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Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Pope Francis extends olive branch to American nuns, but only so far

Pope Francis extends olive branch to American nuns, but only so far

Standing before 3,000 worshipers in the pews of New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, Pope Francis gave women religious a shout-out.

"To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say thank you, a big thank you … and to tell you that I love you very much," he said.

The remarks Thursday extended an olive branch to nuns who have felt in recent years that the Vatican was questioning their efforts to serve those on the margins.

Years of tension between the Holy See and American nuns came to a head in 2012, when the Vatican, then led by Pope Benedict XVI, accused the group representing 80% of American nuns of deviating from church...

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