American nuns too modern for the Vatican

It would seem that the Vatican is carrying out two investigations of American nuns and whether their drive to live in the modern world is being carried too far.

At a time when the number of nuns has dropped to 60,000 from a high of 180,000 forty years ago the American nuns have started entering professions like: teaching, law, and social work. Part of that modernization as well has been the eschewing of the typical nun garments for regular clothes, which also includes blue jeans.

The pressure on nuns from the Vatican has been increasing since the launch of a Vatican ordered Apostolic Visitation, a formal inquiry into the activities of women’s religious institutions that is being lead by Mother Mary Clare Millea. Mother Mary is an American nun living in Rome. As well a doctrinal assessment has been ordered by the Vatican to look into the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group of women’s religious orders in the US, for not toeing the line on issues such as the primacy of the Vatican.

Other nuns are also expressing disquiet about the new scrutiny from Rome. Sister Mary Traupman of Pittsburgh long ago left the convent but remains loyal to her faith as a lawyer. She still remembers the years of struggling with the long restrictive habits. “All this for the church,” she said this week. “And now we’re being investigated.”

Some nuns are refusing to cooperate. Sister Sandra Schneiders, who teaches theology at Berkeley, told The New York Times that the Vatican authorities are out of touch. “Our vision of our lives and their vision of us as a workforce are just not on the same planet,” she said. And in a leaked email to colleagues she said investigators should be treated as “uninvited guests”.

Source: The Independent :: US nuns on the run from Vatican inquiry