Continuing Coverage: Women Religious

Additional analysis, opinion, and articles

From the censure of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious to the notification about Sr. Margaret Farley’s book Just Love, institutional scrutiny of American nuns is on the upswing even as women religious continue their ministerial missions and launch awareness-raising initiatives like “Nuns on the Bus.” Commonweal’s continuing coverage of women religious features editorials, columns, and other articles, along with typically incisive observation and commentary on the dotCommonweal blog. Come back to this page for ongoing analysis and opinion, and read the latest updates here.

 Image courtesy of Benedictines of Duluth


Rome & Women Religious
The decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to censure the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for “serious doctrinal problems” is certain to be a pastoral disaster, another instance of the hierarchy acting in an imprudent and counterproductive fashion.


Quit the Church?
E.J. Donne Jr. is declining the invitation of the Freedom from Religion Foundation to leave the church, writing that he can’t ignore the work of the nuns on behalf of charity and justice.

A Losing Strategy
In assessing the “fervor and intransigence” of the bishops, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels says they’re digging a hole from which they may never emerge.


Cross Examination
Why is Rome investigating U.S. nuns? Sister X, a member of a congregation that belongs to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious takes up the question.

Fitting Service
Damian Barry Smyth recalls Vatican II and a meeting of the Consilium, the commission for the reform of the liturgy, where the subject of deaconesses was raised—and not one woman was in the room.

What’s Justice Got to Do With It?
Luke Timothy Johnson reviews Margaret Farley’s Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.

The Unveiling
Anthony D. Andreassi reviews Kenneth Briggs’ Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.

In her review of the exhibit “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” Cheryl Wittenauer examines the role of women in religious in shaping and humanizing American culture and society. 

A Vow of Parody
It’s not Catholicism that’s spoofed in the play The Divine Sister, says Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, but Hollywood’s “infantilization of nuns as dopey cartoons.”

Passing On the Alb: My Career as an Altar Girl
Mollie Wilson O’Reilly writes of serving the priest at Mass, and why banning girls from the sanctuary is detrimental to the parish and the church.


'Nuns on the Bus' received like rock starsPosted by Don Wycliff

‘Nuns on the Bus’ stops at Paul Ryan’s office. Posted by Grant Gallicho

Nun sense: An LCWR update. Posted by David Gibson

Vatican (embassy) opens doors to nun protesters. Posted by David Gibson

Lisa Cahill on Margaret Farley and the CDFPosted by Michael Peppard

CDF Notification: Sr. Margaret Farley. Posted by Michael Peppard

Read them and weep. Posted by J. Peter Nixon

LCWR and the BeguinesPosted by David Gibson

Scott Appleby on the forced ‘reform’ of LCWR. Posted by Grant Gallicho

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads