Sister Simone Campbell wants the American public to know that the Catholic mission of serving the poor and advocating for social justice is alive and well, despite recent actions by church leadership.
Speaking at a Jesuit parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, the executive director of Network described Vatican officials and US Bishops as “inexperienced” in pastoral work and revealed that she is uncomfortable describing herself as “pro-life” given the political implications. She questioned many Catholics’ single focus on that issue and criticized the movement as not considering the entire spectrum of Catholic social teaching.
The message underscores the deep division the Bishops have sowed, and Campbell’s media blitz is part of a larger attempt to refocus the narrative to the great social justice work many in the Catholic church perform.
Even that message of unity was met with condemnation by the conservative wing of the church that is hoping to weed out progressive dissent among the flock. And that condemnation is not limited to Sister Campbell and the other members of Network. St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish where the talk took place, had planned to hold a Qur’an reading during Mass in June 2011. That reading was abruptly canceled.
Photo from suvodeb via flickr.