"Now, a prominent Catholic newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, is declaring that the president was wrong, citing Cardinal Rigali’s letter about the House bill.
“'U.S. Bishops, fact-checkers contradict Obama’s health claims on abortion,' declares the headline in the issue of the paper that will be distributed in many churches this weekend." (To read the full OSV story by Valerie Schmalz, click HERE.)
The New York Times goes on to quote a letter to the president and Congress from Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressing the bishops' eagerness to support reform but noting that "we strongly oppose inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit."
"Health care is not just another issue for the Church or for a healthy society," he wrote. "It is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity." (For the full text of that letter, click HERE.)
The Times inaccurately reports that Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association have "endorsed the president's plan without reservation." In a letter dated July 31, 2009, Catholic Charities USA President Father Larry Snyder, wrote:
"I am writing to clarify that Catholic Charities USA does not support any plan to reform health care and/or any proposed legislative provision that allows or promotes the funding of abortions or compels any health care provider or institution to provide such a service. In fact, Catholic Charities USA will continue to work with the Catholic Health Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to ensure that any health care reform legislation will not include such provisions.
"Catholic Charities USA will continue to work to reform health care in a way that is consistent with the teachings of our faith."
In a statement on its website, Catholic Health Association also states:
"CHA has not endorsed any of the health care reform bills, but our message to lawmakers is clear: health care reform should not result in an expansion of abortion, and it must sustain conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to participate in abortions or other morally objectionable procedures." (To read more from CHA, visit its website at www.chausa.org.)
For the full New York Times story, click HERE.