Saturday, June 11, 2016

US nun's summons to Vatican raises concern of crackdown on liberal sisters


US nun's summons to Vatican raises concern of crackdown on liberal sisters

ROME
The Guardian (UK)
Stephanie Kirchgaessner
Friday 10 June 2016
The Vatican has summoned an American nun whose Kentucky-based order has run afoul of the church in the past to come to Rome and respond to “areas of concern”, raising questions about whether the Vatican is embarking on another crackdown on liberal-minded US sisters.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Loretto said in a statement that the Vatican had sent a letter, dated 1 January, in which it said it wanted to discuss issues with Pearl McGivney, the order’s president, that had been raised during a now-closed 2010 investigation into American nuns. That investigation by the Vatican had examined a certain “secular mentality” within some religious groups, as well as a “feminist spirit”, a church official said at the time.
The news, first reported by Global Sisters Report, comes more than a year after Pope Francis made the unexpected decision to end a separate investigation by the Vatican into the Leadership Conference on Women Religious, the major umbrella group of US nuns. That decision, announced in April 2015, was seen as an important shift by the Vatican, which had been accused of being heavy-handed in its treatment of the US sisters based on the concerns of conservatives who feared that many were straying from the church’s core teaching.
The Vatican did not respond to a request for comment.