Posted on the Bishop's Blog - http://blogs.dosp.org/bishoplynch/
As one who worked at the national level for fifteen years representing the Church in the “public policy” arena, I have become somewhat astute as to when to call out the cavalry. My parents early on taught me that you cannot and should not yell “wolf” or “fire” too often or you lose all credibility. Last January when there were cries for postcards to Congress on the “Freedom of Choice” Act, I and most of our pastors did not call out the troops for a number of reasons, primary among which was that there was as yet and still is not as far as I know any serious proposed “Freedom of Choice Act” under consideration by this Congress. Generally one waits for the right moment before calling up the troops.
Well the time is now to stop the inclusion of federal monies for abortion services, procedures, etc., read that yours and my tax dollars, in any Health Care legislation under consideration. Unfortunately all the present proposals for health care reform contain expansion of abortion services and coverage and therein lies the deal breaker for we who value the protection and right to life of the unborn. Now I wish to be clear at what the Church is seeking – maintain the status quo which does as the President promised in his address to Congress – no federal funds will be included in any bill he signs into law which earmarks money for abortion and the freedom of conscience of health care workers must be maintained according to the present proscription. Some voices are beginning to suggest that the proposed legislation should be used to further roll back the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and I can guarantee you that will not happen in this Congress and with this President. We will have to be satisfied in my judgment with holding the status quo – imperfect legislation perhaps but care of the poor and uninsured is also a basic human right and we need to demonstrate that we as a Church are also interested in the quality of life after birth (remember the Gospel description of final judgment day).
So now is the time friends for a “call to arms.” The bishops have asked every parish in the country to include information in next Sunday’s bulletins and I have asked all of our priests to find the best way next week-end to solicit your assistance in giving life to a ground-swell in support of NO on abortion coverage and YES to some form of health care reform. On the latter, a reasonable Catholic who embraces the concept of universal health care can take exception to certain provisions of any proposed legislation, but on the former, no weaseling please – WE ARE PRO-LIFE!
You can access the materials which you should be seeing in your parishes here:
» Memo to all Pastors of Parishes in the Diocese
» USCCB Parish Information and Resources
» USCCB Healthcare Website
Thanks for standing tall on what may be one of the most important legislative moments in our lifetime.