USA    NUN DEFIES VATICAN BAN ON SPEAKING ON GAY LIFE
A US nun has declined to obey the Vatican's permanent ban on speaking or writing about homosexuality, bringing her within a step of being expelled ejected from her order, according to a news release issued yesterday by the order.
   The sanction levied last week against Sr Jeannine Gramick tightens a Vatican gag order issued 10 months ago, when she and Fr Robert Nugent were ordered to leave their Prince George's County-based group, New Ways Ministry, and halt all pastoral work with homosexuals.
   If Gramick is banned from her order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Vatican will have ended one of the most widespread church-based efforts to reconcile Catholic teachings with the realities of gay life.
   Nugent has always said he would obey the order but Gramick has been more defiant, publicly calling the Vatican decision "fundamentally unfair," and asking audiences around the country to lobby to overturn it.
   Last week, both were called to the Rome headquarters of their orders. Gramick was told that because of her public statements, she could no longer speak or write about homosexuality or about the Vatican order against her, the School Sisters of Notre Dame said.
   "We had asked her to 'let the land lie fallow' . . . and redirect her gifts and energies toward a different ministry," leaders of the order said in the statement issued yesterday. But because she has refused to comply, the two sides have reached an impasse, the statement said.
   In a written response to the new order, Gramick compared herself to a battered woman. "I feel pained that the Vatican and my community leaders now ask me to silence myself," she wrote. "After finding my voice to tell my story, I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression by restricting a basic human right."
   
Washington Post
30/5/00

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