Over the weekend, the CBS program 60 Minutes had a sympathetic overview of the supposed Vatican crackdown of the sisters’ activities – censorship! Inquisition! – that was presented fast on the heels of the group’s March 13 press release registering its displeasure with Rep. Paul Ryan’s FY14 budget proposal.
The CBS profile failed to cover the nuns’ weighing in on such topics as averting climate change and the Affordable Care Act via proxy shareholder resolutions while focusing on social topics regarding the ordination of female priests and same-sex marriages. While sensitive to the very real works of compassion performed by the nuns, the network depicted the Vatican as hard-hearted and unyielding in its enforcement of church doctrine.
Network, which bills itself as “A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby,” garnered major huzzahs from leftist magazine The Nation for its staunch opposition to Rep. Ryan’s proposed budget. Network’s press release cites such objective sources as The New York Times and The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein in its rebuke of Ryan’s plan.
It should be mentioned here that Rep. Ryan’s plan would scuttle the Affordable Care Act.
Stated nowhere in the release is religious grounding for Network’s opposition to Ryan’s proposal other than a vague mention of “those struggling to survive economically.”
The Nation, on the other hand, makes much of Network as “the Catholic social justice lobby” and its decision “to focus attention on moral objections to Ryan’s budget schemes. They did so with the ‘Nuns on the Bus’ tour, which brought NETWORK executive director Sister Simone Campbell and other Catholic Sisters to the congressman’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.”
Even though Network makes no mention its position on Rep. Ryan’s budget plan is completely independent of the church they ostensibly serve, The Nation goes to great lengths in conflating Network’s status as religious with moral authority on the ACA. However, both Network and The Nation are culpable in misleading the public at large in believing the Catholic Church supports the growth of government programs at the expense of unsustainable long-term debt.
This last will certainly present negative impacts on “those struggling to survive economically” now and well into the future. But that makes no never mind to the liberal agenda of The Nation who is only too happy to exploit Network’s religious status, or Network who seemingly enjoy being used as willing dupes for a big-government, liberal agenda.