Pope Francis is set to arrive in Washington on Sept. 22 by plane. The nuns are coming on a bus.
But Sr. Simone Campbell, once again the driving force behind the newest iteration of the “Nuns on the Bus” phenomenon, thinks whatever their modes of travel, both the pope and the Catholic sisters are united in their core themes: a faith-based promotion of economic justice and political consensus for the common good.
“Pope Francis talks about an economy of inclusion,” said Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a Capitol Hill-based Catholic social justice lobby that organized the first Nuns on the Bus tour during the 2012 presidential campaign.
“What he says is that politics needs to control economics, economics should not control politics,” she continued. “We realize that he’s definitely right, but our problem in the U.S. is that our politics are purposefully polarized, so that politics are powerless to affect the economy.
“In order to have an economy of inclusion we need a politics of inclusion,” she said.
Hence the goal of the fourth Nuns on the Bus tour: to “bridge the divide,” as the latest slogan says, and “transform politics.”