Franciscan friars back American nuns in Vatican spat
Leaders from the seven Franciscan provinces in the U.S. publicly backed a group of American nuns on Thursday, calling a Vatican crackdown on the women "excessive."
The Franciscan friars are believed to be the first Catholic religious order to voice support for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious since the Vatican announced a full-scale makeover of the group in April.
The Vatican said the LCWR, which represents most of the nation's 57,000 nuns, does not adequately advocate against gay marriage, abortion and women's ordination.
The Vatican's "doctrinal assessment" also faulted the sisters for sponsoring conferences that featured "a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."
Noting that many members of LCWR belong to female Franciscan orders, the friars pledged solidarity with the sisters and called the Vatican assessment "excessive, given the evidence raised."