US nuns consider response to Vatican censure

Associated Press
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Mike Baldwin, of St. Louis, rallies with other supporters of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) at a vigil Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 in St. Louis. The LCWR, the largest U.S. group for Roman Catholic nuns, are meeting to decide how they should respond to a Vatican rebuke and order for reform. The organization represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 U.S. sisters. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The largest group for American nuns is deciding how they should respond to a Vatican order to reform.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is expected to make an announcement Friday at the end of their national assembly in St. Louis.

The organization represents most of the 57,000 Roman Catholic nuns in the United States.

The Vatican orthodoxy watchdog issued a report in April saying the sisters had tolerated dissent from church teaching on the all-male priesthood, birth control and homosexuality. The Vatican also said the religious sisters had been nearly silent on other issues such as abortion. The nuns say the investigation was flawed.

The rebuke prompted an outpouring of support for the religious sisters. Vigils and protests have been held nationwide.