Priests and Workers Cry "Nun Intimidation!"
Labor organizing can be tense under the best of circumstances, but in bucolic Sonoma County, one such effort has escalated to a theological debate of sorts, pitting Catholic nuns against their ecclesiastic brethren in a dispute involving labor rights, the church's social teachings and a multibillion-dollar business.
On one side are the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who operate Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as part of the $3.35 billion St. Joseph Healthcare System, a business that supports their order. On the other are local priests, labor leaders and hospital employees who have accused management of creating an atmosphere of intimidation.
The tension has escalated in recent months, which have been punctuated by marches, vigils and meetings.
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