Sunday, June 10, 2012

UK: American nuns challenge Vatican

Rebel US nuns in showdown with Rome over women's role

Catholic church in US divided after Rome seeks to crack down on 'radical feminism'

Cardinal William Levada, centre, will meet with Sister Pat Farrell in Rome. Photograph: Alessandra Benedetti
She is the American nun who after 15 years spent working with war refugees in El Salvador now leads the majority of the 57,000 Catholic sisters in the US. He is the American cardinal who marched in San Francisco protesting against gay marriage and was accused of turning a blind eye to paedophile priests before he took over the Vatican's doctrinal office, the modern version of the Inquisition.

On Tuesday, Pat Farrell and William Levada will clash in Rome at the climax of a raging row over what Catholicism means for women. It will be a confrontation that pits America's increasingly independent and broad-minded nuns against the Vatican's male guardians of the faith. "Pat Farrell knows it will be daunting, but she sees the importance of this meeting for the whole Catholic community," said her spokeswoman, Sister Annmarie Sanders.

The showdown follows the claim by Levada's department that Farrell's Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organisation for most US orders, has been promoting "radical feminism" and glossing over the Vatican's hard line on gay marriage and abortion.

Read it at The Guardian:

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