About 500 people turned out Sunday to march in support of Catholic nuns amid a crackdown from the Vatican for alleged radical feminism.
The marchers went from Capitol Hill to St. James Cathedral, where archbishop Peter J. Sartain presides. Sartain was appointed the Vatican to oversee the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LWCR, which is a membership organization that includes most of America's nuns.
The march was timed to coincide with a meeting between Sartain and nuns at the LWCR's annual conference in St. Louis. The nuns have been threatened with excommunication if they do not align to standards the Vatican is demanding.
The Vatican's Doctrinal Assessment of the LWCR found, among other things "that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality." It also noted "a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes."
Friday, Sartain released a statement saying that he supports and applauds the role of religious women in the United States and said he looked forward to the meeting.
"Religious women have made a lasting contribution to the wellbeing of our country and continue to do so today," he said. "For that they deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our prayers."Both Sartain and the LWCR have promised to meet in an atmosphere of respect and prayer.