.- In a story written by reporter Marco Bellizzi, the Vatican newspaper LâOsservatore Romano (LOR) points out that the American Catholic Bishops speak for the Catholic Church when they criticize the current health care bill.
âNo support in the dark for health reform,â the LOR subtitles its story, which explains that âthe health care bill approved by the US Senate is not acceptable.â âIt cannot be supported and the moral objections raised by the project cannot be postponed for a later moment.â
âWhile the (US) congress, pressed by President Obama, is at a crucial moment for the destiny of the reform, in which the White House has invested lots of energy and lots of political credibility, the bishops of the US clarify again the position of the Catholic Church, repeatedly explained with frequent messages addressed to the senators and the congressmen, as well as to Obama himself.â
According to the Vatican newspaper, Cardinal Francis Georgeâs Monday statement, âclears the field of some misconceptions springing from the position taken by the Catholic Health Association (CHA,) which, by the words of Sr. Carol Keehan, had called for support of the Senate version, postponing for later the changes related to the most controversial issue â¦ the federal funding of abortion.â
âThe CHAâs position,â LOR explains, âdoes not reflect in any way the convictions of the United States Bishops Conference.â
The Vatican newspaper also details why the USCCB supports the House version of the bill, which includes the Stupak Amendment, whose language prevents the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.
LOR asserts that âit is not acceptable to wait for the approval of the project, given the multiple moral objections,â and quotes Cardinal Georgeâs Midwest expression: âit would be like buying âa pig in a poke.â The fear, obviously, is to later find out that it is a cat,â the article says in explanation of the saying.
Vatican's paper also mentions the different âforms of pressure to convince US pro-lifersâ to support the health care bill, in particular the attack on the USCCB from an expert in health legislation, Professor Timothy Stolfzfus Jost, from the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
âNevertheless, God, like the devil, is in the details,â writes LâOsservatore, quoting the latest column of Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput. OFM Cap.
The Vatican daily also quotes Archbishop Chaput on how âlong, unpleasant and too often dishonest the national health-care debate is now in its last days. Its most painful feature has been those âCatholicâ groups that by their eagerness for some kind of deal undercut the witness of the Catholic community and help advance a bad bill into a bad law.â
âThe Senateâs bill, according to Archbishop Chaput, fails because it does not prevent the (federal) funding of abortion, does not provide an adequate protection to conscientious objection and is not sufficiently inclusive regarding the immigrants,â the Vatican newspaper reports.
The article concludes by quoting the Archbishop of Denver, who recently reminded people that âgroups, trade associations and publications describing themselves as âCatholicâ or âprolifeâ that endorse the Senate version â whatever their intentions â are doing a serious disservice to the nation and to the Church, undermining the witness of the Catholic community.â