Congressional Dems paying attention to Catholic Bishops

An alert reader sent me a note about an article in the WSJ which included this statement:


"House Democrats said concern among antiabortion Democrats that the bill would allow taxpayer-funded abortions had been a major sticking point. Talks continued late into Friday evening between House leaders and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in an effort to craft language that would satisfy all sides. Antiabortion Democrats have made it clear that the conference’s support is essential for their vote. The impasse was apparently cleared after abortion opponents were promised an opportunity to insert tougher restrictions into the legislation during debate on the House floor."

Do you think that the statements and initiatives of the USCCB were too little or too late?   They would be if you don’t also act on that, as the bishops requested.   House Dems and others are listening.

From the WSJ article:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) sat down with representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to try to broker a solution. The bishops urged antiabortion Democrats to hold their ground and said they would oppose the House bill "until this fundamental flaw is remedied."

None of us actually believe that pro-abortion Catholic Speaker Pelosi (still inexplicably allowed by her bishop and the local bishop where she works to receive Holy Communion – anybody… please explain that…) cares in the least what the USCCB says or that any of the arguments from reps of the USCCB will cause her to change her mind.  

Despite the obstinate attitude of pro-abortion Catholics such as pro-abortion Catholic Nancy Pelosi and many other pro-abortion Catholics in Congress, people are listening to the Catholic Bishops.

Consider as well how many hospital beds are controlled by Catholics institutions.

It occurs to me that if the Catholic institutions which provided hospitals were to shut them down in the face of morally unacceptable scenarios, the health care debate in the USA would take on a whole new urgency.

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  1. wmeyer says:


    It had been my impression that the USCCB had already indicated that closing hospitals was likely if conscience clauses were negated. I hope that was not merely wishful thinking on my part.

    That Catholics are roughly 25% of the electorate is one thing. That Catholic hospitals are roughly 25% of all hospitals in this country gives our Catholic minority a very strong voice, if the bishops will but use it.

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    I am concerned that the Bishops are being duped by the lying, pro abort Democrat leaders (especially Pelosi). As I read it all that is assured is to allow the pro-life Dems to introduce an ammendment which generally (but not completely) bans abortion funding. Where is there any assurance that such an ammendment will be adopted as part of the final bill? I think it is conceiveable that the ammendment will be defeated and that a sufficient number of “pro life” Dems in the House will say oh well we tried and then will vote to pass the overall bill without an anti abortion ammendment.

    This whole Pelosi ploy may amount to nothing more than a face saving move for the pro life Dems and an ego booster for the Bishops. Sorry to be sceptical but experience tells me not to trust them.

  3. Thomas G. says:

    I echo the view of my pastor in a recent homily: I have never seen the collected U.S. Bishops, via the USCCB, act in such a firm way to defend fundamental Catholic teaching in my entire life (I’m 51) and I am very much heartened.

  4. wmeyer says:

    Thomas, I am 60, and like you, am much heartened. I dare hope this is the first of a continuing series of responsible actions on the part of the USCCB. I cannot help but think that had the pre-election teachings been so clear, the election might not have delivered us into this mess.

  5. bookworm says:

    Notice that PRO LIFE DEMOCRATS are the key to correcting the “fundamental flaw” in this bill or stopping it from being passed. EVERY single Republican is on record against this bill, but they are not enough to defeat this bill.

    That ought to give pause to those who insist that good Catholics cannot or should not ever vote for Democrats or run for office as Democrats, even if they are pro-life, because the party itself has a pro-abortion platform.

    It also should give pause to those who insist that we must never vote for anyone with a less than perfect pro-life record, no matter what. I know some have questioned whether or not Bart Stupak is “really” pro-life based on remarks he’s made elsewhere. And some would write him off merely because he is a Democrat. But without him and other “blue dog” or pro-life Dems we wouldn’t have a chance!

    This is living proof of something I have believed for years, that maintaining a pro-life presence in BOTH major parties should be THE number one political priority of the pro-life movement. Life issues should not be totally dependent upon the fortunes of the Republican Party. In my opinion electing pro-life Dems is an even higher priority than getting pro-life justices on the Supreme Court, since pro-life justices aren’t going to be confirmed unless there are enough Senators willing to vote for them.

  6. bookworm says:

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but what’s being voted on today still has to go to the Senate, and Harry Reid said the Senate probably wouldn’t get to it til after Christmas? If a bad bill made it into the Senate would there be any chance of stopping it?

  7. Rellis says:


    The USCCB is 2 for 3. The Dems voluntarily stripped out the euthanasia bullying panels. The Stupak amendment will almost certainly pass, which will put a strong prohibition against taxpayer-funded abortions.

    The liberal MSM is trying to spin this as “the USCCB should now support the bill–they’ve gotten everything they want.”

    Wrong. There is still no real protection for Catholic healthcare professionals (including pharmacists) from having their Catholic values trampled upon.

  8. Girgadis says:

    If possible, go beyond just getting our fellow Catholics to demand that no funding or provision of any kind for abortion should be contained in this bill. Talk to everyone you can about this bill and hammer home the point that abortion is NOT health care.

    By the way, just this past week I hired someone who was denied a full-time job at a free-standing surgery center because she does not want to participate in infanticide. I had to make room for her and juggle some things to facilitate bringing her in, but I was determined that this woman was going to have a full-time job. I’m with Rellis – there is no real protection for healthcare workers who want to live their faith in the workplace, particularly in this economy when employees may be too cowed to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. The other problem is, even if they are willing to speak up, who do they go to and who is going to defend them? It’s a bigger problem than people realize.

  9. Mitchell NY says:

    Well her in Queens, New York we just lost our last two Catholic hospitals, St John’s and Mary Immaculate. Also St.Vincent’s, I believe in Manhattan, all within the last year. In a large Metropolitan city like NY there are no longer the RC Hospitals to serve us. The best reputation is Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The Diocease should step up and create a hospital for the 21st century to rival LIJ and reclaim a place in top medical care. Queens, could hardly afford to lose these hospitals where already the average wait in emergency entry is 5 hours. That is shameful. So how do they have power to fight when they are closing left and right?

  10. It occurs to me that if the Catholic institutions which provided hospitals were to shut them down in the face of morally unacceptable scenarios, the health care debate in the USA would take on a whole new urgency.

    Absolutely. The Church should use whatever weapons it has in defence of human life.

    I don’t know why President Obama doesn’t resolve this issue and get abortion out of healthcare reform. The bishops are broadly supportive of healthcare reform; the only sticking point is abortion.

    The end result of this battle will tell us one thing: which Obama values more, abortion or healthcare.

  11. chonak says:

    Don’t count on keeping the hospitals if the Church closes them. The Commonwealth of Mass. already forced the Archdiocese of Boston to turn its hospitals over to a lay board. Other States might outright secularize hospital properties if Church institutions were to close them.

  12. mrsmontoya says:

    I not only emailed my reps, I dropped in on a Congresswoman’s office to voice my opinion in person. She’s not my rep, but I happened to be driving by her office. I’m an actual registered Democrat and I enjoy telling them that when I explain I am against any form of abortion funding and that I am paying close attention to them and will remember when the primaries come around.

  13. rakesvines says:

    re: ” (still inexplicably allowed by her bishop and the local bishop where she works to receive Holy Communion – anybody… please explain that…)”

    Abp. Wuerl states that he does not interpret canon 915 to apply in that way. I think he is just pressured by many forces that are for legalizing abortion. Consider the demographic make-up of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Also, consider that this town is the Mecca of liberals, Democrats, thinkers, feminists, politicians, lobbyists and those who do not easily conform or obey or have lost their faith. So, there might be a fear factor involved.

    Then there is the clergy in that archdiocese that is comprised of more than 10 former lawyers. So I don’t know whether the bishop is getting paralysis by analysis from these legal eagles. (Also they say you cannot be a faithful Christian and a lawyer at the same time. But I digress.) I think we need Abp. Chaput to set over here and Abp. Wuerl to step down. This is the fiercest battle field and we need apostles and martyrs and not politicians and I-don’t-know-what.

  14. Take a peek at the American Life League site and the warnings they are issuing on the healthcare bill and you will learn this goes far beyond mere abortion. It includes contraception, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and a host of other EVILS. And the bishops are willing to settle for the removal of abortion? I believe it is time to use the “I” word when describing the U.S. bishops-IRRELEVANT. Just review the attack by Abp. Burke on Cdl. O’Malley wherein Burke states that O’Malley was under the influence of Satan in allowing A CATHOLIC FUNERAL FOR TED KENNEDY. How much stronger can it get??? Is the episcopacy the employer of last resort? Where does the Church find such wretches? The Catholic lay leaders (both good-think of Stupak, and evil-Pelosi, Biden et al.) are leading their lives as though the bishops didn’t even exist!

  15. You may also wish to check out Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Madia (AIM) in a piece in which he states the American bishops were in full support of Pelosicare (his term) if it would only drop abortion. It seems that the 600 hospitals the Church owns and runs are very costly to operate, especially if they are caring for illegal (read uninsured) immigrants, which they are! These hospitals also have hundreds of thousands of full-time and part-time employees who will now be able to join the SEIU union with increased wages and benefits. Who will be picking up the additional costs for these perquisites? WHY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, OF COURSE. That is why Cdl. O’Malley buried Ted Kennedy in Boston and Cdl. McCarrick lowered him into the ground at Arlington National Cemetery–they were burying THEIR BUSINESS PARTNER.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    Yeah, it really had a big effect on them. THEY PASSED THE THING.

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