As a measure of just how nuts this story is, dig this from Maureen Dowd:
The nuns have it right
WASHINGTON - Angry nuns have been calling Congressman Bart Stupak's office to complain about his dismissive comments on their bravura decision to make a literal Hail Mary pass, break with Catholic bishops and endorse the health care bill.
As a Catholic schoolboy, the Michigan Democrat had his share of nuns who rapped his knuckles when he misbehaved, like the time he crashed a kickball through the school window.
So, of course, he's having some acid flashbacks, but he told me, "They're not printable even in The New York Times."
Like that other troublemaking Bart (Simpson), Stupak, who wants to kill the health care bill because he thinks the language on abortion funding is not restrictive enough, should have to write on the blackboard a hundred times: "I will listen closely when the nuns tell me I am wrong. I will not be an obstinate lawmaker."
Stupak got in hot holy water when he told Fox News, "When I'm drafting right-to-life language, I don't call up nuns." He followed that with more scorn for sisters, telling Chris Matthews that the nuns were not influential because they rarely try to influence - which makes no sense - and because "they're not the recognized spokesperson for the Catholic Church." He listens to the bishops, he said, and anti-abortion groups.
We might have to bang Bart's head into a blackboard a few times before he realizes that in a moral tug-of-war between the sisters and the bishops, you have to go with the gals.
The nuns are giving the Democrats cover. As Bob Casey, an abortion opponent who helped negotiate the abortion language in the Senate bill, observed, quoting Scripture: "They care for 'the least, the last and the lost.' And they know health care."
On Friday, Tim Ryan, an anti-abortion Democrat from Ohio, took to the House floor to say he had been influenced by the nuns to vote for the bill.
"You say this is pro-abortion," he said to Republicans, and yet "you have 59,000 Catholic nuns from across the country endorsing this bill, 600 Catholic hospitals, 1,400 Catholic nursing homes endorsing this bill."
Go read the whole thing.
Here's how she ends it (link mine):
Because Benedict has addressed the sex scandal belatedly and sparsely, stonewalling on the skeleton in his German closet, he has lost authority to speak about the issue consuming his church. The only internal investigation he has undertaken with alacrity, for heaven's sake, is the one bullying American nuns.
You go, grrrls.
Here is Dowd's terrific piece on Ratzy's investigation of the nuns.