Washington D.C., Oct 30, 2009 / 03:27 am America/Denver (CNA).
After attempting to persuade lawmakers to listen to Catholic concerns about health care reform, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has initiated a grassroots campaign to mobilize the faithful across the country. The effort includes bulletin inserts, pulpit announcements, web-based ads and an appeal for bishops to personally contact legislators who serve in their diocese.
Cardinal Francis George and the chairmen of the three major bishops' committees engaged in health care reform wrote all of the U.S. bishops on Oct. 28 and said, "The debate and decisions on health care reform are reaching decisive moments." In order to ensure that abortion is not funded with federal dollars, consciences are protected and that health care is affordable for all, the USCCB leaders asked every bishop to personally take action and lend their support.
The official memo sent out to every U.S. bishop includes a bulletin insert, a flier, a prayer petition and suggested pulpit announcements. In addition, every bishop was asked to personally mail, email and speak with those lawmakers who serve in their diocese.
The letter to the bishops also requests that they have every parish in their diocese insert or hand-stuff the USCCB Bulletin Insert on Health Care Reform "as soon as possible," since voting on the current health care measures is likely to take place in November.
Catholic bishops have been calling for health care reform for years, the letter notes. Saying that “Catholic moral tradition teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential to protecting human life and dignity,” the bishops cite the numerous Catholic emergency rooms, shelters, clinics, and charities that “pick up the pieces of a failing health care system.”