Extended Preview: ‘Nuns, Faith & Politics’

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Weeks before Republican Paul Ryan was selected to run for vice president, Sister Simone Campbell — who heads NETWORK, a Catholic policy and lobbying group — hit the road to protest the so-called “Ryan budget” recently passed by the House of Representatives. She and some of her sister nuns rolled across the heartland on a bus trip designed to arouse public concern over what the Ryan plan would mean for social services in America, especially its slashing of programs for the poor. Sister Simone says his budget is inconsistent with Catholic social teaching. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agrees.

Watch an extended clip from our field report of that bus trip, the complete version of which will air this weekend on Moyers & Company.

Other Catholics have a different point of view. Robert Royal, editor in chief of The Catholic Thing and founder of the Faith & Reason Institute, believes issues of economic inequality are being oversimplified, and that the focus should be on creating a more dynamic economy for all.

Watch a clip of Bill Moyers’ conversation with both Royal and Sister Simone, which will also air in full during the episode.


Check local listings for TV channels and air times.
See more “Nuns on the Bus” coverage from BillMoyers.com





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  • Raphael Nora

    I honestly must say my experience of nuns is an evolving one. When I was younger they were objects of authority and derision. I wasn’t subjected to them at school, but it was them who my parents threatened me with if I wasn’t doing well in class.

    Of course they were alien to me. And their Faith most of all.

    I wasn’t sure about anything dealing with religion. And these dour women, all in black, professing their love for some guy they’d never met struck me as adolescent.

    As I got older they left their habits, and thereby disappeared from view. I literally went years without thinking about them.

    I then started following my spiritual path, and rediscovered my family’s discarded Judaism. That in turn led me to Spiritus Abbey. My Rabbi of Blessed Memory having been great friends with the Abbot.

    And that led me into being a Monk in the World. So suddenly nuns were fellow contemplatives. I value their sacrifices and now see them as valuable members of the community. Especially as The Vatican derides them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/magic43 Connie Riley

    Thank you Sister’s for all you do for us..

  • Brian in Ohio

    Conservatives too often focus on those who become dependent on welfare. If we liberals are being honest we have to admit that a certain percentage of welfare recipients do resist efforts to become self sufficient. But if we focus only on the smaller portion that cheats welfare we ignore the millions and millions that desparately need a helping hand. Why can’t we all admit the other’s point of view has merit and become more willing to compromise?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Kaczmarczyk/100000052991401 Jack Kaczmarczyk

    See: Fr. Robert Barron’s recent video commenting on Paul Ryan’s budget, Catholic social teaching, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Enlightening! http://youtu.be/Tq8KRIkGtLQ

  • dorothy schieber

    i would love to see royal function in a society without special privilege for the elite. let’s see him work in a low or medium range job where he provides services that actually benefit the world in a tangible way. let’s hear what he has to say if he had to live on say 35,000 a year. hahaha. i am so tired of this let them starve and die mentality from the wealthy parasites that live on the hard work and exploitation of the majority of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.steele.376 George Steele

    I have news for all you libs. Like it or not, our entitlement policies are going to change. Why, you may ask? Is it because of the mean spiritness of all of su conservative, rightwing, knuckle dragging trogladites ruining things? No it is not. The well is dry. The money is no longer there. Get used to it.

  • grace

    I truly believe that Jesus would be on the side of the nuns today and not the bishops. They are the ones who are following his example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pama.lyons Pama Lyons

    gooo sisters

  • http://www.facebook.com/pama.lyons Pama Lyons

    so true grace

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649423791 Carol Robinson

    Nuns who take young women to abortion clinics and lobby for homosexual “marriage” and marriage for Roman Catholic priests do not impress me as being true “Catholics.”

  • sharon

    Re: Nuns on a Bus segment Bill, you failed the majority of Americans, and specifically, your viewers, by collapsing as a confident moderator/interviewer. You surrendered moral high ground laid by the nun and kowtowed to the so-called “free market” representative. Review his sophistry and reconsider what group is really calling the economic shots. Reconsider how the free market cannot be forced to set economic policy but can, golly, set tax rates, set minimum wage, set “free trade,” not fair trade, enable tax-free off-shore banking, force bank support via lax regulation, enable Iran to bank freely using U.S. banks, set daily interest rates affecting ALL middle Americans (Libor) and on and on and on. The nun has balls. YOU caved to a guy whose presence on the same show as the nun is highly questionable in the first place. YOU CAVED.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/chesire.cat.376 Chesire Cat

    Anyone who prefaces their comment with “you libs”, or “you conservatives”, or “you anything” is tacitly conceding that they have absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation. Everything that follows is merely primitive emoting. You have nothing to say, yet you feel quite strongly about it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chesire.cat.376 Chesire Cat

    While I oppose abortion, and same sex marriage, and support clerical celebacy and certainly disagree with religious who take their vows of obedience lightly, I prefer misplaced passion to sactimony. Before you cast aspersions on the faith of others and question their Catholicism, you would do well to remember that Christ preferred the company of sinners to that of the Pharisees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chesire.cat.376 Chesire Cat

    Christ is on the side of both the nuns AND the bishops, but the two fill different roles within the Church, with different responsibilities and perspectives. They each perform admirably at times and poorly at others, but that is to be expected of fallible human beings. To insist on “white hat/black hat” analysis may be gratifying, but it is certainly facile.

  • no contest

    I’d have to agree. “Free Market” means corporatist in this land. Did anyone notice that Mr. Shill never really put a complete sentence together? “It’s difficult.” And, of course, Catholic theology is about as interesting as how the Hindus explain the stripes on a chipmunk or whether the twelvers really believe the true successor of Muhummad will return. Did he really fall down a well?

  • Bobbaloo

    Indeed. Perhaps they are merely true Christians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachamin.benhava Rachamin Benhava

    If “the well” you refer to, Mr. Steele, is the earth, its resources, water and its air, then you are correct – it has run dry. It has been mismanaged, misappropriated and generally shat on by sociopaths drunk on deregulation, laughing manically at their misanthropic contempt for the gullible human heart. Wagging fingers chanting “Jesus said forgive, Jesus said turn the other cheek” all the while crushing their own species like they were so many pesky insects “The Money Is No Longer There” – if only it were so and we were finally free to care for each other instead of being forced by the threat of starvation to care for each other’s damnable money!

  • Real catholic

    You need to get rid of the government and start over again with a monarchy. And please get rid of those nuns are not catholic their heretics.