MSNBC's Chris Matthews revealed his loathing for a part of his Catholic upbringing on Wednesday's Hardball, and ended up mangling the theology behind a beautiful and ancient Church ritual for new mothers. Matthews turned to Catholic dissident Sister Simone Campbell for her take on Pope Francis's visit. Sister Campbell touted her liberal "Nuns on the Bus" campaign as a supposed way to "take the Gospel to where it wouldn't be otherwise, and all the other people that we meet along the road – so many of them are not churched...but that we can be in touch with them."

Cradle Catholic Chris Matthews spent the first segment of his September 23 Hardball program effusively praising Pope Francis, particularly for raising immigration and climate change in his brief remarks at a welcome ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. But in a later segment, Matthews and guests Joan Walsh and Sister Simone Campbell lamented how even the liberal-leaning Francis is closed to the idea of women serving as priests in the Catholic Church.

At one point, Matthews offered up his theory for why the opposition was so long-standing, and it boiled down to, wait for it, a celibate Catholic clergy.

Jason Horowitz spotlighted Vice President Biden's personal activism for Catholic sisters who dissent from Church teaching in a Friday article for the New York Times. Horowitz trumpeted how Biden sang the praises of "the sisters who remained the target of a Vatican crackdown for their activism on issues like poverty and health care." The writer underlined that "the nation's first Roman Catholic vice president [is] in the middle of a protracted political fight between the pope he admires and the American nuns he reveres."

MSNBC seized on Pope Francis’s tweet yesterday that “Inequality is the root of social evil” to once again flog conservatives for their economic views. On Monday’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, fill-in host Ari Melber began a segment on the pontiff by gloating, “[S]ome Republicans are caught between a rock and a hard place. Specifically, between the pope's teachings and Rush Limbaugh's orders.”

First off, it’s a little dramatic to talk about Rush Limbaugh’s “orders.” He’s just one man who gives his opinions on the radio. And second, MSNBC wants to pretend Pope Francis is completely aligned with American liberals and against conservatives, but that’s not true. The pope may emphasize social justice, but he is thoroughly conservative and traditional on key cultural and theological issues.

Nuns on the Bus tour leader Sister Simone Campbell appeared on MSNBC's The Cycle on Thursday afternoon to discuss her ministry, which predictably led to her left-wing agenda becoming the focal point of the conversation. The only host to take issue with her talking points was token conservative S.E. Cupp, who was armed with facts and figures that the good sister could not rebut except by adamantly insisting they were "really wrong." That's when it started getting a little tense. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]


Liberal media outlets have never met a dissenting Catholic they didn’t like. The flavor of this month – a liberal nun and her publicity tour group for “social justice” – got the requisite puff piece in The Washington Post to complete the adoration heaped on them by CNN, Time, and MSNBC.

In her June 27 article “The Nuns on the Bus tour promotes social justice – and turns a blind eye to the Vatican,” the Post’s Michelle Boorstein fawned over activist nun Sister Simone Campbell and her “Nuns on the Bus” tour, which she calls “an attempt to motivate opposition to a House budget that would sharply reduce spending on social services” and a “response of sorts to a Vatican report in April raising alarm about ‘radical feminism’ among top American nuns.”