Father Doesn't Always Know Best: American Catholic Sisters Contest Vatican Hegemony
Since 2009, two separate Vatican congregations have conducted extensive and invasive investigations of Catholic sisters in the United States. The more serious of these became known to the general public in April 2012, when it was announced that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing more than 80 percent of American sisters, were guilty of expending too much energy on social justice, and not enough on matters such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. As a result, LCWR was to be "reformed" by placing it under the jurisdiction of three bishops charged with returning the nuns to theological and ecclesial orthodoxy.
This talk will attempt to explain what has been taking place, what the consequences may be and the implications of it all for religious praxis and politics.
About the speaker: Margaret Susan Thompson is associate professor of history and political science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She also has a courtesy appointment in the department of religion and is part of the faculty in the Renee Crown Honors Program and the program of Women & Gender Studies. She has written extensively on the history of Roman Catholic sisters in the United States. Her 18-lecture series, "The History of Women Religious in the United States," is available from NowYouKnowMedia.com.