NETWORK plans bus trip to protest the Ryan budget

CNN reports:

NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic sisters that speaks out on social justice issues in particular, will be hitting states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in order to reveal "how federal budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families in these states," a release by the group reads.

In interviews after unveiling his budget, Ryan said that he applied his view of Catholic social teaching in his budget proposal, a statement that Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said co-opted sacred Catholic teachings.

"I think he was so direct in draping himself in the mantle of Catholic social teaching," Campbell said. "He took the words but he took none of the meaning in the forming of the budget."

Campbell continued: "It is one thing to have political differences, but to try to hide a budget that will devastate people and claim that it is supported by your faith. It is unacceptable. He is wrong and he needs to be told so."

NETWORK should not have high expectations that Archbishop Jerome Listecki of the Milwaukee archdiocese or Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wis., diocese will welcome them or a conversation about Congressman Ryan's bastardized understanding of Catholic social teaching.

As I recently reported, Listecki's chief of staff completely punted when I asked for Listecki's view of Ryan's notion of Catholic social teaching and the federal budget. He was quick to point out that Ryan lives in the Madison diocese. Meanwhile, Madison diocese's communications person offered a truly unbelievable response on behalf of the Bishop Morlino:

Bishop Morlino: This is an issue where the Congressman [Ryan] speaks well for himself. He is very aware of the demands of lay mission in the Church and he is free to carry that mission out as he does. There is no need for us, nor are we in a position, to enter into this discussion.

In preparation for the bus trip through Wisconsin, NETWORK might want to watch reruns of the Twilight Zone. We are living in strange times, indeed.

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