Saint Francis sister garners attention for nontraditional views

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The principal of Saint Francis School is getting attention for her nontraditional views, expressed in the latest edition of Midweek.

Sister Joan of Arc Souza says in the cover story that priests should be allowed to marry and women should be allowed to be priests.

She also believes that gay and transgender people should not face discrimination, especially kids.

"I'm not going to deny any student, regardless of sexual orientation. I'm here to educate them," she said.

Her views are not consistent with the Catholic teachings she grew up with.

"The way the world is, listening to the pope speak, we need to just love one another," she said. "Different doesn't mean better than, it's just different and that's what makes the world interesting."

Most people have been very supportive, she says. Some even thanked her for speaking out.

Souza is no stranger to controversy.

In December 2015, when the 24 nuns who live in the school's convent were being evicted, Souza took on the mainland-based group that wanted to move them to an assisted living center. Souza won that battle and the nuns remain on the property today.

Souza has been head of school for 27 years and says she has no plans to retire.

She is credited with doubling the enrollment and taking on social issues, despite critics.

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