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'Nuns on The Bus' tour US with social justice message

The media savvy sisters have been compared to rock stars and politicians with thousands of fans turning out to hear their speeches.
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Sister Simone Campbell poses in front of the 'Nuns on the Bus' bus after arriving at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 28. (BRIGITTE DUSSEAU /AFP/Getty Images)

A group of Catholic nuns is on a road trip across nine American states to raise awareness about social injustice.

Calling themselves "Nuns on the Bus," the four plainclothes sisters have mapped out a route that will take them from Des Moines, Iowa to Washington DC, their website explains.  The tour began on June 17 and since then they have stopped in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and are due to arrive in Washington on Monday.

AFP explains that the trip is sponsored by the Catholic lobbying group Network. It was organized after a Vatican report in May accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents most American nuns, of "radical feminism" and not focusing enough on fighting gay marriage.

More from GlobalPost: Vatican cracks down on US nuns for radical ideals

The nuns want to rally support for the poor and fight proposed federal budget cuts to programs geared to help those in need, CNN reports.

AFP describes their colorful bus as being like one "used by rock stars or politicians on the campaign trail," with "nuns drive for faith, family and fairness" inscribed on the side.

“Too often we sit back and just watch,” Network's Executive Director Sr Simone Campbell is quoted as saying in the Gaston Gazette.  “This is about the future of our nation.”

The National Catholic Reporter says that Nuns on the Bus have been winning fans across the country. In South Bend, Indiana it says the bus was met with "the same sort of enthusiastic crowds that often greet Notre Dame teams coming home after big wins on the road."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/nuns-the-bus-tour-us-social-justice-message