The Republican federal budget proposal is being targeted by a Washington-based movement called Nuns on the Bus. Earlier this month, a group of nuns and others from local faith communities traveled around Syracuse in a school bus to spread their message in solidarity with the movement.
The national Nuns on the Bus group conducted a nine-state tour this summer to spread their message of opposition to the budget plan crafted by GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Sister Monica Nortz of Syracuse says the crux of their opposition are the proposed cuts to programs that are safety nets for the poor. "The worth of a nation can be judged on how it cares for it's needy," she said. "And if this is what we're going to judge the United States on -- how we want to care for the needy by cutting help for them -- it's a sorry picture." Nortz says their opposition to these proposals follow Catholic social teaching, which focuses on taking care of the poor. The Nuns on the Bus movement offers an alternative budget, that would continue to fund programs for the needy, and balance the budget by cutting military spending and taxing the rich. However, the Vatican has stated that they believe the sisters are placing too much emphasis on poverty and, in their view, not providing enough of a commentary on issues such as abortion. In response, the organization has said that being criticized for taking too much care for the poor is like receiving a badge of honor.