Health care for life and for all

By Bishop William F. Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester For decades, the United States Catholic bishops have … Continued

By Bishop William F. Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester

For decades, the United States Catholic bishops have actively supported universal health care. The Catholic Church teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential for human life and dignity. Our community of faith provides health care to millions, purchases health care for tens of thousands and addresses the failings of our health care system in our parishes, emergency rooms and shelters. This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority.

(Read more about Catholic moral teaching at Patheos.com.)

We are convinced that the Senate legislation presented to the House of Representatives on a “take it or leave it” basis sadly fails this test and ought to be opposed in its current form. Why do we take this position, when we have a long record of support for health care reform? This judgment is based on a set of moral principles and legislative criteria that can be found on our Web site. But more simply, our essential priorities can be summarized in two sentences:

1. Health care reform must protect life and conscience, not threaten them. The Senate bill extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions. Needed health care reform must keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy that neither elective abortion nor plans which include elective abortion can be paid for with federal funds. Simply put, health care reform ought to continue to apply both parts of the Hyde amendment, no more and no less. The House adopted this policy by a large bipartisan majority, establishing the same protections that govern Medicaid, SCHIP, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and other federal health programs. Despite claims to the contrary, the status quo prohibits the federal government from funding or facilitating plans that include elective abortion. The Senate bill violates this prohibition by providing subsidies to purchase such plans. The House bill provides that no one has to pay for other people’s abortions, while the Senate bill does not. While the Senate provides for one plan without abortion coverage in each exchange, those who select another plan in an exchange to better meet the special needs of their family will be required to pay a separate monthly fee into a fund exclusively for abortions. This new federal requirement is an attempt to circumvent the Hyde amendment. It is a far more direct imposition on the consciences of those who do not wish to pay for the destruction of unborn human life than anything currently in federal law.

It is not those who require that the Hyde Amendment be fully applied who are obstructing reform, since this is the law of the land and the will of the American people. Rather, those who would expand federal participation in abortion, require people to pay for other people’s abortions, and refuse to incorporate essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context) are threatening genuine reform. With conscience protection as with abortion funding, the goal is to preserve the status quo.

2. Universal coverage should be truly universal. People should never be denied coverage because they can’t afford it, because of where they live or work, or because of where they come from and when they got here. The Senate bill would not only continue current law that denies legal immigrants access to Medicaid for five years, but also prohibit undocumented immigrants from buying insurance for their families in the exchanges using their own money. These provisions could leave immigrants and their families worse off, and at the same time it would also hurt the public health of our nation by making hospital emergency rooms the doctors’ offices of the uninsured.

Now, after a year of divisive political combat, members of the House are told that they can advance health care reform only by adopting the Senate legislation as is, including these fundamental flaws. The House Democratic leadership is ignoring the pleas of pro-life and Hispanic members of their caucus. Apparently they will not even try to address the serious problems on abortion funding, conscience protection and fair treatment of immigrants. On the other hand, Republicans pledge to do all they can to defeat the legislation by threatening to object to any improvements in the Senate bill, further complicating the process. The White House, admirably concerned for the many millions without insurance and for those who cannot purchase it, seems willing to accept even a bill which leaves immigrants worse off and undermines the President’s pledge to retain existing protections on abortion funding and freedom of conscience.

We are bishops, not politicians, policy experts or legislative tacticians. We are also pastors, teachers, and citizens. At this point of decision, we cannot compromise on basic moral principles. We can only urge — and hope and pray — that the House of Representatives will find the will and the means to adopt health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. The legislation the House adopted, while not perfect, came closer to meeting these criteria. The Senate legislation simply does not meet them. This is why we are compelled to urge members of the House to oppose the Senate bill unless and until these fundamental flaws are remedied. Then it would be possible for Congress to advance health care reform that reflects a true commitment to life and dignity for all.

We urge our people to let their representatives know that we want Hyde Amendment protections for the unborn, conscience protections for individuals and institutions and openness to the legitimate claims of immigrants.

Bishop William F. Murphy is bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York and chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston is chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-life Activities. Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City is chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration.

  • knoweverything

    The separation of church and state is very important to the core of this legislation.

  • weiwentg

    The Senate bill provides that the funds paid for abortion services are segregated according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The bishops are wrong to declare that there will be any taxpayer subsidies for abortion.If you want to apply an economic standard to abortion subsidies, then the tax expenditure for employer-sponsored healthcare subsidies abortion services in employer-sponsored insurance plans. Why aren’t the Bishops asking that the tax exclusion be ended? For that matter, the Church teaches that the use of nuclear weapons is wrong, and our taxes are directly subsidizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal (and there’s not even an application of GAAP standards to segregate funds for the nukes). Why haven’t the Bishops ordered Catholics to stop paying their federal taxes?

  • Monique4

    Wonderful letter! Thank you for understanding the legislative issues so clearly. One reason we have this health care squeeze is because 1/4 of our younger generations have been aborted and aren’t paying taxes and for health insurance, etc. According to Guttmacher, states which have Medicaid funding of abortion have an abortion rate that is 3.9 times higher than states which don’t. We already have more than one million abortions per year; we don’t need to provide any additional incentives for abortion through “health care reform.” Killing is not health care. Every person is precious and every person is needed.

  • PSolus

    Murphy, DiNardo and Wester,Please keep your ignorant, superstitious beliefs to yourselves.Thanks.

  • terencef100

    Psolus,May I suggest that you follow your own instructions.

  • PSolus

    terencef100,”May I suggest that you follow your own instructions.”First, I have no ignorant, superstitious beliefs.Second, I’m not attempting to deprive women of the medical care that is guarenteed them by the Constitution.

  • marymack77

    KNOWEVERYTHING-the teaching of the Catholic church is crystal clear in regard to abortion it is an intrinsic evil.

  • YEAL9

    There are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.e.g. The non-profit ACLU Foundation has over $200 million dollars invested in the stock market and pay no federal taxes on the interest, dividend and capital gains just like any other non-profit. Some added examples of the total income and assets of non-profit organizations – Top Five in the USA by county:Number of Organizations Total Income Total Assets Cook County IL 31,520 $110,085,748,138 $114,778,413,424 New York County NY 25,124 $188,816,031,921 $246,872,519,680 Harris County TX 18,055 $42,332,652,889 $53,051,840,529 District of Columbia County DC 17,665 $77,002,580,360 $68,520,218,111 http://www.taxexemptworld.com/

  • tony55398

    Pass a law, problem solved, seems to be the view of most Catholics and church members. Punish the offenders and there will be fewer violators, filling our prisons with young women will stop the carnage and save the unborn. Instead of dying for our sins Christ could have conquered and ruled all nations as He was tempted and forced all to live under His laws. He could have done what so many would like to see happen now and where are the Bishops when it comes to nuclear weapons, weapons designed for death alone as well as other killing machines made for war?

  • tmg2

    Bishop William F. Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester, Thank you for speaking out for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of immigrants! Godspeed!

  • calbooster

    The Catholic Bishops, not satisfied with imposing there own medieval rules of the church on their own constituents, want to impose them on everyone else, as they do in so many other countries. There is no better argument for the separation of church and state. Not so much ignorance as arrogance. And, yes, ‘superstition,’ by which I do not mean belief in God, but the entire structure of the Catholic church.

  • dwt301

    The bishops would never support any reform bill because it would increase contraceptive coverage – they are using a trumped-up dispute over abortion to cover their backsides for opposing the bill.

  • xtopher

    This is rich: being lectured on morality by members of an organization that routinely protects pedophiles. Sorry, bishops and cardinal, you have no moral authority whatsoever.

  • veronihilverius

    The Catholics need to take a hike. Bunch of psycho idolaters. Their days are numbered as the lack of legitimate asss keeps the seminary an ever fading option. Diddling little boys, (which is like spiritual homicide) is acceptable but rubbers that save lives are not? Time to go extinct.

  • kmblue

    Clean your own house, Catholic Bishops.

  • walden1

    Our country is a great secular country. No God trumps pluralistic democracy. These bishops are not good Catholics and they certainly aren’t Christians by the Jesus standard. Best for them to fight child rape and torture by their priests. These victims–and the uninsured–are the un-aborted lives they should be worrying about!

  • danfigman

    God bless you our dear Bishops, who are courageously bringing words of life amid language and deeds of death. You have but one Lord of life, and you are being true to Him. My prayers go for you, our beloved pastors.

  • walden1

    Our country is a great secular country. No God trumps pluralistic democracy. These bishops are not good Catholics and they certainly aren’t Christians by the Jesus standard. Best for them to fight child rape and torture by their priests. These victims–and the uninsured–are the un-aborted lives they should be worrying about!

  • iamweaver

    “KNOWEVERYTHING-the teaching of the Catholic church is crystal clear in regard to abortion it is an intrinsic evil.”Right. And it’s your job as a good citizen of the US to help mold our laws to reflect your beliefs. But it’s also your job as a US citizen to recognize that wherever your beliefs and another’s differ, you are to respect their beliefs. Currently, Abortion, whether you find it an evil, a necessary evil, or none of your concern, is LEGAL in the US.I’m still amazed that attempts to try and twist the law into suppressing this and only this legal procedure haven’t been stomped into the ground by the Supreme Court.Work on making abortion illegal. But until then, you’re taking the power of the sword away from the government and placing it into your own hands. Two wrongs do not make a right.Besides, the OPs are positively wrong in two particulars.

  • leafgreen

    If the abortion issue is “settled” by the Supreme Court, does this mean liberals will stop whining about the ruling allowing unions and corporations to weigh in on elections? The day you stop griping about that is the day I’ll take your “settled law” arguments seriously. Also, ask yourself: If a woman gets a check for health insurance, and is then told “you have to use your own checks for abortion.” Doesn’t the federal check still free up that much money to purchase one? Your ilk expanded abortion coverage enough when Obama forced us to pay for them oversees last year. We wont stand for another expansion of murder, and I salute Stupak and all other Democrats who have had the courage to defy Catholic in Name Only Pelosi on this.

  • minco_007

    Take it or leave it is pretty much how Jesus doled out Christianity. The Bishop and the Cardinal should focus on Pedophilia and pray that they get into Heaven!

  • minco_007

    Americans are so brainwashed! China owns more than half of all fortune 500 companies by way of debt. You now give them the power to influence our Politics. How dumb can you be!

  • leafgreen

    “Take it or leave it is pretty much how Jesus doled out Christianity. The Bishop and the Cardinal should focus on Pedophilia and pray that they get into Heaven!”They have focused on pedophilia. that’s old news now and you know it (to put it in terms you’ll understand: kinda like Lewinsky. It was bad. It was dealt with. Measures were put in place over it. It’s OVER!!!). What is news right now is the possibility that ardent pro life Catholics will be forced to pay for the abortions of people whose lives are obviously not endangered by their offspring. I’d say that’s a legitimate concern for the Church. Wouldn’t you?

  • Catken1

    “This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority.”Except pregnant women. Their lives are second-class and the life of a fetus always takes priority over theirs, even if the fetus does not yet have a brain cell or nerve endings, even if the woman has a family who needs her, even if the woman’s work and contributions are invaluable to the world. As for dignity and conscience, what dignity and conscience? She’s only a thing, a piece of property to be used without regard to what happens to her or what she wants. Her body is someone else’s property, her choices are unimportant, her health is of no concern compared to her all-important fetus. If she’s permanently mutilated or dies, so what? She had sex, after all, and sex (even rape, even sex within marriage) must be punished (but only for women). A woman is either a virgin or an incubating machine, not ever a full human being with full rights in your eyes. If you don’t want to pay for abortions, no matter how medically necessary, I don’t want to pay for any woman’s prenatal care or childbirth past her second child. Overpopulation destroys innocent human life, too, and makes the lives of those already existing miserable. And it will damage far more lives, and kill more people in the future, as our nonrenewable resources are used up faster than we can replace them with viable alternatives (including lives that you actually value – i.e. men’s lives and the lives of virginal women).If you want to have authority over my childbearing decision-making, why can’t I – or someone else – have authority over Catholic women’s choices? Once we establish the precedent that a pregnant woman’s body is not hers and her choices don’t matter, what’s to stop a government from forcing choices you don’t like?

  • leafgreen

    Catholics believe in self defense: If your life is endangered by your baby, lady, then by all means have an abortion on me. If not, keep your overly manicured hands off my wallet and buy it yourself.

  • st50taw

    Take a hike, dudes. You were MIA during the debate except for the abortion issue. If you had loudly and publicly pounded on the moral imperative to cover everyone right from the beginning, you might have some standing. As it is….well, you snooze you lose. The Hyde Amendment is still there. Aside from that, I don’t like a lot of things on which my dollars are spent. That’s life in a democracy. Go live in the Vatican if you want perfection. You’re lucky you don’t have to perform abortions in Catholic Hospitals. If a lot of people had their way (including me), you wouldn’t get a dime of Federal funding for imposing your religious beliefs on patients and employees. If employees in non-Catholic hospitals don’t like abortion, they should move to a Catholic hospital.

  • leafgreen

    And no, I do not consider “oh, my I’m so embarrassed about my decision, if the folks find out my life is OVER” an effective argument that your life is in danger. As I said before, you’d better not be taking Catholic money for any abortion that doesn’t involve direct self defense on the part of the mother.

  • JaneDoe4

    I love it! The hierarchy of the RCC talking about moral values.They HAVE no moral values. They denigrate women and treat them as if they were chattel property. Their recent reaction in DC to the passage of gay marriage and their attempt at retribution for that is beyond disgusting.Clean up your own house and mind your own business. Healthcare for all Americans is more decent and moral than anything you can pompously rant about.Ugh

  • dscooper63

    It’s fine for the Bishops to state their opinion, but we have a separation of church and state in this country. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one, but please don’t legislate a woman’s right over her own body. The LAST place that propaganda should be coming from is the Catholic Church, which is about 500 years behind reality at this point. (Spoken as an Ex- Catholic!)

  • NewThoughts

    Because the clergy interviewed decided to bring in moral arguments, here is a question:What do they think of the 109 people per day, 40,000 per year, that die due to lack of insurance? (Harvard University Study)

  • YEAL9

    From guidestar.com:“The tax-exempt The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has a professional lobbying staff of approximately 528 in 28 offices nationwide, of those , two staff members based in Washington DC devoted 75% of their time, and the other devoted approximately 50% engaged in advocacy on (Congressional) legislative proposals related to federal hate crime laws, global anti-terrorism, the Middle East Peace Process, immigration issues, the use of government money to fund faith-based organizations and counter-terrorism proposals outside Washington, DC.”The total revenue for the ADL in 2008 was $59,960,134 mostly coming from contributions and grants.The largest of the lobbyists:(note the large sums of money being spent by health “profiteers” on lobbying )Lobbying Client Total 1998-2009 Would the move to end tax exemptions for any group generate the added taxes/contributions needed to pay for universal health care?? The money spent by the health-”profiteers” on lobbying should be spent on health insurance for those who cannot presently afford it.

  • leafgreen

    “Take a hike, dudes. You were MIA during the debate except for the abortion issue. If you had loudly and publicly pounded on the moral imperative to cover everyone right from the beginning, you might have some standing. As it is….well, you snooze you lose.”Catholics were quiet because at the outset we liked the concept of universal coverage (we’ve been begging for it for decades), but lets face it: this ain’t universal, and the abortion issue was the final nail in the coffin.”The Hyde Amendment is still there. Aside from that, I don’t like a lot of things on which my dollars are spent. That’s life in a democracy. Go live in the Vatican if you want perfection.”Let’s see….go live in the Vatican and wait for the Western world to be so sterilized of religion that it decides to eliminate the Vatican on some economic pretext (i.e. “it’s draining too much potential tax revenue from Italy”) or fight to preserve our rights to worship as Catholics here and maybe even win…..gee, tough choice. As to Hyde being preserved, ask yourself: If a woman gets a check for health insurance, and is then told “you have to use your own checks for abortion.” Doesn’t the federal check still free up that much money to purchase one? Your ilk expanded abortion coverage enough when Obama forced us to pay for them oversees last year. We wont stand for another expansion of murder, and I salute Stupak and all other Democrats who have had the courage to defy Catholic in Name Only Pelosi on this.”You’re lucky you don’t have to perform abortions in Catholic Hospitals. If a lot of people had their way (including me), you wouldn’t get a dime of Federal funding for imposing your religious beliefs on patients and employees. If employees in non-Catholic hospitals don’t like abortion, they should move to a Catholic hospital.”You’re already allowing exemptions for conscientious objectors to expire, and there have even been legislative pushes to expand abortion requirements to religious hospitals (Republicans stopped this in committee, thank God!) so you can’t really play the “lucky” card anymore. The fact remains that we can’t be quiet because we are in a constant battle to protect our rights under this administration.

  • leafgreen

    “What do they think of the 109 people per day, 40,000 per year, that die due to lack of insurance? (Harvard University Study)”A simple matter of numbers: 40,000 people die per year due to lack of HC, 1,000,000 people a year die due to abortion. Making it easier to purchase (remember my question earlier about the “don’t use THIS check gimmick) will probably increase the number per year substantally, perhaps by as much as 5%, OR 50,000 people a year. Tell me which is more lives saved, 50,000 or 40,00 (you can subtract, right?).

  • leafgreen

    Sorry, 50,000 or 40,000 (small typo at the end there) but the fact remains that without the Stupak amendment more people die if this bill is passed than if it doesn’t.

  • EastCoastnLA

    This is a great example of why the Catholic Church and any Church should remain on the sidelines when it comes to secular and political issues and our government. It’s also a reason for the separation of Church and State. First the issue of tax payer subsidies for abortion,, The curret law prohibits that and the current proposed would continue it, The Catholic church should not be weighing in on how US Tax Dollars are spent when they get a tax exemption. Second, the Republicans will grab the Catholic endorsement to cry “Kill the bill” But where is the Catholic compassion for mothers who’s life is threaten by the pregnancy,,, But then they want healthcare for illegal immigrants on a moral basis,,, But the Republicans could care about a moral basis or Compassion for the weakest members of society,,,, they care more about an unborm fetus than a live human being,, they want to ship all illegal immirgrants back to their countries,, especially the ones that are not white and protestant,,,, Keep Organized Religious Organizations out of politics and our political process Besides,, the Catholic Church has not had the moral compass to stop the long and horrible practice of sexual abuse and rape of young children for decades and instead has repeatedly covered it upWhy do we want to accept their view of Morality today

  • clampson

    These bishops would serve their congregants better by (1) removing and reporting (to the authorities) all of the many pederasts in their midst, and (2) ensuring that all people have access to high quality medical care, regardless of location or income. What disgusting hypocrites they are – hiding behind the fiction of abortion to oppose this bill. They’re not true followers of Christ – they’re just dirt-common fascists.

  • leafgreen

    “First the issue of tax payer subsidies for abortion,, The curret law prohibits that and the current proposed would continue it, The Catholic church should not be weighing in on how US Tax Dollars are spent when they get a tax exemption. Second, the Republicans will grab the Catholic endorsement to cry “Kill the bill” But where is the Catholic compassion for mothers who’s life is threaten by the pregnancy,,,”Lives threatened by pregnancy are already covered, dummy. Even in most Catholic countries because it is covered under “self defense” in Church doctrine, so that question is moot.

  • EastCoastnLA

    Remember,,, If you are an unborn fetus that could not live outside your mother’s womb, pull for the Republican’s because in you they see all the rights priviledges and freedoms that they want to take away from your motherBut if you are live human being, especially a child, especially the child of an illegal immigrant or poor family in this country that has restricted access to health care,,, Forget Republicans,,their motto is “you are on your own,, the government and the Republican Party owes you nothing!!” This is what George Bush called Compassionate Conservativism ,, Which really means ” We don’t give a damn about our fellow man, especially if he is different, or looks different than us.”

  • leafgreen

    “Besides,, the Catholic Church has not had the moral compass to stop the long and horrible practice of sexual abuse and rape of young children for decades and instead has repeatedly covered it up”Four words for you, genius: Spitzer, Clinton, Edwards, and most importantly ACORN. Catholics don’t exactly have the monopoly on employee sexual misconduct, so don’t even go there (btw did you hear the New York and California branches of ACORN changed their names and claims “no affiliation with ACORN.” Hilarious stuff)

  • notjafo

    If the goal is to truly reduce abortions (not just criminalize them) then the first and most efficient step is to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Broader health care coverage will provide increased access to contraception, and decrease unwanted pregnancies over the long run. Any “pro-life” opponent of this bill should have to answer for the fact that a vote against it is a vote to maintain the current level of unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

  • leafgreen

    Since you’re bringing up the same tired talking point I’ll paste this again:A simple matter of numbers: 40,000 people die per year due to lack of HC, 1,000,000 people a year die due to abortion. Making it easier to purchase (remember my question earlier about the “don’t use THIS check gimmick) will probably increase the number per year substantally, perhaps by as much as 5%, OR 50,000 people a year. Tell me which is more lives saved, 50,000 or 40,00 (you can subtract, right?).

  • insider9909

    Once again, the catholic bishops have ignored the teachings of christ in an attempt to link themselves to the rich and affluent in this country. To heck with the masses, to heck with health care, keep the money rolling in. The church has become a harlot and the bishops are now pimping for big business and big insurance.

  • PSolus

    leafgreen,”Catholics believe in self defense: If your life is endangered by your baby, lady, then by all means I take it that you are pro-abortion?

  • leafgreen

    “I take it that you are pro-abortion?”In self defense cases. Otherwise I’m generally disapproving of the practice. Especially when you’re asking me to foot the bill.

  • leafgreen

    I can repeat myself too!A simple matter of numbers: 40,000 people die per year due to lack of HC, 1,000,000 people a year die due to abortion. Making it easier to purchase (remember my question earlier about the “don’t use THIS check gimmick) will probably increase the number per year substantially, perhaps by as much as 5%, OR 50,000 people a year. Tell me which is more lives saved, 50,000 or 40,000 (you can subtract, right?).

  • Gatsby10

    Given that the RC is once again in the news with fresh sex scandals (homosexual prostitution ring in the Vatican, sexual and physical abuse of children in Germany and Brazil, this time closely linked to the Ppe and his brother, the RC bishops ought to keep quiet about abortion. On top of it all, they are lying through their teeth. There is no federal funding for abortion in any of the bills. There is no federal funding for abortion now. The Hayes amendment took care of that a long time ago.

  • EastCoastnLA

    leafgreenYou want to equate an individual, such as clinton, spitze or edwards, who has “moral failings” with the concerted actions and obstruction of an institution that supposedly represents the full embodiment of God on this earth and therefore somehow equate these two things as one and the same and therefore the actions of the catholic church are not more morally repugent than clinton getting a blow job in the 0val office by another adult, completely demonstrates your closed minded myopic vision about all these matters,, what parrallel universe do you live in and what church do you attend,, let me guess the Catholic Church

  • tinyjab40

    The Catholic church is not a unified front. Just today I read that an association of nuns representing something like 60 orders came out in favor of passing the health care reform. And, as I understand it, an association of Catholic hospitals came out in favor of the bill. If I were the bishops and I claimed to be in favor of health care as a human right, I might encourage people to pass this bill and fight the limited abortion rights the bill gives another day. Also, I might pass the bill and then fight for the fully universal coverage they claim to want.As a former Roman Catholic, one who was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school, I suspect the old men who run the church haven’t understood yet that not everybody listens to them, even within the church. Women and others are beginning to see what happens when you have historically patriarchal and mostly-secret organization. The rights of minorities and the abused get trampled on with abuses hidden. I greatly respect those who have the courage to stand up to the bishops and to stand for those millions (including millions of children) who are presently uninsured.

  • PSolus

    “In self defense cases. Otherwise I’m generally disapproving of the practice. Especially when you’re asking me to foot the bill.”So, you’re OK with abortion, as long as you don’t have to pay for it?

  • EastCoastnLA

    leafgreenYou keep talking about 1,000,000 people dying from abortions a year,, are you counting a 5 week old fetus as a living breathing human being? is that where your number comes fromequating every aborted fetus as a person?

  • leafgreen

    “You want to equate an individual, such as clinton, spitze or edwards, who has “moral failings” with the concerted actions and obstruction of an institution that supposedly represents the full embodiment of God on this earth and therefore somehow equate these two things as one and the same and therefore the actions of the catholic church are not more morally repugent than clinton getting a blow job in the 0val office by another adult, completely demonstrates your closed minded myopic vision about all these matters,, “The priests weren’t individuals? This is news to me! I also notice you didn’t mention ACORN (hard to blame you, since supporting child trafficking and prostitution is about as low as you can get). The point is every organization has wayward members who do things that are….shall we leave it at questionable? To condemn one is to condemn all. So if Catholics can’t be involved in politics because of the actions of a few priests what does this say about the Democratic Party and ACORN?

  • JaneDoe4

    Acorn, Edwards, Spitzer? Really? What do any of these guys have to do with healthcare reform or a woman’s right to choose?You’re evading the whole issue and deflecting. When you run out of legtimate reasons for denying so many people in this country healthcare, maybe you will have a just cause. Mostly, you’re just full of hate for women and anyone who doesn’t agree with the backward RCC.The RCC is NOT a moral organization. If you sheep would just wake up and smell the incense, maybe you would learn something.Me, I gave up on this backward, nasty, vicious church which only cares about the rules it makes to enslave people and make them robots 40 years ago.Grow up and think for yourself.

  • williamwertman

    The Catholic Church condemns the idea of gvernmetn with the consent of the governed, separation of church and state, freedom of worshp, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. It also refuses to baptize the unborn but allows forcible baptism of non-catholic children over the objection of the parents. See Humanum Genus, DeRerum Mondernme, the Syllabus of errors and the Cord of canon Law. The Church also failed to sanction Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele etc.Who needs these Vatican officials opining on American public policy as if their pederastic organization has any moral credibility?Why should Jews NOT be free to exercise THEIR moral choices. After all they are often inresponse to the Christian values of rape and forced conversion. Remember — Jesus should have been aborted as being the product of an impermissible act of intercourse. Catholics also adore a sham marriage between Mary and Joseph. They have also never officially repealed the gheto and the yellow star.

  • leafgreen

    “leafgreenYou keep talking about 1,000,000 people dying from abortions a year,, are you counting a 5 week old fetus as a living breathing human being? is that where your number comes fromequating every aborted fetus as a person?”

  • leafgreen

    So French have become robots?Italians?Hispanics?………….Sorry, but no matter how you look at it their humanity is more or less intact. The Church is less of a threat in this regard than the old Chinese brainwashing regime (which, despite the fact that they made an actual attempt to zombify people, is saying something).

  • GDWymer

    Hello, Bishops! The 13th century is calling, and they miss you terribly.

  • leafgreen

    “The Church also failed to sanction Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele etc.”Roosevelt didn’t sanction them till just before WWII, while Pope (to be) John Paul II helped Jews escape the holocaust, he closed US borders to fleeing refugees.But wait…isn’t Roosevelt the hero of modern liberalism? A shining example of effective governance?Balognae

  • army164

    Tell you what Bishops. As soon as your church starts to pay taxes perhaps then this “Christian in a secular society” will take your opinions under advisement. Oh by the way, in my humble opinion you are wrong anyway, and it’s no mere coincidence that good Roman Catholics on the ground, facing reality as it exists in America are in favor of the reform bills.

  • EastCoastnLA

    leafgreenNow you sound like you are equating child rape and pedophilia with sex between consenting adults, however repugnent,,, thats a rational analysis,, and you see no evil in the an institution that presents itself as the God incarnate which hides, lies, and continues to allow crimes against one of the weakest segments of society, and then trying to bully them into silence when a voice is raised,, a cry for help to humanity, and the church moves the priest onto another parish and watches it happen all over againis this what you are really embracing,, Well, i guess you have told us all we need to know about you

  • sassafrasnewport

    When the Catholic Church starts paying taxes, I might care about what they have been lobbying about in the political arena. Right now, seems to me that the Catholic Church has enough kids to worry about — those that your clergy have abused and those to whom you have simply looked the other way — beyond whether or not an individual invokes their right to choose. As a former Catholic, I long ago decided that I don’t a) need pedophiles to govern how I worship my God and b) that the old white males who run this place really haven’t a clue.

  • sassafrasnewport

    leafgreen: “their humanity is more or less intact.” Wow, Leafgreen, have you been looking at the news, at the papers, in fact, just today? Puhlease. You call this continuing saga of pedophelia, abuse and looking the other way “humanity?”

  • NewThoughts

    The number of abortions in the U.S. has declined every year since 1990. This decline is attributed, by experts, to sex education and the use of contraceptives. There is no correlation to the reduction in abortions due to a drop or change in insurance coverage. Conversely, there is no statistical evidence that insurance coverage is the primary or even secondary reason for an abortion. This is essentially a political argument.

  • dgloo

    Associated Press: WASHINGTON — Catholic nuns are urging Congress to pass President Barack Obama’s health care plan, in an unusual public break with bishops who say it would subsidize abortion.Some 60 leaders of religious orders representing 59,000 Catholic nuns Wednesday sent lawmakers a letter urging them to pass the Senate health care bill. It contains restrictions on abortion funding that the bishops say don’t go far enough.The letter says that “despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions.” The letter says the legislation also will help support pregnant women and “this is the real pro-life stance.”So, let see: we have the bishops on one side, and the nuns on the other. Who should I side with? I’m siding with the nuns. In my opinion, they have nothing to gain from their stance, whereas the bishops have everything to lose.

  • sun52shine

    There is a reason the fore fathers called for a seperation of church and state. However, you can have my comment slot, if I can send my income tax bill to your attention.

  • kroverstreet

    Doesn’t the Church’s take exception to REQUIRING people to pay money to others? Doesn’t charity only have value when you choose to give of your own free will? Taking money that is not your own to give to the needy is stealing, and I would think the church would oppose that.

  • GordonCash

    “This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority.”Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term when she does not wish to do so protects neither her life, her dignity, her conscience, nor her health. Health care and life for all? No, gentlemen. The pregnant woman is invisible in your piece, as she is in every other “pro-life” apology I have read.

  • Chops2

    I will never take a moral lesson from people who hide child molesters within their ranks.You are scumSupport it as the best option available or shut the f*%k up

  • qqbDEyZW

    When did the Church get into Govenment? The Vatican is charged with rape/molestion of boys/young men/woman yet again while we are to forget about that. We see Law Makers using God and Regilion as their poster while committing great sins and being cheered by it. Let’s face it US Religious Leaders aren’t teaching the word of God their in business for personal profit and working with the Govenment.

  • sauerkraut

    To quote an unknown old Italian woman’s comment to the pope,”you no playa the game, you no make-a da rules.”

  • BlueTwo1

    America is one of THE MOST religious places on Earth. God may help those who help themselves, and God has an active voice in political matters. He speaks through the Vatican: Earth’s communications link to Heaven. The Roman Catholic Church says it is now supporting and has always supported universal health care. That is universal except for women who need to have an embryo or fetus removed. This is just another version of right-wing hypocrisy. I don’t follow the reasoning about abortion. Sure, terminating a pregnancy has the unpleasant effect of depriving the world of another human being. That creature could find a cure for cancer or find a way to put a permanent end to war. That creature may also become a gang bang er and push old women in wheelchairs down a flight of stairs. If you apply the far fetched notion of “soul” to an embryo then terminating a pregnancy is sticking a thumb into God’s eye. The 13-year-old girl impregnated by her father is destined to give birth to the unwanted products of conception who may well have a dunce for a mother and an abusive father. But, heck, it IS God’s Will. No abortion for her. And certainly no income tax money is going to help pay for the operation. Sounds like the church’s Authority hasn’t thought this completely through. Of course, if the Church would commit to raise the unwanted child in a loving, nurturing environment, complete with a graduate degree at Law or Medicine, then maybe doing without the abortion would be practicable.

  • infantry11b4faus

    first – anyone in need of health care can get it for free. just go to an emergency room and if you are in need you get it, even if you are a criminal – criminal as in snuck into the country.

  • thomgr

    Wouldn’t you think cleaning their ranks of pedophiles would keep them busy? Seems to me their concern is for the unborn but look the other way later. Judging from what is happening in Bavaria and Ireland right now and the fact the ever-widening scope has left church leaders baffled you would think their efforts would be concentrated elsewhere. And here’s a thought. If they want to get involved in politics – no problem. Give up their tax exempt status.

  • st50taw

    infantry11b4faus wrote:first – anyone in need of health care can get it for free.1. Many people don’t live within a days walk of a hospital.2. Somebody pays for ER care. PArt of it in your insurance premiums, part of it is your income tax and part of it is in your co-pays and/or coinsurance.3. ER care is by far the most expensive and inefficient way of delivering health care for anything but life-threatening injuries.All ER is paid for and paid though the nose.

  • CPT_Doom

    In 1971, my mother, an ardent Roman Catholic, was denied a medically necessary abortion during her 22nd week of her fifth pregnancy. She had problems maintaining pregnancies, so only had my sister and myself at that point (we were 6 and 4), but the doctors were hopeful this one would be successful. They were wrong.According to the draconian law in place in MA at the time, a judge got to determine whether she would receive her medical care. He decided she was not “close enough to death” to qualify for an abortion. Instead she nearly died, had her blood volume replaced twice, and spent 2 weeks recovering. She was unable to have any more children because of the damage to her reproductive sytem. She was all of 32 years old at the time.Now Mssrs. Murphy, DiNardo and Wester want poor women to face this same kind of nightmare. Now, these men discuss “elective” abortions, but that includes so many women who are facing health concerns from pregnancy. Should a diabetic woman who is facing kidney failure (an irreversible condition that can easily lead to an early death if a transplant cannot happen) be forced to pay for an abortion because she does not meet the arbitrary qualifications these men are advocating? Should a pregnant woman facing a breast cancer diagnosis be left without any option (remembering that neither chemotherapy nor radiation treatment is very good for fetuses)? The fact is, every woman who gets pregnant, no matter how wanted that pregnancy might be or how prepared the woman is for motherhood, faces a real risk of death or permanent injury to her health from every single pregnancy. Doctors cannot, with any real certainty, know which risk factors will impact one woman and not the other – they can only make educated guesses. How can we force any indivdiual to risk their lives? It is estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of women die in the US each year due to pregnancy and childbirth. The risk is real.

  • krclayer

    If the religious crowd insists on stuffing its theology into public law, then we the people should be able to vote on which theologies shall be believed.

  • jp1954

    “The Senate bill extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions.”You do realize that lying is a sin, don’t you? And, you are lying. And you know it.

  • rodneythecat

    “They have focused on pedophilia. that’s old news now and you know it”Really? Doesn’t sound like old news. Maybe these Bishops would be better off just shutting-up instead of maybe drawing attention to themselves from law enforcment.More ex-Vienna Boys’ Choir members allege abuse The Associated Press – Veronika Oleksyn – ‎3 hours ago‎Swiss priest resigns after confessing sexual abuse USA Today – ‎3 hours ago‎The Associated Press – Victor L. Simpson – ‎Mar 10, 2010‎ VATICAN CITY — Church abuse scandals in Germany have reached the older brother of Pope Benedict XVI and are creeping ever closer to the pontiff himself. … The Associated Press – Verena Schmitt-Roschmann – ‎Mar 16, 2010‎ BERLIN — The Roman Catholic bishops in Pope Benedict XVI’s native Bavaria sought Tuesday to deal with a sexual abuse scandal whose ever-widening scope has … Telegraph.co.uk – Nick Squires – ‎4 hours ago‎ The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has apologised for helping to cover up the abuse of children by a paedophile priest as the Pope prepared to issue …

  • 45upnorth

    Let us unite!

  • jp1954

    Stop lying, bishops.

  • sr31

    Are these not the same people who opposed the University of Notre Dame’s decision to give President Obama an honorary degree because of his support of abortion rights? But, as I recall, they didn’t object to Bush’s policies in Iraq despite the Pope’s condemnation of the war?Putting all that aside, the bishops and cardinal should bring their own house in order before commenting on proposed government policies.

  • damascuspride04

    What qualifies an abortion as “elective?” The Bishops never defined it. Because the patient always has a choice in her health care, isn’t every abortion elective in that someone has to make a choice (no matter how difficult it may be)? The Bishops also claim that “those who select another plan in an exchange to better meet the special needs of their family will be required to pay a separate monthly fee into a fund exclusively for abortions.”Those people will make an informed choice. Those whose faith takes precedent over the benefits of another plan will choose a plan that does not cover abortions. Those whose priorities place a better fitting health care plan over faith will also choose the best insurance plan for them. It’s a choice weighing pros and cons, not an unfair situation for Catholics.It’s about time for religious leaders to keep their personal religious beliefs out of government. I’m not Catholic. I respect your right to be Catholic and believe whatever your faith dictates. I will not respect your efforts to make the rest of the country live by your religious ideals. That is an infringement on my Constitutional rights.

  • spidermean2

    Catholicism is NOT Christianity and the Bible can prove it. If it speaks, it is more likely that it comes from the devil.The title “Holy Father” is reserved only to God. It is blasphemous to call a person as “Holy Father”.God has no mother. Even Jesus said in disgust, “Who is my mother?”Only God can make saints. People who are born again are saints. No church or pope has the power to declare a person to be a saint. It’s blasphemous.The list goes on.There is no surprise that majority of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world are Catholic.

  • roedel74

    “We are bishops, not politicians….”

  • missgrundy

    If I am not mistaken, abortions are not covered under the health reform plan. Therefore, for the pederast priests to continue to repeat the lie is specious and malicious.If Catholic religious, meaning nuns, who work as nurses in Catholic hospitals, are saying that reform is fine, then my money is with them.For the Repugnants who continue to believe that overturning Roe v. Wade will put an end to abortions, it will not. It will only mean that illegal abortions will be performed in back alleys and that more teenage girls and young women will die from septicemia and botched abortions. Perhaps, one of your own relatives will suffer from this fate and then you will wonder why you were ever against legal abortions as you are crying a river in the funeral home.In the United States women have rights over their bodies and their reproductive rights. If you don’t like that — move to Saudi Arabia.

  • swatter

    Not very good arguments. It’s not as good a bill as it could be, but it’s better than the status quo. Not passing it will leave many people still uncovered, some of whom will die without coverage.Illegals who have insurance now, I believe, get it from their employment, not in their name. That won’t necessarily change under the new bill. Secondly, even if it did change for the worse regarding illegals, it would change for the better for citizens who currently can not afford or can not get insurance and improve the options of those who currently have insurance. My prior belief is that more people would be affected positively than negatively.As for the abortion question, I haven’t read the wording of the senate bill. However, from the wording above,

  • gmoore40

    Where were all these religious, and Catholic voices when Bush and Cheney were sewing seeds of lies, and prosecuting an illegal war killing thousands of innocent people in the Middle East?Where was your concern for “health Care” then?

  • kedohio

    I have worked in health care for a long time and seen the trials and even trauma that families go through when a loved one has a serious illness. These bishops have a lot of gall in trying to mess up our country even further. Shame on them. They need to put their energy into helping the victims of their own church’s abuse. Catholic bishops, you have NO CREDIBILITY! You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  • repmisc

    I really don’t give a hoot in hell what opinions the Catholic Bishops have. I hardly think that church is in any position to take the moral high ground.

  • ceflynline

    There are abortions, and there are abortions, and the catholic Church’s definition of abortion isn’t the commonly used definition in Medical Texts.For every abortion that Hyde Amendment language prevents, (good guess, zero) must be weighed all the abortions caused by lack of medical care. You see, medically abortion is the termination of a pregnancy other than by live birth. Theologically, (Church definition) abortion is the DELIBERATE termination of a VIABLE pregnancy. When your definitions don’t match your debate founders on inconsistent terms.Even the less than universal health care offered in this bill will prevent more miscarraiges by far than the very few abortions it might INDIRECTLY pay for, and even the Bishops do recognize that unintended remote immoral results of actions that are themselves moral are not sufficient to out weigh the proximate results of moral actions taken for moral reasons to accomplish proximate good.The Bishops need to revisit Moral Theology and reconsider their first principles.

  • rbaldwin2

    Let’s see… You, the catholic church, clean up YOUR internal WORLDWIDE abuses, then you can come back and jump in the mix here. Otherwise – BUT OUT, nobody gives a hoot what you think..

  • scon101

    Who cares what the pedophile brigade has to say.Here is three more of them that got busted in brazil.Clean up your mess than we might listen to you.

  • jimfilyaw

    don’t these wankers have some altar boys they need to attend to? if and when i need advise on what is moral and what is not, i won’t be asking a man who leads an unnatural life for it.

  • marymack77

    I would remind all the posters that in cases of human weakness “there but for the grace of God go any one of us”. Child abuse is as catholic teaching has always made clear a terrible evil. We all recoil from it. The very fact that you are horrified and contemptuous of members of religious status being guilty of it show you know that true religious practice does not result in such evil.Examine the lives of those people who remained true to the practice of catholic teaching to the highest level the saints and you will not find any pedophiles or sexually active people amongst their ranks. They lived lives of purity and love once they immersed their hearts and minds in the love of Jesus.Do not be misled by the actions of people who failed to be true to the teachings of their faith. Yes you have every right to be horrified at the harm they caused to the innocent and vulnerable as am I.

  • cameracowboy

    Of course Bishops and priests are against abortion, it cuts down on the prospective “pickin’s”…just shut the f$@k up and go wait in the car for the adults…

  • cayman2

    My question is, do the bishops support the reduction of what the Catholic-run hospitals (such as Catholic Health Initiatives) charge to where they only cover costs of giving health care?

  • Genefox1

    It’s just one man opinion, but I think if I were any highandmighty in the Catholic Church I’d be quiet for now and evermore. Really, it’s THAT Catholic Church that it commenting about the good of all mankind? How embarrassing for anyone of that religion.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    question:quesiton:

  • ceflynline

    “Examine the lives of those people who remained true to the practice of catholic teaching to the highest level the saints and you will not find any … sexually active people amongst their ranks.”St. Monica, St Thomas Moore, St. Peter, St Elizabeth of Hungary, …I take exception to at least a bit of your post.

  • kenonwenu

    Catholic bishops shouldn’t worry themselves so much about abortion. Molested boys don’t need abortions.

  • FairlingtonBlade

    @Marymack77 – I’ll make a couple of points. You began writing that there by the grace of God go I. In many cases, this may be a fair comment, but you are talking about the sexual abuse of children. Do you really think that most individuals lie on the knife edge of pedophilia? As a further point, the acts of these individuals were actively covered up by the clergy, resulting in the abuse of many more innocents. As Richard Nixon well knows, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up. And that by the Church has been hideous. With regards to a clump of cells, I am well aware of biology. You see, my wife miscarried at ~12 weeks. We have also had what is called a chemical pregnancy, which occurs when there has been fertilization, but the embryo doesn’t take. I believe the estimates are that more than half of fertilizations do not result in a baby carried to term. The beginning of life is on a knife edge, there but for the grace of God go we. BB

  • Bud0

    I come from a Catholic family in a Catholic land (Newfoundland) and I say the Catholic church is nothing but a front organisation for paedophiles. It used to harbour lots of sadists too, but these days it’s tough to get away with beating children (no thanks to the Catholic Church), so they’ve mostly died off.Needless to say, Newfoundland, being infested with Catholic priests and trusting parishioners, had a veritable avalanche of abuse cases. One House of Horrors run by the Christian Brothers became especially notorious, but in every school, every parish, the priesthood and the Church hangers-on were the lowest, meanest, dullest spirits, as they always are where the Church is cosy and established. And abuse was rife.This comment below struck me (I checked and it’s real): “In a statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated “We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases,” adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations.”What other group has had 1.5% to 5% of its members accused of child sexual abuse? Maybe NAMBLA. Imagine if high-school teachers molested children at such a rate. How despised they would be. And of course, Archbishop Tomasi neglects to mention what the other 95% of the Church are doing: turning a blind eye, and trying to bury cases when they get caught. Or blaming the victims, as they tried in all jurisdictions where they thought they might get away with it, like in Ireland.This is what the Catholics forget when they say the abusers are only a minority. Maybe, but the cover-up involves the entire weight of the Church establishment. Even, it now seems, the Pope himself. To cover up child abuse is to collude in it.And then they dare to lecture us on the welfare of children? And yeah, as one or two others have asked, where were these moralists when the Iraq War was being pushed? The Catholic Church is great at bossing around the weak, but it always shied away from criticising the powerful. They’re brave about bashing single mothers – but they cut deals with Mussolini and Hitler.

  • chrisinwien

    Bishops, you insist:>We are bishops, not politicians, policy experts or legislative tacticians. We are also pastors, teachers, and citizens. At this point of decision, we cannot compromise on basic moral principles.But then you leave some principles behind (“Thou shalt not steal”) while you impose your own private political opinions in the guise of “moral principles” (illegal aliens should be covered by taxpayer-funded insurance, with higher taxes on anyone who has any money left).Bishops, you have failed the people in the pews with your selective morality. You say you “cannot compromise on basic moral principles” –yet you abandoned long ago the church’s teaching on contraception. Sure, most WashPost readers reject that teaching, but it’s your job to teach and defend it at all costs — even unto death. Isn’t that what being a bishop is all about? Don’t you want to be canonizable? Where have you been, dear bishops? Why have you NEVER complained about the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on Depro-Provera, artificial birth contrl devices,and other “women’s health” measures that the US government sends around to world to prevent the birth of more poor people — millions of them Catholic?Your excellencies, your morality is personal, selective, and hypocritical. You have some private opinions and you dress them up with the authority of the Church for which martyrs have shed their blood for centuries — and then you ignore Humanae Vitae, the Church’s basic moral teaching because — why? It would make you unpopular? It’s inconvenient? You might not get promoted?If you had done your jobs this horrendous bill would never have seen the light of day. Perhaps you ought to reread Humanae Vitae and re-order your priorities. In the meantime, you have delivered your people and the rest of America into socialism, euthanasia, cost-controls and rationing – and yes, a barn door as wide as the Washington Mall for government-funded abortions. Pew Research shows that ten percent of all Americans are FORMER Catholics. What drove them away, bishops? Church teaching? Or your left-wing politics from the pulpit? Our parish prays for you and our good priests every day. Please pray for us – and get out of politics, so you have more time for prayer.Please fire your staffs and start over — with the Church’s teaching, and not your own private opinions.

  • mikebythesun

    If we follow the author’s logic, then we need to completely do away with employee-sponsored health insurance. Employers receive a tax break for providing their employees with health benefits. That tax break is neither free nor small – it costs the taxpayers about $250 BIllion each year. That effective subsidy goes towards private plans which provide abortions. Additionally, by the same logic, any tax break given to any insurance company which covers abortion, and any hospital or health care provider which performs abortions should not get any tax breaks or assistance from the federal government. In other words, you’d need to tear the whole damn system down and start over from scratch. Good luck.

  • marymack77

    Response to ceflynline

  • marymack77

    Response to FairlingtonBlade

  • marymack77

    Response to BB

  • soloss1

    For the life of me, I can not distinguish these three Bishops from the Taliban. They seek to dominate political discourse with their theology. Their goal is American Theocracy, deeper subjugation of women, dysfunctional sexual relationships, and greater institutional wealth and power. All you right wingers who rail about loss of personal Freedom, here are the three unmarried white males you can point your finger at first. Remember, one out of three American females will terminate a pregnancy in their lifetime. Look around next time you get in an elevator.I have no insurance, and if these guys get their way, I will die early because I’m being denied health care. They think their defense of a hypothetical fetus is more important than my own “right to life”. Well, I know they are wrong, and I believe these three men are a threat to millions of citizens of our great country.I’m glad the Post gives them this forum, because it induces the rats to slither into the light of day.

  • gmcoleman56

    Thank God for Jesus. Otherwise we’d just be stuck listening to preachers, pastors, and ministers….

  • EvilOverlord

    Why exactly do we want church opinion on a political issue?

  • WmarkW

    The bishops oppose it because it cover abortion and not illegals? It must be better than I thought.

  • skipsailing28

    all the huffing and puffing by the regulars here is very amusing.That, to this observer, is clear proof that they lack the courage of their convictions. Were the liberals completely secure in their conviction that the monstrosity being considered in DC were the best thing for America they would argue the facts of the bill and not trouble themselves with snotty attacks on catholics, the catholic church or its leadership.Yet another time.

  • progressivePragmatic

    This letter exemplifies what happens when one group lets its definition of the perfect trump the good of the masses. Many people and groups who would like to see a bill provide universal coverage, including abortion and birth control services, have already compromised and will accept the current bill because it helps many people and could be improved in the future. It’s nice to imagine a world in which others who profess to care so much about life could do the same.

  • Utahreb

    ANY religious group that sticks its nose into politics should lose its tax-exempt status. That means ANY! Not just the Catholic Church but the Mormons, the Baptists, the Seventh Day Adventists and others.Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. Abortion is legal. Bishops and priests have no idea of the trauma and problems facing unwed mothers, victims of rape and incest, women who are carrying fetuses with horrific physical problems. But leave it to a bunch of men to think they know everything there is to know about pregnancy!

  • coloradodog

    Bishops who continue to hide pedophiles among their ranks have no moral credibility to comment on anything.

  • Athena4

    Question: will Catholic hospitals deny emergency care to young women who have had botched illegal abortions if abortion is outlawed? Will they report these women to the Magisterium for investigation and punishment? How many years in jail should a woman receive for having an abortion?

  • YEAL9

    “POPE JOHN PAUL II SPEAKS TO WOMENEvangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), # 99 I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accept- ing the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life. “

  • PSolus

    “POPE JOHN PAUL II SPEAKS TO WOMEN”What this guy has to say is irrelevant, even to those people who are stupid enough to buy into the ignorant, superstitious beliefs that he is selling.

  • FarnazMansouri

    ContinuesOne wonders in how many other nations, the Vatican is claiming both the privileges of a3. You have had among you pedophiles, whom you have shielded, and you continue to shield them. It was not until the death of the charismatic John Cardinal O’Connor that a New York prosecutor demanded the Church turn over its child molesters. Then Cardinal Egan refused, but the New York prosecutor was not made of the same moral polyester as the United States Congress. He demanded the rapists of children. The RCC claimed America was persecuting it and that the problem was only occurring thereIn fact, it has been occurring worldwide for more than a thousand years and the Church knew it all along. Official Papal documents are available on the web.A document from Pope Benedict on the handling of priest pedophiles has been introduced into evidence of obstruction of justice both in the United States and Europe.

  • FarnazMansouri

    ContinuesThis decision represented a refusal to allow Serbian Orthodox, Jews, and Roma to sue Vatican Bank. Vatican Bank has held for decades the money of the appellants (and, now, their heirs) which was deposited there by 200 Franciscan Nazi Priests. These priests ran and operated concentration camps, cutting living people to ribbons and watching them bleed to death. They impaled them and watched them drown. They stole what their victims had and deposited it in Vatican Bank, which had been open by Pius XII for the express purpose of pocketing Nazi loot.And, yet, Vatican Bank, refuses to settle with the victims. Quite moral.1a. And when, Gentlemen, can we expect to see the release of your Holocaust era archives? They are more than sixty years old, and, yet, the Vatican claims they are not yet properly filed.2. Vatican Bank is currently under investigation in Italy for LAUNDERING 200,000,000 MAFIA dollars (again). This would be the Italian Mafia that murders elected officials who try to stem the flow of organized crime, which is overtaking Italy. The Vatican claims that the investigation is the clandestine doings of the Christian Orthodox, who are jealous of the authority of the RCC. No other comment on the 200,000,000, except to say that as a FOREIGN NATION they cannot be investigated by the Italian Justice Department. Continued below

  • FarnazMansouri

    Bishops,I wish I could say that your post astonishes me for its hypocrisy and arrogance, but I cannot. How, after all, can one be amazed by unselfconscious assumptions of unauthorized power when the United States government has, for so long, been complicit in the RCC’s illegal and immoral activities. That you do some good work goes without saying; unsurprisingly, the good you achieve is accomplished legally and from within the purview of your standing as a religious institution, nothing more.The influence you have exercised in the formation of the current bill, your attempts to influence it further, the cooperation you have recieved from elected officials of the United States Congress is tantamount to Establishment. Quite simply, it is illegal and could be challenged in court.It is especially troubling in light of the fact that only a few weeks ago, in an Appellate Court Decision, the Vatican was deemed a FOREIGN ENTITY, and, therefore, protected by law suits initiated by American citizens.At the same time, as you constitute a FOREIGN ENTITY in the United States of America, you lobby and manipulate our Congress, have special laws and “clauses” amended and introduced, at will, AND YOU ENJOY NONPROFIT status. As one blogger here put it, you, Gentlemen, are in violation of the Racketeering Act. I would imagine that before a case comes to court, you will have the Racketeering Act amended so that it cannot trouble you. However, this is a democracy, in principle, and we hold democratic principles dear. Catholics and others are literally sickened by much of what you have done in this country, with your interference in secular matters. A time will come, Gentlemen, a principled prosecutor will appear, investigations will be held.Even were you representing the most moral institution on Earth, what you are currently doing would be immoral and unacceptable. However, you represent an institution, a FOREIGN NATION, tax exempt in the United States, whose history, bespeaks a perspective far from ethical.1. Let us begin with the recent Appellate Court Decision that the Vatican is a foreign entity and therefore immune to law suits brought by American citizens.Continues below

  • marymack77

    RESPONSE TO IAMWEAVER

  • FarnazMansouri

    Bishops,I wrote a multi-part response to your essay and would appreciate a reply item by item, to include item 1a.I have not included some very ugly contemporary RCC matters as I am doing my best to address only those issues that must be discussed.

  • Schaum

    Farnaz:Your comments are extraordinarily on focus. Regardless of the fact that the roman catholic church, beginning with the current nazi bishop of Rome? has lost all credibility in the eyes of the American public, because of its involvement with and its/his protection of child abusers, more of this is soon to surface, and some prominent clergy will probably be named. This will serve, of course, to further alert the American people about the cancer of catholicism, and will make Rome’s domination of the American Congress more difficult. It should be an interesting summer.

  • marymack77

    Response to Athena4

  • follower

    Thou shalt not kill has more components than just abortion; but for some reason we pick and choose for political reasons this as the flash point for action. I didn’t read any letters from cardnals telling congress to not fund the Irag war, or condeming the willingness of our government to sacrifice american lives. Lets help the sick and continue to fight against any form of killing by practicing what we preach. This article reeks with a political overtone.

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