U.S. nuns seek ‘open dialogue’ with Rome over disputes

Washington Post: American nuns on Friday backed away from a direct confrontation with the Vatican, saying they want a respectful “open dialogue” with Rome about disputes over gender, human sexuality and authority.

The decision by the Silver Spring-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80 percent of American nuns, came at the end of an intense annual conference in St. Louis this week, where about 900 women met to decide how to respond to an April report by the Vatican saying the group had strayed dangerously far from orthodoxy and the pope and needs to be “reformed.”


The women considered generally accepting the report, rejecting it and becoming an independent Catholic organization (rather than an actual office of Rome), or finding some middle ground.

In a statement Friday, the women said that members want to pursue dialogue with the three-bishop team appointed by the Vatican to approve their conference speakers, literature and training programs.

The women’s expectation is that “open and honest dialogue may lead not only to increasing understanding between the church leadership and women religious, but also to creating more possibilities for the laity and, particularly for women, to have a voice in the church.”


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