The largest group of American nuns is meeting in St. Louis and hope to announce its response to a Vatican order to reform. Back in April, the sisters were scolded by the Vatican, saying they were straying too far from the church on social issues.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious represents 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S. And these women now find themselves going head-to-head with the most powerful leaders of the church.
Leaders of this group are trying to draft a response to the Vatican's criticism that nuns have "serious doctrinal problems" and that they promoted "certain radical themes" that undermine Catholic teaching.
WKYC spoke with Sister Chris Shank by phone, who is in St. Louis. She isn't among those deciding the response, but what happens will affect how she carries her missions in Cleveland's Future Church.
"Quite honestly, its not the role of women religious to proclaim church teaching, that's the role of the bishops, so the women's religious communities are really about serving the poorest of the poor among us and being present with them."
She hopes, in the very least, the conference will open dialogue between the women religious and Vatican leaders.
Outside the women religious annual conference, people held signs of support, thanking the hundreds of nuns gathered here for their hard work and a plea for more faith in their leadership.