Tag Archives: Catholics United

The Catholic Con Continues

Many left-wing Catholic political organizations use Soros funds and misuse social doctrine to promote anti-magisterial, pro-abortion messages

SOURCE: Catholic World Report

One of the ways you can tell it is a national election year is that left wing Catholic political organizations re-emerge with new strategies, new funding, and sometimes even new names. But, while the organizational names may change, the players stay the same as the agenda remains to elect Democrats who will expand the progressive economic agenda, strengthen the power of the unions, and increase women’s access to comprehensive health services—including abortion.

This con game began during the 2004 presidential campaign with the creation of the Catholic Voting Project. The founders claimed they simply wanted to “promote the US Catholic bishops’ 2003 document Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility” and “encourage a dialogue which would allow Catholics to learn how their political views matched up to those of the bishops.” But the reality was that the Catholic Voting Project was always a front for electing pro-choice Democrats.

Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

After Senator John Kerry lost his presidential bid, Chris Korzen, one of the leaders of the Catholic Voting Project blamed the defeat on Kerry’s messaging problems about abortion. A master at sophistry and community organizing (formerly an organizer for SEIU) Korzen realized that the cover had been blown on the Voting Project and disbanded—but kept the same agenda and leadership—reconstituting the Catholic Voting Project under the new name, Catholics United—a 501C-4. That same year Korzen also teamed up with left wing Catholics to help found the George Soros-subsidized Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—a 501C-3. The two organizations shared staff members (Korzen’s 2007 salary of $84,821 as Executive Director of Catholics United was paid out of Catholics in Alliance donations).

The role of Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was to obscure the debate over abortion as much as possible by propagandizing to the effect that Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for President was the “real” pro-life candidate because he intended to reduce the rate of abortion through anti-poverty measures. They even issued a research study (by Michael Bailey and Joseph Wright) which attempted to “prove” that the poverty reduction Obama was proposing would reduce abortion. But, the study was so flawed that it had to be dramatically revised. Bailey removed his name from the revised study—which demonstrated far less of a benefit to wealth redistribution—and, eventually, the study itself was quietly removed from their website.

Still, their strategy was successful. Obama won the Catholic vote—in part, because of the successful strategies used by these organizations. Soros knew that his money would be well spent by funding a pseudo-Catholic organization. He was joined by many other major Democratic donors. During the months leading up to the 2008 presidential election, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good attracted large donors including the late Smith Bagley, a major Democratic fundraiser who came close to matching Soros with grants from his Arca Foundation. In fact, until 2010, Bagley’s third wife, Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, a longtime Democratic Party fundraiser, was so enamored of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good that she not only funneled thousands of dollars to the organization but also served as chair of its board. Describing herself as a “staunch Irish Catholic” Bagley has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and the anti-Catholic group People for the American Way.

No longer major players in the 2012 elections, Catholics United still issues press releases to convince progressive Catholics that conservative candidates hate the poor. But, like aging screen stars who have to become even more outrageous to get attention, their most recent, “Paul Ryan’s Priorities Reflect Teachings of Ayn Rand, Not Jesus Christ,” is just the most recent attempt to reclaim the higher Catholic moral ground. While Korzen has moved back to Maine to establish Maine’s Majority, a political action group, James Salt, has taken over at Catholics United—and has escalated the attacks on the Romney-Ryan team. Salt, like Korzen, was on the launch team for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and did “messaging” work for Kathleen Sebelius—trying to convince voters that the pro-choice Sebelius really wanted to reduce rates of abortion even though her record of expanding abortion rights was clear.

In their most recent publicity stunt, designed to make Paul Ryan especially unwelcome when he was invited to give a speech at Georgetown University, Salt led Catholics United in creating and displaying a fifty-foot-long banner outside the event with the slogan: “Were you there when they crucified the poor?” The group denounced Ryan’s budget as “immoral” and “an outrageous slap in the face to our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.”

Although the Board of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good continues to operate (it is now led by Alfred Rotondaro, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank helping to re-elect Obama), they have fewer funds and have done little beyond issuing a “voters guide” for 2012. The Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Board now reads like a federation of labor leaders as it includes Edward McElroy (former president of the American Federation of Teachers), Tom Chabolla (assistant to the president of SEIU), Tiffany Heath (national organizer for the AFL-CIO), and Steve Callahan (former AFL-CIO coordinator of labor organizing campaigns). Few take them seriously anymore.

Faith in Public Life and Faithful America

Meanwhile, some of the staff members from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—and the Soros money—have moved over to Faith in Public Life, which was founded by Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical. John Gehring left his media messaging position at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to become the senior writer and “Catholic Outreach Coordinator” for Faith in Public Life. Formerly an assistant media director at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Gehring spends most of his time now attacking the same Catholic bishops he used to work for at the USCCB. The most recent battle began when Gehring criticized the bishops for their promotion of the Fortnight for Freedom events. Claiming that the bishops’ support for the Freedom events showed “just how out of touch some bishops are with the real threats faced by working families,” Gehring wrote that “while most bishops don’t want to be the Republican party at prayer, their alarmist rhetoric and consistent antagonism toward the Obama administration often convey that impression…it’s a bad sign for bishops when they are essentially forced to explain that they are not a faith based Super Pac for the Romney campaign.”

Gehring is not the only Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good employee to find himself now working at Jim Wallis’ creation, Faith in Public Life. In what appears to be a major consolidation of faith based organizations, Faith in Public Life not only houses several of the leaders of what had been Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, it also has welcomed staff members from the organization Faithful America—founded by Tom Perriello, formerly a Catholic Democratic Congressman from the 5th District in Virginia.

Founded in 2004, as a “communications and organizing resource center dedicated to helping faith leaders reclaim the values debate in America for justice, compassion and the common good, ” Faithful America was really created to help Perriello convince voters—including pro-life voters—to move beyond what he called “divisive abortion rhetoric.” It is important to note that nearly all of the Soros-supported progressive faith-based organizations are founded to reclaim the “common good.” And, for left wing Catholic groups, a commitment to the common good always includes access to abortion rights.

In 2009 the two organizations teamed up with Sojourners, Jim Wallis’ social justice organization and PICO National Network, the USCCB-funded community organizing initiative, to create a “toolkit” on the health care reform debate. The toolkit reassured readers that conscience protections would remain in place—even though no such assurance was offered in any of the versions of the reform. Such protections were never intended to be in place.

Soros funds Sojourners (and others), by George!

Like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faith in Public Life has benefited greatly from the generosity of George Soros. Jim Wallis, however, does not like to be reminded of this fact. When Stephanie Block, the editor of Los Pequenos, a New Mexico-based online publication, wrote an article indicating this fact, Jason Gedeik, the Deputy Press Secretary for Sojourners and Jim Wallis demanded that she print an online correction clarifying that Jim Wallis had nothing to do with establishing Faith in Public Life. Gedeik claimed in his letter to Block that “Faith in Public Life was actually established by John Podesta’s non-profit group Center for American Progress.” Block refused to post the online correction, citing the group’s own online website description of Wallis’ role in creating Faith in Public Life. But, it did not end there. Wallis continued to deny funding from George Soros through the summer of 2010—even when reporters have presented him with the evidence that Soros has given Sojourners several hundred thousand dollars. And, not content to simply deny that he received the funds from Soros, Wallis went so far as to call anyone who stated that Soros had provided financial support a “liar.”

This denial of Soros funding continued until 2010 when World Magazine editor, Marvin Olasky who simply reported in July, 2010 that “in 2004 Sojourners, Wallis’s organization, received $200,000 from billionaire George Soros, a financier of left wing groups that push for abortion atheism, bigger government, and other causes.” Olasky claimed to have a printout of a page from the website of the Open Society Institute—Soros is the Open Society’s founder, funder and chairman—showing the grant. When asked to respond to Olasky’s allegations in an interview for the online publication Patheos, Wallis is described by the interviewer as having “exploded” in anger saying: “It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros.”

Wallis continued to deny that he ever received any money from Soros, claiming “our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners.” But, Olasky simply asked his readers to go to the Open Society Institute website and see for themselves. Unfortunately, they did—and the record of the grant had disappeared—and a large white space appeared where the record of the grant to Wallis had formerly appeared. Someone had scrubbed the site. Fortunately, there were PDF copies of the $200,000 Soros grant as well as another one of $25,000 from 2006. There were also physical copies of these pages held by a large number of people who had already discovered the funding from Soros to Wallis.

Once Wallis was unable to continue denying the large grants from Soros, his communications manager released a statement insisting that “the first of the three grants, for $200,000”, came at a time when Sojourners, according to its 2003 audited financial statement had “incurred a significant amount of net losses leading to a negative asset balance.” In other words, they had bigger financial concerns than the grant of $200,000. Later, Wallis issued his own statement claiming that he should have declined to comment until he had “consulted with our staff on the details of our funding over the past several years.” Wallis also claimed that “the allegation concerned three grants received over 10 years from the Open Society that made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners’ funding during that decade—so small that I had not remembered them.” Most of us would not consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars from George Soros to be a “tiny fraction” of Sojourners income—especially when Wallis himself admitted that Sojourners had a “negative balance” in 2003—the year before receiving the large cash infusion from Soros in 2004. Olasky concurs, telling a reporter for Christianity Today, “If you’re in the red and someone comes up with $200,000, especially a billionaire, you tend not to forget that.”

Soros money continues to flow into Wallis’s initiatives—and now is flowing into Faith in Public Life, the new home for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good personnel. The Big Con continues—and sadly, John Gehring, a former employee of the USCCB is now part of that con. But it is getting much harder for the progressive organizations like Catholics United or Faith in Public Life to hide their tracks now that everyone knows who they really are.

About the Author
Anne Hendershott

Anne Hendershott is Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at The King’s College in New York City. She is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education.

Fr. Berrigan watches the golden calf go by…

Fr. Dan Berrigan watches the golden calf go by

As reported here, George Soros, a Wall Street billionaire criminally charged with insider trading, and MoveOn.org, a front group for the Wall Street-financed Obama administration, are now joining forces to voice their “support” for an anti-Wall Street movement Occupy Wall Street.

Lo and behold, “Catholic” political group Catholics United (Financed by George Soros during the 2008 presidential election) promoted their own participation in Occupy Wall Street this week on Facebook… Wonder if Fr. Berrigan knows that these Soros-funded outfits want to turn the OWS protest into an Obama campaign re-election tool?

Here’s a video clip of the political religious deception.

END OF POST

Faithful Citizenship Document: a problem that needs to be remedied, and what you can do to help…

On July 14, the Catholic Advocate’s Deal Hudson & Matt Smith released the following statement regarding the quadrennial Faithful Citizenship document. In it they decry the fact that no substantial changes are foreseen to ambiguous language found within the 2008 document which allowed Catholic voters to believe they can vote for pro-abortion politicians under certain circumstances. This overview from the Catholic Advocate is followed by a sample letter we hope you will adapt, adding your personal opinions and concerns, when you write to your Bishop to express your concern about removing the ambiguity of their “Faithful Citizenship” document at their upcoming meeting in Baltimore this November.

Every four years the Catholic bishops publish a document entitled “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” If tradition holds, a new version of “Faithful Citizenship” is due to be approved at the bishops’ annual Baltimore meeting in November.

We’re told that no substantial edits are being made to the 2008 version of the document, so that we can expect the 2012 version to be roughly the same as its predecessor.

If so, this is a problem and needs to be remedied. The 2008 version of “Faithful Citizenship” contains several passages (Sections 34-37) that are capable of overly broad interpretation. Groups like Catholics United and Catholic Democrats cherry-picked the following passage from Section 35 for prominent display on their web sites and in their printed materials.

“There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.” [emphasis added].

This passage was also cited in discussions of “Faithful Citizenship” held across the nation’s parishes in 2008. Anyone who objected to the implication of this passage could have been met with an equally confusing citation from the previous paragraph, Section 34, which states:

“A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.” [emphasis added]

In other words, a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate as long as he or she did not intend to support his pro-abortion position. What is a person to say to that? No one is capable of judging another person’s intention. The practical consequence of this statement is clear: Catholics can vote for any pro-abortion politician they want — all they have to do is have the right intention.

“The following passage, Section 36, adds to the confusion about whether or not a Catholic voter can or cannot vote for a pro-abortion politician:

“When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation,may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.” [emphasis added]

A Catholic voter, therefore, can vote for pro-abortion politicians as long as they do not “advance” that “morally-flawed position” but would “pursue other authentic human goods.”

These sections contain three loopholes allowing Catholic voters to support pro-abortion politicians:

1) If they do not intend to support that position (34), or

2) if there are offsetting “morally grave reasons” (35), or

3) if a candidate will pursue “authentic human goods” rather than the “morally-flawed” position he holds (36).

After positing these loopholes, how can the bishops expect Catholic voters to make sense of the following paragraph, Section 37:

“In making these decisions,it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.” [emphasis added]

Why should a Catholic voter feel the weighty obligation to oppose “intrinsically evil acts” when the bishops themselves provide three different loopholes to put that concern aside?

There is one question the bishops should answer in the 2012 version of “Faithful Citizenship”:

What are the “grave moral” or “proportionate” reasons that would justify a Catholic voting for a pro-abortion candidate?

The answer to this question will clarify the confusion caused by Sections 34-37.

During the 2008 campaign, many individual bishops attempted to address the confusion of “Faithful Citizenship.” Bishop Robert Vasa, for example, pointed out that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is never justified when the opponent is pro-life. Similarly, Bishops Kevin Vann and Kevin Farrell insisted there are no “‘truly grave moral’ or ‘proportionate’ reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.”

The document can be clarified by the full body of the USCCB at the November 14-17, 2011meeting in Baltimore.

If the bishops republish the 2008 version “Faithful Citizenship” for the 2012 election — without changes — they will be providing Catholic voters another carte blanche to cast their vote for any pro-abortion candidate they want. The incoherence of Sections 34-37 do not serve the building of a culture of life in our nation.

Deal Hudson is president of Catholic Advocate in Washington, DC; Matt Smith is vice president.

***************************

Sample Letter to Your Bishop

Below is a sample letter we hope you will adapt, adding your personal opinions and concerns, when you write to your Bishop to express your concern about removing the ambiguity of their “Faithful Citizenship” document at their upcoming meeting in Baltimore this November.

Date

Bishop

Address

City, State, Zip

Quick link to find your Bishop:

http://new.usccb.org/about/bishops-and-dioceses/diocesan-locator.cfm

Dear Bishop ____________ ,

Peace be with you, and thank you for your service to our Holy Roman Catholic church.

I am a practicing Catholic (alternates: weekly or daily communicant, woman religious, priest, etc.) in your diocese.

I am very concerned about the ambiguity in the 2008 “Faithful Citizenship” document, leading many pro-contraception & pro-abortion groups to persuade Catholics to vote for candidates who support their agenda, in complete contradiction to church teaching.

“Among the many “social conditions” which the Catholic must take into account in voting, the above serious moral issues [abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriage] must be given the first consideration”. 

Those were the words of Cardinal Burke, made when he was still Archbishop of the diocese of St. Louis, instructing Catholic voters in his Diocese.

All Catholics deserve such clear and unequivocal leadership from their own Bishops and Priests, many of whom defer to the “Faithful Citizenship” document from the USCCB.

To help strengthen the document, I urge you to place “Faithful Citizenship” on the agenda of the upcoming U. S. Bishops’ meeting in November and ask you to promote discussion of this critical issue, seeking to remove the ambiguity in the existing document.

Sincerely yours,

Name

Address

City, state, zip

Catholic teaching incompatible with ObamaCare

Catholic Doctors, More Bishops Insist: Catholic Teaching Incompatible with ObamaCare

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Several more U.S. Catholic bishops, as well as a national association of Catholic medical doctors, have stepped up to rescue the Catholic name from organizations claiming the abortion-laden Senate health care bill is compatible with Church teaching.

The Catholic Medical Association (CMA), a national association of Catholic physicians, has thrown their weight behind the statement of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, who said that groups supporting the Senate bill “have done a grave disservice to the American Catholic community by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.”

“Should this political ploy prove successful in persuading some legislators to vote for this flawed bill, these individuals and groups will have done a grave disservice to human dignity and to the common good of this nation,” wrote CMA.

“Given this evidence above, it is difficult to understand how some Catholics could lobby in favor of such legislation,” stated the group. “Given the significance of the issues at stake, and the consistent, compelling policy guidance provided by the U.S. bishops on these matters, publicly opposing and/or undermining the U.S. bishops at this time is imprudent and uncharitable.”

The U.S. Catholic bishops have found themselves at the center of a media frenzy this week, as they have stepped up efforts to fend off dissident Catholic groups endorsing a bill that has been unequivocally condemned by leading pro-life analysts as the worst expansion of abortion in America since Roe v. Wade.  The White House has openly admitted that the support of such groups has been “very important” in swaying crucial votes in favor of the bill as the clock ticks down to a final vote scheduled for Sunday.

In a significant display of episcopal muscle, at present count, at least 30 U.S. bishops have specifically condemned the Senate health care bill since its final form was published. Expressing solidarity with the USCCB, many issued letters to lawmakers, and statements to their flock clarifying the position of the Church.

“Make no mistake,” wrote Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colo. “If the House passes the Senate version of health care reform, it will be a dark day in the history of the United States of America.”

“We’re not the obstructionists here, since all we’re insisting upon is that the understanding that tax money not pay for abortions, in place since 1975, remains,” emphasized New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who explained his opposition to the Senate health care bill on his website. “It is instead those who have radically altered the debate to open a loophole to eliminate the Hyde Amendment who are risking the very fate of this legislation.”

So far, one prelate has come out in favor of the bill: retired Bishop John E. McCarthy of Austin, Tex., told the Associated Press Wednesday that legislators should not kill the legislation “at this crucial moment,” claiming that the bill’s flaws on life issues could be fixed later.

Meanwhile, more Catholic organizations that are aggressively pushing for the bill despite the abortion expansion continue to crawl out of the woodwork, often emphatically claiming over and against the USCCB, the National Right to Life Committee, and countless top pro-life analysts that the bill in fact does not contain abortion funding.

The National Catholic Reporter wrote in an editorial Thursday that “Congress, and its Catholics, should say yes to health care reform.” “The current legislation is not ‘pro-abortion,’ and there is no, repeat no, federal funding of abortion in the bill,” NCR stated.

The left-leaning lobby group Catholics United has sparked an angry response from some bishops for its active promotion of the pro-abortion bill.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, WV ripped Catholics United – which he noted was “in no way affiliated” with the Catholic Church – for having started “secular media campaigns that confuse Catholics with misleading images and messages that are not consistent with the position taught by the Bishops of the United States, including Bishop Michael Bransfield.”

“It is the clear and unchanged position of Bishop Bransfield and the USCCB that unless these flaws are addressed in the legislation, the Senate bill should not be passed in the House,” stated the diocese on its website.

In Michigan, Catholic bishops also slammed Catholics United for taking out advertisements attacking Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) for his pro-life stand against the health care bill.

“In no way does Catholics United represent the public policy positions of the Catholic Church,” stated the Michigan Catholic Conference, which includes the state’s seven bishops on its board. “In fact, the ad campaign and its accompanying news release grossly misrepresents the official position of the Catholic Church on health care reform, and unfairly and erroneously attacks Congressman Bart Stupak for his efforts to prohibit tax-payer funded abortions.”

Healthcare Vote Looms — Strategy to Divide Catholics Raising Concerns

Healthcare Reform Vote Expected Imminently
Bishops Outraged at CHA’s Morally Flawed Statements

Catholic Health Association President, Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, representing Catholic hospitals, has incited vocal opposition from bishops across the country in response to her letter to Congress requesting passage of the Senate-passed healthcare reform bill that includes taxpayer funding for abortion. The Catholic hospitals’ outspoken support for this morally flawed bill is causing confusion among Catholics and may lead some to unwittingly ask their congressman to pass it when they would actually oppose it if they had the facts from the bishops and pro-life organizations. More importantly, the confusion is making it more difficult for pro-life Democrats to resist the pressure they are getting from the President and the Democratic leadership in the House.

It is more critical than ever to contact your member of Congress right away to let him or her know you oppose the Senate-passed healthcare bill with abortion funding. The bill is coming to a vote any day. See details below.

CHA has been joined in their support of the legislation by NETWORK (a Catholic social justice lobby) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The sister’s letter is dishonest and contradicts the bishops. They say “despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions.”

Catholics United, a progressive and partisan Catholic group, have created a TV ad in favor of the legislation saying it is “endorsed by pro-life advocates like the Catholic Health Association”. They plan to run the ads in the districts of swing voters.

VATICAN WEIGHS IN

Support by progressive Catholic organizations’ of this flawed healthcare reform bill is becoming so bizarre that the USCCB had to issue a correctional statement earlier today stating that NETWORK “grossly overstated whom they represent”. The letter had 55 individual signatories with some representing communities as small as three to five people. While this was a minute number of the 793 religious communities, NETWORK claimed to be speaking for all 59,000 American women religious.

The Vatican has even stepped with an article in the official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano strongly supporting the U.S. bishops. It quoted Denver Archbishop Chaput: “. . . [the] long, unpleasant and too often dishonest the national health-care debate is now in its last days. Its most painful feature has been those ‘Catholic’ groups that by their eagerness for some kind of deal undercut the witness of the Catholic community and help advance a bad bill into a bad law.”

On a positive side, Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, representing over 103 communities of religious women in the US, issued a statement saying, “Protection of life and freedom of conscience are central to morally responsible judgment. We join the bishops in seeking ethically sound legislation.”

The effort of some organization to undercut the position of the bishops is leading to confusion not only among Catholics, but among secular media and politicians who look to the Church’s position on moral issues. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, writes, “The Catholic Health Association’s position, in effect, provides cover for any member of the House who chooses to buckle under the pressure of the president and the Democratic leadership to accept government funding of abortion. They can now defend themselves by pointing out that Catholic health care leaders recommended they vote for the bill.”

US bishops have been more outspoken than ever, standing together to affirm life and asking all Catholics to do the same. (See Cardinal George’s press release – http://ccgaction.org/node/777.)

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver writes, “The Senate version of health-care reform currently being forced ahead by congressional leaders and the White House is a bad bill that will result in bad law. It does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops of our country. Nor does the American public want it. It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for healthcare professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants.”

We should be outraged that these groups are attempting to speak for Catholics across the country, misrepresenting the moral truth as expressed by the bishops, and affecting one of the most far-reaching pieces of social legislation in history.We must stand in solidarity with our bishops and in no uncertain terms state that Catholics oppose healthcare reform that permits federal funding of abortion.

CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN RIGHT WAY.

Ask him or her to vote “NO” on the Senate-passed healthcare bill that permits abortion funding.

Find your member of congress and his or her phone number here: http://contactingthecongress.org. You will be surprised by how easy it is to call and express your opinion. If you would like to send an email, go to the NCHLA website.

A list of friendly congressman who particularly need reinforcement and people who have voted for the healthcare bill before who may be persuadable can be found on the CCG website (http://ccgaction.org/node/779). Please forward this email to like-minded friends and family members who live in areas represented by the listed members. Ask them to join you in contacting their congressmen as well. Ask them to sign up for CCG emails so they can get the latest developments on this issue directly. Time is urgent.

We ask you to join us in prayer that this legislation will be defeated to protect all God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, patroness of the Americas, Star of the New Evangelization, and patroness of Catholics for the Common Good.

For the Common Good,

Bill May
Chairman, Catholics for the Common Good
415 651 4171
415 738 0421 (Fax)

Forward this email to friends and family members and ask them to join this network for the evangelization of culture.
http://ui.constantcontact.com/sa/fwtf.jsp?m=1101704364632&ea=jamestevans0%40yahoo.com&a=1103208863553

Commentary: The Failure of the Bishops’ Healthcare Bill Strategy

Commentary by Deal W. Hudson  

March 15, 2010 (InsideCatholic) – The Catholic Health Association (CHA), a lobbying group for Catholic hospitals, has offered its support for the health-care bill as it currently stands. A  statement from CHA president Sr. Carol Keehan expresses “concern on life issues” while underscoring the bill’s requirement that “a separate check” would have to be written for abortion services.

Sister Keehan’s statement — along with the March 11 letter to Congress from her vice president, Michael F. Rodgers — is a masterpiece of doublespeak. On behalf of CHA, both Sister Keehan and Rodgers urge passage of the bill. But, while Sister Keehan cites the “separate check” stipulation for abortion coverage to assuage her concern, Rodgers admits that abortion coverage would have to be “amended” in a second corrections bill.

The position of CHA and its member hospitals puts them in direct opposition to the Catholic bishops, who have stated unambiguously that the Senate health-care bill leaves the door open for federal funds to be used for abortions. Bishop Robert F. Lynch of St. Petersburg is on the CHA board, while Bishop Kevin Vann of Ft. Worth is its episcopal liaison. Other board members include four CEOs and seven VPs of Catholic hospital systems.

CHA has long enjoyed an intimate relationship with the USCCB: It is often cited by the USCCB as a partner, along with Catholic Charities USA. In September 2008, Sister Keehan cosigned a letter with the head of Catholic Charities USA and Bishop William F. Murphy, the chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urging Congress to pass a stimulus plan. CHA has also been involved in joint efforts with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in welfare-to-work projects. The long list of such collaborative efforts between CHA and the USCCB is easily found by searching the USCCB Web site.

At present, the USCCB has not issued any statement directly opposing CHA or any of the Catholic groups supporting the Senate bill, such as Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. The lack of such a statement allows the press, the White House, and the Congress to hold up these groups as providing official Catholic support to a public that doesn’t know any better.

A direct rebuke of CHA from the USCCB would not be in keeping with what I have termed the conference’s strategy of qualified support, but it would certainly keep wavering members of Congress from finding political cover from these groups willing to accept abortion funding.

With a vote on the bill coming as soon as Friday or Saturday, the USCCB is running out of time to get tough. The parish bulletin program emailed last Friday by the USCCB comes too late to have any serious impact on a vote this week.

The willingness of such an intimate partner with the USCCB to break with the bishops on the health-care bill is just another sign of the conference’s failure to negotiate powerfully with Congress and speak loudly and clearly to the media on this legislation. Its strategy has left them in a weakened position and allowed the initiative to be taken over by groups with apparent vested interest in seeing the bill passed: CHA would receive federal money for its hospitals, while Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good do little more than put a Catholic spin on Democratic talking points.

It’s common sense that you can’t win a negotiation if you aren’t willing to walk away from the table. Thus far, the USCCB hasn’t shown that willingness. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando understood this when he wrote a few days ago, “No health-care legislation is better than bad health-care legislation.”

It’s alarming to hear the nonchalant attitude of those who remark how many other countries have government-run health care systems that pay for abortions, so why not us? Bishop Wenski knows what it is that has so many Catholics outraged at the prospect of this bill’s being passed:

Using taxpayers’ money to pay for other people’s abortions would make all citizens complicit in what many regard as a morally heinous act. . . . Whatever you might call it, a procedure that results in the death of a living human being — whether at the beginning or end of life — is not health care.

The Time is Now!: Vatican Cardinal Warns of American Getheseme by Judie Brown

The time is now--Judie Brown
The time is now! Judie Brown

When the Catholic University of America’s Tower reported  that during a recent address at the university, His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic” and said he campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” I can only imagine the cheers that must have risen from the hall. The Tower continued,

“Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” Stafford remarked, “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal’ by beginning a new sentiment where one is ‘with Jesus, sick because of love.'”

These inspired sentiments from such a beloved prelate should have been received with echoes of agreement, not only by the USCCB but the entire Church and pro-life movement. After all, this American cardinal is currently the major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See and has staunchly defended Catholic teaching for years.

Well, I haven’t heard much from my fellow pro-lifers, but I have seen the vitriol that has spewed forth from CNN.

On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer referred to a Catholic cardinal’s criticism of Barack Obama’s abortion position as a “scathing rant” and a “diatribe.” A CNN graphic also used the “scathing rant” term, and Blitzer later referred to the cardinal’s words as a “blistering rant.”
As the Media Resource Center’s Matthew Balan reported,

At the end of the segment, Blitzer misrepresented the Catholic Church’s stances on various issues. He stated that the Church and Obama “do agree on some hot button issues, including opposition to the war in Iraq, greater access to health care, and more equitable tax codes,” as a CNN graphic referred to the health care issues as “universal health care.” On the last two issues, this is an oversimplification. Paragraph 2211 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the “political community’s” duty to “honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure,” among other things, “the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate” and “in keeping with the country’s institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits.” The same Catechism, which lists the official teachings of the Catholic Church, says nothing of “more equitable tax codes.” It only states how it is “morally obligatory to pay taxes” (paragraph 2240) and that tax evasion is “morally illicit” (paragraph 2409).

On the other hand, Blitzer did correctly state that Obama and the Church “strongly disagree on embryonic stem cell research; abortion rights…and civil unions for gay couples, all of which Obama supports – the Catholic Church opposes.”

One can surmise from the above that there is more to this bashing of Cardinal Stafford than meets the eye. After all, the cardinal was not screaming, and he did make every effort to make sure his comments were understood in the proper context. But as we might have guessed, CNN is not going to attempt, even for the sake of appearances, to be objective about the president-elect.

Further, they can rely on many Catholic dissidents and alleged pro-lifers to shore up their inference that saying anything negative about Obama is always a very bad thing indeed. As the Catholic News Agency reports,

The pro-lifers reaching out to abortion rights supporters argue that legal challenges to permissive abortion laws will not be successful, especially following Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, the Washington Post reports…

The coalition of pro-lifers seeking policy change rather than legal change includes Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; Catholics United, described as a progressive Catholic lay group; Sojourners, a progressive evangelical organization; and RealAbortionSolutions.org, a coalition of Catholics and evangelical leaders.

Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., from Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center, has also allied himself with the effort, even though he has resigned himself to only commenting on politics in the past.

So too has Nicholas Cafardi, a former dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and a Catholic canon lawyer. He resigned from the board of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio after writing a column supporting Obama and declaring the abortion battle lost, the Washington Post says.

My, what a tragic web is being woven – a labyrinth of half-truths designed to further entangle the American public into believing the media myth that when a Catholic prelate speaks out in defense of truth, it is always a bad thing for America. I can actually see a time when the hierarchy might, by law perhaps, be silenced similarly to the way the administrator of the Charleston, South Carolina diocese has silenced Father Jay Scott Newman.

The fullness of truth could even come to be regarded as the enemy of the common good. Who is to say where all this might lead, with the media in charge of preaching and teaching Catholic dogma to the not so faithful?

Now is the time for courageous leadership, unapologetic declarations of truth and much more honesty, such as that courageously displayed by Cardinal Stafford at the Catholic University of America.

We need to hear from the bishops, now more than ever. We should expect them to provide us with clarifications on anti-life measures such as the Freedom of Choice Act  and the Prevention First Act.

These bills would lead to more social chaos than anyone can imagine. It is tragic enough that abortion is ever committed, but to become a signed, sealed and delivered government program would be anathema to the future of this once-great nation.

 Father Frank Pavone has written, “It is the role of bishops to herald the Gospel of Life by their preaching, teaching, and stirring into flame the gifts of God in the hearts of the laity.”

Let us hope that the flame ignited by Cardinal Stafford, with his stirring comments, will be carried forth and burn intensely from every pulpit in the United States, Catholic and otherwise. The time is now!

Source: Catholic Exchange