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Protesters gather in support of nuns

Aug. 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM

SEATTLE, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- About 500 people gathered in Seattle for a march in support of nuns who have been chastised by the Catholic Church for promoting "radical feminist themes."

Protesters marched from Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill to St. James Cathedral Sunday afternoon in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group that includes about 80 percent of women's religious orders in the United States, The Seattle Times reported.

"It baffles me that a group of women who are among the ... most compassionate are being, frankly, picked on by the Vatican," said protester Patricia Patterson.

The Vatican put Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain in charge of working with the nuns to get them away from what it calls "radical feminist views" that are at odds with Catholic orthodoxy, such as rejecting church teachings on prohibiting birth control and same-sex relationships.

Sartain praised the nuns' work and contributions in a statement issued Saturday, saying, "They deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our prayers," he wrote. He said he is committed to working with the Leadership Council in "atmosphere of prayer and respectful dialogue."

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