Catholic nuns have been in the news lately stirring sh*t up. Biased by my own Catholic School upbringing I would never have guessed the progressive movement within the Catholic Church would come from the nuns?! But these sisters are fierce and are fighting for social/economic justice and an evolution within doctrinal teachings of the Church.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), have come under fire for their feminism from Pope Ratzinger, but instead of buckling under Patriarchal pressure they have taken to the media. Terry Gross' insightful interview with Sister Pat Farrell can be heard here, and yesterday Brian Lehrer interviewed Barbara Max Hubbard LCWR's keynote speaker at their most recent assembly. Earlier this summer Sister Simone Campbell, who is affiliated with LCWR through Nuns On The Bus, was on the Colbert Report.
These sisters feel entitled to speak on these issues because they see themselves on the front lines of devastating social and economic issues. Nuns On The Bus, led by Sister Simone Campbell, took up protesting the GOP "Ryan Budget" economic plan by driving through nine cities and towns from the mid-west ending in Washington D.C. According to the sisters:
As Catholic Sisters, we must speak out against the current House Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). We do so because it harms people who are already suffering.
The Ryan Budget would:
- Raise taxes on 18 million hardworking low-income families while cutting taxes for millionaires and big corporations.
- Push the families of 2 million children into poverty.
- Kick 8 million people off food stamps and 30 million off health care.
Sister Simone's says that the GOP plan for cutting the federal safety net, and have religious organizations care for underprivileged communities puts an overwhelming strain on religious organizations, who already put what limited resources they have into these programs. She says that every single Church, Mosque, and Temple would have to raise an additional $50,000 from its local community in order to pay for such a burden.
But far from just protesting the Ryan Plan, the sisters have proposed an alternate, Faithful Budget, in collaboration with other Christian, Muslim, Jewish and faith based organizations.
The nuns ended their tour earlier this July, but not before stopping at (professed Catholic) Paul Ryan's congressional office in Wisconsin. Liberal media god father, Bill Moyer's & Co., jumped aboard the bus tour, broadcasting and reporting from the road.