The Sisters of Life were founded in 1991 by Cardinal John O'Connor and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan as a new religious community of women dedicated to the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions. The Sisters of Life are wholly orthodox and wear the kind of modernised religious habit envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, writes George Weigel in Ethics and Public Policy Centre.
And unlike the religious orders represented by this summer's "Nuns on the Bus" road show, which culminated in Sister Simone Campbell's attempt to excommunicate Representative Paul Ryan at the Democratic National Convention, the Sisters of Life are growing, often attracting new recruits among highly educated and accomplished professional women.
A few weeks ago, two Sisters of Life were stopped on a New York street by a man who, seeing their habits and imagining that all nuns think (and dress) alike, rushed up and asked the sisters if they, too, weren't proud of Sister Simone.
The two sisters politely explained why they were emphatically not proud of Sister Simone and took the opportunity to explain the Church's pro-life teaching, which Sister Simone had declined to endorse in Charlotte when pressed by a reporter.
A small vignette, you might say. But Sister Simone's 15 minutes of fame, which were the culmination of a series of distortions and plain mistruths advanced by "progressive" Catholics for months, seem now to have been something of a clarifying moment.
And those two Sisters of Life in New York aren't the only ones willing to explain, politely but firmly, that Sister Simone, Catholic University's Stephen Schneck, and others in the Obama Amen Chorus are severely misrepresenting Catholic social doctrine, both in general and in their specific attacks on vice-presidential candidate Ryan.
Take, for example, a talk given in on September 20, by Bp Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, who holds doctorates in both civil and canon law. Bp Paprocki opened his remarks in Paul Ryan's home state by noting that the Church's longstanding teaching on the obligation of Catholic citizens to "work for justice and promote the common good" is "especially meaningful in a democratic society like America's.
The bishop then made the crucial distinction, so often blurred by partisans like Sister Simone and the rest of Catholics for Obama, between the "binding principles" and the "prudential judgments" of Catholic social teaching. And those "binding principles," Paprocki reminded his audience, weigh heavily on politicians such as Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and John Kerry, who invoke their Catholicism and their devotion to American pluralism in support of their cave-in to the pro-abortion forces in American politics.
FULL STORY Catholics and Campaign 2012 (Ethics and Public Policy Centre)