Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK (A national social justice lobby) and “Nuns on the Bus” fame spoke at the Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In an effort to deceive Catholic voters, Sister Campbell opened her speech with the lie, that the Catholic Bishops stated the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test.
She falsely said:
“Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects the principles of our shared Catholic faith. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty.”
The problem is that the Catholic Bishops (Bishops’ Conference or United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)) never stated this.
What is the proof that Sister Simone Campbell’s statement is untrue?
The proof is she took a similar statement made by a committee inside the USCCB named the “Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development” and said it was from the Catholic Bishops (USCCB.) More importantly, the Catholic Church purposefully denies committees inside Bishops’ Conferences authority as stated in the Catholic Code of Canon Law’s chapter on Bishops’ Conferences, Canon 447-459. This Canon was clarified and updated in Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter issued “motu propio” known as Apostolos Suos (On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Bishops’ Conferences.) See Pope John Paul II’s Apostolos Suos paragraph 23:
“…Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task assigned to them by the Conference.”
Sister Campbell (click for biography) made up her own Catholic doctrine and created her own magisterium on this matter. Also, as the Executive Director of NETWORK, her organization has a connection (click) with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who have been found to practice doctrinal dissent by Pope Benedict XVI and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (click.) Sister Campbell’s false witness was being repeated previously by several entities. Click on this story to see where: Catholic Bishops Did Not Condemn the Ryan Budget: See Canon Law and John Paul II Letter (this article shows the Ryan budget to pass the moral test.)
See Sister Campbell’s Democratic National Convention speech in the video below. She makes her false statement in the first minute. You’ll also notice that she says “we agree with our Bishops,” even though there was nothing to agree on in this matter. You need to know that she didn’t agree with the Bishops on defending our Religious liberty from the Obama HHS mandate:
The above video has already been disabled on Sister Campbell’s NETWORK website. Now you can watch the video of her speech at Lay Catholics’ C-Span Video Library account here: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO of Sister Simone Campbell’s speech at the Democratic National Convention
Additionally, NETWORK published this graphic after her DNC speech which includes the untrue remark below:
As Catholic defenders of the faith, we must all get this story out far and wide. We cannot let this falsehood damage the Catholic Church or our Bishops. We cannot allow it to manipulate our Catholic brothers and sisters into voting against a true Catholic conscience based on a falsehood. It is Sister Simone Campbell who has failed a basic moral test. Pray that she abandons this false witness. If you have the opportunity, let her know of her error. This is a good time to practice the first three Spiritual Works of Mercy with Sr. Campbell. Hopefully, we will be able to put into practice the fifth spiritual work of mercy toward her soon. In the meantime, find comfort in what the truth is about this matter, bear the wrong patiently and pray.
O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.
Peter L. Hodges Sr.