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, 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 told The Associated Press in an interview. “We’re desperate to get the word out, that’s why we’re doing it now.”