Pope Francis has supported the Vatican's decision for a doctrinal crackdown of American nuns whose views on social issues don't align with the Catholic Church's conservative stand.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Vatican stated that Francis has "reaffirmed" the stand his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had on U.S. nuns. The doctrinal evaluation found the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella organization that represents roughly 80% U.S. female Catholic orders, promoting "radical feminism" and ignoring the Vatican's views on same-sex marriage and abortion. The Vatican's solution was to have an archbishop rewrite the organization's statutes and to execute a reeducation program to ensure that the nuns were no longer challenging the church's teachings, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Officials from the conference met with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller—the doctrinal watchdog chosen by the Vatican—and Mueller reminded everyone that their organization must stay in line with the views of the Vatican and that Francis supports the reform decision made last year for the nuns.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. bishops' conference, told The Associated Press earlier this week, ""I think the greatest thing he's going to bring is to say to everybody 'Be not afraid. We're friends. We're on this journey together. We can speak openly to one another. We both have things to learn. We both have changes we need to make and let's serve one another best by being trusting and charitable yet honest to one another."'

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