Way to often in regards to the USCCB I have a “What the heck?” moment. Whether it is movie reviews, continuous CCHD scandals, or of course the Catholic News Service an organ of the USCCB. Though mostly it now CCHD and CNS that come to mind.
I present as the latest bit of evidence against CNS the article CHA backs health bill; bishops reiterate objection to abortion wording by Nancy Frazier O’Brien.
When I first read this article yesterday it annoyed me. Subsequent re-reads have not exactly dampened that enjoyment. When I first read the headline I thought “Good CNS is noting that CHA is backing the Senate version of the bill.” Though the headline is rather sloppy and could be read in multiple ways. Reading the headline you might not understand that the CHA is taking a position opposite to the USCCB . But headlines often don’t provide a useful summary anyway and you have to read the article.
Unfortunately reading the article did not provide the clarity I hoped for. In fact it much reminded me of the typical America Magazine take where you give both sides as if it was a neutral question.
To my mind it was presented as if the CHA and Cardinal George speaking for the USCCB had just a difference of opinion. The tone of the article gives you no real idea that the Senate version of the bill will provide Federal dollars for abortion and that the CHA is willing to support it anyway. Though of course CHA denies that it does provide funding and is willing to believe the accounting tricks used to try to pretend this is so. In this article Sr.. Keehan is allowed to make claims that have already been adequately fact checked and rebutted by the USCCB.
Now we go from bad to worst.
The USCCB has already issued a rebuttal to Timothy Stolfzfus Jost objections to what the USCCB had been saying.
The USCCB analysis was directed at the points raised by Timothy Stolfzfus Jost, a law professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and co-author of a casebook widely used in the teaching of health law, in a March 11 article in The Hill newspaper.
“In our judgment, … the Jost analysis is wrong in most of its major claims,” the USCCB response said. “The Senate bill’s major flaws are as real as ever and must be addressed.”
Jost responded to the USCCB statement with a seven-page memorandum March 14 that said the Senate bill is “far more pro-life than the (USCCB pro-life) secretariat acknowledges, as has now been recognized by the Catholic Health Association and other pro-life organizations, leaders and theologians.”
“The Senate bill is essentially as pro-life as the House bill, indeed more so on some issues,” Jost said. “Pro-life members of Congress should, therefore, be supportive of the Senate bill.”
First notice how use of the CHA is now providing cover for the bill. Other pro-life organizations are not named because any actual pro-life group is against the bill. Plus of course you can always find a theologian to suit your cause. Heck you can probably order a theologian from Catholic Theological Society of America like you would a pizza to suit your needs.
To believe that the Senate bill is just as pro-life as the Senate bill you would have to believe that:
- Their was no reason at all for pro-abortion lobbyists to oppose the Stupak Amendment in the House.
- The failure to have a similar provision to the Stupak Amendment in the Senate bill meant absolutely nothing.
- NARAL opposed the Stupak and Nelson measure for no reason. No reason that they labeled any attempt at removing Federal funding of abortion as “outrageous” and a threat to “abortion coverage.”
- The Senate and House bills are essentially the same but for some odd reason Nancy Pelosi can’t get the votes to pass the bill. Why did she have to stop negotiating with Rep. Stupak?
- There was not reason to buy off Sens. Nelson and Landrieu since the Senate bill was the same as the House bill.
- Non-partisan FactCheck.org got it totally wrong when they agreed that the bill would provide Federal money for abortion and that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be authorized to pay for them.
- All of the Congressman both Republicans and Democrats who oppose the Senate version of the bill because of the issue of Federally funding abortion have no idea what the bill actually says and they are being contrary for no reason at all.
Timothy Jost writing elsewhere said that if the Democrats can’t pass this bill “they are not fit to govern”. He has been supportive of the so-called heath care reform from the beginning and has been dismissive about abortion concerns.
Yet this is the voice CNS gives so much time to and the last word in the article.
Deal Hudson has similar concerns to my own and points out some problems.