By Ted Rowlands, CNN
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) - A few months ago Sister Simone Campbell was in a brainstorming meeting trying to come up with ways to get the public's attention.
"We thought maybe we could buy an online ad,” said Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, a liberal Catholic social justice lobby based in Washington.
Everything changed after the Vatican publicly scolded The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group for U.S. nuns, for allowing "radical feminist themes” to go unchecked a conferences and in their literature.
“NETWORK will be forever different because of this,” Campbell said riding through southwest Wisconsin on the “Nuns on the Bus” tour.
The scolding came in a lengthy doctrinal assessment the Vatican said was aimed at the renewal of the group of superiors who represent nearly 80% of nuns in the United States.
Campbell's religious order, the Sisters of Social Service, is a part of LCWR. But for her, the assessment was even more personal because it took direct aim at NETWORK, saying it and other parts of LCWR were too focused on social justice and not focused enough on other parts of Catholic teaching, like the sanctity of life and marriage.
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Campbell said the attention and the overwhelming support the nuns received in the wake of the Vatican’s criticism put nuns in the spotlight.
"So what we said is ‘how can we use this opportunity of the focus on us to show people what we’re all about and who we care for?’”
That’s when the idea of “Nuns on the Bus” hatched.
Support instantly flowed in for the 2,700-mile, nine-state, 30-stop bus tour that began in Iowa and will end in Washington on July 2, Campbell said.
The nuns are drawing crowds at every stop.
“That's the most amazing thing, when you walk out of the bus and you see the excitement and the anticipation," 81-year-old Sister Diane Donoghue from Los Angeles said.
Donoghue is the only nun scheduled to be on the bus the entire journey.
The nuns on the bus roll through Iowa.
The nuns hope to rally support for the poor and fight proposed federal budget cuts to programs geared to help those in need.
Specifically the nuns are lobbying against the budget passed by the House of Representatives and authored by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
The nuns even made a stop at Ryan’s Janesville, Wisconsin, district office and dropped off their “Faithful Budget Proposal” to a staffer.
The congressman has said repeatedly, and most notably in a major speech this spring at Georgetown University, that his budget is in tune with Catholic teaching.
Ryan said in a statement after the nuns dropped off their budget proposal that the national debt and outdated structures of public assistance would do more to hurt the needy than to help them in the long run.
"Economic stagnation and a growing dependency on government assistance continues to push this country toward a debt crisis, in which those who get hurt the first and the worst are the poor, the sick and the elderly, the people who need government the most," the statement said.
"To avoid a debt crisis and to restore the promise of greater opportunity and greater prosperity, Washington owes the American people bold and targeted reforms and real solutions that address today’s most urgent fiscal challenges," the statement continued.
“Congressman Ryan claiming the Catholicism mantle really set our teeth on the edge,"Campbell said. “We wouldn’t be on the road if he hadn’t done that.
“Most of the programs that Congressman Ryan is proposing to cut in the House budget are the ones that are the most effective: Head Start, food stamps, all the really important budget items that work,” Campbell argued.
As the nuns moved from stop to stop, they received a warm reception. Some cheered and others teared up with emotion when they saw the nuns.
Many said they had come to say thank you to all nuns for their decades of service.
"They’re so courageous and smart," said retired teacher and grandmother Pamela Fitzgerald, who drove 25 miles to greet the nuns in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"This was a wonderful idea," said Lee Mickey, a self-professed fan of Sister Simone Campbell. "This is just a way to show honor for their work."
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“This is so special” Campbell said while sitting on the bus after a visit with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in southwest Wisconsin. “Someone I just met said to me she’s been waiting for this message for years.”
As the bus rolled down the highway to the next stop, the driver notes he normally hauls around famous musicians in this rented coach.
The nuns settle in for the ride in the large leather seats, using their time between stops to send emails, glimpse up at the flat screens TVs and a grab a snack from the mini kitchen.
By now, there’s no more need for more brainstorming.
“Be careful what you pray for,” Campbell cracks, “This may be just a joke from the Holy Spirit.”
The views expressed by the Nuns have been INSPIRATIONAL for so many! All the 'good works' of the Catholic Church are conceived and carried out by the Nuns – if it were up to the men in costumes, the church would still be in the dark ages! This issue crosses religious lines and even this agnostic Christian can see the desparate attempt by the old guard to appear relevant OR compassionate to the needs of the masses. The Catholic Church's male hierarchy had it's day and failed miserably for hundreds of years to care for or potect it's members. Indeed, they have instigated more misery and pain than can be expressed. They now face a choice – either get behind the only branch of the Church that ministers to love and service or ride off into an oblivious sunset.
"either get behind"
The catholic church has "getting behind" people for centuries. That's thee reason they are having so many lawsuits right now.
The church will prevail. It is not about misogyny, it is about staying faithful to the teachings of Christ. Four nuns riding a lavish coach is not the best works of the Catholic Church, sounds likes they are seeking celebrity status.
Mother Teresa would differ gravely.
Fides et Ratio
Cissy – the nuns are only inspirational to people who have no faith. And who want contraceptives; abortions and the gay lifestyle.
These women are failures. They took vows and they have openly broken them. The Vatican needs to sack them OR they need to leave the convents.
If you work in any other job – sign a binding contract – then refuse to abide by the contract you SIGNED, you'd be sacked. No question.
But these failures won't LEAVE because they've got status they wouldn't have as "civilians" AND they live with FREE food, board, spending money, clothes allowance and a big BUS if they want it.
If they want to hawk policies that are not in agreement with their faith let them get the hell out and do it on their own dime.
Mother Teresa would differ gravely
Mother T was a sadistic lesbian who loved to see children suffer
Nice to see the Nuns talking about how the Republicans will make life harder for the poor and the needy. Christians who are so obsessed with gay rights and contraception say they "know Jesus" but they don't. They have lost track of Jesus' true teachings: help the poor and downtrodden. Republicans are all about making companies and millionaires richer and the poor can suffer. Jesus was against that with every ounce of his being. The Republicans and FOX News have hijacked religion and the flag. Any real christians out there should be railing against that but no, you truly are a flock ... of sheep. Republican christians, be ashamed!
I have long assumed that the 'obcessed Christians' you talk about have NEVER actually read the Bible. They're a bit like the MANY rabid Republican/Democrats who scream to the rafters but don't bother to actually even vote.
Nuns on a bus.
isn't that kind of like snakes on a plane.
Where is Sam Jackson when you need him?
He's probably laying mushroom clouds and breaking peoples' concentration.
A lot of people in the '60s who were "tripping" thought they saw god.
I never saw god, but I did manage to see what is behind reality.
The 60's? Mushrooms are still around
If anybody out there in the adult film industry is looking at this: Nuns on the Bus, make it happen.
Rational and Linertarian is just like saying socialist communist.
"The nuns hope to rally support for the poor and fight proposed federal budget cuts to programs geared to help those in need."
They ( the nuns ) are absolutely right !! BECAUSE this religious group is critisizing the government about budget cuts. The government should tax all religious groups to help those in need. Great idea nuns!!
Brother Maynard.. There are a lot of people who don't know and because they don't they tend to make fun of those that do...It is simply amazing to see the Liberal actions on this CNN site. It is simply amazing to thing that our Government needs to solve things for the LIBS as they can't do it themselves. They expect Government to address all their concerns and not have the know how to address common issues. Obama the socialist has proven that and has not got us out of trouble with the banks and 6 tril in debt more then we were before and no budget and not to mention his disregard to the Senate.
Only for the Sisters of the Bus,
Your spunk is admired but please realize the freedom to do so also allows us to review and comment on Christianity in depth one result being the rewriting of the Apostles' Creed:
The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used are available upon request)
The nuns may be the only spiritual part of the Catholic religion. I wish I could thank each of them personally.
This is the GOSPEL: "Breaking Breaf and Sharing Life!
1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. egocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.
2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and disdaining the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.
3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.
4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into Wonderland by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.
5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.
6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.
7. You disdain gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.
8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.
9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).
10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.
11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.
Heavens, I could not fit them into ten. Maybe, if they pray hard enough to their sky-fairy, the Catholics can turn them into 10
Anyone have any questions about Christianity? Feel free to ask ...
You undoubtedly know people who are not "saved". Are they good people? Are you comfortable with the idea that they will be tortured forever? Are you comfortable spending eternity with a being that would do that? Are you comfortable spending eternity with a being from whom you have to be "saved"? If you are sooooo sure that you will be in heaven, what is keeping you here? Do you not have tall buildings where you live?
when you've attempted to deal with sam stone I might have a couple of questions
Ausie: Good luck with that. Topher offers up such intellectyual gems as "I BELIEVE it to be true" and "It MIGHT be true"....obviously, logic not his strong suit.
"Are they good people?"
By what standard? In comparison to other men, sure. But Jesus said we are to be perfect like our father in Heaven. That they are not (and neither am I.)
"Are you comfortable with the idea that they will be tortured forever?"
No. That's why I keep trying to witness to them. It's not too late for them to be saved. And it's also why I come on this message board and take the abuse I do. I don't want any of you atheists and other non-believers to go to Hell either.
"Are you comfortable spending eternity with a being that would do that? Are you comfortable spending eternity with a being from whom you have to be "saved"?"
That being gave up His life for mine. He took the punishment I deserve. So yes, spending eternity with Him will be amazing. And I broke the rules. So I can only blame myself for deserving Hell.
"If you are sooooo sure that you will be in heaven, what is keeping you here? Do you not have tall buildings where you live?"
You aren't saved yet, Sam. That's why I'm here.
"By what standard?"
"That is why I am witnessing to them"
At what point does "witnessing" become badgering? You know that we do not accept your (view of) god, but you continue badgering people under the guise of helping them. As we have discussed earliers, YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO SPEAK FOR GOD. Get it?
"That being gave up His life for mine"
More conjecture on your part.
So, you deserve hell, do you?
Again, Topher, I am not an atheist. Do you seriously have that much of a reading comprehension problem? You sure seem to have that bible inserted deep up your rectum
Topher yet again illustrates that, without guilt, his belief system is impotent
Topher: People that do not accept the validity of the bible cannot be held responsible for adhering to it any more than you can be held responsible for adhering to other religion's texts. So, bloviate away, but realize that you are no more inspirational than a circus geek
"So, you deserve hell, do you?"
Absolutely I deserve Hell. I'm the chief of all sinners. I've broken all 10 Commandments.
"People that do not accept the validity of the bible cannot be held responsible for adhering to it any more than you can be held responsible for adhering to other religion's texts."
I don't need a religious text to tell me it is wrong to lie or steal. Yet I've done them anyway.
Topher, "I don't need a religious text to tell me it is wrong to lie or steal. Yet I've done them anyway."
Yes, and you'll be coming back as a toad as punishment for that. Prove that it isn't so...
"We....... thought...... you....... was....... a....... toad, Pete!"
"Yes, and you'll be coming back as a toad as punishment for that. Prove that it isn't so..."
Tell me why I SHOULD believe it. Bring me a toad that will warn me against my evil deeds. ;)
Topher, "Bring me a toad that will warn me against my evil deeds."
Ok, but you have to BELIEVE first. Only then will the toad speak to you.
So you believe I'll turn into a toad, but the toad can't confirm it ... so then where do your beliefs come from?
The toad will confirm it, but you must BELIEVE first.
And you feel that those who lie or steal are deserving of eternal torment?
"And you feel that those who lie or steal are deserving of eternal torment?"
Yes. Because it is a rejection of God. And let's not be coy with words. People haven't only lied once or stole once. They do it hundreds if not thousands of times in their life. Let's say you sin just 3 times a day (that's conservative) ... in a year that is more than a thousand sins. Carry that over a lifetime, that's over 80,000.
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and wh.o.remongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and ALL LIARS (emphasis mine), shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev. 21:8
Topher: In that case, your god is a petty vindictive punk. And so are those who would worship him
So you are just going to ignore the love shown in the Gospel? How He wishes none of us to go there and thus offers forgiveness? How is that petty and vindictive?
Because he has established the "sinner" label from birth. Because he sees murder the same as telling a lie (at least according to what I have understood from Christians on the blogs)
"Because he has established the "sinner" label from birth."
We are born with a sin nature, yes. But that doesn't mean if a baby dies it will go to Hell. There is an age of accountability.
"Because he sees murder the same as telling a lie."
Hating someone is murder in the heart. Yes, murder and lies are both sins and will be punished, though they aren't the same thing. I don't have scripture to back this up, but I'd imagine a murderer will get more punishment than some of the "lesser" crimes. Remember, all sins are a transgression of the law and are ultimately against God. But no matter how much you've sinned, no matter what unspeakable thing you've done, you can have those sins washed away through Jesus Christ. Repent and trust in Him today!
Topher: I do not need to repent. I can not fear retaliation from a being in which I do not believe
I try to live my life by what I think is right. If I mess up, I try not to do it again. I cannot be held hostage to some iron age "jsin nature" nonsense
Mother Superior was shocked
To find nuns where the candles were locked
She said, "All you nuns
"should behave more like guns
And never go off 'till you're co.cked."
Yep, anyone you disagree with is a bigot......said just like a good christian.
They have the word "fairness" written on the side of the bus. Excommunicate, and burn them as the witches they are!
The one thing the Catholic Church will not tolerate in fairness! Fairness and reason. Two things. The two things the Catholic Church won't tolerate are fairness and reason . . . and contraception . . . the three things the Catholic Church won't tolerate are fairness, reason, contraception . . . and an almost fanatical hatred of homosexuality . . . the four . . . no . . . Amongst the things . . . Amongst our hatreds . . . are such elements as fairness, reason . . . I'll come in again
I wasn't expecting this!
Go NUNS! lol! That's the spirit working in you. May God, through Jesus Christ our risen Lord grant you your heavenly reward for your evangelic, holy and truthful work:)
You clearly didn't go to Catholic school in the 70s. If nuns didn't invent corporal punishment, then they certainly perfected it.
You go girls. I am a raving atheist, and have a few nun friends. They are all really great human beings.
Yes I am certain you knew mother Theresa well ?
This is about social justice.
In this time, this era, is this not a worthy cause ?
And if not do something better than they have.
Have you spent the last 25 + years in complete service to the poor ?
If so I greatly commend you, and all of your works.
If not, perhaps your replies are just random nonsense.
Mother Teresa was a worthless vicious human who denied basic rights to dying people in the name of her imaginary friend. There was nothing good about that person. The fact that you support her speaks little of you as a person but then again anyone supporting the catholic church is not much of person...to support them means you support harboring pedophiles.
A thought to consider without any ego response
Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Thank you kindness.....
Finally something well thought out and profound.
What is so profound about 2000 year old sheep herding stories that do not meet the scientific peer reviewed facts? All this post does is prove that kindness, has been brainwashed to believe in fairy tales and as a result is too lazy to think for him/herself. Not to mention the repet.itive copy/paste of this story that most rational minded people have already dismissed as being by a troll who has too much time on their hands and does not care if what the believe is true and based within the last century.
Something profound would be proof that anything religious is real!!!
Go. Nuns ! I love to see these women, who have served the poor, needy, abandoned souls, stand up for their cause
Not all nuns are good. Mother Theresa, one of the best known, was one mean,cruel beotch who wanted the poor to suffer and stay poor.
Had enough torture from nuns during school.
3 Old hags spewing communist doctrine to the masses.......
As opposed to what, the Vatican boys club?
Alan so let me guess Lib and not only that but most likely for no god at all. HMMM can't wait until you have to go before the maker and tell him that OOPS I voted Obama.
Do you actually believe what you are saying or are you creating a parody, a hilarious one I might add, of an actual Texan conservative?
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.