US nuns won't 'compromise mission'

Sister Pat Farrell and Sister Florence Deacon participates in a vigil with supporters in St Louis, Missouri, 9 August 2012 Sister Pat Farrell (left) and Sister Florence Deacon participate in a vigil with supporters in St Louis

Related Stories

US nuns who have come under fire from the Vatican say they will hold further talks with church leaders, but will not "compromise their mission".

The Vatican has said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious violated church teaching on birth control and homosexuality, among other issues.

The group made the announcement at the end of a national meeting.

Church officials have appointed three US bishops to oversee an overhaul of their organisation.

LCWR is the largest organisation of nuns in the US, representing 80% of the 57,000 nuns in the United States.

'Starting point'

Sister Pat Farrell, the group's leader, said they would continue discussions with the bishops "as long as possible, but will reconsider if LCWR is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission".

The board will first meet with Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, to begin what is said to be a five year process.

"Dialogue on doctrine is not going to be our starting point," Sister Farrell said. "Our starting point will be about our own life and about our understanding of religious life."

Representatives from both sides met in June, after a Vatican report accused the nuns of adopting "certain radical feminist themes".

The nuns, who say they have been unjustly criticised, returned to the US at the end of the talks to decide what to do next.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says that despite the Vatican's hopes for constructive talks, the nuns have shown little desire for compromise.

They were understandably hurt, he said, at being told to mend their ways by the Vatican at a time when the US Church has lost credibility over sexual abuse scandals involving priests.

The nuns also knew they had the support of many ordinary Catholics in the US, who had been organising vigils outside churches.

After the report was released, there were protests outside the Vatican embassy in Washington, and over a hundred members of the US Congress sponsored a resolution to commend the nuns for their service.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories



  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?

  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?

  • Members of staff at James Stevenson Flags hold a Union Jack and Saltire flag UK minus Scotland

    Does the rest of the UK care if the Scots become independent?

  • Women doing ice bucket challengeChill factor

    How much has the Ice Bucket Challenge achieved?

  • Women in front of Windows XP posterUpgrade angst

    Readers share their experiences of replacing their operating system

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.