PATRICK KENNEDY JUST DOES NOT GET IT, PERHAPS WE CAN CONVINCE SOME OF OURS TO GET IT
If you read or stay current with “Church news” you have probably already read that Congressman Patrick Kennedy representing 66% Catholic Rhode Island in the U.S. House of Representatives in an interview accused the nation’s Catholic bishops of fanning the flames of opposition to universal health care reform by insisting that federal monies in the plan to pay for abortion are a “deal killer” in which the bishops whom the Congressman calls allegedly pro-life would be willing to see the nation’s uninsured remain that way. How can we claim to be pro-life and oppose health care reform even if it contains new taxpayer monies for “abortion on request”, the Congressman asks. Easy, Mr. Kennedy, just listen to your own bishop and accept his invitation to meet and discuss the grave moral dimensions of this consequence. Bishop Tobin, the bishop of Providence, in his response to you has succinctly laid out the Church’s (not just the bishops’) opposition to such an inclusion, and I stand ready to campaign heavily against the legislation if it includes money for abortion and to support it equally strongly if it does not and truly makes access to health care a possibility for all Americans.
I have written letters to our Congressional Delegation from this diocese, namely Congress persons Castor, Brown-Waite, Young, Putnam, Bilirakis. (As a sample, here is the letter to Congress person Castor.) May I invite you to do the same for Senators Nelson and LeMieux and your Congressman. Maybe it will help one or the other to understand why this means so much. By the way every Florida bishop is writing to their delegation and the Archbishop in our name to Senator LeMieux and Bishop Wenski to Senator Nelson.