PUBLISHED: 15:32 EST, 20 April 2012 | UPDATED: 15:35 EST, 20 April 2012
A prominent Catholic group was shocked this week when the Vatican issued a document accusing the group of ‘radical feminism’ and ordered an extensive reform.
In a report released on Wednesday, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said that the United States’ Leadership Conference of Women Religious has spent too much time caring for the poor and not enough time caring for unborn children.
The Maryland-based group for Catholic women, which represents roughly 80 percent of America’s 57,000 Catholic nuns, was ‘taken by surprise’ by the Vatican’s allegations.
‘The presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was stunned by the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment of LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,’ read a statement from the group.
They argued that their group strictly follows ‘canonically-approved statutes’ and hoped to meet with the CDF in Rome this month to go over the accusations.
‘This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers,’ the group’s statement read.
In its report, the CDF accused LCWR speakers of perpetuating ‘a distorted ecclesiastical vision’ when it comes to hot topics within the Church.
The CDF, formerly called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition, is officially tasked with defending the Church from heresy, according to the Vatican’s website.
They especially denounced statements from LCWR speakers that promoted homosexuality and the argument to allow women to be ordained in the Church, two matters that Pope Benedict XVI has been very vocally opposed.
‘These sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality,’ the report read.
‘While there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death.’
The CDF fears that this ‘radical feminism’ could lead to ‘theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus,’ the CDF argued.
They named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle in charge of the initiative to reform the women’s group.