A front-page article in today’s New York Times reads, “Some Roman Catholic Bishops Assail Health Plan.” Some? It cites not a single bishop who supports the Obama health care bills. So why the qualifier?
The bishops, while supportive of universal health care, have said they will not support any bill that provides for abortion coverage. Unfortunately, the bills being considered do exactly that; amendments to get abortion out of these bills have universally failed.
Justin Cardinal Rigali is identified as a bishop who is opposed to any bill that includes abortion coverage. What’s wrong with this is that it gives the impression that he is just another Catholic voice: In fact, the Archbishop of Philadelphia speaks for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on pro-life issues.
Another problem is identifying Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy as being sympathetic to the health care bills. Yet on his website it explicitly says that he “has never announced support for one particular vision of health care reform legislation. To suggest otherwise is false.”
The New York Times article says that “Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association endorsed the president’s plan without reservation.” Not true. On its website, Catholic Charities says quite clearly, “Let there be no doubt, Catholic Charities USA does not support nor will it support any provision or amendment that fails to uphold the sanctity and dignity of human life.”
Similarly, the Catholic Health Association [CHA] is equally clear: “CHA has not endorsed any of the health care reform bills, but our message to lawmakers is clear: health reform should not result in an expansion of abortion, and must sustain conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to participate in abortions or other morally objectionable procedures.”
The newspaper accurately says that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good supports Obamacare. What it fails to mention is that the dissident Catholic lay group is a creation of George Soros.
All in all, this was the most distorted article to appear in the mainstream media on Catholics and health care reform. That it was written by a normally responsible journalist, David D. Kirkpatrick, makes it all the more disturbing.