Catholic bishops: Fight FOCA

posted at 10:30 am on November 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Catholic bishops issued a call for fierce opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) from their annual national conference.  They offered olive branches to the incoming Barack Obama administration on a wide range of policies, but drew the line at rolling back every abortion restriction over the last 35 years.  Saying that they could never cooperate with evil, the bishops called into question whether the Catholic Church would continue to provide health care if FOCA passes:

Meeting on the second day of their annual conference, the nation’s Catholic bishops urged an aggressive campaign to oppose the pro-abortion bill expected to be the centerpiece of the Barack Obama administration. They also mentioned concerns about Catholic hospitals being forced to do abortions. …

The statement included talking points saying that the Catholic bishops were willing to work with Obama on common issues like the economy, immigration and health care, but ready to strenuously oppose any efforts to expand abortions further.

“The church is also resolute in opposing evil,” and the bishops are “completely united and resolute in our teaching and defense of the unborn child from the moment of conception.”

The bishops also expressed concern about FOCA because it could overturn protections for Catholic hospitals that don’t want to do abortions.

Some of the bishops, during the discussion, went as far as saying the Catholic Church should be willing to close some health facilities rather them allow them to be subject to a mandate to do abortions from the Obama administration.

How serious are they?  So serious that they won’t bother to sell the hospitals.  They’ll shut them down and take the losses in order to prevent their use as abortion clinics.  To do otherwise, the bishops stated, would be to cooperate in the evil of abortions.

What kind of impact would that have?  The Catholic Church is one of the nation’s biggest health-care providers.  In 2007, they ran 557 hospitals that serviced over 83 million patients.  The church also had 417 clinics that saw over seven million patients.  If they shut down almost a thousand hospitals and clinics nationwide, the US would not just lose a significant portion of available health care, but the poor and working-class families that received the health care would have fewer options.

Also, the Catholic Church runs this on a non-profit basis, spending vast sums of its money to ensure access for those unable to pay.  That’s the kind of model that many on the Left believe should exclusively provide health care — and FOCA would spell the end of the major provider already in that model.

Unfortunately, the Catholic Church didn’t spell this out explicitly enough earlier in the year, when it may have made some difference with parishioners.  At least they are speaking out on it now.  We have to push hard for a filibuster on FOCA, and hope we have enough Republican votes to sustain it.


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rci (That’s RCL), you’re not doing it for my good. You’re doing it for what you believe is your good. I left the Catholic Church 20 years ago because I disagreed with it.

Jim, whether or not you disagree I’m sure you’re cogent enough to realize the point. Christian, Jewish and Muslim believers all believe that God will not be mocked without a reckoning. We’re hoping America will change it’s ways and atone for its sins before we reap the whirlwind.

If your grandfather really was a Godfather (which I doubt), then I’d also suggest you also not publicly admit it in writing for your own good.

It’s true but I actually never knew him. He was assassinated coming home in a convoy from his casino in Mexico back in the ’30s. The G-Men, as my grandma called them, immediately after his death seized their house and all their money. My grandmother had a breakdown and my Mom, 13 at the time, was put into a foster home. The same year Mussolini seized their villa in Novara.

All I really know is from family stories and old photographs of paisans in silk suits, Don Moia and his daughter, the Duesenberg convertible in front of the big brick mansion. My Mom remembered their lives like a fairytale. Her favorite person ever, her Dad. Her favorite movie, The Godfather. Her life was very tough from his death forward.

rcl on November 13, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Sorry about your grandfather and your family. I just thought it wasn’t a good idea to write it because it might trigger an unwelcome visit from the Feds or the Mob or both.

I do understand your point. What used to be called mainstream Protestanism (and some of Judiasm) disagrees with the Roman Catholic and Evangelical/Orthodox churches on abortion, though.

jim m on November 13, 2008 at 3:51 PM

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