Rocco Palmo over at Whispers gives a good intro to the USCCB statement offfered by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago:
With the climactic House vote on a health-care reform package foreseen for this week -- and hours after the trade-group for the nation's Catholic hospitals endorsed the legislation despite church concerns over the proposal's current language on abortion-funding -- the following statement emerged after 5pm Eastern from the president of the US bishops, Cardinal Francis George OMI of Chicago.
The Cost is too High; the Loss is too GreatContinue reading Cardinal George's statement at Whispers in the Loggia...
The Catholic Bishops of the United States have long and consistently advocated for the reform of the American health care system. Their experience in health care and in Catholic parishes has acquainted them with the anguish of mothers who are unable to afford prenatal care, of families unable to ensure quality care for their children, and of those who cannot obtain insurance because of preexisting conditions.
Throughout the discussion on health care over the last year, the bishops have advocated a bipartisan approach to solving our national health care needs. They have urged that all who are sick, injured or in need receive necessary and appropriate medical assistance, and that no one be deliberately killed through an expansion of federal funding of abortion itself or of insurance plans that cover abortion. These are the provisions of the long standing Hyde amendment, passed annually in every federal bill appropriating funds for health care; and surveys show that this legislation reflects the will of the majority of our fellow citizens. The American people and the Catholic bishops have been promised that, in any final bill, no federal funds would be used for abortion and that the legal status quo would be respected.
However, the bishops were left disappointed and puzzled to learn that the basis for any vote on health care will be the Senate bill passed on Christmas Eve. Notwithstanding the denials and explanations of its supporters, and unlike the bill approved by the House of Representatives in November, the Senate bill deliberately excludes the language of the Hyde amendment. It expands federal funding and the role of the federal government in the provision of abortion procedures. In so doing, it forces all of us to become involved in an act that profoundly violates the conscience of many, the deliberate destruction of unwanted members of the human family still waiting to be born.
What do the bishops find so deeply disturbing about the Senate bill?
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!