Skip to comments.U.S. bishops reactivate nationwide campaign against federal abortion funding
Posted on 01/12/2010 3:49:05 PM PST by NYer
.- With House and Senate leaders meeting behind closed doors to forge a health care overhaul bill, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has reactivated its grassroots campaign to encourage Catholics nationwide to tell lawmakers they oppose federal funding of abortion.
Bulletin inserts, a prayer campaign and pulpit announcements are all part of the effort to help ensure that the final version of the health care reform bill sent to President Obama will include Hyde amendment protections explicitly preventing the use of federal money in promoting, performing, or paying for abortions.
The bulletin insert, distributed to over 19,000 parishes, notes that the House health care bill, passed on November 7, 2009, reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortions and includes positive measures on affordability and immigrants.
However, the insert stresses, the Senate version of the bill requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions. All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other peoples abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion.
Outside the abortion context, neither bill has adequate conscience protection for health care providers, plans or employers, it adds.
The insert summarizes the current legislative process by saying, These two bills must now be combined into one bill that both the House and Senate will vote on in final form. Provisions against abortion funding and in favor of conscience protection, affordability, and immigrants access to health care must be part of a fair and just health care reform bill, or the final bill must be opposed.
Commenting on the health care situation, Kathy Saile, Director of Domestic Social Development for the USCCB, said in a video statement, Health care is a human right. And heath care reform is a moral imperative and a national priority.
Elements in the proposed bills do a great deal of good But this reform has been sadly politicized by efforts to expand funding for abortion, Saile remarked.
The goals of the bishops are modest. They are not trying to advance an agenda. But rather they seek to keep in place the long-standing policies of no federal funding of abortion, Saile said.
Noting that the health care reform package is expected to come to a vote this month, the Catholic bishops are urging the faithful to contact their Representatives and Senators.
That's why everything out of the USCCB offices on "Health" (cough) "Care" (cough) "Reform" (cough) has this triploid, written-by-a-committee look.
They have very much absorbed the Washington DC assumption that "every problem has a government solution" --- which is quite un-called-for in terms of Catholic doctrine.
I have a basic objection to the whole USCCB lobbying effort. They use our resources (I'm speaking of Catholic pew-sitters in general) with no input, indeed no possibility of input from us; and they "borrow" a kind of spurious authority from the Bishops.
Canonically, Bishops' role as teachers consists of defining the moral principles, and according to Catholic doctrine itself, the political nuts-and-bolts of that is supposed to entirely under the control of us, the laity.
IT'S OUR JOB.
It is scandalous in principle, and quite harmful in practice, for them to usurp our role like this.
I just wrote another frankly irate letter about it to Mr. Doerflinger, and also to by bishop. It is no small matter. The consequences of this are grave.
Just sent this to my pastor.
Nevertheless, who else is coming out against the Obamacare bill other than the Bishops and Alveda King? Where are all the orthodox Protestant clergy?
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It reminds me of a sardonic line from --- if I remember correctly --- one of Maugham's novels. "Tut-tut, old man, you must realize there are really only two 'churches': Catholicism, and everything else. Catholicism is, of course, absurd: and the rest don't matter."
And as you know --- I support the Stupak Amendment, AND the fact that the USCCB is saying that without Stupak, we have to oppose the bill.
That's all to the good.
However, the USCCB has been supporting the general trend to Fed Govt. solutions for years, prominently in the Health field. This has permitted going after a bigger and bigger percentage of public funding as part of the budget of Catholic Social Services, including homeless shelters, adoption and counseling services, etc. etc. Now they'll have to pay the piper: Catholic institutions shut down because they can't do what the State says to do: place babies with gay adoptive parents, hire staff regardless of thir religious and moral beliefs/behavior, etc.
This will end badly.
On the other hand, maybe the coming crisis will prune off the corrupt old branches.
The Holy Catholic Church: the more Catholic it is, the more holy it is.