I am not Catholic. I saw Sister Simone on Colbert Report and loved what she said about sharing, that there is enough for everyone. I find the sisters service to be inspiring. Thank You!!
NETWORK excludes right to life and marriage and family from their concerns, and although nominally Catholic, by being excessively selective about their issues they are able to be aligned with political progressivism and the Democratic Party. On economic issues, they always side with Democrats, and for instance strongly criticized the economic policy of Catholic Repub. Congressman Paul Ryan emphasizing subsidiarity. Ryan's bishop, Robert Morlino, says Ryan is a faithful and informed Catholic whose policy choices are a matter of prudential judgement, but very consistent with Catholic teaching. I was recently present for a huge Mass in WI with Cardinal Dolan where Ryan was present and received great applause when Dolan made the people present aware of Ryan being there, and Cardinal Dolan although he did nothing to endorse Ryan, showed no sign of being dismayed by the obvious appreciation Catholics present had for him. I am not a real political person, but all this is to say, NETWORK being so against Ryan, identifies them to me clearly as a partisan group. Recently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered the Leadership Conference of Women religious to sever ties with NETWORK.
As a member of St. Vincent de Paul's "Voice of the Poor" committee, I became acquainted with Network around 10 years ago. I appreciate the ease of communicating with elected officials through this website, the ability to personalize the formatted letters you provide, the thoughtful research of the various topics. I do not personally have time to follow proposed legislation and your work keeps me informed of the important social issues. Thank you for your work. I am now a full time caregiver for my granddaughter and have even less time to be involved with our legislators. YOur work is even more valuable for me now.
In 1996, I was a college intern at NETWORK supporting Sister Catherine Pinkerton and others on the welfare reform debate. It was an incredibly formative time. To see Catherine tell members of Congress and their staff that certain bills and potential policies were “Unconscionable!” (usually while shaking her pointer finger) left a lasting impact. The fact that she and the others did this because our faith’s teachings said we needed to defend the poor and marginalized, only enhanced the impact and reaffirmed my conviction that I, as an individual and as part of a larger faith community, could influence our country’s future. Today, I am career civil servant and while I don’t get to point my finger (few people other than Catherine could really pull that off), I know that in my own way, I make a difference in the world, just as my faith calls me to do. I got that from NETWORK.
I have no direct experience with Network, though I have admired their work for years. I caught Sr. Campbell on Chris Matthew's show the night before last, and after her demolition (done entirely charitably!) of the Ryan"budget," am greatly relieved I do not have to debate her. More power to her and her lobby, and I will definitely donate again.
I was a member of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles when they became the first community in the history of the Catholic have their cononical status taken away by the Pope Paul VI. It was painful but we prevailed. The community still exists as an ecumenical community, The Immaculate Heart Community accepting men and women, straight and gay, single or married. I am so proud of the thousands of nuns who are challenging the misogynist practices of the Catholic Patriarchy. I have no doubt that Jesus would not recognize this Church that claims to speak for God on earth. Thank you sisters for keeping the fire of love and the example of Jesus alive in the world today.
As an old "Romans" Catholic watching Simone Campbell and the Pin head representing Catholics United on the idiot Chris Mathews hardball show thru the Network website. We would have missed it if it hadn't shown up on the Network website because no one with an ounce of intelligence watches MSNBC, not to mention any stuck on stupid that would lower themselves to appear with Mathews on anything. It is interesting how academic parasites like these three are so much more knowledgeable than us peons that live in the real world. We see the arrogance and irresponsibility of these three lost souls and pray to the Holy Spirit that they will not some day help pave the road to hell with their so-called GOOD INTENTIONS. Our support is behind the Paul Ryan budget that represents fiscal responsibility, Constitutional limited government, and our God given right to individual freedom. Obviously, the Marxist at Network and Catholics United have little if any knowledge of the Constitution and couldn't care less anyway. Simone Campbell says that Ryans' Catholic faith is flawed. However, we see only her faith as flawed with elitism, arrogance, assumed superior knowledge of everything under the sun, often times just ignorance.
My son repaired computers for non-profits in DC when he was in college. His report: the 40-50 mostly Catholic organizations he worked in, Network made the BEST use of their money. "If you're going to give, Mom, give it to Network. They are so careful with every single dollar, so conscientious about accountability." My husband and I have given to Network ever since.
As a 9th grader in 1972 I was eager to learn about issues of social justice, and how I could engage constructively in the political system. My history teacher at the Catholic high school I attended had been using a packet of materials from a brand new lobbying organization of Catholic nuns called Network, and shared it with me. Through Network I learned about the range of issues before congress, their connection to Catholic teaching, and how I could get involved and help other young people get involved in ways that made a difference. I was pleased with the openness of Network's vision--ecumenical and collaborative, not narrow and parochial. I went on to be a Catholic college professor teaching a range of core curriculum courses designed to help students develop critical thinking and communication skills on matters of public policy. I continued to draw on Network to help with curriculum development. Lately Network has been named in a Vatican investigation as an example of Catholic women religious devoting too much attention to issues of social and economic justice, and not enough to the bishops' political agenda of conservative sexual and reproductive politics. The investigators reveal their ignorance of Network's proven record of 40 years of advocating for programs and policies that improve the lives of women and children, the only really effective way to reduce the number of abortions. The investigators also contradict the teaching of Vatican II and the US bishops' encyclical "The Challenge of Peace" establishing the primacy of conscience and categorizing political policy decisions as within the realm of "prudential judgement," not "doctrine." In particular, Catholic sisters' affirmation of "Obama-care" was consistent with Catholic social teaching, and did not violate church law. I believe the current criticism Network is encountering is not doctrinally based, but rather politically motivated and malicious. In short I endorse Network's good work over many years. It is a strong contribution to the Catholic church and to the good of society. I urge everyone to contribute generously to support this valuable nonprofit. Trust that their advocacy positions are consistent with the best of Catholic teaching, promote the common good, and accurately reflect the positions of most Catholic voters. I also encourage people to speak out publicly in defense of Network at this crucial time in the nonprofit's history.
I was actually introduced to The Network by a woman who was formerly a friend of my mother's back in my VERY conservative town in rural northwest Pennsylvania. Ironically, this woman who resides in that same town, is a 70-year old liberal Catholic and now a good friend of MINE. When she told me about Sr. Simone and the great work of The Network, I was anxious to connect with this group and very glad i have done so! Really proud and glad to know that there are, in fact, Catholics who are NOT interested in taking our Church and our society/government BACK in a time machine to more restrictive mentalities and ideologies. Thanks, Sister, Simone et al for all the work you do...we got your back!!! Barbara W.