"I sent a note to the prioress today requesting that the flag be removed from in front of the monastery. I listed these reasons:

• "We are a church that teaches love for all God's people, the whole human family. The national flag of any country is often associated with war and the intent to kill and destroy enemies, God's children.

• "Some say the flag is a symbol of freedom, liberty, justice. But for many around the globe — mainly the poor of the earth — the flag means exploitation, military power, and profit at any cost. As women religious we should be on the side of the poor.

• "Many religious, academic, and government leaders are telling us that the day of the nation-state is over, that we must begin thinking on an international level if the planet is to survive. Again, we should be prophet to that vision.

• "If people see the flag waving in front of the 'house of God' or see it next to the tabernacle on the altar, they begin to mix or fuse symbols, identifying God with the flag, religion with the nation. In times of war, many equate their country's actions with God's will or desire.

• "Monastic men and women are marginal people who live on the fringe of society. They owe their allegiance only to God. The monastery building itself, all its d├ęcor and environment, should reflect that radical commitment to the 'other'."