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Nuns kick off protest tour against budget cuts

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Heather Kennedy
WVoN co-editor 

A group of nuns accused of ‘corporate dissent’ and radical feminism by the Vatican have gone on tour to protest against social spending cuts in America (see WVoN story).

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which hales from Washington DC, was criticised in a recent Vatican report which said they were too focused on social and economic justice rather than preventing abortion and same sex marriage.

The report concluded that the nuns who are closely associated with the social action group Network, had undermined traditional Roman Catholic doctrine with ‘radical feminist’ themes.

But parishioners came out in support of the nuns, saying they continue the Christian tradition of  ‘women of courage’.

Mary Ann McCoy, of Des Moines, who attends St. Ambrose Cathedral said: “they want to bully these nuns and shut them down and tell them: ‘Get back in your place, ladies.’ No, it’s not going to be that way anymore”.

On their two-week tour of nine states, the nuns will be supporting health reforms which are being widely opposed by leaders within the Catholic church because they will provide some abortion services.

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Washington, DC group, said the tour was not organised to counter recent criticism of social activism by the Vatican – the timing was instead in response to the federal budget in Congress.

“We’re doing this because of what’s happening on the Hill,” she explained. “We’re desperate to get the word out, that’s why we’re doing it now.”

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