The well-publicized dissent of a group of religious sisters regarding the bishops' opposition to the Senate health care reform bill is certainly discouraging. Fortunately, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious have countered that with a statement of their own, affirming their support for the U.S. Bishops' position:
March 17, 2010
In a March 15th statement, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke on behalf of the United States Bishops in opposition to the Senate’s version of the health care legislation under consideration because of its expansion of abortion funding and its lack of adequate provision for conscience protection. Recent statements from groups like Network, the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) directly oppose the Catholic Church’s position on critical issues of health care reform.
The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, believes the Bishops’ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
Protection of life and freedom of conscience are central to morally responsible judgment. We join the bishops in seeking ethically sound legislation.
Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, R.S.M., President
On behalf of the Membership of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious
In the Archdiocese of Denver, Archbishop Charles Chaput also issued a warning to those who might be fooled by Catholic statements in favor of the "fatally flawed Senate version of health care reform."
From Archbishop Chaput:
To the Catholic Community of Northern Colorado
In the past two days, congressional leaders and the White House have brought tremendous pressure on prolife Democratic members of Congress to support a fatally flawed Senate version of health care reform.
Regrettably, groups like Network and the Catholic Health Association have done a grave disservice to the American Catholic community by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.
Do not be fooled. Nothing has changed. The Senate bill remains gravely flawed on the issues of abortion funding, conscience protections and the inclusion of immigrants. Unless seriously revised to address these issues, the Senate version of health care is unethical and should be firmly opposed.
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
+James D. Conley, S.T.L.
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver