

"As you know, this is an assembly like no other assembly we've had," said Sister Pat Farrell, a Franciscan from Iowa who heads the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents most of the 56,000 nuns in communities across the country.

"I suspect we're in for a lot of surprises," Farrell told the sisters as she opened the LCWR's annual meeting.

The options under consideration by the 900 nuns — several hundred more than have attended recent gatherings — range from asking the Vatican to continue the dialogue to shuttering the LCWR and reorganizing the leadership body of sisters into a group that would be beyond the Vatican's control.

But that would also signal a historic shift in a church in which the nuns for centuries simply did the work that the bishops preached about — serving the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the young.

Sister Simone Campbell Schools Colbert on the Social Gospel

"America's nuns clearly support the gay agenda, but one nun really has the Vatican's chasubles in a bunch."


"NETWORK's Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell responds to the Vatican's "radical feminist" charges, and Stephen learns how to get into heaven."