New Nun Bus Sets Out from Cincinnati
NETWORK, a political lobbying group run by Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, will sponsor an Ohio version of its “Nuns on the Bus” tour this week.
Sr. Monica McGloin, OP, who featured prominently in a recent Catholics for Obama video, is organizing the five-day bus tour called Ohio Nuns on the Bus. Like the original, the Ohio version will make stops promoting the “Faithful Budget,” a federal budget guideline drafted by members of numerous religious faiths. Unlike any current or anticipated budget, the “faithful budget” would not include any spending cuts.
Speaking at the Fountain Square stop of the original bus tour, Sr. Simone said that “everybody who’s benefited from this country needs to invest in it,” adding that “we need to raise revenue, and in a country as rich as ours it’s easy to do.”
She did not detail proposals for how to raise revenue.
Sr. Monica, Sr. Mary Wendeln, CPPS, and Sr. Fran Repka, SM, all of Cincinnati, will leave Wednesday on a five-day tour of the state. Stops are planned for Dayton, Lima, Columbus, Toledo, Fremont, Cleveland, Youngstown, Athens, and Marietta, with other stops possible along the way. A closing event in Cincinnati is still being planned.
NETWORK says the bus will stop at Catholic-sponsored social service agencies that could be harmed in future budget cuts. The sisters “will call for Democrats and Republicans to support a… budget that affirms the life of all God’s children — not just the wealthiest few,” NETWORK spokesperson Casey Schoeneberger says. “This tour though is different in that it is solely focused on the people of Ohio.”
The tour begins at noon from the South Cumminsville (OH) offices of Working in Neighborhoods (WIN), an organization that helps low-income families to find, buy, and maintain housing.
At 10:30, WIN will host a panel presentation by Sr. Simone and others associated with the original bus tour, talking about poverty, healthcare, housing, and other issues. “We are thrilled to host the ‘Nuns on the Bus,” says WIN Executive Director Sr. Barbara Busch, SC. “Every day at WIN we see hard-working families and senior citizens who are trying to keep a roof over their heads and improve their communities.”
Ohio Nuns on the Bus is not the first follow-up to the June Nuns on the Bus tour. Schoeneberger says similar bus tours have taken place or are being planned around the country. In September, “Nuns on the Ferry” took to the Staten Island Ferry to protest against the budget proposed by Sen. Paul Ryan. Sr. Marge Clark, BVM, wrote that New York Rep. Michael Grimm had made public statements that Catholic sisters should be working on abortion and other life and moral issues, not the US budget.
“There are many Catholic organizations that dedicate themselves to issues named by Rep. Grimm,” she said in a NETWORK blog post. ”Far fewer are dedicated to the life issues of hunger, housing, child care, healthcare, and other issues that provide life and health and development.”
Schoeneberger says NETWORK is “100% pro-life, from conception to natural death,” and that how Americans prioritize the budget is “a test of our nation’s character.” NETWORK also says that the budget it advocates is one that agrees with principals about economics endorsed by the US Catholic bishops.
This year the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has made several statements condemning actions by the current administration as attacks on religious freedom (including designating two weeks this fall as a “Fortnight for Freedom”) and reminding voters that abortion, which the Democratic platform supports at all stages and for any reason, is an intrinsic evil and can never be supported. Madison, WI, Bishop Robert Morlino said that the budget proposed by his parishioner Sen. Paul Ryan, which NETWORK claims is “immoral,” does not conflict with any Catholic teachings and that Catholics can disagree about what political strategies and public policies are best for the common good as long as they do not promote or condone intrinsic evil. And earlier this month, Springfield, IL bishop Thomas Paprocki reminded voters that support of intrinsic evils makes them morally complicit in those evils, and jeopardizes their immortal souls.
Despite Sr. Simone’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention and Sr. Monica’s personal work with Catholics for Obama, Schoeneberger says, NETWORK ”does not endorse the party platform nor the President. NETWORK is doing what it has done for the past 40 years of its existence and carrying out its mission in calling for policies that cclose the gap between rich and poor and to dismantle policies rooted in racism, greed and violence.’”
For our story on the Cincinnati Nuns on the Bus stop, click here.