Thursday, June 7, 2012

Network 's Nuns On the Bus Head Sister Campbell- Religious Liberty Problem? Look At Iraq

LAURIE GOODSTEIN of the New York Times has an article up at Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues. The head of Network is quoted Sister Simone Campbell .

First a matter  , or issue before engaging Sister Campbell comments.

..The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage..

In Catholic Social Teaching ,and  in that dealing with Social Justice abortion and indeed even marriage are placed under it.

Now on to Sister Campbell.

....The sisters plan to use the tour also to protest cuts in programs for the poor and working families in the federal budget that was passed by the House of Representatives and proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who cited his Catholic faith to justify the cuts.

“We’re doing this because these are life issues,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a liberal social justice lobby in Washington. “And by lifting up the work of Catholic sisters, we will demonstrate the very programs and services that will be decimated by the House budget.”

The bus tour is to begin on June 18 in Iowa and end on July 2 in Virginia. The dates overlap with the “Fortnight for Freedom,” events announced by Catholic bishops to rally opposition to what they see as the Obama administration’s violations of religious freedom. The bishops object in particular to a mandate in the health care overhaul to require religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to offer their employees coverage for birth control in their insurance plans.

Sister Simone, a lawyer who ran a legal clinic for the poor in Oakland, Calif., for 18 years, is not completely on board with the bishops’ religious liberty campaign. She said that financing for Catholic social services had increased significantly in the three years since President Obama took office: “We’re celebrating the religious freedom we have.”

She recently spent time with the Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, and said: “If you want to talk about religious liberty, look at them. Their mother house was in Mosul until it got bombed.”....

First Sister Campbell is a little more than a little not on board as to the Bishops and many Catholics religious liberty concerns as  she tweeted last week. From my post Sister Simone Campbell of Network Calls Out Knights of Columbus and American Bishops on HHS Mandate Lawsuit " Scandal "  where I go into what I believe if faulty logic she said:

The Politics of Religion -- the Times is corect. The lawsuits are part of the PR paid for by the USCCB & Knights of Columbus--a scandal.

I have no problems with this bus tour a,nd highlighting what they are doing for those most in need. I think it's a important part of the budget  discussion. But I have to think that being hostile to the religious liberty concerns is bad long term politics.

I too , along with Archbishop Chaput also, am glad that the Obama adminsitration like past administrations understand  that various Catholic groups are an effective avenue to reach those in need in an effective way. However she might notice in this discussion there is a quite a few people that think any entanglement with Government money means the Church can be subjected too all sort of regulations. In fact other notice this and wonder if it's worth the cost.

See Citing Concerns From Adoption to Immigration Tulsa Catholic Charities Quits Government Funding

I do wonder what Sister Campbell would think if a future Congress made Federal Funds for social services linked with being a mandatory reporter of those they run across that are of undocumented status.

However my main objection is this line.

She recently spent time with the Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, and said: “If you want to talk about religious liberty, look at them. Their mother house was in Mosul until it got bombed.

Does Sister Campbell really think this line of reasoning is good in the long run?

For example:

-Torture of Prisoners at Gitmo? Want to see Torture look at North Korea.
-Treating the Undocumented ( illegal) Alien with Human Dignity? Want to see respect look at Mexico
-Treating Imates and those accused of Crimes with Respect and social justice ? Look at Syria
-Treating those with with Same Sex Orientation with Compassion and Justly? Look at sub-Saharan Africa

In fact have we not heard some supporters of the Ryan budget compare the plight of the poor ,and the saftey social net compared to other countries where it is much worse?

If as to religious Liberty Sister Campbell thinks the baseline is Iraq where so be it. But it's hard too see how if that applied in a consistent manner that is not very good for Network or the people it serves.

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