Nuns On The Bus Tour

American Catholic nuns are going on the road, taking their fight against the Ryan budget cuts for programs for the poor, to the people. As per Sister Simone Campbell, in an excellent NPR interview with Michel Martin

“If Congressman Ryan hadn’t mentioned his faith, I don’t know if we would come up with this idea, but the fact that he was claiming – it’s an outrageous claim in my view that the Catholic faith, that is all about serving the poor, validates his budget, which does nothing but decimate services to the poor, provides further tax cuts for the wealthy and then he claims that this is going to help balance our budget when it actually makes it worse. That combination of misstatements was an outrage to us and we thought, we need to illustrate the problem because people outside the beltway don’t know….We thought the best way to bring an education to our nation about what’s happening here in Washington is if we went on the road and lifted up their work and the consequences they would face if this Republican House budget goes through.”

Nun and lawyer, Sister Simone Campbell is the head of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, founded by Catholic sisters in 1971. The organization was singled out by the Vatican in its scathing critique of the Leadership Conference of the Women’s Religious for keeping “silent on the right to life.” Sister Simone, who made it very clear that she and the rest of Network’s managing staff were not even consulted during the Vatican’s inquiry, stated that Network’s focus, in keeping with the mission of the founding sisters, was poverty, immigration, and health care. “I think we scare them,” she has said of the church’s male hierarchy. “It’s painfully obvious that the leadership of the church is not used to having educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.”

Our work every day is in the streets, in the neighborhoods, with families, in a classroom, in a hospital with people who are dying or seriously ill. So our work takes us to the people. Their work takes them to protecting the institution. If you protect the institution, that’s going to give you one set of views. If you work with the people in a pastoral setting and you’re with anguish and struggle and joy and hope every day, then the gospel reads differently to us. And, historically, Catholic sisters have always been a thorn in the bishop’s side because we’ve also been on the edge. We’ve always been with folks who are suffering.” 

Sister Simone Campbell and Network, like Mother Teresa, embody the teachings of the Christ they worship. The are true Christians, applying faith to politics to lift up and help humanity, rather than control the masses and bend them to their will. The nuns on the bus tour begins June 18th and will make stops in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. For more information about Network and the tour…

Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools, Katherine Manaan (MAWT)

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