Opinion

NOW calls Catholic nuns 'dirty'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Abortion,Religion,Catholicism,Contraception,Little Sisters of the Poor,Kevin Daley

The National Organization for Women, one of the nation's largest pro-abortion lobbies, named a Catholic order of nuns to a list called “The Dirty 100,” a catalog of the 100 entities which filed lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

The order of nuns NOW finds “dirty” are the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious institute for women founded by St. Jeanne Jugan in 19th century France. They are dedicated to care of the elderly impoverished, and describe their spiritual charism as “grace of hospitality toward the aged poor.”

Today the Little Sisters operate 200 homes on five continents, and serve over 13,000 residents. In a promotional video for the order, Sister Camille Rose said “We celebrate the gift of life, the joy of living, and we care for the elderly poor. We try to make them happy in whatever way we can.” The nuns themselves live communally and take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and hospitality.

The Dirty 100 campaign has included a demonstration which took place outside the Supreme Court on March 25, and a petition on NOW's website, inviting supporters to “refuse to support businesses, nonprofits, and religious entities that have decided that their personal beliefs are more important than the rights of their employees.” NOW and its national leadership also promotes the campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #Dirty100.

NOW's position on contraception coverage is more expansive than the mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act, which initially created a narrowly tailored exemption for religious organizations. The exemption was expanded by the Supreme Court in last week's Hobby Lobby decision.

The Little Sisters of the Poor were not the only Catholic organization put to shame by NOW's campaign. Priests for Life, an organization of priests and laity that advocates against the death penalty and abortion, as well as 12 Catholic dioceses were included on the list.

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