- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay comments
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
Nuns’ bus tour highlights clash with bishops over their activism
Question of the Day
DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Roman Catholic nuns began a nine-state bus tour protesting proposed federal budget cuts Monday, saying they weren’t trying to flout recent Vatican criticisms of socially active nuns but felt called to show how Republican policies are affecting low-income families.
The tour was organized by Network, a Washington-based Catholic social justice group criticized in a recent Vatican report that said some organizations led by nuns have focused too much on economic injustice while failing to promote the church’s teachings on abortion and same-sex marriage. The Vatican asked U.S. bishops to look at Network’s ties to another group of nuns it is reorganizing because of what the church calls “serious doctrinal problems.”
Sister Simone Campbell, Network’s executive director, insisted that, while the tour may appear to have been organized to counter recent criticism of social activist nuns by the Vatican and American bishops, it was not. The timing was in response to consideration of the federal budget in Congress, she said.
“We’re doing this because of what’s happening on the Hill,” she said. “We’re desperate to get the word out. That’s why we’re doing it now.”
But if the 14 nuns who will rotate on and off the bus during the next two weeks weren’t trying to counter the Vatican, they likely did little to ease its concerns about social activism.
The tour kicked off with a rally that had the feel of a political event. About 20 supporters brought flowers and balloons and sang, “Alleluia,” as the nuns boarded a modern tour bus decorated with bright graphics.
While the nuns say they aren’t opposing any specific Republican candidate, they plan stops at the offices of several closely tied to the budget process, including House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who is the architect of the House-passed budget. The tour will end in Washington on July 2.
The mandate to crack down on socially active nuns upset some church parishioners who turned out to support the nuns.
“They want to bully these nuns and shut them down and tell them: ‘Get back in your place, ladies.’ No, it’s not going to be that way anymore,” said Mary Ann McCoy, who attends St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines.
While the Vatican has criticized Network, church officials have not ordered a full-scale overhaul of it as is being done with another group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. After a two-year investigation, the Vatican concluded the conference had undermined Roman Catholic teaching with radical feminist themes and taken positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the all-male priesthood, marriage and homosexuality. Three U.S. bishops have been given five years to reorganize that group.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did not immediately comment on the bus tour.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Sen. Max Baucus: Obamas choice for China ambassador
- Obama's own panel rips NSA spying on phone calls of Americans
- President gets budget win -- but only by staying out of negotiations
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow