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4-24-10 Posted by admin in Abortion, Featured Issues, Health Care 0 Comments

Continuing to Fight for Life in the Health Care Bill

H.R. 5111, the Protect Life Act, has been introduced in the House of Representatives to fix the abortion language in the recently signed Obama health care bill. Read more about this important effort to continue fighting for life!

Continuing to Fight for Life in the Health Care Bill

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) announced the introduction of H.R. 5111, the Protect Life Act, to fix the abortion language in the recently signed Obama health care bill. The Protect Life Act already includes a bi-partisan list of 50 co-sponsors. The Catholic Advocate community might remember the original pro-life effort to the health care legislation was the Stupak-Pitts amendment. While Congressman Stupak has announced his retirement, Congressman Pitts is demonstrating his commitment to life by continuing the fight.

According to Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R, KS-04):

“Specifically, the Protect Life Act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prevent federal funding for abortion or abortion coverage through government exchanges, community health centers, or any other program funded or created by PPACA. Additionally, the bill protects the right of conscience for healthcare professionals and ensures that private insurance companies are not forced to cover abortion.”

Thursday’s action follows on the heels of Catholic Advocate joining with 52 other pro-life organizations to send a joint letter to all Members of Congress on Monday, April 19, 2010 detailing the flaws in the Obama Health Care Executive Order.

The letter concludes by saying:

“The deadly effect of the new health care law will not go unnoticed by the American public. Pro-life organizations are working together to ensure that the anti-life policies included in the Act and reiterated by the Executive Order are removed and that the Hyde amendment principles are restored. We will not cease in our pursuit to respectfully and deliberately advance the right to life and protect the vulnerable unborn.”

The introduction of H.R. 5111, the Protect Life Act is a positive step in restoring the Hyde amendment language to the health care bill and protecting the unborn.

Thank you Congressman Pitts and the 50 original co-sponsors!

A Cowardly Lion Who Lost His Heart

Year after year has gone by with pro-life activists being accused by pro-abortion groups of being one-sided partisans. Speculative conversations often occurred among activists – if only we had some bi-partisan pro-life support, we could build on the progress made from the successes of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.

For months, Catholic Advocate and numerous other pro-life organizations around the country, praised Congressman Bart Stupak (D, MI-01) for his stalwart defense of life during the health care debate and thought we finally had a pro-life Democrat willing to fight the culture of death. Congressman Stupak roared like a lion in the savage jungle of Capitol Hill. He handled tremendous pressure from his own caucus and countless rumors and speculation about compromises and deals.

Then, on that fateful weekend in March, pro-life Americans shook their heads with disappointment and disbelief upon hearing the news Congressman Stupak had compromised. He cut a deal worse than the Senator Ben Nelson (D, NE) Cornhusker kickback. By endorsing a meaningless Executive Order, Stupak cleared the way for pro-life Democrats to vote for the Obama-Pelosi pro-abortion health care bill.

After attending the Executive Order signing in the Oval Office, Congressman Stupak’s press release stated:

“Throughout history, Executive Orders have been an important means of implementing public policy.  In 2007, George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13435 restricting embryonic stem cell research – a pro-life policy that was applauded and welcomed by the pro-life community.  These same groups have been opposed to President Obama’s pro-life Executive Order.”

President Bush’s Executive Order’s being cited by Congressman Stupak was narrowly focused to actions by the Executive Branch. As the courts have ruled over time, when Executive Order goes beyond, into the actions of the Legislative Branch, the law dominates.

In a weird twist of irony, the very same week President Obama was signing Congressman Stupak’s Executive Order, a Massachusetts judge sided with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) striking down an Executive Order relating to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and money granted to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

The most important casualties from the fights on Capitol Hill over abortion funding in the health care bill were the unborn.

Now, the source of one of the worst compromises against life in the history of the pro-life cause is calling it quits. Rather than be held accountable by the voters in his district, Congressman Bart Stupak announced retirement on Friday, April 9, 2010.

On the Washington Post website, Congressman Stupak’s sources “describe him as burned out from the long fight over health care in which he emerged as the leading voice of pro-life Democrats wary about the possibility that the legislation would allow federal funds to be spent on abortions.” There are also sources saying he was disappointed at the harsh reaction he received from both sides of the aisle following the health care debate.

Most people, when they come out victorious after a long hard personal fight, usually catch their breath and return invigorated by their victory. It is only when you have truly lost a challenge that you have trouble finding your motivation, and worse yet, if you are the one responsible for the loss.

Congressman Stupak has served the people of Northern Michigan for nearly twenty years. He has endured the tragedy of losing a son to suicide and worked tirelessly to focus on the role prescriptions might have played in his son’s decision, so other parents would not suffer the same pain. He consistently stood for the cause of life, but when it came to the biggest battle in years, could not go the distance.

Congressman Stupak unsuccessfully tried to have it both ways on health care. He made a drastic error in judgment that will ultimately further abortion in the United States.

We wish him and Laurie well as they begin the next chapter in their lives. Even after a long career in Congress, in Washington, you are, unfortunately, most remembered for how you depart. Many pro-life activists feel Congressman Stupak quit on them, so it is only fitting he retire from the arena if he has lost his heart for the battles.

By Matt Smith, Catholic Advocate Vice President

All The President's Women

By Anne Hendershott

While the polls have shown dramatic declines in approval for President Obama from most demographic groups, the President continues to enjoy strong support from many women—especially pro-choice women.  Most recently, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards praised the President’s successful shepherding of health care reform—replete with its expansion of reproductive services to women.

Richards was especially effusive in her praise for Obama’s ability to attract the support of the Catholic nuns of NETWORK who defied the authority of their bishops in promoting health care reform. In an article at huffingtonpost.com, Richards writes that she was grateful for the nuns’ “brave and important move, demonstrating that they cared as much about the health care of families in America as they did about Church hierarchy.”

Most prominent on the long list of pro-choice women (like Richards) who are grateful that Obama continues to demonstrate that he is the most radically pro-abortion politician we have ever experienced, are the women from the Kennedy family.  From Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg who wrote in a New York Times op-ed that Obama is a “man like my father,” and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo who claims that Catholics “are responding to the vision of hope that Barack Obama articulates,” to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who believes that Obama represents Catholics better than the Pope, the Kennedy women remain steadfast in their support for the President.

Indeed, the sub-title of last summer’s Newsweek column by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, asks readers to consider: “Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics Better than the Pope Does.”  In the article, Kennedy Townsend complains that “while the pope preaches love, listening to the other has been a particular stumbling block for the Catholic hierarchy as it is for many in power.”  Townsend maintains that “Obama could teach the pope a lot about politics—and what a Catholic approach to politics could entail.”

Kennedy Townsend claims that although it is clear that Obama and the Pope disagree on reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, “Politics requires the ability to listen to different points of view, and to step into others’ shoes.  Obama might call it empathy.”  Townsend praises “Obama’s pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints).”  And, in contrast with Pope Benedict, Townsend maintains that Obama’s “social justice agenda reflects the views of the American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists.”

Likewise, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo has been steadfast in support of the President. When her uncle Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat was won by Republican, Scott Brown, Kennedy Cuomo made it a point to claim that Brown’s win had nothing to do with Obama’s healthcare or the Obama administration.  On WOR News Talk Radio, Kennedy Cuomo lashed out at Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, claiming that Coakley exhibited a “lack of effort in the last few months to gain votes or speak on jobs that really brought about the loss of the seat.”

Kennedy Cuomo has been especially close to Van Jones, Obama’s failed “green czar” nominee.  Jones served briefly in the Obama administration until he resigned after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  World Net Daily reports that Jones called for “resistance” against the United States.

Still, the communist ties and revolutionary rhetoric did not stop Kennedy Cuomo from featuring Jones as a commentator on “RFK: Our Children, Our Future,” a documentary on the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy.   In fact, Kennedy Cuomo found Jones so worthy of praise for his work on behalf of social justice that she awarded him with the “Kerry Kennedy Cuomo Human Rights Defender award.”

And, although Kennedy Cuomo and Kennedy Townsend had been early Clinton supporters in the Democratic primaries (in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, they wrote that “the loftiest poetry will not solve these issues”) before they switched their allegiance to Obama, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg was an Obama supporter from the start.  Yet, despite Mrs. Kennedy Schlossberg’s description of Obama as a “man like my father,” there is no evidence that JFK was pro-choice like Obama.  Abortion rights issues were in the fledgling stage at the state level in New York and California in the early 1960s.  They were not a national concern.

A strong abortion rights advocate, Kennedy  Schlossberg was so concerned to assure pro-abortion leaders in New York that on the same day she telephoned New York Governor David Patterson to declare interest in filling the U S  Senate seat being vacated by Hilary Clinton, one of her first calls was to an abortion rights group indicating she would be strongly pro-choice.

All of the Kennedy women have learned that anyone desiring higher office in the Democratic Party must now carry the torch of abortion rights throughout any race.  They continue to support Obama because he continues to carry that torch.

Archdiocese of Chicago's Sister Baird Defends Obama As "Pro-Choice"

By Deal Hudson

“The President is not pro-abortion, the President is pro-choice. I think they are two very different things.” This is a mantra we often hear from Catholics who support pro-abortion politicians, but this time they were uttered in support of President Obama.

The words came from Sr. Anita  Baird, the founding director of the Office of Racial Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago.  She was being interviewed by Kathleen Gilbert of LifeSiteNews.com on the upcoming event honoring Chicago priest, Fr. Michael Pfleger, who publicly announced Obama was “the best thing to come across the political scene since Bobby Kennedy.”  He was serving, at the time, as a volunteer adviser to the Obama campaign and a member of the Catholics for Obama Committee.

Cardinal George, Pfleger’s ordinary in Chicago, suspended him from his parish for two weeks after his outburst praising Obama.  Sr. Baird told LifeSiteNews.com Fr. Pfleger’s public support for Obama was “not an issue here,” since he had served a two-week suspension from his parish, St. Sabina’s.

One wonders whether Fr. Pfleger’s fondness for Obama “is not an issue” in the Archdiocese of Chicago simply because he accepted his punishment for endorsing a candidate publicly in violation of the Church’s non-profit status.

Kathleen Gilbert asked Sr. Baird to explain the difference between being pro-abortion and being pro-choice:

“To be pro-abortion is that you believe in abortion and you support it. And, I don’t think you’ll find that the President has ever said that.”

So you have to say you support abortion to be judged pro-abortion?  What about Obama’s advocacy of infanticide as a state senator in Illinois, his termination of the Mexico City Policy on the first day of his presidency, his signing of a health care bill providing billions of federal dollars for abortion funding, and on and on?

Sr. Baird didn’t bring up anything Obama has done, only what he has said, for example, in his Notre Dame speech where he claimed, “his challenge was that we find ways to ensure that women – that would be their last choice, and that they would choose life.”

But then Sr. Baird says the most startling thing of all to Gilbert:

“I just think we need to be clear with our language.”

I’m sure, I am not the only one who will hear this and immediately think of Matthew 23:24, where Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”  In other words, Sr. Baird wants to make sure we are “clear with our language” describing Obama’s stated view of abortion, but she ignores, completely, his actions as a politician.  (This is not completely accurate since Sr. Baird is apparently not familiar with Obama’s speech in the Illinois state legislature justifying his support for partial-birth abortion.)

Speaking of Obama’s own utterances on the topic of abortion.  Why do people like Sr. Baird think his words can be trusted? What about the public lie Obama told the Congress and the American people that there would be no federal funding for abortion in the health care bill?

Even if you judge Obama by his words, if you pay close attention to his promises, you will come to the conclusion his words cannot be trusted. Thus, attempting to be “clear with our language” about the President’s position on abortion is a waste of time.

What do we make of Sr. Baird’s defense of Obama as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-abortion?”

First of all, we should remind ourselves that this distinction has been common among the media and Catholic “progressives” for years, so it is nothing new.

Second, it calls out for some sort of authoritative comment by Cardinal George showing that it is a distinction without a practical difference — both points of view, if they can be really distinguished, result in law and public policy of abortion on demand.

Finally, Sr. Baird’s defense of Fr. Pfleger’s support of Obama is a snapshot of how the Obama advocacy goes on inside the Catholic Church, through chanceries and parishes into the grassroots.  Catholics who support Obama and work to convince other Catholics to vote for him, as Fr. Pfleger has done, ignore the myriad of evidence that Obama is pro-abortion. They parrot a handful of Obama speeches filled with promises his never intends to keep.

Is the USCCB "Advancing the Republican Agenda?"

By Deal Hudson

Regular readers may be taken aback by my headline.  But I didn’t raise the question in jest – I am repeating a question put to Cardinal George by a reporter for the Catholic News Service.

A March 23 story from CNS, written by Nancy Frazier O’Brien, featured an interview with Cardinal George, president of the USCCB, in the aftermath of the health care bill being passed by the House.  Cardinal George registered his concern about the abortion funding in the bill and the inadequacy of an Executive Order to remove that funding.

O’Brien proposed a question to the cardinal about the USCCB’s motives with regards to the health care debate:

“Cardinal George also rejected claims by some that the USCCB had allied itself in the health reform debate with groups that were primarily interested in advancing the Republican agenda.”

Before we continue, it should be noted there was no parallel suggestion regarding the possibility the USCCB was trying to advance a Democratic Party agenda, given the visibility of support for universal coverage.

Indeed, given the visibility of the bishops’ overall support for the bill, I can only come to the conclusion that those who accuse the USCCB of advancing a “Republican agenda” must have abortion in mind.  Why? The only parts of the bill they objected to were abortion funding and the lack of conscience protection for medical workers.

It’s ironic when it’s implied that the pro-life cause is being lead by the Republican Party rather than the Catholic bishops. Isn’t someone putting the cart before the horse?

Other than stifling a laugh when I read that question in the CNS story, my only other reaction was to recall the many times I warned people not to trust the GOP to make the life issue a priority – any political party should know it has “to earn your vote.”

I shouldn’t have been surprised by the question to Cardinal George.  During the 2008 election a number of bishops who questioned the pro-life claims made by Obama and his Catholic surrogates were accused of being “partisan” or Republican.

This points to one aspect of the tragedy of Bart Stupak.  Stupak could have carved out a proud place in the history of American politics as the man who broke the strangle hold of abortion advocates on the Democratic Party.

America would have once again had a two-party system, from a pro-life point of view.

But to return to how Cardinal George answered the question of purported support for the GOP’s agenda.

“I really don’t think that’s true,” he said. “The principles are twofold — everybody’s taken care of, nobody killed. And I think that moral voice, while it doesn’t correspond politically to either party, has been consistent.”

True, the principles don’t correspond to either political party, but the two principles are not equal in moral weight.  The aim of universal health care does carry with it a non-negotiable obligation for Catholics — the protection of innocent life – both Cardinal George and the USCCB have been pointing to this throughout the health care debate.

As implied by the question posed by the reporter, the pro-life principle has become so identified with the Republican Party that some regard the bishops’ own pro-life effort as partisan rather than, simply, Christian.

The sad state of affairs seems to be this: When Catholics object to abortion funding in health care they are accused of being Republican shills. But, when Catholics ignore the presence of abortion funding in health care they are applauded for their commitment to universal coverage.

President Obama Loves Catholics

By Anne Hendershott

President Obama Loves Catholics…

Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say that President Obama loves some Catholics more than others.  He loves Catholics like Sr. Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Association because she successfully deflected the bishops’ concerns about funding for abortion by convincing the members of the House of Representatives that they should support the bill.  She was so good at convincing lawmakers that the bill was one that Catholics could support, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL  ) told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday last week that the bill had the support of the Catholic Church.  And, when advised by Paul Ryan( R-WI) that the bishops were against the bill, Schultz responded that the nuns were in favor of it and asked Ryan why he believed that women could not speak for the Church.


Sr. Keehan has been a good soldier in the health care wars. In fact, President Obama loves Sr. Keehan so much that he awarded her 30 pieces of silver at the bill signing ceremony.  Sorry, I meant to say he awarded her one of the 20 silver signing pens—the coveted souvenir pens that he gave only to his most faithful helpers in shepherding health care reform.

President Obama also loves Alexia Kelley, his pick to be the director of the Federal Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives. Kelley is a special kind of Catholic because she couples an ability to talk the Catholic talk with phrases like “seeking common ground” but then applies them to abortion at the same time she is heading a group called “Catholics for (the pro-abortion) Sebelius.”

As founder and director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Kelley somehow convinced people like George Soros, and a long list of labor unions, that they should love Catholics too.  In 2008, Kelley was paid $110,000 a year to direct Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—but, it was money well spent because her Catholic organization received $100,000 from George Soros’ Open Society; $25,000 from the AFL-CIO; $75,000 from the ARCA Foundation; $50,000 from the PBL Fund; $50,000 from the American Federation of Teachers; $25,000 from AFSCME; $25,000 from IBEW; and $10,000 from IUPAT. Who would ever have guessed that labor unions loved Catholic teaching so much that they would spend thousands of dollars in 2008 to help Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good fulfill their stated mission of “promoting Catholic social teaching through media.”

When one looks closely at the funding streams for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, it is hard to believe it when their leaders claim that they are non-partisan.  Funders like the ARCA Foundation have funded leftist causes for years including Planned Parenthood and People for the American Way.  And, neither George Soros nor the long list of labor unions are known to be contributors to conservative causes.

Still, President Obama must have been really grateful for the role that Catholics in Alliance played in allaying fears about the health care plan among Catholics.  Teaming with Jim Wallis’ Sojourners and the Catholic Campaign funded Pacific Institute for Community Organizations, Catholics in Alliance provided Catholic congregations with a “Health Care Tool Kit.”  While the kit’s brochure never denied that the proposed health care reform would fund elective abortion with public money, it stated rather neutrally: “How Congress applies current policy on federal funding for abortion to new systems created through health reform will be an important issue for the faith community.”  It also reassured readers that conscience protections would remain in place—even though no such assurance was ever promised.

But, President Obama must love Chris Korzen’s Catholics United best of all because Korzen was so good at neutralizing the voices of the bishops.  Formerly employed as an organizer for SEIU, and a master at messaging (he was one of the leaders of Catholics for Sebelius), Korzen once said in an interview that Catholics United does the “edgier” work.  He’s right about that.  Implying recently in a radio interview that the Catholic bishops are just not smart enough to understand the complexities of health care reform, Korzen enlisted 47 theologians who were willing to sign a statement on his website decrying the interference of the bishops in the debate over health care reform.  Advising the bishops to stay out of the conversation on health care reform (unless of course they wanted to support it), the letter that the theologians signed stated that, “It is troubling to see some bishops sending messages that give spiritual sanction to narrow partisan agendas promoted by staunch opponents of reform.”

Once the health care reform bill was signed, Korzen dismissed the authority of the bishops on healthcare reform by stating on Kresta, an Ave Maria radio program that, “ It’s important to remember that they (the bishops) really don’t speak with authority on this, and as Catholics, we are free to disagree with them…they don’t have any particular charism in that field.”  Rather than trusting their bishops, Korzen advises Catholics that, “When I want to know what’s in a piece of legislation, I don’t consult folks who are experts in ecclesiology, I consult folks who are experts in health care.  The Catholic Hospital Association is one of those organizations…”

It seems that Korzen might trust some Catholics whose expertise is in ecclesiology and theology though, when he invited those 47 theologians to speak with authority on health care reform. But then again, by enlisting the theologians in advising Catholics on what Catholic teaching “really says” about health care reform, Korzen places the theologians in the position of providing a kind of Alternative Magisterium—a role that many of them have already assumed.  I think lawyers call that venue shopping.

Regardless of their motivations, the reality is that Keehan and Korzen have diminished the authority of the bishops in the health care debate.  They have attempted to silence the voices of those Catholics who are concerned about public funding for abortion. And, they have provided permission to Catholic lawmakers to support a bill that will dramatically expand abortion.  President Obama must really love these Catholics.

Why Catholics Should Work to Repeal the Health Care Bill

By Deal Hudson

There are only two facts Catholics need to know about the health care bill to decide it must be repealed.  The bill signed by the President includes federal funding for abortion, and the Executive Order does nothing to remove that funding.

You don’t have to accept those facts on my authority – they have both been expressly asserted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For those who have been led astray by the false and misleading statements of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Catholic Health Association, Catholics United, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, here is why the health care bill funds abortion (according to the USCCB):

Federal funds can be used for elective abortions in community health centers; federal funds will subsidize health care plans that cover abortions; and Americans are forced to pay for other people’s abortions even if they disagree morally.

Obama’s Executive Order, that gave Stupak comfort in supporting the bill – after months of stating his opposition – cannot, according to Cardinal George, president of the USCCB, serve as a “substitute for statutory provisions.”

Richard Doerflinger, from the USCCB pro-life office, explained it was the “unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts” that present laws concerning abortion as “construed by the courts would override any Executive Order or regulation.”

Given the unaltered abortion funding, the only recourse for Catholics is to work for a repeal of the legislation. What good is contained in the bill is far outweighed by the abortion funding and the lack of conscience protection.

Any justification of why this bill should not be repealed will necessarily involve proportionalist reasoning. One such argument being used by Catholic “progressives” is that the benefit of the universal coverage contained in the bill outweighs the impact of the abortion funding. As John Paul II explained in Veritatis Splendor (75), the proportionalist thinks in terms of the “greater good” or “lesser evil” which makes all moral norms “always relative and open to exceptions.”

The bishops’ explicit rejection of this specious reasoning is found in their explanation of why they opposed passing the bill in the first place.  The USCCB statement of March 23 contained the following passage (emphasis added):

“Nevertheless, for whatever good this law achieves or intends, we as Catholic bishops have opposed its passage because there is compelling evidence that it would expand the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. . . . If this new law is intended to prevent people from being complicit in the abortions of others, it is at war with itself.”

The moral argument for repealing the health care bill is no different.  If Catholics in the U.S. support the implementation of this bill, rather than calling for its repeal, they will become, just as the bishops point out, complicit in millions of abortions.

A so-called “Repeal It” pledge has already been signed by 64 members of Congress.  Some GOP leaders such as the senators from South Carolina, Lindsay Graham and Jim De Mint, are proposing a “repeal and replace” strategy.

The question of repeal necessarily reaches out toward the 2010 election. No doubt, the fate of health care will be determined by the outcome of many congressional races, perhaps leading to a Congress whose first item of business will be a repeal.  Catholics will have a powerful reason – the protection of unborn life — to cast their votes behind candidates who promise to end abortion funding by repealing the legislation.


Bishop Morlino Calls Out Disobedient Catholic Groups

By Brenda Steele

In his Diocese of Madison, WI, Catholic Herald column, Bishop Robert Morlino answers the question, “Who is called to lead the people in faith?” He states unequivocally that it is NOT the Catholic Health Association nor the nuns who are members of NETWORK.

Bishop Morlino stated in his letter that the bishops are called to “teach, sanctify, and govern.” Even though they, like the rest of us, are sinners, the bishops are the successors to the Apostles, and, as such, have authority to “teach the word of Christ.” It is up to the faithful to accept their authority on Church teaching rather than view it as “opinion.”

The disobedience of the Catholic Health Association and NETWORK nuns to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ efforts to stop passage of the health care bill as long as it contained federal funding for abortion was a direct slap in their faces. Since when does a trade organization or a group of liberal nuns, not representing by the way, 59,000 nuns in America, hold more authority over Church teaching than our own bishops?

We can certainly disagree as to whether or not the bishops pushed soon enough or hard enough to ensure federal funding of abortion was removed from the health care bill. But, for organizations like the CHA and NETWORK, who call themselves Catholic, to call the shots is a travesty pure and simple. It was they who opened the door for “pro-life” Catholic Democrats to turn aside from true Church teaching to follow the “falseness” of their own disobedience.

Jack Smith at the Catholic Key Blog has more on Bishop Morlino’s letter.

Social Justice Catholic Accuses Nuns Of Tired Feminism

From Jack Smith at the Catholic Key Blog comes an important report on a story from the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Remember this is Nancy Pelosi’s diocese and one of the most “progressive” in the country.

Smith writes about a former friend and colleague, George Wesolek, who serves as Director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Wesolek, Smith explains, “is no conservative, but rather that type of thoroughgoing pro-life, Catholic social justice advocate that is much talked about but rarely evidenced.”

Wesolek wrote a column in Catholic San Francisco that Smith describes as dropping “a bomb.” Wesolek writes:

So now we have some nuns accusing the bishops of lying about abortion. Are you shocked? Don’t be because this has been going on for a long time.

For years, most of the leadership of the LCWR and the Catholic hospitals (most of which are owned by these very same LCWR leaders) have been advancing a view of Catholic social teaching that reflects a vision that they learned in the 60s and 70s – a tired feminism that distorts the role of women and has at its center the freedom of women to “choose” to kill the infants in their womb if they so desire.

This view rightly offers deep concern for justice for the poor and vulnerable, but like so many in this age-group, minimizes or trivializes the unborn. “Network,” the Washington, D.C. lobbying arm of the LCWR does not include pro-life legislation as part of its work. If it does at all, it distorts the term “pro-life” to be so ambiguous and far-reaching that it includes everything. Thus, the sisters can say with a straight face that the current health care legislation is “life-affirming.”

Read the rest here.