C.H.A. Committee Meets With Vatican

The executive committee of the Catholic Health Association met with officials of several top Vatican agencies for talks that focused in part on the association’s support for health reform legislation that the U.S. bishops opposed. Carol Keehan, a member of the Daughters of Charity who is president and chief executive of the C.H.A., said that the meetings at the Vatican were “useful and positive,” but she would not comment on particular issues raised in the talks. “We were very cordially received and had a wonderful exchange of ideas,” she said. This spring, Sister Carol and the C.H.A. expressed public support for the final version of U.S. health care reform legislation passed by Congress in March, convinced it would not fund abortions. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the measure, saying its provisions on funding for abortions and conscience protections were morally unacceptable. Vatican officials were known to have been perplexed at the C.H.A.’s unwillingness to follow the bishops’ position on the issue.

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