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'Nuns on the Bus' organizer to address Democratic convention

Catholic World News - August 29, 2012

Sister Simone Campbell--the head of the liberal Network lobby, and chief organizer of the "Nuns on the Bus" tour criticizing Republican budget plans--has been invited to speak at the Democratic Party's national convention in September.

Democratic leaders announced the plans for a speech by Sister Campbell on August 28, the same day that saw the announcement that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will deliver the convention's closing prayer. While Cardinal Dolan has stressed that he will only offer a prayer--acting as a pastor rather than a partisan--Sister Campbell will deliver a political address.

Sister Campbell and the Network lobby have been prominent in their support of liberal social programs, including the Obama administration's health-care reform. In June a newspaper in Charlotte, North Carolina (the site for the Democratic convention) said that in an appearance there Sister Campbell had "scorned the US bishops for their continued opposition to the health insurance law." She also declined to characterize herself as pro-life.

In April, a Vatican critique of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious cited the group's ties with Network as a source of concern, noting the failure of the group to take a public stand in defense of human life.

By inviting Sister Campbell as well as Cardinal Dolan, the Democratic Party is offering two markedly different views of Catholic involvement in American political life. (It is significant, again, that whereas Sister Campbell will present her political views, Cardinal Dolan will lead the convention in prayer.) The contrast between the public stands taken of these two prominent Catholic speakers prompted Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times to comment that "the Democratic Party has balanced its own Catholic ticket" with the two invitations.

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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Aug. 31, 2012 1:39 PM ET USA

    "Nuns on a bus"? All two of them. They are not "nuns" anyway - only cloistered religious are referred to as "Nuns." The others are "Sisters." But, I belabor the point. The point is that there were only two Sisters on that bus, and they were old leftovers from the 60s. Probably the only ones in their "convents." I'm sick to death of these "do-gooders" calling themselves "Catholic" and getting away with it!

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 30, 2012 2:38 PM ET USA

    And I am sure that Sr. Campbell is there to tell the truth to power about compulsory contraception, abortion and sterilization payments by all insurors.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 29, 2012 7:50 PM ET USA

    The Democrats are going to great lengths to garner the Catholic vote. First,the laity will see all these dissenting Catholics including a nun who are all still clearly in 'good standing' with the Church on a national stage (now with the good Cardinal in tow). Then they will see the Cardinal and other Catholic leaders partying with the President at the Al Smith dinner. It is a clear message that abortion and the rest of the dissent from our Lord's teachings are really nothing to worry about.

  • Posted by: rpp - Aug. 29, 2012 5:15 PM ET USA

    With Cardinal Dolan, and this woman, and the likes of Biden and Pelosi, invited the Democratic convention, it is nice to know that at least one Catholic will be there.

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