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US bishops oppose Senate health reform bill, clarify Politico comments

Catholic World News - March 11, 2010

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reiterated its opposition to Senate health care reform legislation.

On March 5, Politico reported that “the Roman Catholic bishops signaled Thursday that if agreement is reached with House leaders on anti-abortion language, the church would work to get the votes needed to protect the provisions in the Senate — and thereby advance the shared goal with Democrats of health care reform.”

Responding to questions about the Politico article, the bishops’ conference issued the following statement:

Recently a reporter asked the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops whether, if the House of Representatives sent a health care reform bill to the Senate that includes acceptable pro-life language like the Stupak amendment, the Conference would defend the pro-life language against efforts by members of either political party to strike it from the bill. The staff answered yes. Some took that answer out of context, and misinterpreted it as a commitment by the bishops to endorse an overall health care bill as long as it includes pro-life language. No such position has been taken. The Conference has said the Senate-passed health care bill fails our moral criteria and must be changed; if changes do occur the bishops would study the new bill, then develop a position based on our moral criteria.

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Mar. 13, 2010 1:29 PM ET USA

    I am glad that the Bishops can see other things in the bill(s) that give them pause. I hope they take prpotionally as long reviewing the mess these bills are to lend their support to them.

  • Posted by: Ger - Mar. 12, 2010 10:21 PM ET USA

    It might be helpful to the genral masses if you or the Bishops published their "Moral Criteria" so it is both explicit and public.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 12, 2010 9:30 PM ET USA

    It's good to know that the bishops will back a government takeover of health care if the radical leftists in Congress will just block the use of federal funds for abortions. That leaves a lot of moral ground uncovered, as Terri Schiavo and Bishop "Silent Robert" Lynch taught us. The USCCB is way over its head on this issue, and is dealing in politics instead of morality. Our bishops don't "teach as Jesus did". Instead, they teach as they please.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 11, 2010 9:20 PM ET USA

    I wondered if they were going to double down, or blame the reporter for getting it wrong. Doerflinger was directly quoted on March 5. When something is misquoted, you can react to it in hours -- not 6 days. Neither Doerflinger nor Rogers are on the record now on whether this was a mistake or not. Perhaps Politico has the audio. In any event, this proved to be a huge distraction to politically active Catholics who had to wonder what's really going on at USCCB.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Mar. 11, 2010 4:23 PM ET USA

    The genie of communistic/socialism is out of the bottle..., and the only thing the bishops object to is its hairstyle.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Mar. 11, 2010 7:21 AM ET USA

    A welcome clarification. Abortion funding is not the only morally objectionable aspect of this bill.

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