Just when you think the Catholic church has endured about every scandal you can think of, here comes some more negative news about the beleaguered world religion. Catholic nuns across the world are gathering for a conference that will take place over four days in Washington, D.C. next week. It is called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and one of the main topics on the agenda is how to respond to harsh criticisms unleashed by the Vatican about the behavior of nuns.
Six weeks ago, the Vatican released a blistering assessment of nuns as a whole and found them to be all-too-often teaching things that were not in tune with the religious ideals of the Catholic church, as well as what the Vatican termed as “radical feminism.” A lot of the opinions of the Vatican revolve around nuns not wanting to be more combative against things the Catholic church believes is fundamentally wrong. One such thing is abortion. There has been quite a few cases where nuns did not object to abortions. Now, this clearly paints them in a negative light, but almost all cases where nuns were in favor of, or at least didn’t adamantly fight against, an abortion were situations in which the mother was facing a life or death decision. So, that is abortions that took place because there was a reasonable chance that the mother might die or face severe complications if the childbirth process took place. The Catholic church is so against abortion that it does not even acknowledge it in these most extreme of cases.
Many nuns were shocked and outraged by the assessment when it was released. They have dedicated their lives to their cause and spend their days helping the poor, and now many feel like the Vatican’s commentary is nothing but a slap in the face. The conference is designed for nuns to get together and figure out how they want to respond to the criticisms and what actions they will take in the future to either fall in harmony with or oppose the church. Many nuns out there believe the church has lost its way and no longer feel the Vatican’s male leaders are leading the embattled religion in the correct direction.