Last week, the Associated Press sent out a brief article proclaiming that the nation’s Catholic nuns announced their support of the recently passed health care bill in the form of a letter. The article did not provide the source of the letter, so The Examiner began researching.
Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, explained that each nun organization has a different method of consulting their membership dependent on size. “Smaller ones consult everyone individually. Larger ones have committees. Sometimes this is a leadership decision,” she said.
While it is understandable that there is no “one size fits all” method of consulting nuns on their position on health care, what complicates this is that Sister Campbell conceded that the various organizations that signed the letter were given 48 hours to decide their official position.
So did the AP erroneously report that virtually every Catholic nun in the United States supported the health bill, despite the U.S. bishop’s strong opposition? – Not exactly.
If you add the membership of these organizations one by one, it adds up to 59,000 members – the number of Catholic nuns in the United States. But that begs as many questions as it answers. Can a nun belong to two organizations? How diligent are they when counting their membership? What is required to become a member?
Apparently, not every single nun was consulted. After NETWORK released their letter, another letter was sent out from a Catholic nun organization in opposition to the health bill.
Unfortunately, a handful of the signatories of the original letter did not return requests for comment. As you can see via the link above, however, there are Catholic nuns opposed to the bill – at least on the grounds of the federal funding of abortion.
Now that the bill is law, perhaps hindsight will become 20/20. Only time will tell.