The Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s, known informally (and hilariously) as Vatican II, was intended to bring the Catholic Church into the modern world. As shown in Mary Fishman's documentary, Band of Sisters, one of the changes wrought by Vatican II – allowing nuns to wear civilian clothes and mingle with the proles – has had perhaps the greatest impact, one that the Church patriarchy has come to regret and distrust. Band of Sisters looks at past and present American nuns who use their belief in social justice to help people who tend to be ignored by the conservative Church, especially prisoners and undocumented immigrants facing deportation. The women profiled are genuinely trying to make the world a better place for all living things, regardless of religious affiliation and/or species, and without adhering to a particular dogma; some of the more sustainability-minded nuns reference the New Age-y concept of Gaia, and acknowledge that the Biblical account of creation no longer applies in the real world. It's easy to get disillusioned by modern Christianity (the people who claim that gay marriage threatens their "religious liberty" come to mind), but Band of Sisters is a reminder that a small but dedicated group of nuns are still walking where Jesus walked.
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