HRC Blog

Vatican Cracks Down on American Nuns for Teachings on Sexuality

Post submitted by Sharon Groves, former HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program

A new document released by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith lambasts the largest leadership organization of U.S. women religious for, among other things, taking “a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

The doctrinal “Assessment” comes as a result of several years of examination of statements from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and their annual conferences. The Vatican said Wednesday it has appointed Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to undertake reforms of the LCWR and bring the organization in line with the Holy See.

Jesus often found himself decrying the religious establishment of the day.  Many women religious seeking to follow Jesus’ example and minister to the “least of these” – including those who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation and gender identity – are facing a modern-day witch hunt by the Catholic hierarchy.

Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has publically asked the Catholic faithful to “call, email or write” legislators and urge opposition to marriage equality. His proposed oversight will continue creating obstacles for the ministry of women religious. Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, is right when she states that this recent decision is “immoral.” 

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