Tags: Joe Biden | Pope Francis | nuns | Joe Biden | Pope | Vatican | rebellious

Catholic 'Kid' Joe Biden Backs Nuns in Battle With Vatican

Image: Catholic 'Kid' Joe Biden Backs Nuns in Battle With Vatican
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Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 01:26 PM

Vice President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind rebellious American nuns who have come under fire from the Vatican over their outspoken activism on social issues such as poverty and healthcare.

While visiting the key presidential state of Iowa in a possible precursor to a run for the White House, the nation's first Roman Catholic vice president took to the stage with a group of sisters to show his solidarity with their fight against Pope Francis, reports The New York Times.

With the gold-domed Iowa statehouse in the background and a "Nuns on the Bus" bus parked nearby, Biden said, "You're looking at a kid who had 12 years of Catholic education. I woke up probably every morning saying, 'Yes, Sister. No, Sister. Yes, Sister. No, Sister.'"

He then said to the crowd, including many nuns, "I just made it clear, I'm still obedient."

In the ongoing dispute with groups of American nuns, the Holy See has called them radical feminists who are focusing their teachings on social justice instead of concentrating on what the Vatican believes are more important issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, according to the Times.

A few years back Biden had told then-Pope Benedict XVI, "You are being entirely too hard on the American nuns. Lighten up." And last year, during a visit with Pope Francis, he again took the opportunity to praise the sisters.

But it appears the Vatican turned a deaf ear to his appeals because earlier in the summer Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican's enforcer of doctrine, defended the papacy's efforts to crack down on the nuns, while using some inflammatory language.

In a Vatican newspaper, he wrote, "Above all, we have to clarify that we are not misogynists. We don't want to gobble up a woman a day."

Biden hit back during his Wednesday speech while kicking off the "Nuns on the Bus" 10-state tour, saying, "I know no group of people who bring a greater sense of justice and passion to what they do."

He noted that that the group had "fought like the devil for healthcare," and added that the church prelates should pay heed to the nuns because, "guess what, they are more popular than everybody else."

Sister Simone Campbell, the head of Network, which organized the tour, said Biden had been willing to join the sisters' first tour in 2012, called "Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness."

During that same year, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith attempted to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group for 80 percent of America's 57,000 nuns. In its report, the Vatican singled out Sister Campbell's group as a bad influence.

Biden told the sisters during the event that he believed Pope Francis would eventually help foster a peace settlement between the Vatican and the rebel nuns.

"Everything will be all right," he assured them, although he also admitted that he had not "always accurately predicted everything."


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Vice President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind rebellious American nuns who have come under fire from the Vatican over their outspoken activism on social issues such as poverty and healthcare.
nuns, Joe Biden, Pope, Vatican, rebellious
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2014-26-18
Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 01:26 PM
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