Catholic Leaders Denounce Distortions

As the House of Representatives headed out of Washington for a five-week summer recess, with the Senate soon to follow, members of Congress were vowing to listen to their constituents’ views on health care reform. What should the American Catholic public be telling their representatives and senators in light of Catholic social teaching? “We need health reform that respects the life and dignity of every person, from conception to natural death,” said Carol Keehan, a member of the Daughters of Charity who is president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association. “That means the unborn, it means the patient with multiple sclerosis, the patient with cancer, the young mother, the addicted, the mentally ill, the dying patient and the frail, frail elderly.”

In an interview on Aug. 3, Sister Keehan decried the “deliberate distortions” about health care reform being circulated by “those who for whatever reason don’t want health reform to succeed.” The worst of the distortions, Keehan said, is that C.H.A. and Catholic Charities USA are “working at cross-purposes” with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the abortion issue in health reform.

According to Sister Keehan, all three groups are sending a clear message that health reform must be “at least abortion-neutral” and must include conscience protections for health care professionals and institutions that do not want to participate in abortions or other morally objectionable medical procedures.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Just about everyone is sick of the partisan rancor that radiates from Washington.
The EditorsJune 23, 2017
Beatriz Mejia of El Salvador speaks at a rally in front of the White House in Washington in March 2016 in support of immigrant families who are seeking asylum. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Can a Catholic carry out his or her job duties in good conscience if they include the deportation of people facing imminent death in their home countries?
Callanan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.