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They Do Not Speak for Me: These Catholic Sisters say 'No' to Health Care Bill

'The Bishops´ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.'

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, believes the Bishops´ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, believes the Bishops´ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) – As the banter back and forth continues in every news source over the proposed Health Care Legislation, the official teachers of the Catholic Church, the Bishops, have remained steadfast.
 
The proposed legislation - which may be pushed through without a real vote -  MUST be opposed because it will expand abortions and provides federal dollars to do so.

Sadly, 60 religious sisters, claiming to speak for every member of the religious communities they represen,t made National News by signing a letter to Congress urging passage of this fatally flawed Bill. The Bill undermines the fundamental Human Right to Life in its present form.

In the letter they CLAIMED they represent 59,000 nuns in taking this controversial position. However, there are only 59,000 total women living a religious life as nuns or sisters in the United States. They also supported the leader of the Catholic Health Association, Sr. Carol Keehan, who came out publicly endorsing the Bill earlier this week.

These 60 sisters have now publicly and openly contradicted the US Catholic Bishops. They went so far as to claim that this Bill is "Pro-Life" when it will expand abortions. 7 Billion dollars of federal money will be given to community health centers if the bill becomes law. That money can be used to take the lives of children in the womb.

They  also maintained  that the US Bishops clear concerns over the expansion of abortion  were "...false claims . . . the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions." In short, they not only contradicted the Bishops, they claimed they were not giving the faithful accurate information.

Today, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious responded. These are the leaders of thousands of sisters and nuns in the United States. They represent over 103 religious communities of women in the United States.

They take strong exception to the claims that the signatories of the letter to Congress represented Catholic women religious in the United States concerning this life or death issue. Speaking on behalf of their nuns and sisters they issued the following clear defense of the Bishops and opposition to the Legislation:

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March 17, 2010
 
In a March 15th statement, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke on behalf of the United States Bishops in opposition to the Senate´s version of the health care legislation under consideration because of its expansion of abortion funding and its lack of adequate provision for conscience protection.

Recent statements from groups like Network, the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) directly oppose the Catholic Church´s position on critical issues of health care reform.

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, believes the Bishops´ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
 
Protection of life and freedom of conscience are central to morally responsible judgment.  We join the bishops in seeking ethically sound legislation.

Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, R.S.M.
President
On behalf of the Membership of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious


 

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1 - 10 of 42 Comments

  1. Kate from Maine
    3 years ago

    Thank you Sisters for correcting the misrepresentation of religious women in America who, supposedly, were in support of the HC bill.

    As a health care practitioner, I am astounded at the ignorance of medical science....that a unique human being is present at conception, having it's own DNA. Itt is NOT the mother's DNA alone but that of both the mother and father.

    What is totally lacking in the USA are State laws containing the accurate medical definition of life (unique DNA), and the protections for that life. We have State laws defining death, but not life !

    Will we ever get there ? ? ?

  2. Mich
    4 years ago

    Aviles, you obviously don't read what others post. See Mark's response to Mr. Brennen. I think the same could apply to you.

  3. Aviles
    4 years ago

    Many need health care and the nuns that take care of the sick should not be punished for presenting their opinion. They are the caregivers (as I have been), Many of the most vocal people against health care have been men and they use Abortion as their mantra. These women are not pro-abortion they are speaking for many who need care and do not know or have the means to do it for themselves.

  4. Mark Van Hout
    4 years ago

    Mr. Brennan, How can you state that the good far outweighs the bad? You have just put a price on the head of a baby. For the low price of an aspirin for the poor, we will kill your baby! How dare you say our Bishops are less informed and less holy because they protect the unborn. Those nuns, in my opinion, should be stripped of their Holy Orders so they can no longer go against the Church they made their vows to while hiding behind their vestments.

    And Mr. Burke, you are correct, Jesus did say that to the adultress in this past weekends Gospel, but he also believed in the 10 Commandments. Believe that these people will be judged on the last day for murdering babies and supporting those who do.

  5. Terry Brennan
    4 years ago

    ..health care reform is about a great deal more than abortion. The good so much outweighs the bad that there is no contest. The fanatics who now use the political process for their religious expression contaminate both. The nuns who actually do the work of Christ in caring for the sick are more mature, well informed and holy than the bishops who rejoice in their ignorance

  6. Ed Burke
    4 years ago

    If Lady's who devoted their lives to Christ can't make a value judgement of their own, without being villified on a Catholic Website, they are far from the only sinners present. You people should remember in whose name you seek justice and mercy. Never did Jesus use such vitriole, just last week the gospel told us he said to the adulterous woman, " I do not condemn you, go and do not sin again." This is what we aspire to be, one who loves the sinner, and is eager to forgive the penitent. Please think about what you say, especially here.

  7. Phantom
    4 years ago

    Thou shall not kill

  8. ciao
    4 years ago

    "To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life.

    Thank you Mother Mary Sheridan and the Membership of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious for speaking out.

  9. ciao
    4 years ago

    "To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life.

    Thank you Mother Mary Sheridan and the Membership of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious for speaking out.

  10. Mary Ann
    4 years ago

    In response to Maria's Comments...

    So according to your comment's those 46 million people outweigh the life of "846,000" unborn babies? Social justice is for ALL including the unborn! This healthcare bill is a sham! It goes against the very sanctity of life and does not protect conscience rights of healthcare professionals!!! Of course, there needs to be healthcare reform but not where the government takes over the system! This is not Canada or Great Britain. If you look at these examples you will see the QUALITY OF healthcare go down (MORE PEOPLE in the eating the same piece of the PIE = LESS QUALITY) and THE SAD REALITY IS THAT UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE is the road to RATIONING! Where's the justice in that?

    I pray you see the light. Thank you

    RE:
    "While I have the utmost respect and support for the Catholic Church’s strife for human dignity and the protection of human life, I support the health care reform whole-heartedly. Allowing 46.3 million Americans without health insurance (2009 Census Bureau) to suffer the pain and poverty of inadequate medical care, in order to protect 846,181 unborn lives (as reported to the CDC in 2006) is a fundamental offence to Catholic values. The right to life does not end with this health care bill rather it begins. By fighting poverty and other risk factors for unplanned pregnancies through social justice and expanded medical coverage, we can fight abortion through prevention and practice the love and servitude central to our faith. I pray that earthly politics and a short-term vision do not blind our Catholic leaders from their mission of justice and servitude for humanity, and I sincerely hope that the basic principles of Catholicism are not obstinately sacrificed for power and tradition. With love and prayer, a fellow child of God."


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