Monthly Archives: December 2009
By Steven Ertelt – LifeNews.com
Washington, DC — Senator Ben Nelson, who is quickly becoming the
must-get 60th vote for Democrats to pass their pro-abortion
health care bill in the Senate, is rejecting a proposed
compromise aimed at attracting his vote. Sen. Bob Casey drafted
the compromise, which has already been criticized by pro-life
Read more at: http://www.lifenews.com/nat5782.html
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and eldest child of the late Robert Kennedy, called the Church “fundamentally corrupt” in an address to a group of left-wing and dissenting Catholics on Tuesday night.
Townsend was speaking at the home of Elizabeth Bagley, Democratic activist and former board chair of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
As reported on Gloria Felt’s blog,
She questioned whether ‘you can build on something that is fundamentally corrupt… that is collapsing.’ “If that current structure does collapse,” she said, “there will be other Catholic bishops, women and men, who will speak out and take their place.”
Asked afterward about the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ assumption that they hold the dominant power in the showdown over abortion and health care, she said, “But they don’t, and they’ll find that out.”
For Townsend the Church is collapsing, there will be women bishops, and the bishops who ‘don’t have the power they think they do, will find that out.’
I would say Townsend is getting in the bishops’ faces, as they say.
Tuesday night’s event, by the way, was a fundraiser for other Catholic dissenters.
The gathering was a fundraiser for Interfaith Voices, a nonprofit, multifaith religion news magazine on public radio, started by Maureen Fiedler soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Fiedler, a member of the Sister of Loretto order, is a longtime feminist activist within the Roman Catholic Church. Her radio show is now carried by more than 60 stations and recently won national awards for its work.
The more than 100 attendees at the event included many nuns and Catholic reformers, as well as leading women in other denominations. (Emphasis added)
Townsend, in my opinion, is deliberately positioning herself as the spokeswoman for left-wing, dissenting, pro-abortion Catholics. Watch for her to keep up a drumbeat about these themes: the corruption in the Church, the coming demise of the bishops, and the rise to power of dissenting Catholics, i.e., Townsend and her friends.
Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), a self described “pro-life” Catholic, has come up with “compromise” language for the Senate health care bill that bears no resemblance to the Stupak-Pitts amendment passed in the House last month.
As reported by Steven Ertelt at LifeNews.com, Casey’s language would make federal funding of abortion the “default” position requiring individual citizens to “opt out” of abortion funding.
National Right to Life legislative director, Douglas Johnson, is quoted in the article saying:
“It is particularly offensive that the proposal apparently would make it the default position for the federal government to subsidize plans that cover abortion on demand, and then permit individual citizens to apply for conscientious objector status. . . . This is an exercise in cosmetics — like putting lipstick on a legislative warthog.”
Rep. Bart Stupak has already told Casey, “Don’t go there. I think it’s a non-starter for us,” referring to the 62 House Democrats who voted for his amendment banning federal funding for abortion.
It’s highly unlikely that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) will buy into Casey’s language given the reaction of National Right to Life and Rep. Stupak, along with all the pro-life groups. No doubt the USCCB will find it inadequate as well.
The bottom line: the fact that Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. would recommend language making federal funding of abortion the default position of health care reform proves once and for all he is not “pro-life.”
Casey’s “compromise” language is a compromise all right — it compromises the Catholic Church’s teaching on the protection of innocent life.
By Deal Hudson
Rasmussen is reporting that challenger Marco Rubio, a pro-life Catholic, has pulled even with his GOP rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, in the Florida Senate Race.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP primary voters finds Crist and Rubio each with 43 percent of the vote. Five percent prefer another candidate, and nine percent are undecided.
Crist’s support has fallen from 53 percent in August to 49 percent in October. Rasmussen Reports noted at the time,
“The fact that Crist has fallen below 50 percent in a primary against a lesser known opponent suggests potential vulnerability.”
This is not good news for Crist, who has a ten million dollar war-chest and the backing of much of the Republican establishment.
One GOP leader who is not backing Crist, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), hosted a small dinner last night in D.C. for Marco Rubio. I found Rubio very appealing as a candidate and a person — 38 years old, the father of four young children, Rubio left the table to call home and tell his children ‘goodnight’ just before bedtime. Rubio, from the Cuban community of Miami, obviously didn’t do this for show — he often spoke in a self-effacing way about his wife, Jeanette, who reminds him to take out the garbage and “move those boxes.”
Rubio still has the dash and charm of a young man, but he’s a seasoned politician having just finished eight years in the Florida legislature, rising to Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House.
I will be publishing a longer feature on Rubio, with an interview, in the next few days. The Senate seat being sought belonged to Sen. Mel Martinez, another pro-life Catholic from the Cuban-American community. Rubio’s family story is compelling in much the same way as was Martinez’s.
Keep your eye on Rubio, he’s got a personality, quickness of mind, and fearlessness, not often found in politics.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the Omnibus Spending just passed by the Senate:
The Congress is now officially on record approving a bill that tells mothers in Washington, D.C. that if they decide to take their baby to term, and elect to send their child to a private school—just like the one that President Obama and his wife have chosen for their own children—they can do it on their own dime: the successful voucher scholarship program that 1,700 poor kids were enrolled in is now dead. But if these same mothers decide to abort their babies, the same government will rush to pay their bills.
Most of those affected are black. The bill will soon be signed into law by America’s first black president. Is there anyone so stupid not to understand what is going on?
Thomas Peters at American Papist has an exclusive story on a statement from Archbishop Listecki of Milwaukee regarding “Young Catholics for Choice.”
Here is Peter’s report:
Exclusive: Archbishop Listecki sets the record straight on “Young Catholics for Choice”
Earlier today I briefly mentioned
the extraordinary, deceptive measures undertaken by Catholics for Choice to convince young Catholics to use contraception (reported on here by the Marquette Tribune
I am overjoyed to see that the incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome E. Listecki, today set the record straight on the Church’s teaching. Here is the text of the Archbishop-Designate’s statement (bolding is my own):
“It has come to my attention that an organization calling itself “Young Catholics for Choice” has recently entered into collaboration with Family Planning HealthServices of Wausau. Through media advertising, “Young Catholics for Choice” is attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like “Young Catholics for Choice” in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called. We pray that they may reconcile their position which is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess.”
for the rest of Peter’s exclusive report and the text of the archbishop’s statement.
Lisa Correnti at www.onenationundergod.org has a complete list of the 16 Catholic senators who voted against the Nelson-Hatch amendment that would have banned federal funding for abortion in the Senate version of the bealthcare bill. There were 1o Catholic senators who supported the bill, including Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Kaufman (D-DE), LeMieux (R-FL), Risch (R-ID), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Vitter (R-LA), Johanns (R-NE), Voinovich (R-OH) and Casey (D-PA).
Correnti also includes the following comment from Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, the president of the USCCB:
While we deplore the Senate’s refusal to adopt the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment, we remain hopeful that the protections overwhelmingly passed by the House will be incorporated into needed reform legislation. Failure to exclude abortion funding will turn allies into adversaries and require us and others to oppose this bill because it abandons both principle and precedent.
By Deal W. Hudson
The Senate health care bill suffers from many deficiencies, but let’s assume for the sake of argument some version of the Stupak-Pitts amendment is allowed in the version that reaches the president’s desk with the public option.
I could still not support it. Why? I am prudentially certain federal funding for abortion would follow — because of the public option — in due course.
I can’t justify whatever good may be done by the health care bill with what would follow when the Stupak-Pitts amendment, or its equivalent, was overturned by the courts.
In other words, for me to support the health care bill would be an example of proportionalist moral judgment. In Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II wrote that proportionalism considers,
the various values and goods being sought, focuses rather on the proportion acknowledged between the good and bad effects of that choice, with a view to the ‘greater good’ or ‘lesser evil’ actually possible in a particular situation. . . . Even when grave matter is concerned, these precepts should be considered as operative norms which are always relative and open to exceptions.” (VS, 75)
What makes me so certain that the public option would lead to abortion funding and, thus, an obstacle to my support for the health care bill? As I argued some time ago: “Supporters will make the argument that a government-run program cannot deny its clients coverage being offered by private insurance carriers. If Congress or the White House doesn’t add abortion coverage, you can be sure the courts will.”
I didn’t know at the time that leftwing law professors were already gearing to take any amendment barring federal funding for abortion to court. Take this article, “Why the Stupak Amendment to Healthcare Reform is Unconstitutional,” by Prof. Marci Hamilton who teaches at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
Hamilton argues the Stupak Amendment violates the Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and Substantive Due Process and Privacy Rights. Here is the money paragraph:
The Stupak Amendment is also a harbinger of future constitutional violations, for it erects a slippery slope of top-down control of the spectrum of healthcare options. Abortion is surely just the first foray of the religious lobbyists’ battle to take away Americans’ right to choose among the full panoply of healthcare options. Attempts to control and halt the funding of both emergency and ordinary contraception surely are not far behind, for such attempts are part of the very same politico-religious platform that includes the Stupak Amendment. There is no more obvious violation of Griswold v. Connecticut – which established that laws prohibiting contraception are unconstitutional under the Court’s right-of-privacy doctrine — than for the federal government to reduce the affordability and, therefore, the availability of contraceptives for all Americans.
Articles like this from prominent leftwing law professors make it clear what is in store for any health care bill with a public option without abortion funding. The bill will be taken to court and, because of the public option, will be stripped of any restrictions against abortion funding.
Because I view this as a prudential certainty, I cannot support any health care bill with a public option. Those who support the public option, I hope, will consider this highly probable outcome.
By Deacon Keith Fournier for Catholic Online:
We cannot cooperate in a moral evil such as the federally funded dismembering or burning to death of our youngest neighbors.
In his prophetic Encyclical Letter entitled the “Gospel of Life” the late Servant of God John Paul II warned of what happens at the “…level of politics and government…” when “…the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority”. He could have been commenting on what occurred in the US Senate Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
Read More at Catholic Online…