Vatican Raps U.S. Nuns On The Knuckles For “Serious Doctrinal Problems”

For a group of men who wear dresses and never marry, the Vatican’s got some serious women problems: A report issued Wednesday by the Vatican-assigned Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith claimed the 57,000-member Leadership Conference of Women Religious was challenging church teachings on the priesthood and homosexuality, and was promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The Congregation has been charged with overhauling the Conference’s mission, revising its handbook and even approving public speakers.

Sister Simone Campbell, whose Catholic social-justice group, NETWORK, was also cited in Wednesday’s statement, said she was “stunned” by the indictment. “We haven’t violated any teaching—we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.” The Congregation reprimanded both groups for focusing too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on same-sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion.

Yeah, stop tending to the needy so much—it’s an election year!

Wednesday’s release “paints a scathing portrait” of the Leadership Conference as a group flouting Catholic doctrine, reports The New York Times:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Leadership Conference had submitted letters that suggest that sisters in leadership teams “collectively take a position not in agreement with the church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

In programs and presentations, investigators noted “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

“Some commentaries on ‘patriarchy’ distort the way in which Jesus has structured sacramental life in the church,” the authors of the report wrote.

Right, because Jesus was all about ensuring the Establishment was happy and keeping women in their place.

Photo: Kevin Dooley

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  • Chad

    “The Congregation reprimanded both groups for focusing too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on same-sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion.”

    I wonder what would have happened if they spent more time talking about pedophilia? Seriously THIS, THIS.

  • Kamuriie

    Fun fact: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith used to be called the “Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.”

    Yes, that’s the same Inquisition you’re thinking of. Responsible for atrocities. The very same Inquisition that had Galileo placed under house arrest until he died, and burned others at the stake.

  • Gene

    Another step towards becoming irrelevant in the 21st century.
    They’ve come a long way from the teachings of Jesus.

  • B

    Re No. 2 · Kamuriie : yep, and Josef Ratzinger, now the pope, used to run it!

    At least there’s some good news – they cannot literally burn people at the stake anymore.

  • indiancowboy

    Well, the Pope already told us that same sex marrige is one of the biggest threats to humanity. It makes sense then that Anders Breivik (the massmurder) during the his ongoing trial said that though he is not very religious he is leaning towards catholicism (as opposed to Lutheranism which most people in Norway, he included, is more or less born into).

  • Ted TampaBay

    How dare those bad nuns want to concentrate on social ills and poverty and real education. Tsk. Tsk.

    This movement within the church began for earnest back in the 60s. The late, great Jacqueline Grennan a Sister of Lorreto and head of Webster College in St. Louis MO laisized the college and told the Cardinal of the St. Louis Archdiocese to go suck on his crozier. She later left the order, married, and became president of Hunter College in NY. She was a visionary. Webster College (now University) is one of the premier schools in the nation.

  • Joel

    Quite frankly, I think the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have major doctrinal issues.

  • Tom attwood

    Yes it is true, Benny was until the day he extorted the seat of St Peter from the other Cardinals, The Grand Inquisitor. He was the GI for over 20 years and knows where all the skeletons are buried, that’s how he got the job. Virtually all church doctrine on Homosexuality was written by him and handed to JP II to read aloud.

  • Hyhybt

    How dare the nuns let helping the poor get in the way of pushing the Vatican’s political platform!?

  • Hyhybt

    Also: very poor strategic choice here. It’s hard to get people to join, or even remain in, a church run by a hierarchy that almost seems to WANT to be seen as less moral than general society.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Idolatry and pompous “playing church” is not what Jesus had in mind. Spiritually, this group of men have lost power and now are tainted by the world hence, their ties to politics. The women are the only glimmer of light in this whole den of thieves and the leadership would do well to recognize this and shut up, for once. The Daughters of Charity is a small example of what women are capable of. The priests have ruined their reputation in this world. The catholic church is dying on the vine for its lack of Wisdom and that makes it especially dangerous. The world is catching on. Play church, boys, dress up in fancy garb, clutch your idols, bow to statues, weep over bones, and pay homage to mere men, but know that this is not what Jesus was about. Snuggle up to senators and insert yourselves into political fights, but know that this is not what Christ was about. This “church” has forsaken their Lord for its own worldly agenda and it shows.

  • jademist

    Yeah, a bunch of men in dresses – too many of whom are pedophiliacs – telling ME how to live, and telling nuns to focus more on our “flaws” – it is to laugh! That is why I can no longer give credence to the Bishop of Rome or his ilk…they are so far from the Gospel, I wonder it doesn’t bite them.
    Incompatible with Catholic faith?…maybe the POPE is incompatible with the Gospel!
    To ignore the plight of the poor, which was TOPS with Jesus, and hammer on about our lives and who we love…doesn’t that JUST take the cake?
    Since that “good” Catholic with the filthy mind, “man-on-dog”-Santorum dropped out of the race, Gingrich – the only remaining “Catholic” in the race (Gingrich a Catholic: that says something!) will get too many misled Catholic voters.
    The divide between forward thinking/looking voters and regressive politics is no mere divide any longer, the Republican party has turned it into a war. And, for the sake of the Republic, WE must win

  • James M. Martin

    Organizations with heads usually don’t want you to use yours. What can you expect of a shriveled up, childless, ex-Nazi Youth Pope guy? When I mentioned the misogyny of the church to a friend who works for a social service providing family planning and asked if the proscription against homosexuality and abortion was entirely biblical in orgins, she said, “Oh, no. Those things prevent the birth of more little Catholics.” I thought I would die of apoplectic guffawing. The main reason the Church is against gay marriage is that the Vatican fears two gay men or women would not bring adopted or donor-provided babies as dogmatic religulous nuts.

  • Alexi3

    Pronouncements like this from the Church still have the power to make me more sad than mad. There was a time when I wanted to become a priest and I actually believe I would have made a good one. I wanted to help the poor, right social injustice and be a light in a darkening world. But I was unable to reconcile statements such as these with what I knew to be true in my own life and in the lives of those around me and so I left the seminary. I decided that in order to stay I would have had to deny who I was and focus more on doctrine rather than “feed the widow and shelter the orphan”. Understand me when I say “deny who I was” I am not talking about that I intended to insist on a right to engage in sex. If priests are forbidden, as part of the job description, from marrying and having sex I saw no reason why there should be a special dispensation because one happens to be homosexual. That is faulty reasoning and I always despised priests who took that view; just as would have disapproved of heterosexual sex. If you don’t want to play by the rules than don’t join the team. However there is a major difference between clearly man-made rules for those inside of an organization and those that affect the outside world. Whenever pronouncements such as these are issued it stills has the power to make me sad but it reinforces the decisions I made long ago to make my life free of Rome.

  • darkmoonman`

    I can only hope that the Church continues to show more and more of its rotten underbelly.

  • Steve

    There is an old saying, “the Sergeants run the army”.
    When the sergeants decide not to cooperate, it doesn’t much matter what the General says.

    The Nuns run the Church, with help from the gays.

    If all of the gays went on strike, the church would not be able to put on the Sunday show.

    If all the Nuns went on strike, the Rectory, the School and the Hospital would be also be closed.

    The gay guys who wear the red dresses, and who have not set foot in the School or Hospital for decades, don’t seem to understand.

  • thomas stanton

    i believe it’s that big hat that pushes what he calls a brain to give such orders to nuns. don’t we all have enough problems already with wrong wars, pollution, energy problems and now, dispise the gays. gays happen to be the most intelligent, outgoing, fun people to be with. i bet the pope had a dally or two in his twisted life. what a shame. he should be talking love, not hate. no wonder i stopped going to catholic church 40 years ago. what an arse he is?? GOD, HELP US. TAKE THIS MORON AND GIVE US A PEACEFUL POPE. peace, tom, siken, s.c.

  • thomas stanton

    @thomas stanton: right on TOM. peace to you too. jesus

  • 1equalityUSA

    The motive for celibacy was a financial one. The church didn’t want all the drain of dollars going towards a priest’s wife and children. Did this ever backfire with all of the molestation lawsuits.

  • JON

    The Catholic Church needs to stop being political & hateful immediately or lose their tax exempt status. I prefer the latter.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Everybody says that political pulpiteers need to lose their tax exempt status, but how do we make this a reality?

    Also “fish on fridays” was for no other reason than to help the fishermen of the day. What a load of b.s. This church is such a load.

  • Jake

    If the church wants to get involved with politics, they no longer deserve to keep their tax exempt status. Tax the fuck out of them!

  • Shannon1981

    @Jake: Exactly. Tax them up the wazoo, straight back to ’47, I say. Bankrupt them, shut down their churches, disband their followers. Completely dismantle the RCC.

  • Alexi3

    I agree on ending the tax-exempt status of churches whose emphasis is more political than spititual, but, that is a big can of worms that Congress will not open any time soon. Let’s get clear about something; it is not Rome that we in America should fear. On the whole American Catholics simply ignore policies from Rome they disagree with witness birth control and abortions. The religous we need to fear and be on guard against in the United States are those preachers and their churches of the fundamentaist, literalist stripe who preach about the evil of homosexuals. Their members are true believers who vote and send right-wing idealogs to Congress and the White House. Once in power in the executive and legislative branches they appoint life-term justices to the Federal Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. They in turn can impact our lives for generations. So let’s not get side-tracked on issues like tax exemption for churches and rather work to re-elect the President, keep the Senate in Democratic hands and win back the House. Also, don’t forget that the extreme right wing of the Republican Party has been hard at work and has successfully been winning state and local elections in many parts of the country. Not because they are a majority in this country but because they are committed, they put their money where their mouths are and they take the time to vote their convictions. Our destiny largely lays in our own hands but it WILL NOT be handed to us. People have a right to belong to any political party they choose but in my view gay people who vote to put Republicans in power really should be ashamed of themselves. They are voting against the best interest of their own people and they are incredibly gullible. As far as I can tell their rationale for voting Republican is that still fall for the Republican lie that says only the Right will be fiscally responsible. They are willing to sell the rest of us out over this one issue. I simply don’t understand how anyone who is paying the least bit of attention can still believe this. Our deficit balooned out of control under Regan, continued under Bush I, was being payed DOWN under Clinton and went spiraling out of control again under Bush II. Why do people continue to believe the lie? Because, as Hitler pointed out, if you tell the same lie long enough people will come to believe it despite evidence to the contrary.

  • 1equalityUSA

    If the Dems were more fiscally prudent, they would be unstoppable. The Repubs are going to do such damage to themselves with their attacks on women, their exclusion of LGBT, and their unhealthy religulousness, that nobody will want a thing to do with this party. It would be embarrassing to be a Republican. Sickening! Boehner! ew. Santorum? ew! Gingrich? yuck! Strap-the-dog-to-the-roof-of-the-car-Romney, scary, Bachmann,nuts, Palin, stupid, Bush, criminal. Cheney, evil. The whole party is so damned gross! I hope they crumble into bits and beg for forgiveness from all of the Americans that run away in horror. NOM isn’t helping them by making these idiots sign pledges like that turd from Texas who is closeted and a nut-job…what the Hell was his name? ew!

  • Rooney

    Pretty sure the Catholic church is against abortion because it would stop them being flooded with unwanted children they can rape and abuse at will. Pure evil.

  • magsmagenta

    @B: I wouldn’t bet on that, it depends which country you’re in.

  • B

    No. 27 · magsmagenta “@B: I wouldn’t bet on that, it depends which country you’re in.”

    The Vatican is in Italy. Don’t worry, they won’t burn you at the stake in Italy, and they won’t in the Vatican itself – they’d lose their tourist business.

  • magsmagenta

    @B: I actually meant their influence in some other countries without good human rights records, not literally the Vatican itself.

  • B

    No. 29 · magsmagenta ·wrote, “@B: I actually meant their influence in some other countries without good human rights records, not literally the Vatican itself.”

    There are no countries in existence today that would burn you at the stake for heresy against the Catholic Church. The ones that might do something horrible to you for disrespecting their state religion are not run by Catholics, but the religion that might apply does not use burning at the stake as a traditional form of punishment.

  • magsmagenta

    @B: It was meant to be more of a metaphor than a literal comment, The Catholic Church and other Churches too have enough influence to ensure that nasty things happen to people they disagree with. That was what I meant.
    It probably wasn’t a very well thought out comment but I didn’t think anyone would take it that literally.

  • 1equalityUSA

    I did like the “bad for tourism” angle.

  • Lance Mullholland

    This is why I joined an Independent Catholic community (yes, there ARE “other Catholics” besides the Roman variety). We have female priests & bishops, and GLBT folks are welcome. Google “Old Catholic” or “inclusive Catholic” for a community near you. Why stay with someone who kicks you in the teet ? Either a) you like it, b) you like doing it, or c) all three…

  • Carsen Tyler

    I hate this thing, the nuns from my high school were probably who they were focusing on. My all girl school had an LGBTQ Sex Positive Sex Ed program, where the teachers trusted us to choose what we wanted for our selves. They kicked my dad off school property when he refused to leave the school property when he showed up in a Yes on Prop 8 van to pick up my sister. They provided me a place to stay when my parents kicked me out for being gay and still does the same for current students. They also take in students who were going to drop out of school because of bullying, regardless of gender identity. They reissued diplomas and high school transcripts for our trans alumni. They run the only Catholic high school in Northern California to not send a delegation of students to Walk For Life. I freaking love my nuns in high school.

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