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Letter: Pope Francis has offered olive branch to U.S. nuns

Pope Francis has offered olive branch to U.S. nuns

I remember when the Vatican, under Pope Benedict, chastised U.S. nuns for being too feminist and supporting social justice issues. The pope made a cardinal an intermediary who was to be overseeing their actions. Sister Sharon Holland was quoted as saying, “They can try to kill the flowers but they cannot stop spring.”

As the result of a three-year investigation into U.S. women’s religious orders, the Vatican went out of its way on Dec. 16 to mend fences with American religious sisters, thanking them for their selfless work caring for the poor, gently suggesting ways to survive amid a decline in numbers and promising to value their “feminine genius” more. The report had no demands that they shift their focus from social justice issues to emphasize Catholic teaching on abortion, no condemnation that a feminist, secular mentality had taken hold in their ranks.

What a remarkable choice of words showing the genius of Pope Francis to use “Femine genius” to describe the U.S. nuns.

Marguerite Battaglia

Buffalo