The Catholic sisters of Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby, who signed the statement supporting the current health care bill (over what they term the “false claims” on abortion of folks like the U.S. Catholic bishops) claim to represent “59,000 Catholic sisters in the United States.”
There’s no way that number can be accurate.
According to Georgetown University’s Center for Research in the Apostolate, in 2009 there were 59,601 total sisters in the United States. Clearly, not all of them share the assertions of the Network statement.
In fact, as Mary DeTurris Poust points out in a previous post here, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, which represents about 10,000 sisters, issued a statement supporting the bishops’ analysis.
Plus LCWR has a membership of around 1,500 people and they don’t query the members of the communities. Even among the most progressive religious communities they are not 100 percent pro-abortion. I was heartened once to see on a Dominican site discussing abortion that even though many supported abortion some members of the infamous Adrian Dominican sisters were quite pro-life.
Sister Mary Any Walsh from the USCCB also chimes in:
Washington—A recent letter from Network, a social justice lobby of sisters, grossly overstated whom they represent in a letter to Congress that was also released to media.
Network’s letter, about health care reform, was signed by a few dozen people, and despite what Network said, they do not come anywhere near representing 59,000 American sisters.
The letter had 55 signatories, some individuals, some groups of three to five persons. One endorser signed twice.
There are 793 religious communities in the United States.
The math is clear. Network is far off the mark
Hmmm, was the women who signed twice from Chicago?
Well to be charitable maybe the nuns who came up with the numbers had the same math teachers President Obama had. The President said health care would reduce employers costs by 3,000 percent so math skills among supporters of this bill aren’t exactly formidable.
The numbers don’t really matter. After all nuns who lie about the numbers they represent would never lie about the bill not supporting funding of abortion.
I do find it rather odd the people using the the phony numbers of nuns think this is an argument in favor of the bill. So most Americans being against the bill doesn’t matter, but somehow this does?
In 1966 there were 181,421 religious in the United States. Feminism and liberalism and the very ideas the LCWR represent decimated the ranks as thousands and thousands left their orders. You just might think that of those numbers that quite of few nurses were lost that would have been helping people and additionally keeping health care costs down.