A Nun's Dangerous Talk

The Vatican has banned even discussing female priests. That hasn't stopped Sister Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister might seem an unlikely type to defy the Pope, let alone get away with it. Her dress is sensible, her voice matter-of-fact bordering on clarion, its timbre reminiscent of the kind of sister who for better or worse acquainted generations of parochial schoolers with Catholic discipline. But the liberal church activists who came to hear Chittister speak last week at a Los Angeles conference knew better. They were aware that Sister Joan, her vows notwithstanding, is a longtime feminist firebrand in the midst of a daring gambit. "If Scripture has nothing at all to say about the ordination of...

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