Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wisconsin bishop clarifies confusion over Catholic position on health care :: EWTN News

Wisconsin bishop clarifies confusion over Catholic position on health care :: EWTN News

In his column for the Madison Diocese's Catholic Herald on Thursday, Bishop Robert Morlino helped clarify the “tremendous amount of confusion” surrounding the authentic Catholic position on what he called the “terribly deficient” Senate health care bill that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday. He emphasized that bishops, not sisters or politicians, are the ones charged with teaching the Catholic faith.

“The context for the health care legislation discussion has been made very strange and confused – so much simply does not make sense,” Bishop Morlino began on Thursday.

“The Senate healthcare bill, passed by the House, with additional changes, and even with an 'Executive Order' pending does not cut it – the bishops have been clear on this,” he underscored.

Bishop Morlino explained the reason why the bishops have opposed the bill, saying that it is “very inadequate” on abortion funding, the protection of consciences and access for immigrants.

Addressing the situation created by Catholics who defied the position of the bishops and supported the Senate bill, the prelate wrote, “I cannot pass over the actions of the Catholic Health Association and an organization called Network, a lobby of American religious Sisters, who said, quite publicly, that what the bishops have taught is false.”

“They said that the legislation does provide an adequate framework for a Catholic to follow his or her conscience about abortion,” continued the bishop. “So, we had a trade organization – the Catholic Health Association – which calls itself 'Catholic' and we had religious Sisters who call themselves Catholic, saying, 'Sorry, bishops, you got it wrong, here is the teaching of the Church.'”

“And, of course, people like Speaker Pelosi could not do enough to wave the letter from the Catholic Health Association and the letter from Network to provide cover for Democratic legislators who wanted to waffle in protecting innocent human life,” he added. “Speaker Pelosi is not called by Jesus Christ to lead the Catholic faithful, any more than the religious Sisters in Network are, any more than the leadership of the Catholic Health Association is.”

Bishop Morlino stressed that the “bishops are called to teach, sanctify, and govern.”

“Jesus calls the bishops, the successors of the Apostles today, to teach the word of Christ to the people and He calls them in a way that He doesn’t call others, including priests,” explained the prelate. “That’s what we mean when we say that the Church is Apostolic. The bishop is a true Apostle insofar as he teaches with the Holy Father, and the priest is a true Apostle insofar as he teaches with the bishop – that’s how it works.”

“Please don’t let the current discussion and certain politicians get you confused about that. And don’t let these contradictions and confusions keep you from jumping right into the discussion and speaking the truth with love,” Bishop Morlino concluded. “There is no more basic human rights issue for Catholics and for people of good will than the necessity of the government to protect human life from conception to natural death.”

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