Sunday, March 21, 2010

360 In-Depth: Liberals Masquerading as Catholic Hierarchy Support Non-Catholic, Non-Conservative Agenda

Most Catholic Americans wrongly assume that Catholic hospitals are dedicated to fighting abortion.

Many of the most important people running the Catholic-oriented hospital systems, and representing them before government, have spent fortunes supporting some of the most powerful pro-abortion politicians in America.

A group representing Catholic hospitals has rallied behind President Obama's health care bill ahead of a House vote in which anti-abortion lawmakers could play a decisive role. This support has been covered by the news with light frequency as to avoid questions of back room deals, conflict of interest concerns and illegal funding.

The chief executive of the Catholic Health Association, Carol Keehan, wrote on the group's Web site that although the legislation isn't perfect, it represents a "major first step" toward covering all Americans and would make "great improvements" for millions of people. Sister Keehan most likely ended her career with her comments on abortion and the Health Care Bill. Let's hope she has because in fact, she's an imposter.

There are growing allegations within the church that Sr. Carol Keehan should not be a nun and that she is not a true Christian Catholic if she believes in compromising her values to have a doctor in a Catholic hospital perform an abortion in order to keep the hospital open.

In fact, the more than 600 Catholic hospitals across the country do provide abortions and ignore a matter of conscience - receiving back door federal money through government "contributions."

Last July, another deceptive Liberal posing as a prominent Catholic nun was pushing for health care reform and dismissed concerns over Obama's health legislation as "insignificant details," according to a Catholic News Service (CNS) report. Pro-lifers have long said that the legislation includes the "largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade."

The remarks were given at an interfaith prayer breakfast July 28 in Washington, D.C. where several religious speakers urged hasty passage of health care reform.

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the national Catholic justice lobby NETWORK, joined in the calls for quick action on the bills, and blamed a fear of change as the cause of Congress' delay. Campbell said the vote was being stymied because lawmakers were confused by "insignificant details," in the words of the CNS report.

"Too often in D.C. we can get caught in the details and in the argument," said the nun. "The people of the United States are the ones that set us straight."

Pro-life lawmakers on Capitol Hill have fought against efforts to push the bill through Congress, due to its current openness to taxpayer-funded abortion coverage. 20 pro-life Democrats vowed in June to opposed the bill until the problem was resolved, and Bart Stupak (D-MI) has confirmed that as many as 39 House Democrats - enough to kill the bill - would resist the abortion mandate in the bill.

Campbell was joined by a number of other Catholic representatives, including the left-leaning Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, who also called for swift health care reform.

U.S. pro-life leaders have in recent months united in a coordinated campaign to expose the fact that the healthcare legislation in its current form is bound to be interpreted to include abortion in the government insurance's essential health care package. In addition, the bills call for private insurers to be pressured to meet the government's standards for a basic health care package - thus vastly increasing the availability and number of abortions.

Several amendments introduced to stop the taxpayer-funded abortion mandate, as well as provide conscience protections for doctors objecting to abortion, have been rejected in both House and Senate.

Last year, three major Catholic organizations issued a joint action alert calling on readers to tell Congressmen to immediately pass health care reform, but made no mention of the abortion mandate in the bill currently under consideration.

The Catholic Health Association's support widens a split among abortion foes on whether the bill goes far enough to prevent taxpayer funding for the procedure. House Democratic leaders are trying to turn that debate to their advantage as they press for a vote on Obama's bill as early as this coming week. Winning over even a handful of anti-abortion Democrats could help Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., find a clear path to the 216 votes she needs for passage.

Major anti-abortion groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Right to Life Committee, are adamantly opposed to the legislation, preferring tighter restrictions passed last November by the House.

Keehan said in an interview that she believes the approach now in the bill would work just as well to keep federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion.

"On the moral issue of abortion, there is no disagreement," Keehan said. "On the technical issue of whether this bill prevents federal funding of abortions, we differ with Right to Life."

The current legislation would allow private insurance plans operating in a new insurance marketplace to cover abortions, provided they do not use taxpayer funds. What makes that tricky is that many of the plans' customers would be receiving federal subsidies to help pay their premiums. So the legislation requires plans offering abortion coverage to collect a separate premium from their policyholders. Those separate checks would have to be kept in a different account from money for other health care services.

The abortion provisions Obama's bill are identical to those in the Senate legislation that passed on Christmas Eve 2009. But the bishops and National Right to Life prefer the approach in the House bill.

The House bill prohibited any plans receiving federal subsidies from covering abortion. Women desiring insurance coverage for the procedure would have to buy a separate policy.

Federal law since the 1970s has forbidden the use of taxpayer funds to cover abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. But many private insurance plans cover abortion as a legal medical procedure. How to deal with the divisive issue in health care overhaul was a source of controversy from the beginning.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, dismisses the segregation of funds called for in the Senate bill as a bookkeeping trick. His group has served notice it will count any vote for the House bill as support for taxpayer-funded abortion. The bishops reiterated their opposition in a letter to Congress on Friday.

"No Catholic hospital executive has ever turned out hundreds of volunteers to man the phone banks or walk the precincts for an endangered congressman or his challenger," Johnson said in response to the hospital group's announcement.

Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Catholic Health Association (CHA) told constituents that "While there are many details in the health reform bill(s) that still need to be developed, we must maintain momentum for health care reform efforts with calls and emails supporting health care reform immediately." The statement condemned those who are opposing the health care legislation.

However, the CHA later sent LSN a statement, in response to concerns that had been expressed by pro-life leaders, saying, "CHA has written letters to members of Congress and the White House - often in conjunction with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - calling for legislation that does not include an expansion of abortion," said the organization.

While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also called for health care reform, the bishops have made a strong point of disavowing any legislation that would provide a threat to unborn life.

"No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion," wrote Bishop William Murphy, representing the USCCB, in a letter to Congress July 17.

"Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation. ... Health care reform cannot be a vehicle for abandoning this consensus which respects freedom of conscience and honors our best American traditions."

The New York Times dropped coal in Catholic pro-life stocking on Christmas Day with an article reporting a split on abortion between the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference and the Catholic Health Association, which represents these 600 Catholic hospitals.

CHA president Sister Carol Keehan had issued a statement that said, “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table” in the Senate’s health care reform bill, the CHA is “increasingly confident” that a compromise formulated by Catholic Democratic Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania “can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”

Pro-life activists call Casey’s proposal phony. National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson, for example, said the Casey language “apparently would make it the default position for the federal government to subsidize plans that cover abortion on demand, and then permit individual citizens to apply for conscientious objector status.”

A year ago, Keehan defended ill-fated Obama HHS nominee Tom Daschle and his choice for deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew, both abortion rights supporters.

Daschle, a left-leaning health care industry lobbyist for the left, center and right-leaning Alston-Bird law firm, later withdrew his Obama nomination because of several conflict of interests and on the discovery that he has not been paying his taxes.

But after a New York Times story, Keehan claimed that the CHA is committed to health care for human life “from conception to natural death,” adding that “There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops.”

A look at the campaign contributions of the governing board members of the Catholic Health Association of the
United States, however, tells a very different story.

The Tale-Tell Signs Of A Money Trail

The pro-life Catholic Culture website notes that “a Catholic Health Association officer made significant contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Obama campaign.” That, however, is just one part of a surprisingly large pro-abortion iceberg.

Catholic Culture was apparently referring to the 2009-10 CHA Board of Trustees' speaker of membership assembly Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco. Dean was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s candidacy, giving $2,300 to his campaign in September, 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records. And the FEC reports Dean giving a total of $10,000 to the DSCC this year.

But then there is CHA trustee Lindsey Artola, vice president for advocacy and development of Provena Health in
Illinois. She gave $250 each, according to the FEC, to Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin and Rep. Debbie Halvorson, both Illinois Democrats. Planned Parenthood Illinois Action calls Halvorson a “strong supporter of reproductive rights and women’s health and has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record.”

Durbin, who is Catholic and formerly supported restrictions on abortion, was also endorsed by Planned Parenthood, which gave him, like Halvorson, a 100 percent rating.

Another CHA trustee, Roslyn Brock, the director for advocacy and public policy of Bon Secours Health System in Maryland, gave $1,000 to the Obama campaign early last year, FEC records indicate, as well as $1,000 in 2006 to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat with a 100 percent rating from the NARAL Pro-Choice America.

On top of that is trustee Robert Stanek, the CEO of Catholic Health East in Pennsylvania, who has given thousands of dollars in recent years to abortion rights supporter Sen. Arlen Specter – with his contributions coming both before and after the Pennsylvania Democrat’s switch from the Republican Party in the spring of this year.

Stanek has also given to Rep. Michael McNulty, D-N.Y., a Catholic with a mixed record on abortion who has voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research and voted against George W. Bush’s ban on contraception funding in U.S. foreign aid.

Then we have CHA advocacy and public policy committee chairman Joseph R. Swedish, the CEO of Trinity Health in Michigan, who gave $1,000 in 2005 to the re-election campaign of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., according to the FEC. NARAL gives Stabenow a 100 percent rating.

CHA trustee Alan Yordy, President of PeaceHealth in Washington State, gave a total of $1,500 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and $1,000 to Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and Catholic, both of whom get 100 percent NARAL scores. In addition, Yordy gave $500 to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash, a Catholic, and $1,500 to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., both of whom voted against both the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. Both get 100 percent NARAL ratings.

Finally, there is David Benfer, a fellow of the
American College of Healthcare Executives who serves as one of 10 members of the CHAUSA advocacy and public policy committee. According to the FEC, Benfer has donated to the campaigns of abortion rights supporters like Connecticut Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman, former Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a Catholic who was executive director of the pro-abortion Emily’s List.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has threatened to sink the bill if their demands for stronger anti-abortion language are not met.

In her usual rhetoric, Keehan has made it clear she thinks any qualms about abortion language in the Health Care bill version can be resolved, and in any event are not enough to justify opposition to what Catholic leaders say is a pro-life issue and a "human right" - universal and affordable health care. Keehan attended a March 3 briefing by President Obama at the White House, an event she said clarified her decision to support the bill.

What we know of the proactive Left-wing side of the Catholic church, forces to undermine the very foundation of one of the world's oldest and largest religious organizations:

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Feminist led group of religious sisters. They promote dissent against Vatican decrees regarding other dissenters such as Sr. Jeannine Gramick. They whine about the "patriarchy" in the Church, embrace creation spirituality, and demand "gender-equality," such as women priests (as evidenced by then-head Sr. Theresa Kane chiding the Pope during his 1979 visit to the USA). In addition, they spend time in politics lobbying Congress and promote United Nations secular initiatives such as the Earth Charter (consistent with eco-feminism) and International Criminal Court (along with the NETWORK organization).


A group, billing itself as a Catholic Social Justice Lobby, was founded by several feminist nuns, including Sr. Carol Coston, O.P., in 1971. They promote eco-feminism as well as socialism and marxist concepts. According to Coston, their staff have developed their own feminist "rituals" for office events, legislative seminars and "eucharistic celebrations." For a so-called social justice group, they are amazingly silent on the social injustice of abortion and euthansia. They present at Call To Action events and are recommended by Call To Action.

Taxation Confused With Charity

Many Catholics have a notion that promoting government largesse is a means of promoting charity and care for the poor. This is a false notion, because government spending impoverishes more people than it helps, through confiscatory taxation, consumption of available credit, or devaluation of the currency. However, this is aso the basis of the mode of operation for the current Obama Administration.

The Christian duty of charity can only be satisfied by voluntary charitable giving on an individual basis. The Christian who throws his weight behind greater government spending has not discharged this duty, and has actually done more harm than good.

So-called 'prominent nuns' have been leading the socialist fight to round out the Democrat's agenda. But “prominent” in whose world? Left-wing newspapers promote them. They’re fond of finding dragging out every dissident “Catholic” they can and giving these people a forum in which to spout their nonsense, so maybe she’s “prominent” to them, but not to us, most Catholics, or Conservatives.

That said, the fact that St Vincent de Paul and other Catholic associations appear to support this bill shows you how far Catholic understanding of this issue has gone off track. The “social justice” types who were a product of Vatican II see charity in terms of getting things from the government, and this is their only concern in life. They are so blind that they can’t even see that the government and the Church are on a collision course.

1 comment:

VoteNovember2008 said...

My Mama became pregnant with me at the age of 40, quite a shock for a couple in 1960, but times have changed. I am thankful to God that my Mama didn't feel that I was an "insignificant detail" and didn't weight out whether it was "moral right" I had to live or a "technical one"! I can tell you that even though I was not planned or expected, when I look back over our lives, I know that there was a reason I am here today, still pondering what all that may be.

Not only is taxation masquerading as charity, it is robbing the "giver" of the joy received from God when one chooses of his own free will to give! It is when we give of ourselves even when we have nothing to give, that we receive the reward. And if I might add, the reward is not the object of the giving it is the sacrifice of the giving!

When the government takes from you and determines the recipient, it's just down right robbery!

My Mama always said, "follow the money trail", power, money and throw in a little ego for good measure and you have a "situation" waiting to happen. Oh and for good measure, my Mama also said, "don't give your money to someone else, to do something with!" Translation, if you see a need, address it, then you know exactly where the money went and how it was used. Pretty sage advice if you ask me.

Some people just can't see the forest for the trees. VN8