NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $645,986
Expenses: $671,277
Assets: $2,121,562




Advocacy group

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice is a left-of-center social advocacy group organized by politically left-of-center Catholic nuns.

NETWORK is an outspoken critic of Republican policies. The group first rose to prominence with its 2012 “Nuns on the Bus” tour in opposition to then-Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), with NETWORK executive director Simone Campbell speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. 1 It opposed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Trump administration’s restrictionist immigration policies, attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, and other pro-business and pro-free-market legislation. 2 3 4 5 6

Founding and History

NETWORK was founded in April of 1972 by a group of 47 nuns to promote left-of-center legislation to prominent Democrats, such as Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. Adlai Stevenson III (D-IL), and Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY). 7 According to its first newsletter, its priorities were “international poverty, congressional reform, minimum wage, child care, consumer protection, the environment, farmworker rights, healthcare, opposition to the Vietnam War, prison reform, tax fairness, welfare reform, and women’s rights.” 8

NETWORK has been highly critical of every Republican administration since its founding, most notably those of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump. The lobby called George W. Bush-era tax cuts “shameful” and “unconscionable,”9 and opposed any military response to the September 11th attacks. 10

In the words of the National Catholic Reporter, a left-of-center Catholic publication, NETWORK did not “gain traction on [Capitol] Hill” until 2010, when together with its sister organization, the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice it lobbied for Obamacare under executive director Simone Campbell, a member of the Sisters of Social Service religious order. 11 The group wrote a “nuns’ letter” to Congress supporting the legislation, despite opposition by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, earning NETWORK significant favor from liberal activists and politicians. President Barack Obama specifically thanked the group for its work, remarking that without the influence of NETWORK, he could “not have gotten the Affordable Care Act done.” 12

Criticism from the Catholic Church

The relationship between left-of-center Catholic activists and the Vatican have long been tenuous at best. Nancy Sylvester, a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then-national coordinator of NETWORK, told the New York Times: “We’re operating out of one model; the hierarchical church, out of another [. . .] Often we’re just not respected or appreciated for what we have done.” 13

The conflict reared to a head in 2012, when Vatican officials accused NETWORK of having ““serious doctrinal problems.” The Church hierarchy pointed out that it was “focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage.” 14

When questioned by a journalist about whether abortion should be prohibited, Simone Campbell said, “That’s beyond my pay grade.” 15


On its website, NETWORK publishes regular blog updates and pamphlets in support of left-of-center policies. It also offers an “Advocacy Toolbox,” with resources and talking points on income inequality and “Catholic social justice.” Through this toolbox, it organizes small advocacy groups known as Advocate Teams, who push for the organization’s legislative objectives at the local level.

For the 2020 Presidential election, NETWORK published its “Mend the Gaps 2020 Policy Platform,” which advocated for a number of left-of-center policies. It voiced support for an increased minimum wage and socialized medicine, and it condemned President Trump for employing supposed “white supremacist rhetoric.” 16

NETWORK also published a pamphlet on the candidates running in the 2021 Georgia runoff elections, accusing then-Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) each of not being “a Christian” for their support of conservative policies. 17


NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice’s most 2018 tax filings show total revenues of $1,379,964 and total expenses of $837,320. 18


The current Executive Director of the NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice is Simone Campbell, a Catholic religious who receives a salary of $66,860 for her work. 19 An outspoken critic of Republican politicians and conservative policies, she was a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. 20 In October 2020, Campbell announced that she would be stepping down from her leadership role of NETWORK in March 2021. 21

The other paid member of the NETWORK Lobby is Paul Marchione, a nonprofit executive who has held leadership positions for Common Sense about Kids and Guns and the Brady Campaign, a longstanding gun control group. He earns a salary of $47,241. 22


  1. White, Stephen P. “The Decline and Fall of Catholic Democrats?” National Review. September 11, 2012. Accessed July 02, 2019.
  2. Campbell, Simone. “I’m A Nun Leading A Cross-Country Bus Tour To Protest The GOP Tax Law – Here’s Why.” Bustle. June 12, 2019. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  3. Sanchez, Brandon. “Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings: Abortion, Immigration and Other Catholic Concerns.” Jesuit Review. September 24, 2018. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  4. “Over 150 Rights Organizations Urge Congress to Prohibit Expanded Immigration Detention Funding.” Human Rights Watch. September 10, 2018. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  5. Singer, Paul. “Thousands of Nuns Urge Senators to Vote against Obamacare Repeal.” USA Today. July 23, 2017. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  6. Geevarghese, Joseph. “Called to Defend the Rights of Workers.” NETWORK Lobby. July 02, 2018. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  7. Campbell, Sister Simone. “NETWORK National Catholic Social Justice Lobby Celebrates 40 Years of Working for Social Change.” The Washington Post. April 18, 2012. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  8. “History.” NETWORK Lobby. Accessed June 24, 2019. ^
  9. Culler, Tegan A. “The Bishops’ Big Break: With Bush in the White House, the US Bishops See Clear Sailing on Their Conservative Agenda.” Catholics for Choice. Summer 2001. Accessed June 24, 2019. ^
  10. “History.” NETWORK Lobby. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  11. Filteau, Jerry. “Pro-life, Social-justice Catholics Gain Traction on Hill.” National Catholic Reporter. April 16, 2010. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  12. Jenkins, Jack. “This Catholic Nun Pushed Obamacare through Congress. Now She’s Fighting to Save it.” ThinkProgress. June 30, 2017. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  13. Briggs, Kenneth A. “WOMEN AND THE CHURCH.” The New York Times. November 06, 1983. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  14. Goodstein, Laurie. “Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes.” The New York Times. April 18, 2012. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  15. Quoted in McCormack, John. “Catholic Nun & DNC Speaker Simone Campbell on Abortion: ‘That’s Beyond My Pay Grade’.” The Weekly Standard. September 05, 2012. Accessed July 02, 2019.
  16. Mend the Gaps 2020 Policy Platform. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2020, from
  17. Equally Sacred Priorities for the 2021 Georgia 2021 Senate Runoff Elections. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from
  18. NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2020, from
  19. NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2020, from
  20. “Sister Simone Campbell’s DNC Speech.” YouTube. September 5, 2012. Accessed June 23, 2019.
  21. Morrow, L. (2020, October 21). “Nuns on the Bus” Leader Sister Simone Campbell to Step Down from NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice in March After 16 Years Organizing the Faith Community Around Progressive Causes. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from
  22. NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2020, from
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1983

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $645,986 $671,277 $2,121,562 $31,138 N $548,936 $45,450 $50,914 $111,536 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $744,417 $697,367 $1,858,944 $2,321 N $612,250 $93,980 $37,743 $103,824
    2015 Dec Form 990 $582,150 $733,022 $1,705,300 $51,195 N $440,446 $103,550 $37,386 $92,380 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,075,388 $585,585 $1,913,262 $81,403 N $975,573 $80,706 $19,109 $82,708 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $593,722 $423,648 $1,347,636 $47,551 N $485,934 $93,398 $14,390 $81,797 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $380,808 $258,043 $1,171,419 $110,243 N $345,752 $20,757 $14,299 $44,736 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $186,284 $160,566 $936,218 $43,002 N $160,587 $15,693 $16,114 $28,665 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice

    820 1ST ST NE STE 350
    WASHINGTON, DC 20002-4243