Catholic Health Ass. supports pro-abortion Senate bill

From Serviam:

Sister Carol Keehan, the uber-compensated (over $850K a year) President of the Catholic Health Association, broke with the USCCB and Pro Life groups and announced the CHA’s support of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill.


See Lifesite:


Washington, DC ( — The Catholic Health Association is coming under fire today for releasing a statement not only endorsing the pro-abortion Senate health care bill but issuing a misleading statement making it appear the bill does not fund abortions. The head of a national pro-life organization disabused the CHA in response.

Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, a network of Catholic hospitals, issued the new statement.

“The time is now for health reform,” the statement backing the bill said.

“On the moral issue of abortion, there is no disagreement,” Keehan contends. “On the technical issue of whether this bill prevents federal funding of abortions, we differ with Right to Life.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, spoke with about Keehan’s statement and dismissed the so-called segregation of funds as an accounting gimmick.

“The House and Senate bills do not merely differ on a ‘technical issue,’as Carol Keehan would have people believe,” he said. “This is another regrettably attempt to minimize the substantive issues involved in order to smooth the way for the Obama legislation.”

“In reality, the Senate bill contains multiple pro-abortion provisions, which in total constitute the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation to reach the House floor since Roe v. Wade,” Johnson added.

Johnson pointed to the new memo from the Catholic bishops to Congress agreeing that “the Senate bill would result in direct federal funding of elective abortions, federal subsidies for plans that cover elective abortions (including some federally administered plans), and authority for federal officials to mandate inclusion of abortion coverage in private plans.”

He has written a detailed analysis of the myriad of ways in which the Senate bill forces Americans to pay for abortions and could force insurance companies to cover them.



This is not the first time that Sr. Keehan has chosen to deviate from Church teaching.  She has supported pro-abortion political appointments and supported previous pro-abortion health care bills.  This of course, is her choice to make and judgment is reserved to God.  However, her doing so under the banner of CHA creates confusion and scandal and affords a smokescreen to pro-abortion politicians who can use the CHA endorsement to mislead Catholics and the media.  She has succeeded in making CHA, like the National Catholic Reporter – Catholic In Name Only.

Of course, as Jack Smith in the Catholic Key Blog pointed out months ago:

CHA is not a repository of Catholic social teaching with regard to health care or an association of moral theologians or a charity in service of the poor. It is a trade association. There is nothing wrong with a trade association, but too many reporters, including members of the Catholic press, have sought comment from CHA without recognizing they are primarily an organization with a vested financial interest in the outcome of the health care debate.

Please make sure your Catholic circle knows the truth about CHA and feel free to express your feelings to CHA here.

WDTPRS is appalled.  Not surprised, but appalled.


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  1. TJerome says:

    Where is the bull of excommunication for “Sister” Keehan. If the bishops don’t use their God given authority now, they might as well crawl under a rock and quit harping about abortion. Words without action is meaningless.

  2. irishgirl says:

    I bet St. Vincent de Paul is shaking his head in heaven over his errant ‘daughter’….

    I agree with you, American Mother-why do these ‘women’ look more male than female?

  3. ljc says:

    At first I didn’t see the period at the end of “Ass.” so I figured “Catholic Health Ass” was a reference to Sister Keehan…

  4. Trad Tom says:

    Nice habit, sister.

    Thanks to Jack Smith for pointing out what CHA really is — or isn’t!

  5. Stick to the issues, folks. I have deleted some comments.

  6. Peggy R says:

    I saw this news last night. I watched this woman (!) equivocate on EWTN last fall aside pro-life Judie Brown. I knew CHA would throw the babies under the bus.

    I don’t have anything charitable to say but to perhaps take a moment to pray for her soul.

    Habit-less nuns are the bane of the Church.

    The vote could be on the Feast of St. Joseph or the next day. St. Joseph pray for us.

  7. Catholicity says:

    What exactly is Catholic about the Catholic Healthcare Association? The bishops should rescind the groups right to use the word Catholic in their title. And I must also agree that if it doesn’t wear the garb, live and work in common, and live the disciplines of poverty, chastity and obedience…then you can call it a lot of things but it ain’t a sister or a nun.

  8. Denis says:

    An $850K/annum “ministry”, and fidelity to the Magisterium is still not included. Can it be purchased with a generous annual bonus? They should have open bidding for the job. My pitch: “50K a year, and you can have the fidelity gratis. OK, maybe you can throw in a Christmas fruitcake with real bourbon.”

  9. Papabile says:

    This is no surprise. just had an article that revealed the chief lobbyist for CHA actually contributed to a pro-abortion candidate OVER a 100% pro-life one in Virginia.

    See the last paragraph in this article:

  10. Thomas S says:

    Moral equivocation is the tell-tale sign of the corruption of heterodox Catholics. I’ve argued with my own family members, including two in the clergy, who equate war and capital punishment with abortion and euthanasia, and it’s ALWAYS to excuse the latter. When you confront them with actual Church teaching from the Catechism it’s like a wall goes up around them. It seems like they’ve never heard the moral distinctions before and now that they are hearing it, they tune it out and fall back on their narrow-mindedness.

    This Keehan woman is a prime example of the Modernist “Social Justice Catholic” who adopts Catholic language while emptying it of its meaning. Have you ever met a self-described “Social Justice Catholic” who doesn’t soft-peddle abortion? Have you ever met a SJC who doesn’t vociferously support the Democratic Party and political liberalism? For that matter, have you ever met a SJC who doesn’t dissent from Church teaching on the Priesthood, contraception, homosexuality, the unique Salvific role of Jesus Christ, Papal Infallibility, the indefectibility of the Church, etc., etc., etc.?

    God Almighty, give us bishops who will at long last ACT!

  11. RichardT says:

    SISTER Keehan?

    Is this woman a nun, or is she a nurse (“sister” would be an old-fashioned title for a nurse).

    If she is a nun, what is her order doing letting her behave like this? (and is she the highest paid Catholic in a religious order?)

  12. John V says:

    Would that more attention were paid to the practitioners who make up the Catholic Medical Association and less to the business interests represented by the “Catholic Health Association”. See, for example, their Overview on health care reform.

  13. JonM says:

    Just an observation…

    I see Sister Carol speaking at a White House event. Perhaps she like so many Religious embraced the world, turning away from the crucifixion, and began to enjoy the lifestyle condemned by our Lord.

    It can happen that people start to trust in gadgets, temporal power blocs, and media laud.

    Step by step, they become less a servant to Jesus Christ and more a servant of their own highly-inflated sense of intellect. I recall seeing an ‘ecumenical’ Lutheran-Catholic video. A woman professor at a ritzy ‘Catholic’ college praised (arch-heretic) Martin Luther and decried Church practices.

    Long after the Seal of the President of the United States is a forgotten plate in an obscure historical text, there will be ever vibrant the Church and her totally devoted souls to Christ.

  14. Father S. says:

    While I am in no way encouraging anyone to sin, I am excited about what god Our Lord will bring from all of this. I am not certain that we will know what it is, but He must really have something planned. It is amazing to look into history to see how in the midst of apostasy, scandal or outright persecution of the Faith, Our Lord did raise up men and women as saints. I would rather the sin not occur, to be certain. I would rather that more people choose what is good and upright. Nonetheless, hope tells me that Our Lord will bring good out of evil. With so much evil here, what wondrous good He must be bringing!

    The wholesale abandonment of the Faith by so many in this country reminds me of what happened during the Reformation. While Europe was tearing itself to pieces, desecrating churches and denying the Sacraments, the Faith spread like fire throughout the New World. There were more Catholics in the world after the apparitions at Tepeyac than before the Reformation. Again, what does Our Lord have planned now?

  15. Deo volente says:

    I cannot agree more with “John V.” The Catholic Medical Association is an organization of Physicians and Allied Health Professionals fully faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and our Supreme Pontiff. One glance at this list of the Board of Directors, and the presence of the Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa, JCL, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon as its Episcopal Advisor, and Dr. John F. Brehany, PhD, STL as Executive Director bespeaks volumes.

    The Catholic Health Association appears to be a favorite with the dissident factions within the Church and secular media outlets. I pray that more seek guidance from the CMA regarding Health Issues and guidance in Catholic bioethics. The CMA has fought fiercely for Conscience Clause protection and zero funding for abortions in Health Care, for example.

  16. TNCath says:

    How does the “Catholic” Health Association have the right to ignore Catholic teaching. When will her religious superior and/or bishop call for her removal? If nobody does anything this time around, well, we might as well hang it up.

    As for Sister Carol, well, she looks like one tough cookie who isn’t going to take orders from anyone. And, nobody is worth $850,000 a year. I don’t care who he or she is or isn’t.

    She also needs to button up that blouse.

  17. EnoughRope says:

    You go sista! Enjoy it in the short term….

  18. Tom Ryan says:

    Check this out:

    Just one of the many goofy things on the Catholic Healthcare Association web site. I read much of their site and still can’t figure out exactly what they do…

  19. RichardT says:

    Has the Church ever tried getting some sort of trademark rights on ‘Catholic’, and forbidding dissenting organisations from using it?

    In this case, I’d suggest forbidding its use not only the Catholic Health Association but also by any “Catholic” hospital that pays dues to it.

  20. sejoga says:

    Is it terrible that my first thought when I saw the clothes and haircut in the picture of Sr. Keehan was, “Boy, that man is stuck in the seventies!”?

    In all seriousness, I see the problem with these rather masculine, habitless nuns as being a reflection of the larger problem in the Church of ignoring any sort of liturgical or public expression of faith: churches without statues or paintings, priests in cheap vestments, sisters dressed like John Travolta, Joe Biden appearing in public with ashes on his head and no one knowing what it means, etc. etc. etc.

    There has been a very successful push by some in the Church, like this darling Sr. Keehan, to redefine all of the Church’s public mission to “matters of private conscience”. Habits are a witness to the the saving power of Christ. Public opposition to abortion is a witness to the saving power of Christ. The Mass is a witness to the saving power of Christ. Our church buildings are a witness to the saving power of Christ. And yet all of these things have been denigrated or desecrated in the name of “respecting others’ consciences”… which sounds like a very diabolical way of saying “simply standing back and watching people condemn themselves to hell”.

    It’s as if the Sr. Keehans of the world were trying to outdo Uncle Screwtape in urbanity… the consequences be damned! (Literally.)

  21. sejoga says:

    @ RichardT:

    I think I’ve heard of the Vatican doing something similar with the regnal names of the Popes, following JPII’s death, because a lot of Catholic groups and organizations began naming themselves after JP and then kind of giving him a bad name by being insufficiently orthodox or very aggressive in their pursuit of their agendas and the like.

    I imagine the Vatican would have a very difficult doing something like that with “Catholic” though, since as a word it predates the Church and as a religious term it can actually apply to things outside Roman Catholicism proper. (Sometimes, for example, the Orthodox rightly describe aspects of their understanding of the Church as “Catholic” and they probably wouldn’t much appreciate having to get permission from the Pope to do so…)

  22. RichardT says:

    sejoga, I know, and it might not be possible. But neither of your points would make it impossible.
    – Many trademarks are words that pre-date their trade use, so that wouldn’t stop Catholic being trademarked purely as a religious descriptor.
    – Nor would the fact that certain attributes are described as Catholic stop it being trademarked (think of “Windows compatible” for example)

    It’s not my field, and it would be interesting to have an IP lawyer’s opinion. But I suspect the main problem is lack of will on the part of the Bishops.

  23. doanli says:

    I thought nuns had to take a vow of poverty as well?

    Yes, and bring back the habit!

  24. EXCHIEF says:

    Like so many other institutions and organizations the catholic Hospital Association isn’t Catholic at all. In their case it is all about the money.

    It seems time to label hospitals, colleges and universities which were once Catholic, but no longer are, something other than Catholic. Take away any hint of affiliation unless/until they conform to Catholic teaching.

    The Bisops themselves, while they oppose the current health care bill because of abortion funding, are walking a thin line themselves. They have said that if abortion funding is removed they urge support for the bill.How about the fact that the bill will still fund contraception, stem cell reasearch and a host of other things against Catholic teaching.

  25. markomalley says:

    After her interview with Ray Arroyo several months ago, nothing she says or does surprises me anymore.

  26. TNCath says:

    doanli: “I thought nuns had to take a vow of poverty as well?”

    They do, and I’m sure Sister Carol does not keep the money she makes. I’d say it all goes to the Daughters of Charity to support their retired and members, which comprises the majority of their sisters. Still $850,000 is still a bit much.

  27. Martial Artist says:

    It would seem to me that any organization not explicitly a part of, nor subject to the discipline of, Holy Mother Church that wishes to publicly name itselfCatholic” should be legally OBLIGATED to post a disclaimer on any public statements, which disclaimer would be required to be unequivocally clear and equivalent to the information cited in the Jack Smith post, clearly demarcating that organization as not a part of, nor under the authority of, the Church. I am curious whether there is not some mechanism by which such a requirement might be enforced.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  28. brjeromeleo says:

    What a crime that any Religious should make a salary of over $850K. All that trickles right down to increase patient costs in member hospitals, no doubt.

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