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It was bound to happen eventually: the Vatican is taking major steps to discipline saucy, out-of-control American nuns for focusing their energies on issues like health care and poverty instead of speaking out against abortion and same-sex marriage like a good nun should.
As part of a long-running investigation into the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which includes representatives for eighty percent of American nuns, the Vatican is appointing a U.S. bishop to crack down on the ladies for "serious doctrinal problems." According to the Vatican, said problems include "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith," such as questioning church policy on issues like male-only priesthood and gays in general, and making statements that "disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals."
Yikes, that does sound pretty serious. Apparently, the biggest issue is that a number of the Leadership Conference's members came out in support of Obama's health care plan in 2010, a move that was in direct political opposition to American bishops. "I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad," said Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Catholic social-justice lobby Network. "We haven't violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics."
The investigation comes as part of a larger crackdown on "doctrinal issues" within the church, and corresponds to a separate investigation into all religious orders and communities for women within the U.S., the results of which haven't been released to the public. Always nice to see one of the most influential organizations on earth using its power to make sure women stay in line, instead of, you know, wasting time on boring issues like AIDS and famine.