Sr. Simone “the Contemplative” Campbell

Simone CampbellI read a story about Sr. Simone Campbell, of Nuns on the Bus fame.  You will remember how she lobbies constantly and vocally for the platform of the Party of Death (aka Democrats) including abortion-promoting Obamacare (aka Unaffordable Care Act).

Sr. Campbell was at a conference in Rome, talking.  Talking, she said, inter alia:


Sister Campbell, whose religious congregation is rooted in the Benedictine tradition, said that “the biggest problem is mistaking spiritual leadership for rule enforcement; they don’t know the real spiritual high, the journey of the contemplative way of knowing what the Spirit who is alive in our midst is about.”

At the conference, after listening to women refugees from Rwanda, Syria and Burundi, a millennial woman from Australia and two older women from India and England talk about their struggles for justice and what their faith has meant to them, Sister Campbell remarked, “I really believe that the church needs a contemplative renewal, and maybe that’s what women are going to bring to it.

The contemplative way has been an integral part of her own life journey. It was so back in 1978 when, after gaining her doctorate in law, she founded the Community Law Center in Oakland, Calif., and for the next 18 years was its lead attorney, serving the poor. It has been so also since 2004, when she began her work as executive director of Network and a lobbyist on Capitol Hill. “I lobby from a contemplative stance in D.C., and it’s about the deep listening to the Spirit moving among us, to the deep needs of our people, and letting your heart be broken. That’s what we’re called to do,” she said.


Contemplative, eh?  For a contemplative listener she sure talks a lot.

“Contemplative”… her word, repeated, not mine.

If Sister thinks world needs a “contemplative renewal” from women, especially women religious, perhaps she should set the example and… pipe down and contemplate.

Am I getting this wrong?

The moderation queue is ON.

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  1. Poor Yorek says:

    Dear Sr. Simone:

    Chartreuse Notre-Dame
    04110 Reillanne
    Tel. :04 92 75 62 7600 33 4 92 75 62 76

  2. Gerhard says:

    Clearly she is stuck for things to contemplate. How about starting with the four last things?

  3. Jann says:

    Well, anyone can contemplate anything. Contemplation isn’t necessarily a Christian thing. Does the Church need a contemplative renewal? Yes, it always does, granted that it is contemplation as the Church understands it, centered basically on the Passion of Christ (St. Thomas). And given that, if they aren’t cloistered (and needn’t pray all 7 hours of the Office – just most), they can then serve the suffering Christ in His members. But surely, such contemplatives would spend at least an hour a day in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, as did St. Teresa of Calcutta.

  4. Benedict Joseph says:

    She is simply an example of a broad swath of self-ascribed monastics and mystics sowing darnel in the field. They are legion and they have no leash. The new monasticism is being spawned and with the highest ecclesiastical approval. They are eviscerating communities around the world, those that they have not already reduced to rubble.
    Why is this allowed, not merely in the current epoch, but for the past fifty years?
    Difficult question with a difficult answer.
    No, I’ll be broad minded. There are an infinity of answers, none of them pleasant.

  5. Coming from a female who loves to talk ( hah!) I realize that there must be times to contemplate. Silence affords one the distance you need from the world to think about something other than yourself.
    In fact, females like Simone Campbell would help themselves immensely by trying a little humility with silence, at times. Of course, a Confessor who speaks plainly and with charity like yourself wouldn’t be a bad idea?

  6. NBW says:

    I wonder what spirit is moving her. The Church needs a renewal allright; getting rid of pin nuns like her would be a start.

  7. arga says:

    She is just using a standard tactic of the Left: Appropriate a word or concept associated with the tradition you are trying to destroy, and then redefine it, repeatedly. You achieve two goals at once: you both hollow out tradition and make yourself look more legitimate than you really are. I can think of a few bishops, and ‘way too many priests, who have made this part of their repertoire of subversion.

  8. un-ionized says:

    Maybe we are working with two entirely different definitions of the word contemplative? The Benedictines I know are not contemplative in the same way as the Carmelites. I think sometimes these so-called nuns just say stuff that secular people will think is cool. It’s more cool to actually do it and not talk about it all the time.

  9. Huber says:

    God help me, I’m a poor wretch sinner, but I’d never tell a stadium full of people that whether abortion was right or wrong was “above my pay grade” as she did…

    Being a contemplative, she must be very limited to what she can contemplate, given that her pay grade, per her vows, is “poverty”…

  10. frjim4321 says:

    “pipe down and contemplate”

    Is that something like “sit down and shut up?”

    Nothing brings out the claws here like reformed women religious in anything other than the subservient style.

    [“Contemplative”: her word, not mine. And she repeated it. And it is YOU who bring in your assumptions and your misogyny. That’s your deal, not mine.]

  11. Andrew D says:

    She’s not a nun, she’s a feminist. Just look at this picture of her which I think was taken at the democrat national convention four years ago. Where’s the crucifix? Shouldn’t there be one around her neck or in a visible place? A nun is a bride of Christ by her vows so any one claiming to be a nun who behaves like this and can’t even wear a crucifix has divorced herself from Christ. I hope I live to see the day when these charlatans die out (it’s not like they have any vocations) so the Church can be somewhat purified.

  12. Adaquano says:

    Perhaps a good act of charity would be to gift her a copy of Cardinal Sarah’s “The Power of Silence”.

  13. bibi1003 says:

    I smell trouble every time I see a picture of a nun in a pantsuit. I bet this one refers to God as “She.”

    It chilled me when she mentioned the “spirit” without identifying it as the Holy Spirit. For example, “…the spirit who is alive in our midst …” and “…the deep listening to the spirit moving among us…”. The spirit of the world is working through her and so many others to sicken the Church. I’m sorry she bought the lies it told her. I’m sorrier still for young women considering vocations who might see Sister Simone as a feminist hero helping to build a “new and improved” church.

    For the sake of her soul, I wish she could spend time with true contemplatives like the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville.

  14. TWF says:

    I’ve often wondered where these sorts of clergy and religious really stand. Do they believe that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ or just an accident of history? And if the latter, why bother? What is the basis of their faith?
    Do they believe in the Trinity? The Real Presence? The Incarnation? Was Jesus God or just a holy mystic?

    And most of all I wonder why Rome, and NOT just under the present papacy, has infinite patience and mercy for these types, but brings down the iron fist to savagely pulverize any religious group that seems too focussed on Latin.

  15. JonPatrick says:

    frjim4321 refers to the “reformed” sisters like Sr. Campbell, in contrast to those “unreformed” ones, the ones who are subservient to Christ. But Sr. Campbell has shown herself to to be subservient to the secular world, going along with whatever stand the secular left promotes, such as abortion rights and radical feminism. Contrast that with “unreformed” sisters such as St. Theresa of Calcutta who had no problem speaking out against abortion at a National Prayer Breakfast and many other times.

    One wonders 100 years from now which of these 2 sisters will still be remembered, the “unreformed” Mother Theresa or the “reformed” Sr. Simone Campbell.

  16. Kerry says:

    One is reminded of Cher’s “Last Concert” tours, annual events for what, six years?

  17. PA mom says:

    Having just read about the Silver Stream priory in the National Catholic Register, the explanation of the true contemplative life is so much more beautiful and humbling than her corrupted description of it.

    “rooted in the Benedictine tradition” – this and like phrases so often seem like the red flags that there is a problem.

  18. un-ionized says:

    frjim, the only claws here are on this woman who worships and contemplates her own ego. I have vast experience this these people to my regret.

  19. VexillaRegis says:

    Romans be wary of these Campbells!

    The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro! (repeat)
    The Campbells are coming to bonnie Lochleven
    The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!
    Upon the Lomonds I lay, I lay, (repeat)
    I lookit down to bonnie Lochleven
    And saw three perches play-hay-hay!
    The Great Argyll he goes before,
    He makes the cannons and guns to roar,
    With sound o’trumpet, pipe and drum,
    The Campbells are coming, Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!
    The Campbells they are a’ in arms,
    Their loyal faith and truth to show,
    With banners rattling in the wind,
    The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro

  20. Mary Jane says:

    Oh frjim4321, I used to be shocked by the comments you leave. They’re almost predictable now.

    I am glad you stick around Fr Z’s blog though. Stay long enough and soon your thinking will begin to bend towards the traditional. ;-)

  21. tzard says:

    Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. “

  22. DavidR says:


    “is that something like sit down and shut up?”

    Why, yes, yes it is.

    Sound advice for many of us to follow, particularly some of the ordained.

    [Amen. Advice we should all heed.]

  23. VexillaRegis says:

    frjim, this is not about women. It’s about views and ideas. I think most people on here deeply admire the not very subservient Mother Angelica – who piped up all over the World!

  24. iamlucky13 says:

    @ PAmom
    ““rooted in the Benedictine tradition” – this and like phrases so often seem like the red flags that there is a problem.”

    I wasn’t going to comment on this, but since someone else brought it up, I found that a particularly odd preface to a comment that attacks rules. Has she ever even “contemplated” on what the Benedictine Tradition is?

  25. Gerhard says:

    frjim4321 (Fr James, can we presume?) – it’s the usual politically correct imbalance isn’t it? Wreckers must be humoured (even though they deny us the platforms they prance about on), we must “dialogue” with them (even though they dismiss what we have to say, when we reiterate what the Church has taught consistently for 2000 years), we must let them speak for us when they con people that they are Catholic, we must let them massacre of the innocents in the name of sustainable development and sex without consequences, we must let them make a mockery of the Mass and the sacraments, we must smile while they pervert our children with filth. But there is a limit to tolerance and it has been crossed. We can be silent no more. Howgh.

  26. frjim4321 says:

    Vexilla, she was a good fund raiser and knew what side her bread was buttered on. The model of religious life she espoused was pathological. Did you ever watch the Thorazine rosary filmed at her convent? Where are those dear women now? I hope they are in recovery. I hope they are still alive!

  27. Sonshine135 says:

    Effective contemplation only becomes effective with effective study and understanding of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium. Want to contemplate properly Sister? Ask a Dominican for help.

  28. JustaSinner says:

    I don’t often wish bad on others…but when I do, it’s nuns UNDER the bus.

  29. un-ionized says:

    iamlucky13, the Benedictine way of having each house independent works well until modernism encourages people to explore beyond the proper boundaries. The decision to allow noncatholics to be oblates has pushed along the problem in some quarters.

  30. Liesa says:


    Now, wait just a minute. You are disparaging Mother Angelica?

    You belittle a woman whose courage was so invincible?……Whose faith was so strong she never doubted her Spouse for one moment? Whose evangelical work converted and convicted tens of thousands of hearts!

    Then you go on to be so petty as to belittle the sound of a group of women reciting the rosary?

    A hardened heart is a terrible thing.

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