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The Vatican awaits American nuns who will travel to Rome in an effort to open discussions and their defense against charges that American nuns are “radical feminists” and not committed to upholding core Catholic values.
Concluding a week of meetings in Washington, the 21 board members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the nation’s dwindling 57,000 nuns, spoke today in strong terms. Sister Pat Farrell, president of the conference helped draft a response to the Vatican calling recent charges based on “unsubstantiated accusations” and a “flawed process”. The sisters added that the charges have caused scandal, pain and polarization in the Roman Catholic Church.
“Even large sectors of the church itself have legitimate concern and want to continue to talk about the place of women in the church, and rightful equality between men and women,” said Sister Farrell, who is a member of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Dubuque, Iowa. “So if that is called radical feminism, then a lot of men and women in the church, far beyond us, are guilty of that.”
The National Catholic Reporter interviewed Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell today. She shares details of this week’s meetings and the desires of American nuns to forge an honest, high-integrity dialogue with Rome. Read also the New York Times.
Related reading: Catholic child abuse cover-up case heads to jury CNN
Jurors began deliberating today in Philadelphia in the “landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric charged with endangering children by allegedly helping cover up sexual abuse.”
On trial besides Lynn is Rev. James Brennan, who is charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old. Both Brennan and Lynn claim that they are innocent.
Women’s Pay Growth
Forbes reports that a new analysis from PayScale confirms that today’s full-time American female college grads initially earn a median of $31,900 and male college grads earn a median of $40,800. From ages 22 to 30 their salaries growth similarly in percentage terms.
At age 30, women’s earnings growth slows substantially. “By age 39, college-educated women working full-time stop getting raises and see their salaries peak at about $60,000. Their male peers, on the other hand, continue seeing wage increases through age 48, when they earn a median of $95,000 a year.”
For plausible reasons why, read on at Forbes.
Conservative Women Say “No War on Women”
A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation says that three in 10 women (31 percent overall believe that there is currently a “wide-scale effort to limit women’s reproductive health choices and services, such as abortion, family planning, and contraception” in America.
Nevertheless, 42 percent of women polled reported that they took some action in the past six months in reaction to a news or feature item in the media.
This includes attempting to influence a friend or family member’s opinion (23 percent), donating money to a non-profit working on reproductive health issues (15 percent), and contacting an elected official (14 percent).
Six in 10 women voters say the economy is the top election issue and concern.
Writing for The Washington Post, Suzi Parker points out that the real dividing line is ideology.
Nearly half of liberal women (49 percent) said there was a war on women’s health with only 18 percent of conservative women thinking the same.
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