The Vatican’s Rare Nod To American Nuns

December 16, 2014 6:37 PM

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Vatican City—Six years ago, when Pope Benedict XVI approved an “apostolic visitation” of American nuns, the aim was to curb “a certain feminist spirit” and “secularist mentality” that the Catholic fathers feared had infiltrated the women religious. On Tuesday, when the Vatican delivered its final report on the nuns, those concerns were nowhere to be found.

The report was the fruit of an investigation into 341 American congregations guided by Mother Superior Marie Clare Millea, a matronly sister who became tearful at times, in front of a packed pressroom, while describing how she went about collecting her data. Only the cloistered convents were exclud...

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