Protesters in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral today, calling themselves — A Vigil To Support The Nuns, were sponsored by Call to Action Metro NY and Voice of the Faithful NY.

The brouhaha is over recent actions taken by the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (representing more than 80% of the 57,000 women religious in the United States). Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been named by the USCCB as its Archbishop Delegate to oversee the initiative.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) outlined it’s problems with the nuns in the document: “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious,” released on April 18, 2012.

The document addresses dissent among the nuns, including public statements and positions that are incompatible with the Catholic faith.

Commentary: This is a serious moment in the life of the Church and the United States. Those who claim to be doing Our Lord’s work need to recognize that American Catholics are prone to egoism and political corruption, on the left and right, which undermines the Body of Christ, and along with it faithfulness and fruitfulness.

“A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgements according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.” CCC #1798

Photographs: Stephen Wise

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