CWN: US bishops oppose Senate health reform bill, clarify Politico

This morning I heard on one of those start-up-the-day TV shows (some news mixed with the mind-numbingly inane) that the Catholic bishops had in some way endorsed the proposed health care legislation for the US despite the obvious funding of abortion included therein.

"?!?!?" quoth I, incredulous.

I found this story on Catholic World News:

US bishops oppose Senate health reform bill, clarify Politico
March 11, 2010

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reiterated its opposition to Senate health care reform legislation.

On March 5, Politico reported that “he [sic] Roman Catholic bishops signaled Thursday that if agreement is reached with House leaders on anti-abortion language, the church would work to get the votes needed to protect the provisions in the Senate — and thereby advance the shared goal with Democrats of health care reform.”

Responding to questions about the Politico article, the bishops’ conference issued the following statement:

Recently a reporter asked the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops whether, if the House of Representatives sent a health care reform bill to the Senate that includes acceptable pro-life language like the Stupak amendment, the Conference would defend the pro-life language against efforts by members of either political party to strike it from the bill. The staff answered yes. Some took that answer out of context, and misinterpreted it as a commitment by the bishops to endorse an overall health care bill as long as it includes pro-life language. No such position has been taken. The Conference has said the Senate-passed health care bill fails our moral criteria  [Get that?] and must be changed; if changes do occur the bishops would study the new bill, then develop a position based on our moral criteria.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

so, now you know what is going on if this comes up.

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  1. idatom says:

    Fr. Z.;

    The press will continue to spin.

    The health care bill will become law, because the Blue Dog Dems will fold.

    I think our devoutly catholic congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will be successful shortly, with the help of our pro-death catholic congressmen, in passing the health care reform bill .

    I also think Governor Gilligan’s daughter, Kathleen Sebelius, the catholic secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services will find monies in that bill to open more abortion factories through out the country and also make many changes our Bishops and all real catholics will be very unhappy with.

    My wife tells me to think positive and I say I am positive, we are going to Hell in a hand basket. Only God can save us.

    Tom Lanter

  2. TJerome says:

    First of all, Catholic bishops should not be endorsing any kind of healthcare reform legislation. These are secular decisions, left to the prudential judgment of the political world, i.e. whether to have or not have healthcare “reform.” If there is a healthcare reform bill, their province should be whether it is deficient from a moral perspective, i.e. is it anti-life, pro-abortion, etc. When Catholic bishops get involved in legislative initiatives like healthcare reform (I call it healthcare destruction) they are being drawn into the very type of propaganda wars that are now being waged. What the bishops should really be doing is to indicate in plain language, that Mary and Joe Catholic or even a “Catholic” congressman can understand (hat tip to Bishop Trautman)that if they vote for healthcare reform that funds abortions, directly or indirectly, they will be excommunicated and denied Holy Communion and the cover of religion for their heinous actions. That’s what bishops should be doing. But they won’t.

  3. kat says:

    It sickens me to watch the manipulations, including trying to “pass” the bill by linking it to another and deeming it “voted upon” without a vote, because they don’t have the numbers to pass it…because people don’t want it. And this bill will hurt a lot more people than help, if help it does at all, and thus deserves a negative vote by the bishops BECAUSE it will hurt people, physically and morally.

  4. Gail F says:

    I asked one of my professors at the seminary, a moral theologian, why there hasn’t really been anything said about the bill. He said that, as long as there is no actual BILL we know much about, there is nothing to say. But he said that there certainly seem likely to be a few things that Catholics can’t support in it. I asked him about the Catholic Social Teaching position on healthcare for all, and he said that yes, CST does consider available healthcare to be a basic human right. However, there is no particular endorsed bill or system — just the principle. This is a close as I’ve gotten to an authoritative statement, FWIW.

    BTW, I read in the WSJ this morning that the “reform” of student loan financing will also be appended to the healthcare bill. Our government has gone completely mad.

  5. Climacus says:

    Who cares what the bishops say? Money talks. And the administrators and CEOs of our so-called “Catholic” hospitals know this very well, as they are now all jostling each other to line up for a place at the federal trough. Today’s Associated Press headlines? “Catholic Hospitals Support Health Care Bill”.


  6. Gabriel Austin says:

    Kindly note that no bishop was quoted on the subject. The comment was made by one of the staff of the bureaucracy of the USCCB.

    The USCCB is a threat to the structure of the Church. It attempts to be an organization which speaks for the “bishops”. Only a bishop can speak for a bishop. And he can only speak for himself.

    The hierarchical organization of the Church is local [just as is the Congress of the U.S.]. One of our more intelligent bishops [yes, Virginia, we have some stupid bishops. See St. John Chrysostom on the subject]… one of our more intelligent bishops said that the bishops should speak to their flock and let the flock speak to their representatives.

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