Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Nun On A Bus? No, A Jesus Follower On A Mission

Sister Simone Campbell and the infamous Nuns on the Bus bus.

I came across a fabulous talk given by Sr Simone Campbell to the Detroit group Elephants in the Living Room. In her talk she explains the mission of NETWORK as a lobbying group and the interest it drew from the USCCB during the Affordable Care Act debates, how that most like resulted in the attention shown by the Vatican in the Vatican's investigation of the LCWR and more specifically NETWORK itself.  As Simone says, the girls inadvertently wound up taking on the boys and the girls won and the boys were very sore losers.

She also explains in a very unique way how income distribution has warped towards the 1% in the US since 1979 and how that has effected so many issues in this country.  I was shocked to learn the only other global western type culture with a worse income distribution is Singapore.  But principally this is a talk about what motivates Sr Simone.  That motivation is radical acceptance of everyone, although as she admits, that's a difficult prospect with Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell.  But it's not just radical acceptance, it's also the ability to keep the flame of faith burning and shining light on things hidden in dark shadows.  Radical acceptance does not mean being blind to having to fight the good fight.

Following this link will take readers to a transcript of her talk which is really informative and really funny.  It 's easy to see why she held her own with Stephen Colbert.  Simone Campbell is a true prophetic figure who doesn't take herself the least bit seriously, but takes her mission dead seriously.  She's what I call an Enlightened Catholic, in the pun sense of the title. It's worth the time it takes to read it.  There are some other excellent transcripts of speeches given by other speakers on the Elephants in the Living Room website , including one from Fr Charles Curran on dissent and authority.  Be sure to check those out if you have the time.