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Bishops Call for Unprecedented, Massive Catholic Opposition to Abortion in Health Care Reform

October 29th, 2009
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'We will raise our voices to protect the unborn and the most vulnerable and to preserve our freedom of conscience'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - An E-mail directive has been sent from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Activities Secretariat mobilizing every parish in the United States of America. It contains an urgent message which is to be distributed in every parish this weekend and announced at every single Mass. This massive and urgent appeal may be unprecedented in our history as Catholics in America. It is an effort to mobilize the Catholic faithful on an urgent matter of public policy concerning the fundamental and foundational human right to life.

The E-Mail specifically asks that no parish opt out of this initiative.

We present the E-Mail below for our readers around the globe. This important story was first broken by Tom Peters whose work on his web log "American Papist: Not Your Average Catholic" is one of the finest sources for important Catholic news available. http://americanpapist.com/blog.html We thank Tom for his important work on this matter.

We urge that focused prayer be offered for our Bishops in their leadership on this vital effort. We urge all of our readers in the United States to participate fully in the effort:

From: Tom Grenchik, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
To: Diocesan Pro-Life Directors & State Catholic Conference Director


Re: URGENT: Nationwide USCCB Bulletin Insert on Health Care Reform

Attached [see below], please find an Urgent Memorandum highlighting USCCB plans and requests for diocesan and parish based activation on health care reform.

The President of the Conference and the Chairmen of the three major USCCB committees engaged in health care reform have written all the bishops and asked that the attached USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert on health care reform be printed or hand-stuffed in every parish bulletin and/or distributed in pews or at church entrances as soon as possible.

Congressional votes may take place as soon as early November. If your Arch/bishop is not in agreement with disseminating the bulletin insert, you will be hearing from his office immediately. You may wish to check with his office ASAP to see how you may be of assistance in distributing the Bulletin Insert, far and wide.

Tomorrow, the USCCB will be e-mailing these same materials to a large number of parishes across the country, already on a USCCB contact list. The parish list is incomplete, so we will still have to rely on diocesan e-mail systems to reach EVERY parish. Thank you for your great help with this.

Also included are suggested Pulpit Announcements and a Prayer Petition.

There is also a copy of a newly-released ad for the Catholic press, which may be printed as flyers for the vestibule or copied on the flip-side of the Bulletin Insert. The flyer/ad directs readers to www.usccb.org/action where they may send their pre-written e-mails to Congress through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center. If you wish to sponsor the ad in your local Catholic paper and need a different size, please contact Deirdre McQuade at dmcquade@usccb.org.

Please encourage parishioners to pray for this effort as well. More information can be found at www.usccb.org/healthcare.

Thank you for your urgent actions and prayers on behalf of this nationwide effort!

****

Tom continued by offering the following documents which are included in this mailing.

"With this email are four attached documents - print these out, share them and take action:

1) HC Cover Note to Leaders, Final.doc (a digital version of the email above)
2) HC Bulletin Insert 10-23-09 Final.pdf (the one-stop nationwide parish bulletin insert)
3) HC Pulpit Announcement & Prayer, Final 1.doc (a how-to for distributing the materials)
4) HC Ad Saving_Lives_Flyer.pdf (a flyer to be placed on bulletin boards, etc.)

Note especially this Suggested Prayer of the Faithful:

"That Congress will act to ensure that needed health care reform will truly protect the life, dignity and health care of all and that we will raise our voices to protect the unborn and the most vulnerable and to preserve our freedom of conscience. We pray to the Lord."

This prayer perfectly illustrates the main themes I have been harping on throughout this debate - that health care reform, as it currently stands, is not truly pro-life and universal, and that it contains no respect for (Catholic) conscience protection. These are glaring shortcomings that urgently need to be addressed!

Action items:

* Please ask your pastor if he intends to use these materials. If he is not aware of them - forward them to him. Or, print them out and bring them to him personally.

*Perform the action items described in the materials I've provided in this USCCB bulletin insert.

*Pray that health care reform not be passed unless it is truly universal and pro-life.

Health care reform could be voted on as early as next week. These materials need to be in the hands of Catholics starting this weekend. Thank you for your efforts in serving our bishops and getting the word out. Godspeed".

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