Cardinal O'Malley rips pro-Obama Catholics on health care

Cardinal OMalley

The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, yesterday criticized organizations such as the Catholic Health Association and Network for supporting a health care bill that will halt decades of government neutrality on the issue of abortion.

"Health care is such an important issue for the United States. It's very disturbing to see that there seems to be a rush to push through legislation without carefully weighing all of the consequences," wrote Cardinal O'Malley on his blog.

"I think it's unfortunate that some Catholic groups have not paid close enough attention to what the bishops are saying regarding the present legislation. It would undermine the Hyde Amendment and put us at the mercy of regulations that could very easily be altered."

"As many studies have shown," the Cardinal explained, "the vast majority of Americans favored the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money from being used to pay for abortions. The only thing we are asking is that this be enshrined in the new legislation."

"In our enthusiasm for universal health care, we cannot underestimate the importance of having a strong and firm backing for the principles of the Hyde Amendment incorporated into this legislation. The administration should take more time to craft legislation that will create a consensus in the country rather than trying to force through this legislation by using procedural gimmicks," Cardinal O'Malley concluded.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat, has said he will vote against the Senate bill because he thought most of the U.S. House bill's provisions enacting "significant reform" have been stripped, reports.

Congressman Lynch has been attacked in television ads paid for by "Catholics United," a pro-Obama lobbying organization.

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