Vatican deems nuns' group out of line

The Catholic Church is not always known to be the most liberal organization.

However, the one billion-plus followers faithful to Rome span the political spectrum and do not always adhere to a conservative Catholic tradition or doctrine.

As a young woman raised Catholic, I have always been interested in the intersection of my faith and my political beliefs, especially at times when they do not agree.

My views on issues such as contraception use, abortion and same-sex marriage prove to be in conflict with the doctrine expressed by the Vatican.

My internal conflict between my faith and my beliefs has been mirrored in the news headlines recently.

Last week, Rome reprimanded the largest organization of Catholic nuns in the United States for promoting an agenda too feminist, too radical, and too liberal.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was chastised by Pope Benedict XVI for promoting values that are not in line with Catholic doctrine and were too progressive.

As the Vatican battles to stay relevant to younger generations of Catholics, this latest move comes as a blow to progressive movements.

Appointing a bishop — male — to oversee LCWR last week, the Vatican hopes to rein in those crazy progressives over here in the United States. To the women of LCWR: Ladies, I applaud you.

Confrontations to established doctrine foster a healthy discussion and debate of issues such as the alleged “radicalism” of American nuns. A main charge leveled against LCWR was “airing discussions” about issues deemed taboo by Catholic doctrine, such as ordaining women and questions of same-sex marriage.

For the Vatican to be offended by discussions of morally and pressing political issues is absolutely absurd. To limit discourse is not only offensive, but outright oppressive.

I have always viewed my faith as something to explore, learn and think critically about. I am not comfortable accepting a black and white doctrine as morally superior without further examination and question.

Clearly the Vatican does not extend this courtesy to the thousands of women devoting their lives to the Catholic faith.