The group that represents Catholic sisters in the United States signaled Friday it would challenge a Vatican attempt to pull its doctrine closer toward conservative church policy.
In a statement, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said it would send a high-level delegation to Rome on June 12 to meet senior Vatican officials, then consult its members across the country over the summer.
Its board met in Washington over three days this week after the Holy See — citing “serious doctrinal problems” — concluded in mid-April that the group needed to undergo a root-and-branch doctrinal overhaul.
“Board members concluded that the assessment was based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency,” the conference’s statement said.
It added: “The report has furthermore caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization.”
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which produced the Vatican report, pointedly took the Leadership Conference to task for failing to fully back the Church’s positions on homosexuality and the ordination of women.
It also reproached the group — which represents 57,000 nuns, but whose numbers have been declining in recent years — for remaining silent on two other hot-button Church issues: abortion and euthanasia.