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Posted on Jun 25, 2012 | 1 comment

Nun Bus Stops at Fountain Square

Nun Bus Stops at Fountain Square

Sr. Simone Campbell, SS, Executive Director of NETWORK, spoke at Fountain Square Sunday in what was billed as a press conference.

Some of about 50 supporters gathered for Nuns on the Bus.

He was supposed to be a political target, but Congressman Steve Chabot wasn’t there when Nuns on the Bus rolled up to Fountain Square Sunday afternoon to protest a Republican federal budget proposal and rally the troops around nuns and religious sisters everywhere.

Sr. Simone Campbell, SS, (one of the two religious sisters actually making the nine-state bus tour) didn’t mind. She emerged from the bus to cheers from about 30 people gathered to wait for her, and launched into interviews for local television, meet and greets with supporters, and footage for at least two documentary companies. By the time the podium was set up for her speech, about 100 supporters, staff, religious sisters, members of the media, and curious onlookers had gathered around.

The budget devised by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and passed by the House “fails the basic moral tests,” Sr. Simone told the crowd. (Ryan, a Catholic, says his budget is based on a different interpretation of Catholic Social Teaching.) Saying social programs for the poor and a higher minimum wage “is not about charity, it’s about justice,” Sr. Simone showed the crowd a different budget plan she said was devised by leaders from several religions. She promised to deliver a copy of this “Faithful Budget” to the West Chester office of US Speaker of the House John Boehner Monday at the next Nuns on the Bus stop.

The Faithful Budget, she said, would not cut spending. “Everybody who’s benefited from this country needs to invest in it,” she said. “We need to raise revenue, and in a country as rich as ours it’s easy to do.”

Sr. Simone and Sr. Diane Donoghue, SS, are the only two sisters on the bus for its entire trip. For the Cincinnati stop they were joined by Sr. Reg McKillip, OP; Sr. Marge Clark, BVM; and the only local “nun,” Sr. Mary Wendeln, CPPS, from Dayton. Sr. Simone, Sr. Diane, and Sr. Reg all work for NETWORK, a politically and socially liberal lobbying group associated with Catholic sisters and recently called out as problematic by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The tour, which takes place over the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” but is pointedly not connected with it, seemed to mean different things to different people. Some in the crowd expressed anger with Republican politicians. Others were eager to thank sisters and nuns for their work as teachers and in helping the poor.

Catholics were not the only supporters on Fountain Square. Carol Taylor, a Buddhist who lives in Avondale, said she came to support the sisters because they teach what she believes: “that humanity leads.”

Taylor said she was brought up as a Catholic but chose a different path. “But I had 13 years of Catholic schooling, and those values mean a lot to me,” she said. “Compassion is the common element in every faith tradition. We respond to each other as human beings. We feed the hungry. A homeless, drug-addicted man came to me the other day, and I fed him. What was I supposed to do, judge him?”

A Clifton resident who did not want to be identified said he came to support the sisters although he is an atheist. “I basically see religion as one of the most evil forces in the world,” he said. “I always say I don’t have enough hate in me to be a Christian. But these sisters are different. They’re doing what everyone should do.”

After half an hour in the hot sun, the event billed as a press conference ended. Half a dozen homeless people had gathered on the steps. Several of the sisters and their supporters gave them money and the rest dispersed, leaving them to sit and chat in front of the empty bus.

A Clifton man, who asked not to be identified by name or to have his face shown, said he was an atheist who came out to support Nuns on the Bus.

Sr. Simone, carrying a copy of the “Faithful Budget,” greeted a supporter while a film crew captured the moment. Behind them is supporter Janice Sevré-Duszynska, a peace activist associated with Maryknoll who has been “ordained” by a group claiming to be able to ordain women as priests.

1 Comment

  1. From the Catholic League:

    Catalyst September Issue 2012

    The media coverage of the recent “Fortnight for Freedom” events sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the competing “Nuns on the Bus” campaign, proved revealing.

    A total of 141 dioceses, involving tens of thousands of Catholics, participated in the USCCB events; it ended with a crowd of 5,000 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on July 4. Although Bill Moyers wrote that “a bus filled with nuns” participated in the “Nuns on the Bus” campaign, in actual fact a total of two nuns made the entire bus trip; there were never more than six at any one time on the bus. No matter, CNN did eight stories on the nuns, and none on the bishops; MSNBC did six on the nuns, and one on the bishops; and CBS News did two on the nuns and none on the bishops.

    The nuns were helped by a media advisor for Faith in Public Life, a group that is funded by atheist billionaire George Soros, and whose Catholic Program Director is John Gehring, a left-wing operative who sought to manipulate the media against the USCCB events. Leading the nuns was a registered Washington lobbyist, Sr. Simone Campbell of Network. This group’s founder, Sr. Marjorie Tuite, was threatened with expulsion in the 1980s for her pro-abortion work. Today, Network employs nine people, three of whom are nuns.

    The “Nuns on the Bus” tour made its biggest splash when the luxury bus parked outside the United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. Lauding them was a leader of the Islamic Society of North America. According to renowned student of terrorism, Steve Emerson, this organization “has sponsored extremists, racists, people who call for Jihad against the United States.” Not that the embrace of totalitarianism is anything foreign to these activists: an 88-year-old nun who was on the bus said she had just gotten back from Cuba, where she expressed her solidarity with the Communists.
    In Christ,

    “Michael in Cincinnati”

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