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.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today:
Last year, when Nancy Pelosi went to see the pope, she was denied the opportunity to exploit him: photographers were not invited into the room for the typical photo session. Instead, Pope Benedict XVI reminded her of the duties expected of public Catholics. But her determination to play the Catholic card—oh, so selectively—rebounded again when she informed the media that today is the feast of St. Joseph, a special day of prayer for workers, and especially Italians. She apparently stopped short of blessing herself, though she didn’t stop short of invoking St. Joseph’s name in support of the health care bill. Separation of church and state fanatics who suffered apoplexy whenever George W. Bush dropped the Lord’s name are not expected to take to the streets.
Then Pelosi lied. She said she is grateful for the support of 60 orders of nuns, not mentioning that the letter she received had a whopping total of 55 signatories. Worse, she had the gall to say that this represents “every order you can think of.” Wrong. In fact, there are 793 religious communities, which means she heard from seven-and-a-half percent of them. Moreover, since there are approximately 65,000 nuns in the U.S., that means she was contacted by .0008 percent of them.
In other words, not only are the bishops formally opposed to the bill she champions, it’s a lie to maintain that the nuns are on her side. Shameless is too kind a word to use to describe what Pelosi did today.
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SOURCE: Post Crescent
Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay tells Fox Valley interfaith groups politics not a factor in call to sever ties
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay said Wednesday partisan politics played no role in its decision to call for two Fox Valley interfaith groups to sever their ties from their state organization. Bishop David Rikken sent a letter Saturday to ESTHER of the Fox Valley and JOSHUA of Green Bay asking them to make the move and calling a meeting with Catholic members of the two groups in March.
In the letter, Ricken says ESTHER and JOSHUA’s affiliation with WISDOM, the state umbrella organization of interfaith groups, is problematic because WISDOM is affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation, a national group whose strategies run counter to Catholic teachings.
“The end does not justify the means,” the Very Rev. John Doerfler, the diocese’s vicar general and chancellor, told The Post-Crescent on Wednesday.
He declined to specify what exactly Gamaliel, a Chicago-based national organization, has done that the diocese disagrees with. The diocese has no plans to discuss the matter publicly until Bishop David Ricken meets in March with the two groups’ Catholic leaders to talk about their membership. Catholic churches make up half of the membership of ESTHER (Empowerment Solidarity Truth Hope Equality Reform) and JOSHUA (Justice Organization Sharing Hope & United for Action).
The focus of the groups’ work is to advocate for health care reform, affordable housing, rehabilitation for non-violent offenders instead of imprisonment, and fair treatment for immigrants. Depending on how the meetings unfold, the diocese might convene a meeting with the nonCatholic members.
“That would be my hope, that we go forward in engaging and discussion,” Doerfler said.
Members of the interfaith groups huddled Wednesday night to reflect and talk about the bishop’s objectives. They remain stunned by what they consider the diocese’s sudden move to pull out of WISDOM without warning that diocesan leaders were concerned about its affiliation with the Gamaliel Foundation.
Excerpt from 2009 report, ‘Alinskyian Organizing Linked To Abortion Movement’, by Stephanie Block on The Orate Fratres:
Gamaliel is part of the Health Care for America Now coalition that includes several [other] Alinskyian organizing networks, such as ACORN, as well as some pro-abortion groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The following video is a Gamaliel sponsored event wherein participants prayed to Barack Obama shortly after his election.
President Obama and his most current Healthcare proposal would require U.S. taxpayer funded killing of innocent unborn children through abortion….
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“But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”
(St. Paul, 1 Thess. 5:12-13)
From the Catholic League:
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way MSNBC host Chris Matthews handled his interview with Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin last night on “Hardball”:
We were deluged with phone calls, faxes and e-mails after what happened yesterday on “Hardball.” After watching the first portion of the interview between Chris Matthews and Bishop Tobin, I wondered what all the fuss was all about: Chris was just being his usual aggressive self. But it didn’t take long before Matthews literally spun out of control.
Matthews proceeded with an extended and quite insulting lecture. He had absolutely no interest in a discussion on the question of the morality and legality of abortion—all he wanted to do was to make the bishop sit there and listen to his rant. Indeed, his tirade was simply over-the-top.
No non-Catholic would ever treat a bishop this way. But too many liberal Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, think they are exempt from the same standards of civility that apply to others. They are flatly wrong.
I was on MSNBC twice yesterday on this same subject and was treated with respect both times. Ed Schultz, who can be quite tough, was totally respectful, and I’m a lay person. Chris could learn a thing or two from Ed, who not only does not insult his guests, he actually gives them a chance to respond.
Contact executive producer John Reiss: firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments…”
(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, today issued the following statement in response to a Cybercast News Service article that reported: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I) told CNSNews.com that the Catholic Church is doing nothing but fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” by taking the position that it will oppose the health-care reform bill under consideration in Congress unless it is amended to explicitly prohibit funding of abortion.
“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. But the Congressman is correct in stating that “he can’t understand.” He got that part right.
As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.
Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.”
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“We have no choice but to oppose the bill.”
San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez
San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez, who had been an ardent supporter of health care reform, is now urging Catholic lawmakers to vote against the proposal, because efforts to restrict use of funds to pay for abortions have failed, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“It seems that they are not going to do it, so we have no option but to oppose the bill,” Gomez said.
Gomez led a delegation of Hispanic bishops to Washington last month to urge Latino lawmakers to support a robust health care reform bill, and to broaden the bill to guarantee that coverage for illegal immigrants was included.
“The immigrants, legal and undocumented, we have to find a way for a safety net for them to be a part of the new reform,” Gomez said.
But two separate votes were taken in the Senate Finance Committee on language which would have specifically outlawed the use of any public or health care reform funding for abortions, and both votes were defeated, basically along party lines.
Gomez says although he supports the vast majority of the measure as it is written, he will encourage all Catholics, especially Latino Catholics in Congress, to oppose it.
“We have no choice but to oppose the bill,” he said.
“We will ask people to reflect on what it means, and we will keep asking people to continue the fight to ban funding for abortions.”
The White House says the measure in the Senate Finance Committee would not ‘guarantee abortion funding, but the independent ‘fact check dot org’ says the way the bill is currently worded, funding for abortions could not be denied.
SOURCE — Q 101.9
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Let’s convince this father that ALL children have a right to life and say NO to taxpayer funded abortion: HR-3200..
The issue of health care reform will be front and center in Medford on Thursday, as Senator Ron Wyden holds a Town Hall Meeting at Lincoln Elementary School.
When: Thursday, 8/27/09, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Elementary School
3101 McLaughlin Dr., Medford (off Delta Waters Rd.)
HR-3200, the health care reform bill that is currently making its way through the House of Representatives, if passed, will usher in abortion on demand at taxpayer cost. There is good reason to suspect that the bill will also be a threat to senior citizens through “end-of-life planning,” as well as rationing.
President Obama, when asked directly if abortion would be covered, evaded the question. He knows that it will. This is because prior court decisions have said that abortion is covered unless specifically excluded. The proposed Hyde Amendment, which would have specifically prohibited tax dollars from being used for abortion, was struck down in committee on a party line basis. There is NO EXCLUSIONARY LANGUAGE in the current text of the bill. This means that abortion would be fully included in the proposed health care reform bill.
It’s reasonable to assume the Veteran’s Administration end-of-life planning book “Your Life Your Choices” is the blueprint for end-of-life planning in HR-3200. This book manipulates our sick veteran’s into questioning the value of their lives, based on a utilitarian model. “End-of-life planning” poses a threat to our elderly family members.
We ask pro-lifers to show up in force to defend the right to life of the unborn and the elderly. Jackson County Right to Life is a non-partisan organization, and we invite participation from those of all political persuasions in the defense of life.
Jackson County Right to Life