Sister Simone Campbell, a leftist political activist and Catholic nun, is leaving her position as executive director of the social justice lobbying group Network.
In an interview with Global Sisters Report this month, Campbell emphasized how the Holy Spirit has guided her advocacy work over the past two decades. This work has included supporting President Joe Biden and defending his radical pro-abortion stance.
Campbell, a Sister of Social Service, has been the executive director of Network since 2004. The advocacy group is known for using the Catholic name to promote leftists causes and candidates through its Nuns on the Bus tour and other projects. She is leaving for a sabbatical at the end of the month.
Speaking with the news outlet, Campbell jokingly thanked the Vatican for criticizing her work and, in doing so, increasing publicity for Network. According to the report, the Vatican censured “the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for a host of alleged sins” in 2012, including “working too closely with Network, which in Rome’s view focused too much on social justice and not enough on” protecting unborn babies from abortion.
“[The Vatican’s censure] was a gift of the Spirit,” Campbell told Global Sisters Report. “It really catapulted us to a new level.”
She continued: “The Vatican named [Network] as being a bad influence, but that’s how we got the bus. It’s a web. It’s all woven together. I feel blessed beyond belief.”
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Campbell said she almost resigned from Network in 2016, believing that pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. But when President Donald Trump won, she said she just couldn’t quit.
“It was too important to stay and fight,” she said.
Campbell prayed at the Democratic National Convention in 2020 and joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat who calls aborting unborn babies in late-term abortions “sacred ground,” in urging Catholics to vote for Biden.
In a statement about Biden during the campaign, Campbell dismissed abortion as a major voting issue – even though more than 62 million unborn babies have been killed in the U.S.
“Earlier this year, NETWORK broke with its 48 year tradition and, for the first time ever, told its members not to vote for President Trump,” the advocacy group said in a statement. It “released an ‘equally sacred’ scorecard designed to remind Catholics that issues like income inequality, homelessness, and healthcare access are equally important — it‘s not just about Roe v Wade.”
Campbell later defended Biden’s radical pro-abortion views, calling them “very developed” in an interview in January.
“He has a very – I know from a conversation with him – he has a very developed approach to [abortion],” Campbell said. “And for him, it hinges on religious liberty, and that he will not force his religious belief on the whole nation.”
Though Biden says he is a devout Catholic, he wants to “codify” Roe v. Wade into federal law so that killing unborn babies in abortions without limits will remain legal even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its infamous ruling. He also wants to force taxpayers to pay for abortions, a widely unpopular position.
Speaking with the National Catholic Reporter in January, Campbell also criticized pro-lifers who have a “political obsession” with the “criminalization of abortion,” and she argued that it is dividing the Catholic Church.
“And the far-right is glomming onto this religious liberty argument,” she said. “Maybe there’s a way forward there, where we could find some understanding. So that would be my hope.”
This month, Campbell reflected on her advocacy work and decision to leave Network, describing the experience as “fun” and Spirit-led.
“It’s all a surprise. It’s the Spirit. I’m just so aware of the gift of all this,” she told Global Sisters Report. “And it’s been fun in the process.”