So many Catholics have told me how angry they are at the Vatican for coming down on nuns for the work they do with the poor — instead of speaking out against abortions. Now some of those social-justice nuns will take to the highways to speak out against Paul Ryan’s unChristian budget proposals:
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.”
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.”
Ryan’s lying, as some Catholic theologians have already pointed out.
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?”