Nuns on the bus vs. bishops

The recently completed “Nuns on the Bus” tour garnered a great deal of publicity for the sisters involved, who claimed they were making the trip to protest proposed federal budget cuts they say would hurt the poor. However, there were many more undercurrents to the nine-state, two-week trip than most people realize.

The giant banner on their bus proclaimed, “Sisters driving for faith, family and fairness,” and a gushing media noted that the sisters’ fans along the way greeted them like rock stars.

However, it turns out that the sisters who organized the June 18-July 2 tour — from the sisters’ lobbying group Network — also were driving for their own agenda.

As a Washington Post headline put it: “The Nuns on the Bus tour promotes social justice and turns a deaf ear to the Vatican.”

The Nuns on the Bus tour did treat issues of poverty. But the tour also was designed to respond to the doctrinal assessment by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that found numerous doctrinal errors in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The LCWR is a superiors’ organization of about 1,500 sisters who lead orders that include 80% of the sisters in the country. Read more


Ann Carey is the author of Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities.

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