The tour comes on the heels of the Vatican's recent reprimand of U.S. nuns for focusing too heavily on social justice issues and too little on abortion and same-sex marriage -- two crucial concerns for church leaders. The dates for the tour -- June 18 through July 2 -- also correspond with the "Fortnight for Freedom" events organized by Catholic bishops to rally opposition to the federal contraceptive coverage rules.
The nuns hope the tour will highlight their work with the poor and disenfranchised. They also hope to promote their opposition to cuts in programs for low-income people and working families that are part of the House-passed version of the federal budget. The House budget was proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a Catholic who used his faith to justify the cuts.
The tour will include stops at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities operated by nuns in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Sister Simone Campbell, a lawyer who was singled out in the Vatican's critique of the nuns, said, "We're doing this because these are life issues." The nuns will invite bishops whose dioceses they visit to join them on the tour (Goodstein, New York Times, 6/5).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership