The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 80% of America's 57,000 nuns, was the subject of a lengthy of investigation led by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio.
The resulting report noted the good work they did with the poor and in running schools and hospitals, but also documented what it called a "grave" doctrinal crisis.
It said the sisters were promoting radical feminist themes and criticised US nuns for challenging the bishops, who it said were "the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals".
The Archbishop of Seattle, Peter Sartain, is to lead a reform of the LCWR.
This will include a review of ties between it and its close partner, Network, a social justice organisation involved in healthcare and poverty programmes.
Network was singled out for criticism in the report for "being silent on the right to life" and other "crucial issues" to the church.
Sister Campbell suggested that her organisation's vocal support for President Barack Obama's healthcare bill was behind the slapdown.
"There's a strong connection," she said. "We didn't split on faith, we split on politics."
And not just because I was taught by nuns and YOU DO NOT MESS, son, and all the other too-easy jokes about how mean nuns are and ha ha ha.
Putting things bluntly, Catholic nuns have been doing the actual work of keeping the church alive while the bishops sat on their asses and complained. They staffed the schools and ran the hospitals, teaching the faith and caring for the sick, day in and day out, when nobody was watching. The bishops get all the pomp and all the press, but you know who wins things like this? You know who wins these fights?
The people who have the patience to outlast the latest loudmouth Your Grace blathering on about obedience and one's proper place. The people who've been there before him and will likely be there after. The people who show up to work and keep showing up long after the fanfare's over.