American nuns stunned by Vatican accusation of "radical feminism"

“People are stunned,” said Sister Pat McDermott, president of the 3,500-member Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, based in Silver Spring. “They’re outraged, angry, frustrated, they don’t know where this came from and how to hold it.”…

“Women can’t be bishops, so there’s a very strange question of whether we can ever voice a response that challenges” the Vatican, said Jeannine Fletcher, a theologian who focuses on gender at Fordham University, a Jesuit school. “If women religious can’t, no women can.”

Sister Julie Vieira, a member of the Michigan-based Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said the fact that the directive came without warning was jarring.

“Whatever we engage with in ministry . . . we check in with others about it, and together as a sisterhood we make decisions,” she said. “To encounter this kind of action that did not come with that contemplative discernment that I, as a woman religious, am used to engaging with in all of my life was deeply disturbing to me.”

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