Nuns' group plans bus trip to protest the Ryan budget
A group of nuns is protesting Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal.
June 6th, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Nuns' group plans bus trip to protest the Ryan budget

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - American nuns are taking their opposition of the proposed Paul Ryan budget to the American people and embarking on a bus tour through some of America’s most politically important states.

NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic sisters that speaks out on social justice issues in particular, will be hitting states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in order to reveal “how federal budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families in these states,” a release by the group reads.

In interviews after unveiling his budget, Ryan said that he applied his view of Catholic social teaching in his budget proposal, a statement that Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said co-opted sacred Catholic teachings.

“I think he was so direct in draping himself in the mantle of Catholic social teaching,” Campbell said. “He took the words but he took none of the meaning in the forming of the budget.”

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Campbell continued: “It is one thing to have political differences, but to try to hide a budget that will devastate people and claim that it is supported by your faith. It is unacceptable. He is wrong and he needs to be told so.”

Ryan’s $3.53 trillion dollar budget doubles down on past proposals Republicans have made to overhaul Medicare and other government programs that are seen as politically sensitive. While the budget has little chance to become law, it draws a distinct contrast with Democratic views on spending and will loom large in the 2012 race for the presidency.

Ryan was given an opportunity to respond to Catholics who have questioned his budget in a speech at Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in the country.

“Of course, there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this. The work I do, as a Catholic holding office, conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” said Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”

The Georgetown speech also gave Catholic opponents an opportunity to confront Ryan with their disapproval. As Ryan delivered the remarks, he came face-to-face with protesters who unveiled a banner that read “Stop the War on the Poor.” Outside the event, Catholics United protested the event. A little over a dozen people stood outside Healy Hall, where the speech took place, and held a sign the read, “WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED THE POOR?”

The nuns' bus trip will go through Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state, and Campbell said the nuns will meet with congressional representatives and their staffs. In particular, Campbell indicated that NETWORK is specifically targeting Catholic representatives who had voted for Ryan’s budget.

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“There are some Catholic representatives who have voted for the House budget that Representative Ryan proposed and we as Catholics believe that we should go talk to them and talk to their staffs,” Campbell said.

The trip comes during a controversial time between American nuns and their leadership in Vatican City. Recently, the Vatican has been critical of the nuns, in particular, charging the nuns of espousing “radical feminism” and straying from church teaching.

The busing nuns referenced this controversy in their announcement of the event, stating that “despite the controversy, Catholic Sisters stand with the Bishops in criticizing the Ryan budget and are committed to staying faithful to their mission to serve those in need.”

“In fact, on this issue, we stand with the bishops,” Campbell said.

And that is true. In an April release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops call on "Congress and the Administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church

soundoff (289 Responses)
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  7. Katie

    More of us should be riding buses to protest this budget. Not only does Ryan's bill deprive children of necessities, but it gives additional money to the already wealthy, and raises the deficit for all of us.

    June 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  8. Jill

    What did Ryan major in in college? I don't think it was finance, econ, or accounting. Does anyone know?

    June 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. mmct

    The Catholic church is tax exempt correct? Who is paying for this "bus" trip, as it seems to be very politically motivated and not in keeping wiith "tax exempt" regulations. These nuns do not speak for the Catholic Church. They are campaigning for "Obama" . Outrageous!

    June 15, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • b.lopez

      when the religious Christian right, loses their tax exempt status..then we can talk.....your comment is ridiculous!

      June 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  10. hairworld

    I left the Catholic Church because of its many teachings which goes against my beliefs such as approval of: Bush wars, pedophile/ physical abuse, voting for right-wing radicals, etc. I was physically abused by nuns as a young child while attending a Catholic school. I hope that these nuns who are on their "bandwagon" to voice outrage at Ryan's plan will preach the words of Christ to take "care of the poor." If these nuns and bishops practice what they preach then, perhaps, the lost "sheep" will slowy return to the Church.

    June 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  11. Reality


    Time to get to some easier ways of paying our bills and one bus trip that is easily traveled-

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign-The Taxpayer Spring akin to the Arab Spring

    BOTTOM LINE: SAID SAVINGS WOULD PAY FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE and would put a big dent in the federal budget deficit.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • g.bowen

      You said it so perfectly.....I wish this would happen.....

      June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
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  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • nope


      June 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jesus


      More lies without any proof, thanks for proving me correct, I am a god!

      June 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • glennrobert

      Where is this unhealthy Atheism you are talking about? The ability to think without religious prejudice is certainly a mark of intelligence!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • more people have been

      murdered by atheists in the last 100 years than were killed in all the previous centuries combined. Murder is unhealthy

      June 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • madmaninthemiddle

      Not a diaper.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Chris

      You know the clinical definition of talking to invisible voices in your head is schizophrenia. People still believe an invisible man lives in the sky and does special favors for them?

      lol, how gullible can people be?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  13. Cathy

    They have a place to stay here in Arizona if they come this way! keep us posted so we can network for you : )

    June 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Luke

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  14. Phil in Oregon

    Anyone, sister, brother, whatever who thinks the govt can give away money it doesn't have is mistaken. The borrower becomes the slave of the lender. You really want to be a slave to China?

    June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Cheryl

      Slave to China? Your lack of economic knowledge is stunning. Any country that denies their less fortunate citizens a life without the dignity of food and healthcare is sentenced to a country of have two classes...the haves and the have nothings. Whether you realize it our not, you will eventually be a have not.

      Whether you believe in God or not, it's simply the moral thing to do. As the saying goes, you can't take it with you. What possible objection can there be for those who can afford to pay a bit more, pay a bit more. Greed is most unattractive and immoral.

      I wish the nuns every success!

      June 9, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  15. Gilgameshp

    At Notre Dame, nuns used to do the laundry and cook meals. They never went to football games, since nuns did not go to football games, and were not allowed to exercise. (We were Seminarians, and attended two home games.) They could hear the roar of the crowd, but were restricted to saying their rosary beads–I don't think they had a radio. I have often wondered if this was the origen of the "Hail Mary Pass". I think they were the first Actives in the Women's Movement.
    I don't know if they go to football games, but they are surely allowed to exercise, now. And they ride the bus to help the poor. I hope they keep on going. I wish them luck. Read more in my book LEAVING: A Memoir, on Amazon.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
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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.