Honor Conscience. Defend Religious Freedom. Stand with American Nuns.

April 27, 2012

U.S. Sisters have recently come under fire from the Vatican.  Many of these sisters have been long standing partners of SHARE El Salvador. In the early 80s they stood with Salvadoran refugees looking for asylum, their support lead to the end of U.S. involvement in the civil war. For the past 30 years they have walked with organized poor communities in El Salvador defending their human rights and supporting community development. SHARE now wishes to express our support for the sisters. We are part of a national effort to write a statement (see below) which we will publish in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), as well as other online publications and are writing to invite you and your friends to join us. 

Please share this ad far and wide with friends, family, pastors, on facebook, the web, etc.



As people of faith, we reaffirm our love and gratitude to the thousands of women religious in the United States who have stood with and served the poor, healed the sick, sheltered the homeless, accompanied  immigrants, taught our children,  sought peace instead of war. 

By their many good works and adherence to Christian principles,  U.S. Sisters  have kept the church from moral bankruptcy. 

Yet today, these women and their communities have come under fire by the Vatican’s actions against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for their humanitarian stance on a variety of issues, including universal healthcare, the role of women in the church , the LGBT community, and economic justice.

In the spirit of Vatican II, we lay claim to the belief that “the church is all of us.”

We are all made in the image and likeness of God.  Authentic religious freedom supports the free exchange of ideas, and the primacy of conscience in pursuit of the Common Good.

We lament the Vatican’s effort to foreclose dialogue and to impose their authority on women religious and the broader community. We reject some  Bishops’ claim to be the ultimate authority and sole arbiters of truth. History has documented the fallibility of all human institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church.  We are deeply concerned by the timing of these actions and the perception they create:  namely that the Vatican and U.S. Bishops are seeking   to limit discernment and manipulate the upcoming political elections in the United States to advance a narrow political agenda.

Our democracy was founded on the principle of the separation of Church and State.

 Our church was founded on the principles of love, forgiveness and communion.

We invite all within and outside the Roman Catholic community to express support for our Sisters and their good works in service to the poor and for a more just, compassionate and humane world.  We call upon our leaders – especially religious leaders — to stand with our Sisters. We pray for the courage to live by the gospel invocation to  “Do Justice, love kindness, walk humbly with our God. “  (Micah 6)

For more information and ways to get involved  visit:


If you would like to add your name to the ad, please send the following information to jartiga@share-elsalvador.org or mail it to 2425 College Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704 by May 15th.

Name (as you want your name to appear on the ad)

Organizational Affiliation (Optional, for identification purposes only)


Telephone Number


If you would like to make a donation make your check payable to:  the SHARE Foundation/Stand with the Sisters.  Mail it to 2425 College Ave., Berkeley, CA, 94704

 You can also donate online at www.share-elsalvador.org/donate, and select “Support out Sister/NCR Ad” as the Program Designation.


Leave a comment



66 Comments so far

The Sisters are amazing witnesses to the Gospel of God’s love and grace!

Comment by The Rev. Ruth Ellen Sievert 04.28.12

Thanks friends – I’ll gladly sign. Am currently unemployed and will try to send a donation as best I can.

Comment by A. Lee Miller 04.28.12

Now is the time to be true to yourselves. Thank you for all you do! God Bless and be with you all!

Comment by Anne Grady 05.01.12

Lana Dalberg, council member, Ebenezer herchurch, San Francisco. I will send in $25.

Comment by Lana Dalberg 05.03.12

[…] Click here to see the ad and offer your support. Share this:EmailPrintMoreFacebookTwitterDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Take Action and tagged NCR, Share El Salvador, support the sisters. Bookmark the permalink. ← REGIONAL DIALOGUES: Regional dialogue sites for 2012-2013 announced […]

Pingback by TAKE ACTION: Support the Sisters by contributing to an ad in NCR | PAX CHRISTI USA 05.04.12

Support the El Savador sisters, they are doing the work of Jesus.

Comment by judy may 05.04.12

Hermanas vivas!

Comment by Bruce Teague 05.05.12

Are we willing to support the religious women with more than our signatures? If they are truly to be free of the Vatican’s oppression they will have to consider stepping away from their canonical status. And that is where we who have not taken a vow of poverty are needed. Everyone of us who has a nun who helped us truly needs to let them know of our support BEYOND our signatures! If this has started, sign me up!

Comment by Dr. Janice P. Leary 05.05.12

I fully support the powerfully inspired statement that our Salvadoran Sisters have written ~Speaking Truth to Power~ about the lives and witness of our Sisters.

Comment by Joan Tirak 05.05.12

I am now living in south Sudan. Have had contact with great women religious from US and am in admiration of their work. Sr. Cathy Arata with whom I form community in South Sudan is not only an inspiration for consecrated living but a womam of great faith, humble trust and a torch bearer for justice and peace issues. I know she was in El Salvador during the height of war and had contributed towards the emancipation of the downtrodden. She called for a prayer campaign “101 days of prayer for a peaceful refernedum in south Sudan” that created a new imagination, oaptured the focus of people on looking for peaceful ways than to resort to violence.I suppoort the women religious of US at this time for their prophetic voice on issues of our age.I bow before their compassionate love for the marginalized groups. I admire their silence on unjust teachings that harm discipleship.
We know HE is Risen and will Rise again…..this will be same of the woemn religious. The more the authorities hit a nail the more Lifegiving the women religious will become.
My contribution will be in prayer fasting and solidairty. For, some evils can be cast out only by prayer and fasting….

Comment by Joseph 05.06.12

thank you for helping us to see the face of God in all His people.

Comment by Pat Ronan 05.07.12

I am extremely grateful for the Sisters of this country who live the Gospel & are the very heart of the church! thank you!

Comment by Joan Brown 05.07.12

I support the religious freedom for American nuns and nuns everywhere. They have done so much to help the poor and indigent, as Jesus inspired us to do. They, truly, are the models that we should follow. Many of us are truly offended about this matter…leave awful priests alone…get the nuns who are good. Shameful JP

Comment by Jennifer Parks 05.07.12

Thank you PAX Christi for supporting this very important cause!

Comment by Toni McNamara 05.07.12

blessings to all the women religious who work tirelessly to walk the walk that jesus walked….

Comment by annie c 05.07.12

The bishops, including the pope, would have more credibility if they followed the example of our nuns and shared their lives with the poor.

Comment by Michael Chew 05.07.12

Thank You sisters for all your hard work!

Comment by Susan Krcmar 05.07.12

Thanks for your great work sisters!

Comment by Susan Krcmar 05.07.12

I am grateful for this opportunity to express my support for the nuns who educated me. Some of them are friends to this day. It is they who are truly doing the work of God. The fact that their leadership is being attacked and persecuted by the very church to which they have given lives of service is truly a scandal.

Comment by Lois Mills 05.07.12

Thanks for doing this!

Comment by Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V. 05.07.12

Sisters, you rock! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do- for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Comment by Bettina Bronski 05.07.12

I fully support and stand behind all the nuns who have committed their lives to helping the poor; lifting women out of poverty; educating children; standing against unjust wars and oppressive laws; and speaking truth to power. If any of you sisters need sanctuary, you are welcome in my home! If you decide to branch off and start your own denomination I will join!

Comment by Julie Beutel 05.07.12

We stand with those that know the Sermon on the Mount is the only true “non-negotiable”

Comment by OConnell Family 05.08.12

I support totally your add, I am in a difficult moment that does not allow me to help you with money, but you have all my support and gratitude for such a simple and yet deep reflection on the add.

Comment by Graciela de la Rosa 05.08.12

My sister is a sister of Notre Dame de Namur so all the Sisters are my sisters too!

Comment by Jack Locke 05.08.12

I’m thanksful to the women religious for practicing an inclusive brand of radical evangelical core values. I gladly sign the letter of support.
Nicolas Avelar Izquierdo

Comment by Nicolas Avelar Izquierdo 05.08.12

The sisters see the world as it is, and ask what can be done to help it heal. They are a yes – an outpouring of Christ’s compassion. The patriarchal authority of the Church still thinks that a no will force people to be what they think they ought to be.

Comment by Cindy Noland 05.08.12

The treatment of the Catholic sisters is the greatest scandal yet.

Comment by William Joyce 05.08.12

I am Orthodox, but I am drawn to the Catholic Church because of the works of your extraordinary Sisters. The sacrifice and healing of Christ shines through you. It is painful to feel the cold shadow of the pharisees still moving to blot out the light. God bless you all. I hope to be able to offer some small service soon.

Comment by anne koch 05.09.12

I stand in solidarity with American Nuns.

Comment by julia fogarty 05.09.12

Thank you sisters for your wisdom, strength and courage. You are the spiritual leaders of our church, and you inspire the laity to take responsiblity for our broken church as Cardinal Newman preached we must.


Sisters, thank you for your service and compassion.

Comment by Caroline Croft 05.13.12

Yo apoyo a las hermanas Ita, Dorothy, Maura, Jean

Comment by Sonia Umanzor 05.14.12

I have been working in education, social service and peace and justice arenas for two decades with the wonderful Sisters devoted to helping others. Since the horrific murders in my family these many amazing women have been a constant. They inspire, support, guide, and work incredibly hard. Ridiculous that they are being criticized by the church’s own leadership for doing that too much or too well.

Comment by Jennifer Jenkins 05.14.12

Our voices need to be heard and our presence seen in our support of the Women Religious.

Comment by Rev,Tim Taugher 05.14.12

Thank-you for following your heart and the true meaning of your calling. You have my complete support.

Comment by Michael Toutloff 05.14.12

God Bless all women religious in the world for the work they do for all of us!

Comment by Marilee 05.14.12

If it wasn’t for her courageous women, the church would be sad community indeed.

Comment by Annika Mongan 05.16.12

Standing firm on this position. Women have been historically
Undermined by the Catholic church for centuries. Time to move forward, not back.

Comment by Denise Dering 05.17.12

The Vatican would perform a greater service to the world if it finally stepped up and cleaned up the unspeakable crimes of the Priests (and Bishops!) against the thousands of Children all over the world (who are still suffering though their perpetrators might have been removed!. And every one of them should be removed from the priesthood and no longer permitted any visits with a child unless another adult (trusted by that child) is present.

Comment by Dietlinde 05.18.12

In the name of all that is good and Holy, please respect the opinions and work of religious women.

Comment by Sr. Cathey DeSantis 05.21.12

Can make a small donation soon. God bless the Sisters.for their great work!

Comment by Louisa Collins Kaiserman 05.23.12

[…] Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to recent, harsh Vatican criticism. Please visit this SHARE blog (“Honor Conscience, Defend Religious Freedom, Stand with American Nuns”)  to sign on to support the Sisters who are under […]

Pingback by SHARE El Salvador » “American Nuns Vow to Fight Harsh Criticism From the Vatican” 06.01.12

As a Presbyterian “peace activist” today (married to a Presbyterian clergyman and college chaplain emeritus), descended from three generations of Latin America mission workers,I look to Sister Patrcia Farrell andd other El Salvador nuns as among the most nurturing and powerful spiritual leaders in my life. They have, for decades, not only been accompanying the poor, but also picking up and burying the slaughtered bodies of people in their parrish, and then teaching survivors (and accompaniers) ways to embrace human healing.
I’m appalled that systems of hierarchy living in a Vatican bubble in the western world have the hubris to think their authority is more important than the sacred in-the-moment Calling of God in on the lives of nuns who are DOING the work of ministering to and accompanying the very complex work of the poor, who live in complicated realities most of us can not even imagine.
As the daughter and granddaughter of ordained protestants women pastors (not Presbyerian), privileged to have experience denominational leaders in MANY organizations who ENABLED mission workers in the field, I believe all of us are called to do the work the nuns are doing, and that bureaucratic systems can be important and even useful when they organize and multiply our work – but that it’s theological and real-world idolotry for any bureaucratic official (or system of worldly power) to put themselves in the position of BEING God’s voice, and slapping down miraculous manifestations of the presence of God expressed through the lives and actions of these nuns. Christian scriptures were/are revolutionary because they teach that each of us has direct access to God – empowered to listen for our own vocational Calls, communicating in real time. If anything is heretical, it is the Vatican’s move to muzzle the women who are actually in the trenches LIVING the agonizing work of ministry that Jesus modeled and lived.
In El Salvador, through humble peasants organized into Christian based communities or non-religious efforts alike, I have witnessed the presence of the Divine through communities that come together to help and empower those living in poverty and surviving systems of social injustice (and SHARE has been an important part of that.) I stand in awe of the nuns efforts to help the affluent in the Vatican understand their work, when it would be so easy for them to just walk away from the organized church. I admire and have confidence in the prophetic power of gentle truth they will offer up to those in the Vatican who would pretend to speak for God, more concerned about their own power and intellectual systems of order than about the “messes” always created by social injustice – the places we are called to be, as Sister Patricia said on CBS news.

Comment by Cathy Garlit Bucher 06.02.12

My prayers and affection are with the sisters…

Comment by The Rev. Laina Wood Casillas 06.03.12

The Sisters stand with Jesus. I stand with them.

Comment by The Rev. Margaret Trezevant 06.03.12

This is not the first time the Catholic higher-ups, which has nothing to do with God or with Jesus but has everything to do with male white supremacy and power, is not on the side of the angels. Keep on, hermanas!

Comment by Silvia Brandon Pérez 06.03.12


Comment by Scott Sinclair 06.03.12

I support American sisters!

Comment by Amanda Poppei 06.03.12

In solidarity

Comment by Fr Donald MacKinnon CSsR 06.04.12

Our brother Jesus believed and promoted equality throughout God’s kingdom. It is difficult to fathom how in this day, Catholic Nuns, the Sisters, who serve God and the people who need that unconditional love and support can be so threatening to a group of old guys.
Jesus came to us with the promise of a better life, an equitable life for all, not just salvation for the rich and religious men.
Blessings to each and every sister and know you are being lifted in prayer by many…

Comment by Ronet Ruth-Bany 06.04.12

I support one hundred percent the Sisters. I will make a donation and act in any way that you see fit. We need more people like the LCWR to, as you say above, “save the church from moral bankruptcy”. The action taken against them is, indeed, outrageous and quite against my beliefs and, I am sure, of many other people worldwide.
Diana M. de Marco

Comment by Diana M. de Marco 06.04.12

I am a clergy leader in the Washington Ethical Society, Washington, D.C.

Comment by Mary Herman 06.04.12

You ROCK!! We are all the Church and you make us more proud than the Vatican/ US Bishops can make us ashamed.

Comment by jan karol 06.04.12

Praise the Lord for all of our marvelous committed sisters. And here, especially, those who were murdered in El Salvador!

Comment by Tom Ambrogi 06.05.12

The nuns have beeen invaluable to so many of us.

Comment by Robert Casey 06.05.12

Hold your ground,Sisters. You are and have been invaluable to the gowth of Christianity in the USA.

Comment by Robert Casey 06.05.12

We support the sisters, and are thankfull for all that the sisters have given to us.

Comment by narron & marianne gibson 06.06.12

Please add my name to the list of supporters for our Sisters and their good work.

With prayer support for courageous and faith-filled women with the heart to serve the Lord through their compassionate outreach to all of God’s children.

Marguerite Patricia Gilner

Comment by Marguerite Patricia Gilner 06.07.12

May our Sisters continue to follow the
Holy Spirit’s inspirition to live the Gospel as prophets of our times.

Comment by Teresita Basso 06.07.12

These women have given the unconditionally love of their God, with their life and their resources, to their church, their neighbour and all creation. They deserve gratitude.

Comment by Mary Tee,rsm 06.10.12

Thank you sisters for all your love, hard work and devotion to our community.

Comment by Barbara Hurst 06.15.12

I support the sisters. It is their example that supports me in my faith which is very tested by the attitudes and actions of the Vatican. May all Christians return to the Gospel and drop the outmoded accretions of history and culture of the intervening centuries.

Comment by Sheilagh Collins 06.29.12

I am behind you all the way

Comment by Andy Graydon 08.08.12

Its such as you read my mind! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something.
I think that you simply can do with a few percent to drive the message house a little bit, but other than that, that is great
blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

Comment by Joshua 05.24.14

After looking into a number of the blog posts on your web site, I seriously
appreciate your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list
and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website too and tell me your opinion.

Comment by Annette 05.28.14

Follow Us Online!

Facebook   Twitter
April 2012
« Mar   May »