The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been lobbying for three decades for the federal government to provide universal health insurance, especially for the poor. Now ... a growing number of bishops are speaking out against it ... like Cardinal Justin Rigali, head of the bishops’ anti-abortion efforts, (who) concluded that Democrats’ efforts to carve out abortion coverage are so inadequate that lawmakers should block the entire effort. Others, echoing the popular alarms about “rationing,” contend that the proposals could put a premium on efficacy that could penalize the chronically ill. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver agreed, saying the proposal was “not only imprudent; it’s also dangerous.”Any of the arguments sound familiar? Remember this one:
The (big) debate over whether conscientious Catholics could vote for Mr. Obama despite his support for abortion rights, whether he should be invited to speak at Notre Dame, or whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, like Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., should present themselves for Communion.Pretty much sounds like the same conservative Bishop voices. But that's not the general consensus:
This really is the bottom line for the more "conservative" Bishops who appear so concerned about abortion:
As recently as July 17, a letter to Mr. Obama and Congress from Bishop William F. Murphy, chairman of the bishops’ domestic
justice, appeared eager to back the Democrats’ effort. “Health care is not just another issue for the Church or for a healthy society,” he wrote. “It is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity.”
Rev. Douglas Clark of Savannah, Ga., arguing that the country now rationed “health care on the basis of wealth.” Father Clark cited an encyclical last month from Pope Benedict XVI about the evils of global economic inequality. Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association endorsed the president’s plan without reservation.
“The Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care,” Bishop Nickless of Sioux City wrote, adding, “Any legislation that undermines the vitality of the private sector is suspect.”