A top Roman Catholic cardinal told CNSNews.com that there is “no way” Catholic members of Congress can support the Senate health care reform bill as long as it includes a provision that allows tax dollars to go to insurance plans that cover abortion.
-- From "Top Catholic Cardinal Says 'No Way' Catholic Members of Congress Can Support Senate Health Care Bill That Funds Abortion" by Karen Schuberg, CNSNews.com 11/24/09
At the National Press Club on Nov. 20, CNSNews.com asked Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia: “The Senate health care bill that Majority Leader Reid released this week permits tax dollars to go to insurance plans which cover abortion. And my question is: Would it be a mortal sin for a Catholic member of Congress to vote for this bill knowing that this provision is in it?”
“Well, first of all,” Rigali responded, “the Catholic Church and, therefore, individual Catholics, are completely against abortion. So our position is that, first of all, a health care bill can be a great, great blessing to our country. The bishops of the United States have been in favor, for long years, in favor of universal, affordable health care for everyone. So this, this is something that is extremely important.
“But we make a distinction between health care and killing,” Rigali continued. “So abortion is out of the question--as we’ve spoken about the value of human life. And everyone is called upon to do everything possible to see that when we are trying to get laudable health care—and that’s what we hope to get—laudable health care, but certainly abortion will be excluded from that. So we exhort everyone of good will that this is for the good of our country. This is for the good of individuals. We have to make sure that health care doesn’t end up as killing. So everyone is challenged to make his or her contribution, and we’re counting on legislators to make sure this is not part of what is going to rule the lives of people.”
“People have to follow their conscience, but their conscience has to be well-formed,” said Rigali. “And you have to make sure that when it is a question of doing something that has a provision, if it has a provision in it for abortion, then this is absolutely wrong by every standard and not by the standards of the Catholic Church as you see here today. It’s the standards of Christian, standards of the natural law.
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