Nuns group: We are not leaving the church
By KEVIN ECKSTROM
WASHINGTON (RNS) — A leader of the group of Catholic nuns who are facing a crackdown from the Vatican said Aug. 16 that her members have no plans or desire to leave the church, or reconstitute their group beyond Vatican control.
“It is the deep desire of the membership to stay within the church and
not move away from it,” Hughes said at a luncheon at the National Press
Club. “We derive our strength from the sacramental life of the
The Vatican has accused the LCWR, which represents about
80 per cent of the nation’s 56,000 Catholic sisters, of embracing strains of “radical
feminism” and focusing on social justice at the expense of abortion
and same-sex marriage. Hughes said her group is a leadership support
group, not a “theological society.”
“We don’t see ourselves as a teaching arm of the church, nor is
it our role to discuss church documents at our conferences,” said
Hughes, the prioress of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville, N.Y.
When the LCWR met in St. Louis in August, the sisters said
they wanted more dialogue with Rome, and Hughes said true dialogue is
a two-way street. The sisters said they would reconsider their options
if the LCWR “is
forced to compromise the integrity of its mission.” Hughes said
it would be “premature” to speculate on the outcome of fresh
talks between the LCWR and a panel of bishops headed by Seattle Archbishop
Hughes said the nuns would resist any “effort to change us, to
change the nature of who we are” by making them a mouthpiece for
the bishops. The sisters, she said, are not interested in any attempts
at “blind obedience” to the hierarchy.
“Real dialogue does not involve winners and losers; it’s about a way in which we both get stretched,” she said. “It’s not defiance, it’s wanting the church to be all that it can be. That prophetic voice will continue.”
United Church of Canada votes to boycott some Israeli products
By Kristine Greenaway
OTTAWA (RNS/ENInews) — The United Church of Canada has approved a recommendation to boycott products produced in Israeli settlements located within occupied Palestinian territory.
The church’s General Council approved the recommendation
on Aug. 15 and approved a policy paper on Aug. 17 at its meeting in Ottawa.
More than 350 elected delegates met for the eight-day event that concluded
The boycott proposal is part of a package of measures presented by a
task group charged to advise the church on how to contribute to peace
initiatives between Israel and the Palestinians.
The report prepared by the Working Group on Israel-Palestine
Policy says that the occupation is “the primary contributor to the injustice
that underlies the violence of the region” and calls Israeli settlements “a
serious obstacle” to peace.
During the debate, Victor Goldbloom of the Canadian Christian
Jewish Consultation commended the UCC on its commitment to seeking a
peaceful solution to conflict in the Middle East, but cautioned: “I
agree with the objectives but not the means.”
Similar moves to divest, or pull church investments, from companies involved
in the Israeli occupation have failed in the U.S. in the United Methodist
Church, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The United Church of Canada, with 3 million members, is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination. It was formed in 1925 as a union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists.
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