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June 16th, 2010
11:45 PM ET

Bishops' conference blasts nuns for role in health care reform

Cardinal Francis George, President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said this week that a group of nuns who broke ranks with the powerful conference on health care reform in March is responsible for the controversial legislation's passage.

"Sister Carol and her colleagues are to blame," Cardinal Francis George is quoted as saying in a Catholic News Agency report Wednesday.

George's remarks at a Tuesday meeting of the bishops refer to Carol Keehan, the CEO and president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), whose group endorsed the health care bill.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Bishops • Catholic Church • Health care

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. atheistamongus

    As an atheist and supporter of public health care (ie health care for the poor, working poor middle-class, protection from bankruptcy after catastrophic illness, etc.) I have always been amazed at the hypocrisy displayed by the "religious." Whether it be the "Christian Right" or the catholics, your opposition to providing health care to the most vulnerable of society flies in the face of the teachings of Jesus. For shame, all of you so-called believers, for shame.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  2. NiteOwl

    If anyone actually reads the HRC bill they will find that abortion is banned using any public funds, including via private health plans. It always amazes me how people who should know better, ie the Bishops, blast others while in total ignorance of the facts. The nuns are to be aplauded for actually practicing what they preach.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  3. zaza

    Mothers need health care and the life of the mother should not be sacrificed for the unborn.

    June 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  4. CatholicMom

    zaza, we are discussing the health care bill and whether or not the nuns should have endorsed the bill when the bishops rejected it. If there is any way that abortion is in the bill as an acceptable part of 'health care' then that is not a bill that is concerned with health care for all. Killing someone so that they no longer need care is not health care for ALL. We have to think beyond self here. Babies are real even if you can't see them in their mommy's body. Health care needs to be for them, too. Killing them is not the answer. The bishops are right in voicing this life issue. Actually many people are hungry for proper health care in this country but who would say, 'Kill that baby so it will be better for me or my neighbor?' I cannot think of a person who would want that but perhaps you may know of someone....

    June 19, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Reality

      CatholicMom,

      Some suggestions for perusal:

      Ssome incentives to live a healthy life style and also ways to pay for universal health care.
      1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)
      2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition).
      3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.
      4. No universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.
      5. No univeral health coverage for abortions unless the life of the mother is at significant risk and judged to be so by at least two doctors.
      6. No universal health coverage for euthanasia.
      7. No foreign aid given to countries who abort females simply because they are female.

      June 20, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  5. zaza

    Poor Catholic men are upset because they can't burn women at the stake any longer because women are the root of all their evil, even the pedophile priests must have had bad mothers.

    June 19, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • BluJ

      I say way to go Sister Carol and her colleagues. Bishops as of late, are the biggest joke on the planet.

      June 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  6. CatholicMom

    Mary, are you talking about the time Jesus was upset and made a whip and used it to chase everyone out of the Temple? Jesus was tired of the misuse of the Temple which He said was to be a holy place not to be abused in ways that suit men and their desires for gain in the world. Do you know that the human body is a temple?

    June 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  7. Mary

    I agree that the new health care bill is not perfect but something had to be done–the health & lives of so many were being neglected & going untreated. I have tremendous admiration for Sister Carol Keehan, Catholic Health Association & all who worked for passage of the bill. When Jesus walked upon the earth, he treated the Jewish leaders with respect.

    June 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  8. Martin

    Last time I checked, being a Christian included mercy, love for my fellowman, and *joyfully* providing for those who have less than I do. You know, all those things Jesus did when he was here.

    As such, it's a shame so many "Christians" have a problem with health care reform.

    Bishops: Spend some time in an inner city free clinic, or hospital ER, and realize millions of people are suffering, even in our great nation, and maybe you'll feel a slight tug on your conscience the way these nuns do.

    The proposed legislation is not perfect. It is expensive and will likely increase taxation. We will probably see a decade or more of revisions, modifications and amendments to find a workable system. And 100% of the population will never be 100% satisfied with it. But the bottom line is, it NEEDS to happen. It isn't a political or financial issue, so much as a moral one. All the energy people spend literally fighting reform could be better spent embracing it and then contributing ideas AND action to make it work, and keep working.

    Catholic bishops criticizing nuns for wanting to improve health care? Mother Theresa is probably spinning in her grave.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • Agathe

      Martin,
      I finally met a christian who believes in embracing and emulating what Jesus did when he was on earth like I do. I have seen my share of christians so quick at quoting the Bible yet lacking all the compassion and love that Jesus taught when he was alive. I also believe that it's a mortal sin not to extend a helping hand to my fellowmen who have less than I do and need help. The nuns are my heroes for daring to stand up to the bishops and do the right thing according to their conscience. I grew up catholic and understood perfectly how brainwashed we, catholics, are because blind obedience to the Church(i.e. the priests, bishops....and the Pope) is required from all of us. Consequence for disobedience can be severe: excommunication.

      June 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  9. Reality

    My sister-in-law is a nun. Her order contacted the local bishop to get his permission to support the universal health care bill. They received his blessing but then said bishop backed out of his approval. It was too late. Maybe it is time to "pink slip" the RCC bishops for poor leadership in all kinds of areas of morality and common sense?

    June 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      The nuns who asked to support the universal health care plan should have ‘looked into the plan fully’ before asking the Bishop for permission to support the plan. Perhaps they knew it went against the teachings of the Church and thought they would get permission from a bishop who would ‘support them’ anyway.

      If the bishops are not on top of everything, or are, but are willing to go against the teachings, they are not doing their jobs and will have to answer for it. If nuns do the same, they will have to answer for their actions, too.

      I think the part of the plan that should be rejected by everyone [not just Catholics] is the part that accepts abortion and contraception as being provided.

      And Martin and Agathe, the Church can do nothing but stand firm in the Truth of what Jesus Christ stood for and I count on the Church to never waiver from upholding the Teachings of Jesus Christ. Show me where Jesus Christ said that we should abort our babies so that we can have what someone else may have-or for any other reason. You can’t because He never said it. Helping someone kill their baby in the womb is not showing compassion, mercy, or love to either the mother/father or the baby. A health CARE plan must include EVERYONE—killing someone so they no longer need care is positively evil. And the purpose of this killing is so the mother/father may have more material goods—like the neighbor has? How can you speak such things and try to make it sound like Jesus is with you on this? That is blasphemy.

      What do mothers and fathers tell their other children as to why they are going to kill the baby in mommy’s tummy?

      Show someone mercy and love by HELPING them; leading them to the door of a clinic that will kill their baby is the lowest thing a person can do to another. Where do you find compassion in that?

      When you say you are following your conscience on this—whose voice are you listening to?—there are three voices you may hear—yours, satan’s, and the Holy Spirit’s voice. You may say abortion is necessary for whatever reason you can conjure up in your head to help yourself accept something you know is wrong; Satan will tell you it is not only acceptable but that it is GOOD; and the Holy Spirit will tell you the Truth.

      June 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.