Thursday, June 28, 2012

Through the Intercession of St. Luke, Patron of Health Care, We Thank You, Lord

Sr. Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA):

"We are pleased that, based on an initial read of the ruling, the ACA has been found constitutional and will remain in effect. CHA has long supported health reform that expands access and coverage to everyone. We signed onto amicus briefs encouraging the Court to find in favor of the ACA’s individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. As the ruling is examined, Catholic-sponsored health care providers will continue to lead health care transformation — finding new and better ways to provide compassionate, high-quality care while strengthening the communities we serve."

Kathryn M. Lohre, president of the National Council of Churches:

"The member communions of the National Council of Churches have supported readily available health care since we were formed in 1950 during the Truman Administration. We as churches follow the bold example of Jesus, who healed the sick, sometimes breaking the religious law that governed society. Our members have always believed that health care is not simply another worthy cause to which we lend our name."

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:

"We are pleased that today’s historic ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) affords the law the opportunity to be implemented to its fullest. We have long maintained that we cannot afford to wait any longer before fixing our broken health care system. Every other advanced country has managed to provide all its citizens with essential health care, and we must do the same. The ACA now still has the chance to help the nearly 40 million currently uninsured Americans receive coverage and the millions of underinsured see their situation improved."

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice advocacy ministry:

“We are elated. The Supreme Court has affirmed that the law is constitutional, and we know that this prolife decision will save many, many lives. This is a win for the entire nation. Knowing that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage and that young people can continue to stay on their family healthcare policies is wonderful news for every family and individual.”

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the soul of America. As a nation built on the principles of community, personal responsibility and solidarity, this ruling affirms the moral fiber of this nation is strong. Catholics United is grateful the Supreme Court overcame the politics of division to serve the least among us.”

The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ:

"The Supreme Court decision today is a clear signal that we as a country are moving toward the realm of God on earth – the realm of this merciful, compassionate God, full of love for all.

"Our country was founded on the ideal of caring for one another and tending to the welfare of others. Today's ruling indicates a willingness on everyone's part to be in community with each other and not allow people to be abandoned by the health care delivery system."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Federal City Fortnight Flops

Fortnight Flops

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington were invited to join with 4,000 of their fellow Catholics in a celebration of freedom event as part of the campaign against the HHS mandate on insurance companies to pay for contraceptives when large employers do not. The Archdiocese spent tens of thousands of dollars to rent the Smith Center at George Washington University to hold the 4,000 person rally. Paid television and radio ads were purchased. Color printed flyers were included in the parish bulletins to reach out to the 600,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese as well as those in neighboring Arlington. Bus rental, video production, speaker fees and travel costs could push the total costs to well over $100,000.

Yet by the event, the Archdiocese was forced to admit it did not make any more than half the expected turnout. Even the anti-Obama EWTN reported the crowd at a mere one thousand. Unoccupied seats ringed the auditorium.

The Archdiocese has lowered the cone of silence as to the exact costs of the event and the reasons why the expected attendance failed to materialize. It would however, be a fair guess that the Archdiocese spent over $100 per attendee. Truth be known, while not a fan of the Fortnight phoniness, if they had just offered me a C-note in cash to go there, I would have accepted.

Next time, Cardinal Wuerl, just pay people to show up. It will be cheaper.

(Stock photo used above since the Archdiocese is not providing any of the flop).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Faith Direct" - Right Wing Front Group?

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington and many other places are being encouraged (pressured?) to enroll in a commercial enterprise called "Faith Direct, Inc." instead of placing their tithe in the collection basket.  On its surface, this is an interesting way for Catholics to use electronic means of contributing to their parish.  Obviously, FD, Inc. makes money off this arrangement.

But who is "Faith Direct, Inc."?  It is a for profit company owned by Brian Walsh, a conservative Republican political operative.  Walsh's other clients, (Warfield and Walsh) include the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Heritage Foundation, the New York State Conservative Party, the Fred Thompson Presidential campaign, and Senator Trent Lott's PAC.  He also raises money for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation (we know how conservatives love their horses).

As parishes direct the lay faithful to enroll in "FD", they are also given the opportunity to sign up for FD's Twitter messages, thereby giving Brian Walsh the ability to communicate his views and opinions directly to enrollees. Nice way to assemble a Twitter list to push the GOP agenda.

Use of "Faith Direct, Inc." is, of course, a personal decision.  We just feel the lay faithful are entitled to full disclosure.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Support Nuns on the Bus

Catholic Sisters are travelling the country to oppose the anti-Catholic, anti-poor, anti-elderly "Ryan Budget".  This budget also is the core of Mitt Romney's economic agenda. Support the nuns.

Saturday, June 16, 2012



The Catholic Church praised President Obama for his action to defer action to all young people eligible under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, saying that it would permit young people who were brought into the United States undocumented to come out of the shadows and more fully participate in society.

“This important action will provide legal protection, and work authorization, to a vulnerable group of immigrants who are deserving of remaining in our country and contributing their talents to our communities,” said Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “These youth are bright, energetic, and eager to pursue their education and reach their full potential.”

In their statement, the Catholic Bishops reaffirmed that still needed is for Congress to pass President Obama’s DREAM Act, which is opposed by congressional Republican leaders and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Jesus, as a child, was an illegal migrant to Egypt, along with Mary and Joseph. The Holy Family is the special protector of the undocumented.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Conservatives: "Abortion is Okay When We Do It"

Remember the Republican philosophy, "a baby is less dead when killed by the private sector." For all of the talk about abortion by conservatives, they grow totally mute when it comes to the private sector. Abortion, to them, is not about protecting the unborn but an issue to attack liberal politicians. For profit corporations are deeply involved in financing abortions through their health care policies and their donations to Planned Parenthood. Does one ever hear of a company boss banned from speaking at a Catholic university? Calls to withhold Communion from business executives Church statements attacking CEOs by name?

Here we have Mitt Romney yukking it up with one of his top supporters, Proctor & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald, which is the large private donor to Planned Parenthood. Sources say that they give PP 1/8 of it's budget and over $102 million.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012



Obama Plan is More Pro-Life

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his proposal to advance health insurance coverage and it does so in a way that could fund abortions for millions of Americans, while President Obama’s health care law does not. Let’s look at the comparative features:

The Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) leave in place the right of states to prohibit the sale of health insurance plans that include abortion as a benefit. Nine states currently have such laws and more are considering them. Romney would nullify the right of states to prohibit pro-abortion insurance policies and allow pro-abortion policies to be sold in contradiction of state law so long as it was registered in at least one other state.

Both the ACA and the Romney plan would expand health insurance through tax credits and subsidies. The ACA would also add some coverage for the poor through a modest Medicaid expansion. No federal Medicaid funds can be used for abortion.

Under the Romney plan, the tax breaks for insurance would go to bosses to provide insurance for their employees. Most bosses include abortion in their policies and employees are forced to take the boss’s plan or have to buy individual policies in the private market.

Romney would also give tax breaks to persons buying an individual policy. Individual policies would be dramatically more expensive than group policies purchased by boss’s so only an economical option if a person does not have a boss’s plan.

While these individual policies would also not have the group purchasing savings of plans on the state health care exchanges that the ACA offers, unlike the ACA plans the Romney plan allows them to use their government subsidies or tax credits to pay for abortions. Unlike Romney’s plan, ACA Exchange plans cannot use government subsidies or tax credit for abortion. State may allow some plans to offer abortion coverage as a rider paid 100% by the individual, but federal law guarantees that there be pro-life options and allows states to make all of the plans pro-life. 14 states have already elected this option and more have it under consideration.

The Romney plan expects expansion of boss's plan health insurance, while the ACA expects a slight increases in boss's plans but tens of millions purchasing insurance through the exchanges.  Since boss's plans can and mostly do use tax advantages for abortion while most individuals choose pro-life plans given the option, the portion of insured Americans with abortion coverage would be starkly higher with Romney's plan.  This is assuming Romney's plan has the claimed results of increased coverage.  His critics suggest that it will not.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wisconsin Jesuits Support Recall of Governor Walker

The Provincial for the Jesuit Province of Wisconsin, the Jesuit President of Marquette University High School and 22 other Wisconsin Jesuits are among those supporting the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) in tomorrow's recall election.  Walker has been well financed by Big Money interests and has outspent his Democratic rival, yet still faces a close election.

Walker is a strident opponent of Catholic Social Teaching regarding the right of workers to form a labor union. 

God bless these sons of St. Ignatius for standing up for Catholic Truth.