Francis Cardinal George - President of the USCCB, together with Justin Cardinal Rigali (Chairman of USCCB pro-life activities), Bishop Murphy (Chairman of domestic justice and human development) and Bishop Wester (Chairman on Migration) have sent a letter to every Cardinal, Archbishop and Bishop in the United States
asking for their "active and personal leadership" and to "redouble [their] efforts" that health care reform is done right.
Right now, health care reform is wrong.
I want to focus on what the bishops are urged to undertake personally.
In part the letter to them reads:
"The outcome [of this debate] will depend not primarily on advocacy done [by us] in Washington, but on what we do in our own dioceses and states to make the case clearly and persuasively to influence how our Senators and Representatives vote."
The letter includes many action items for the bishops, including:
- "Personally contact your Senators and Representatives who serve your diocese. In addition to letters and email, we ask you to speak personally to your members of Congress, in meetings and/or by phone."
The letter goes on to say, to both Senators and Representatives (im paraphrasing here):
- Please support an amendment to support conscience clauses and rule-out tax-payer funded abortions. If these amendments are not added to the bill, you must oppose the final bill when it comes to a vote.
The ramifications of this activity of the US bishops are extremely significant.
To take one important example, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco ought to call Nancy Pelosi, and ask that she follow the advice presented above. This then means that when she ignores his advice (as she undoubtedly will) and pushes through this pro-abortion health care reform bill, she will be intentionally and explicitly defying the personal request of her Archbishop.
It should now be impossible, in fact, for any elected Catholic official to claim that they voted for the final pro-abortion health care bill without knowing clearly, in advance, where their local bishop stood on this particular issue.
I'll let us all ponder these implications for a moment.
Updates to follow....
[This most recent activity from the USCCB goes even beyond their efforts to place a pro-life bulletin insert into every parish in America. I blogged on that story earlier today here
. Make no mistake - this is going to be big.]
Labels: breaking news, healthcare, important