Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He is the author of An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2016).

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Pope Francis acknowledges women religious as allies not adversaries

Women religious in the United States have often led the way in calling for a more open conversation regarding controverted teaching, but they have done so not out of a disregard of the great tradition, but based on their wealth of pastoral experience. The move of women religious to the margins of society came long before Pope Francis made this pastoral option a central feature of his papal program.