Fifty-Nine Thousand Nuns Oppose the Bishops on Health Care

“Don’t mess with nuns!” is a comment I’ve often heard over the years from cradle Catholics who were taught by them. The question now arises whether the undecided Catholic members of the House will be influenced by the 60 nuns — each a leader of her religious order — who signed a letter to members of Congress urging passage of the Senate health-care bill now before the House.

These 60 leaders claim to represent 59,000 nuns, and they make it perfectly clear they support the embattled president of the Catholic Health Association, Sr. Carol Keehan, who announced her support for the bill a few days ago.


The letter calls the Senate bill “imperfect” but simultaneously claims it is “the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it.” The sisters call the bill “pro-life,” in spite of the fact that the door is wide open for the $7 billion of federal money slated for community health centers to be used for abortion.

What the sisters extol is medical coverage for the uninsured; the end to denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions; support of pregnant women; as well as investment in preventative care and “community health centers that largely serve poor women and children.” These are the same health centers that the bishops insist will spend federal money on abortion.

These 60 sisters not only reject the bishops’ concerns about the Senate bill but also call them “false claims.” According to them, “the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions.”

The 60 sisters, and presumably the orders they represent, thus join organizations like the Catholic Health Association, NETWORK, Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics for Choice, Catholic Democrats, and publications like Commonweal, America, and the National Catholic Reporter in dismissing the Catholic bishops’ publicly stated position that federal funding for abortion is still permitted in the Senate health-care bill.

Like the sisters in their letter, and Sister Keehan in her statement, most of these groups fail to mention explicitly that they reject the bishops’ analysis of the health-care bill. Is that a sign of respect or merely a refusal to deal with the bishops’ one-page fact sheet directly? Commonweal should be credited for offering a comprehensive, if tortured, rebuttal to the bishops’ position, but the sisters don’t reveal whose analysis they are relying upon.

A few days ago, I described Sister Keehan’s betrayal of the bishops as an example of the failure of the USCCB’s qualified support for the health-care bill. But the spectacle of 60 leaders of women’s religious orders supporting it points to the corrosive effect of the “seamless garment” approach to social ethics and public policy.

One can certainly debate the original intent of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s now-famous 1983 speech announcing a “consistent ethic of life,” but in practical political terms, the seamless garment became nothing more than a convenient excuse for Catholic politicians to ignore the slaughter of the unborn and all its attendant effects on cultural and family life.

There are thousands of women religious at this very moment who are no doubt deeply embarrassed and troubled by the publication of this letter. These sisters can be found in thriving communities across the country — like the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, or the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville. I can confirm that none of the sisters from NETWORK called Mother Assumpta Long in Ann Arbor, or Mother Anne Marie in Nashville, to ask either of them to sign that letter.

The dividing lines in the Church are all too clear, and the effort of women religious, Catholic academics, Catholic journalists, and Catholics representing the medical profession to pass a health-care bill with abortion funding will be a wake-up call for lay Catholics — a déjà-vu moment of Obama being honored by Notre Dame.

Catholics in the pews are being made more and more aware that something has gone wrong in many of our venerable Catholic institutions and religious orders.

* * *

Read the complete list of signatories here.

Deal W. Hudson

By

Deal W. Hudson is president of Catholic Advocate, an organization which engages and encourages faithful Catholics to actively participate in the political process to support elected officials and policies that remain consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Formerly publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine for ten years, his articles and comments have been published widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report. He has also appeared on TV and radio news shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, NBC News, and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Hudson worked with Karl Rove in coordinating then-Gov. George W. Bush's outreach to Catholic voters in 2000 and 2004. In October 2003, President Bush appointed him a member of the official delegation from the United States to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul II's papacy. Hudson, a former professor of philosophy for 15 years, is the editor and author of eight books. He tells the story of his conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholic in An American Conversion (Crossroad, 2003), and his latest, Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, was published in March 2008. He is married to Theresa Carver Hudson, also a Baptist convert, and they have two children, Hannah, 21, and Cyprian, 13, who was adopted from Romania in 2001.

  • FL

    God bless those sisters! They are speaking for many of us.

  • Carl

    Don’t mess with the “Social Justice” Nuns.

    Sorry, but social justice is but a small subsection of the Catholic Social Teachings. Human Dignity, Common Good, Solidiarity, and Subsidiarity being the four major Articles.

    If anyone else out there needs a reason to be careful where your contributions go this is just but another reason.

    God Help Us.

  • Richard

    It does not surprise me that Pat Mulcahey, OP
    Prioress of Sinsinawa Dominicans was one of the signers to this letter. Sr. Donna Quinn, the nun who acted as an abortion center escort, was from this order.

  • Daniel Fink

    The objective website “FactCheck.org” reveals whose fabricating when the claim is made that the Senate bill will not fund abortion. Looks like the sisters chose their thirty pieces of silver.

  • Carl

    From data that I can find there are only 60 to 70 thousand Nuns in the United States.

    If “60 leaders claim to represent 59,000 nuns” is it time to close up shop and claim secular socialim the victor?

  • Deacon Ed

    from the protestant wing of the Catholic Church. At least they are now more clearly out of the closet and we now know that their politics trumps their Catholic faith.

    But isn’t it consoling to know that in 25 years they will all have pretty much vanished from the ranks of women religious? What awaits them only God knows.

  • Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    The perennial cry of pro-abortion Catholics. Cuomo has been using this one for decades–the REAL pro-life position is pro-abortion and anti–death penalty. The REAL pro-life position is pro-abortion and anti-hunger. The REAL pro-life position is pro-abortion and anti–global warming. The REAL pro-life position is pro-abortion and anti-lettuce. The REAL pro-life position is pro-abortion and pro–light rail.

    In 1984, Archbishop Roach of Mpls.-St. Paul stood on a stage and put his arms around Walter Mondale and said, “This is the REAL pro-life candidate. He’s against nuclear war.”

    The rot (moral and mental) is at all levels.

  • Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    Don’t mess with the “Social Justice” Nuns.

    Sorry, but social justice is but a small subsection of the Catholic Social Teachings. Human Dignity, Common Good, Solidiarity, and Subsidiarity being the four major Articles.

    If anyone else out there needs a reason to be careful where your contributions go this is just but another reason.

    God Help Us.

    Catholic Social Teaching without the big words:

    Honor thy father and thy mother.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

  • TonyC

    Should we blame the wandering lambs if they get lost, or the shepherd who fails to gather the flock?

  • Austin

    I think that the lesson here, given that Some Bishops are in favor of Obamacare and some are not, and that many nuns are in favor of Obamacare, is that the laity needs to make up their own minds. This is not an issue that we should be told what to do, what to believe. Those days are gone.

    By the way, if we are against Obamacare, are the nuns going to rap our knuckles with a ruler?

  • Jamee Pawlak
  • Mena

    It’s hard to know which is worse: the nuns’ willingness to be accomplices of bloody child-murders, or their embrace of a national healthcare program that is doomed to rapid disintegration and insolvency (just like Medicare). That’s going to result in millions of deaths, too.

    Pretty soon, no one will have healthcare, and we’ll have done nothing to ban abortion. Certainly, “healthcare for all” sounds nice, but it’s not realistic until money grows on trees, or until people no longer have to work generate concrete services and products.

    America is headed for the bottom, and we are experiencing systemwide corruption among Democrats as has never been seen before. The lying and cheating required to pass a massive legislation that no one wants has been shocking to observe. I feel we might be in Cuba or Russia.

  • Mena

    These nuns represent a cancer of rebellion growing in the Church which must be removed by swift and broad excommunications. Insubordination in an organization cannot be tolerated long before the organization weakens and collapses. No organization can survive the breakdown of its chain of command.

    Organizations are made strong not by having large numbers of rebellious members, but by having small groups of loyal ardent members.

    Let these sisters start yet another protestant sect. Let the pro-choice catholics be protestants.

  • Mother M. Assumpta Long, O.P.

    If there are 59,000 sisters in the U.S.A. how could these “Nuns” claim to represent all of us when that is clearly not the truth? This needs to be retracted by the Media. How can this be done??

  • A concerned alumnus

    I attended their school, Ursuline College, in Pepper Pike, OH. It is a spiritually dead campus. Student interest in Sunday Mass was so low they stopped offering one on campus. The campus minister had a sign outside her office announcing it as a GBLT friendly zone and constantly made disparaging remarks about the then Holy Father, John Paul II. I had teachers, such as Dr. Conrad Gromada, who were ex-priests and members of heretical organizations such as Future Church. In a class entitled Faith of Catholics, Humanae Vitae was ridiculed. I could go on. My point is, one of the biggest failings of the laissez-faire attitude that erroneously came from Vatican II (and make no mistake, I am not a sedevacantist or other right wing nut) is that a lot of American women’s religious orders went off the deep end. These women, in publicly disagreeing with and disparaging the bishops are essentially announcing what they have become, ie. Protestants.

  • Pauli

    Father, I loved your comments. Thank you.

    Pro-life sisters need to quickly put together a counter statement–maybe they already have? and get it out there via the internet.

    It’s funny that these angry feminist nuns have been blasting the horrible, domineering male hierarchy for years. But we see how these 60 female hierarchs claim to speak for thousands. Forget the rulers, kids, we’re talking iron fists here.

  • Nun of it

    “And they built the high places of the Ba

  • Bill Sr.

    This could be the last nail in the coffin and bury any doubts that the Church has been infiltrated for some time now with the poison of political agendas tied to liberalism and New Age thought and doctrine.

    My heart is filled with sadness at the thought and fond recollections of the loving devoted sisters, and yes strict but charitable nuns, most of us grew up with and learned the lessons of love and devotion to truth and Church teachings which they exemplified.

    Please, Dear Sister St. Augustine, N.D. Cincinnati OH. And all the thousands like her now in heaven, PRAY for Us.

  • Ted

    Should we blame the wandering lambs if they get lost, or the shepherd who fails to gather the flock?

    The shepherds are to blame.

  • MAT

    I don’t believe the numbers (59,000). Lies beget lies. As a previous comment noted, these communities are dying, thankfully. Who wants to join such shams? This should be an eye opener for the Bishops, but not that big a surprise, really. Unfortunately, many chancery staffs feel the same way. Thank God for an ever-growing number of Bishops willing to stand up for the truth. I hope their numbers continue to grow – they need to. And dittos to a previous comment that the faithful and growing religious communities respond quickly.

    Let us emphasize prayer, adoration and fidelity to Church teaching and tradition. Any de-emphasis of abortion as a gross moral evil which needs to be opposed with every ounce of our being is a sure sign of lack of fidelity to the Church. The basis for the Church’s teaching needs to be explained more and repeatedly to counter the ignorance factor and to challenge the lie that if you are anti-abortion you are then anti social justice, or that if you are pro social justice, abortion will take care of itself.

  • Kevin Rilott

    Dear Sister Keehan,

    My name is Kevin Rilott and you kindly corresponded with me several months ago by email about the health care bill. At that time I took your word that the Catholic Heath Association would not support the murder of Children in the womb. Well, you sure pulled a fast one on me. I even defended you and the CHA on different web-sites and chat-rooms.

    I have seen the interviews with the Speaker of the House saying this bill will provide abortions. I have seen the Secretary of Health and Human Services say this will expand “reproductive access and freedom.” I have seen the emails from Planned Parenthood supporting this bill.

    I have read (and I obey) the Bishops who call this bill deadly.

    I’m just writing to say you got me, yes I was fooled and believed you. Now you can have have your abortion promoting bill and because of your support a few congressman who may have voted against it may now vote for it. Instead of working towards a good bill you will now have your bill and millions of butchered children in the womb to go along with it.

    I pray God will forgive me for being so foolish and forgive you for betraying the Church and the “least of Christ’s people,”

    Follow this link to see a picture in the window of the Rockford IL, abortion Clinic directed toward you. In a window next to it they have a rubber chicken covering the body of Jesus on a Crucifix and in another window they have a sign celebrating the deaths of 50,000 children who have died in this clinic as a victory over Jesus Christ. Just thought you should see your victory sign. Do you have a hard time believing this – go to http://www.rockfordprolife.com…splays.htm to see more proof. These are the people you belong to now.

    May God have mercy on us all,

    Kevin Rilott

    4564 White Horse Trail

    Rockford, IL 61101

    815-494-0333

  • Michael

    God bless those sisters! They are speaking for many of us.

    Like hades they are. They are disgrace! Do us a favor…either adhere to the teachings and authority of the Christ’s Church or leave! These Catholic’s in Name Only are part of the filth that is attempting to rot the Church from within. Time for filth to be swept out!

  • Anne

    Euthanasia is the goal with this bill. On the 5th anniversary of Terri Schindler Shiavo’s murder it is as obvious as the nose on any social justice minded, liberal Catholic’s face.

    SLAUGHTER HOUSE RULES,’ ‘DEEM AND PASS’ [smiley=evil](DEMON PASS), ‘SELF EXECUTING…’ How many more sinister labels do people need to recognize this for what it is??

    THE BABY BOOMERS WILL BE THE NEXT ‘CHOICE’ if this bill passes

  • Carl

    Pray for a religous vocation renewal, make contributions to orders like the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

    Bless you sisters

  • Joe

    I heard on NPR one of the reasons these nuns are in favor of the health care bill as it is
    is because Nancy Pelosi said that no money will be used for abortions.
    I have a bridge to sell these nuns.

  • Myles Keogh

    As someone stated lies beget lies. That is only way a liar can continue to argue a point but ultimately the lies are exposed. I reviewed that list of names of so called “nuns” who supported this illegal bill. When I see the names of Chichester, Quinn and Mulcahey and publications like Commonweal, National Catholic Reporter and all the other lying fecal matter that support this abomination I just smile. They are all dying off. Their orders are dying because just like all these protestant denominations that have fallen away or turned their back on God they are dwindling. Within ten to twenty years these orders, publications and organizations will be non-existent or ignored. They are dying a slow death and are desperately trying to make themselves be heard and relevanty. It is not working and when their final breath is taken they will have a lot to answer for before Christ’s throne.

    Rest assured the seeds of renewal within the church has been sown and being tendered to for healty growth. We see it in orthodox orders and among the laity. God in his own way is removing the dead and rotten undergrowth.

    As followers of Christ we are called to follow him and expose those liars like Mulchahey, Chichester, Quinn and the editors of Commonweal, America and NCR and other organizations. We should raise our voices and say enough of this nonsense and while we do so we can conifidently know that in the end God’s Will will prevail and it is all in His Hands. We know that despite the evil attempting to destroy the Church from within it will not prevail because Christ promised us that not even the gates of hell will prevail against His Church.

  • Peter Freeman

    “There was also a Nonne, a Prioresse,
    That of hir smyling was ful simple and coy…
    And sikerly she was of greet disport,
    And ful pleasunt, and amiable of port,
    And peyned hir to countrefete chere
    Of court, and been estatlich of manere,
    And to ben holden digne of reverence.
    But, for to speken of hir conscience,
    She was so charitable and so pitous
    She wolde wepe if that she sawe a mous
    Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
    Of smale hounds had she, that she fedde
    With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel-breed.
    But sore wepte she if oon of hem were deed,
    Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte:
    And al was conscience and tendre herte.”

    Seems like the virtue of compassion has misled many of our sisters for quite a long time.

  • Aaron

    Gosh, I wonder why the Vatican thought a visitation of American women’s religious orders might be necessary.

    Our current shepherd is trying to gather the flock, but most of the sheep have decided they like it better with the wolves.

  • Cathy

    Nuns wear habits, nones do not.

    Nuns see the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the sure norm for teaching the faith, nones absolutely will not teach it because it makes people too judgmental.

    Nuns travel the Stations of the Cross, nones traverse the labyrinth.

    Nuns believe that the Catholic faith holds the fullness of Truth, nones believe that the Catholic faith is just one of many great religions and teach them all so the kiddies have a choice.

    Nuns furrow through the soil recognizing that this is necessary that the tree might have good water and food at the roots, nones envy the little birds nesting at the top of the tree and in their cry for social justice and equality demand that the entire tree be cut down.

    I pray that our nones become nuns!

  • Mena

    The Bishops can fix this right quick with excommunications. May God Almighty give them the courage and support of their flocks to do so.

    Hell is all too happy to welcome nuns and religious. We have to walk the straight and narrow, and religious should know better than to take the broad path.

  • B. Johnson

    The Lord’s humble servants need do their homework with respect to understanding the law of the land before they foolishly support constitutionally unauthorized federal Obamacare.

    Here’s why Obama, Reid and Pelosi are in contempt of the Constitution that they have hypocritically sworn to defend. They are unthinkingly basing their so-called constitutional authority to make healthcare legislation on perversions of the Commerce Clause by pro-big federal government justices in the 1930s and 40s.

    Eight of these justices were nominated nominated by FDR, an enemy of the Constitution, and caved in to perverting the Commerse Clause to give the green light to illegal spending legislation inspired by FDR. The justices did so by scandalously ignoring state sovereignty statutes like Article V and the 10th Amendment when deciding cases which tested the limits of Congress

  • Pricelia

    I was saddened by this article on the position of these nuns. I could not believe that they would do such a thing. I decided to read more about it and I decided to start from my bishop’s blog (Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg). Fortunately he wrote about it and he also got the email from Sister Carol Keehan in response to CHA’s position.

    You may want to read his 2 blogs:

    http://www.dioceseofstpete.org/
    go to For His Friends Bishop Lynch’s Blog

    first: HOSPITALS AND BISHOPS Tuesday, March 16, 2010
    second: HEALTH CARE REFORM AND ABORTION

  • MAT

    Bishop Lynch’s blogs? Sounds pretty divided to me, unless Pricelia is being sarcastic. Sister Keehan is engaged in wishful thinking and doesn’t want to recognize the truth of the evil being perpetrated because government is meeting her social justice perspective. Who truly believes such nonsense? Look how Planned Parenthood is funded. Go pray at their abortion clinics. You’ll get a feel for the evil. Bishop Lynch makes it sound like a contest. Congress is engaged in the devil’s work. These organizations which are giving cover to Catholic legislators are complicit in this evil. May God’s will prevail.

  • Brian English

    “The provisions were negotiated by Senators Casey and Nelson, two of the most ardent pro-lifers out there.

  • Carlist

    Isn’t it long past time for the Church to learn that it’s half century long flirtation with “The City of Man” has created an internal moral collapse with the “Faithful” subjected to non stop mixed messages from a secularized clergy and hierarchy?

    Wouldn’t the Church and the Body of Christ be better of by taking the route of the Prodigal Son, by discarding the Nouvelle Theologie and returning to “The City of God” i.e. Tradition?

  • ROB

    When this bill passes you will see NARAL and Planned Parenthood triumph that Hyde is dead, over and done and they will be right. The mask will be stripped away. In their hearts I believe that Keehan, Chichester and sisters will share in that triumph.

  • roseburgh

    Aren’t these all the same nuns who voted for Obama in the first place? They didn’t see the truth then and they don’t see it now. When you ask them where their political positions leave the innocent unborn babies, they have no answer for you. One told me she always supports the Democrats because they are the only party that helps the poor. Oh spare us such wisdom! What a disappointment that consecrated sisters of God have abandoned His most innocent little ones in the name of “social justice.”

  • John Jakubczyk

    These are the same orders who comes before the parish congregations each year and ask us to provide financial support for them and their elderly sisters. They tell us stories of the “old days” when “Sister Mary Patrice would do such and such.” Perhaps we should tell them to go see Obama, Pelosi and Biden and get their money from them (Of course a look at their 1040s and you see they all make Scrooge look like a spendthrift). If these people support this monstrosity and it passes, then there will be no people to support them in their old age. The babies – the future – will have been killed in the womb by their political friends.

    In the meantime, they do not need to come to me and ask for help. I will give my alms to those orders who are faithful to the teachings of Christ and stand up to defend innocent human life.

  • Rose Mary Czarnecki

    Thank you, Sisters of Divine Providence (CDP, San Antonio, TX)) for not being on the list of women who have lost their moral compass.

    I have learned through 12 years of schooling how good and compassionate you are. And my three years with you in the convent showed me how devout you are. Thank you.

    My prayers are with you and also for these mislead Nuns.

  • VR

    Nice comments, but marred by the “right wing nut” comment. Who do you define as a right wing nut? Would have read better without the gratuitous name calling.

  • Constance Truth

    God bless those sisters! They are speaking for many of us.

    Seconded!

  • Christine

    Not as many as you are lead to believe. Thank God.

  • Margaret
    God bless those sisters! They are speaking for many of us.

    Seconded!

    Thirded!

  • Sam

    Are the Bishops united in standing with the teachings of the Church? Arch. Burke, who holds the position of head of the highest Vatican court, has stated over and over that Canon Law forbids ‘Catholic’ politicians who publicly promote and support pro abortion legislation from receiving the Eucharist, but if they do present themselves for Holy Communion, they are to be refused. Pope Benedict himself made that clear in a letter to Cardinal McCarrick which McCarrick did not share with his fellow Bishops. Allowing these ‘Catholic’ politicians to go unchecked in their arrogance and defiance of the Church is disheartening and confusing to many, and also blocks a source of conversion for the pro abortion ‘Catholic’ politicians. Why are so many Bishops afraid to take a stand? Why does Rome have to come in to check the healthiness of Religious orders? The Bishops know they are unhealthy and defiant and stand against the teachings of the Church. Pelosi is getting more and more defiant and pushes more and more for abortion rights…and she gets away with it so she, and others like her, as well as Catholics (and non-Catholics) could easily believe that abortion is no big deal. Sure, talk to Pelosi et al, but there has to be a time line…how many, many years will the ‘talk’ go on while millions of babies continue to be slaughtered in the wombs of their mothers. Now we are on the brink of federal funding for abortion…how did we get here? How did Obama get elected? Catholics voted him in, thereby voting for his anti-life policies and those I spoke to said they felt they were given permission by the Bishops!!!! How long will this go on??? By the way, there has been a letter written by Mother Mary Quentin in response to those Nuns and others who support Obama’s pro abortion bill…thank God some have the courage to tell it like it is!!!!

  • Cody

    I love how in this whole debate, with the focus on these Sisters, there is the attempt to show a massive chasm in the Church. There would be this chasm if the Bishops were divided, didn’t vote together or didn’t act with one voice … that clearly hasn’t been the case.

    Cowardly shepherds? I don’t think so. I wish they could be more on top of all of their Religious communities, not just singling out our Sisters … but sometimes it takes higher authorities.

    The Faithful may be divided, but the Church is very solid. Our teaching authority on ethics and morals is unequivocally clear on this bill.

  • Dust

    For those of you in this thread cheering for the heterodox and disobedient nuns Dr. Von Hildebrand’s latest article is required reading. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • ScottSL

    I consider myself anti-abortion, but I find all the self-congratulatory attitudes expressed by readers to be somewhat absurd. If we really believe that abortion is the cold-blooded murder of innocent babies, why aren’t we all in prison for doing everything in our power to stop it? If marauders came down the street demanding our children, wouldn’t the moral law demand that we do everything in our power to stop them? And yet, those who claim so self righteously to be defending the innocent children are not really making the sacrifices that a just God would require in the face of such evil (nor I acknowledge, am I). Instead of attacking the nuns so intently (even questioning the sincerity of their faith) because they support legislation that MIGHT possibly fund abortions, perhaps we need to ask ourselves what we’re doing to stop this practice which so appauls us. Is praying outside a Planned Parenthood office enough? When babies are being murdered? Really? I fear that for some of the readers here the issue of abortion is first and foremost a vehicle to make themselves feel superior.

  • Deirdre

    I am astounded by the bitter tone and condemnation of the Sisters who are asking the US government to help provide healthcare for the most vulnerable among us. Please remember these Sisters are on the front lines every day. They see the destruction and wanton disregard of life caused by our selfish, profit driven society. These are the women who staff hospital emergency rooms and sit by the beds of the untreated dying.
    The whole abortion debate is completely misguided. The truth is that when woman have access to healthcare the number of abortions drop. Our abortion rate is way too high and we should be lining up to ask our government to pass this bill if we respect life. Where there is access to healthcare there are fewer abortions.

    I am astonished at the virulence of these comments and lack of compassion for the sick and needy. Is anybody here a follower of Christ?…would you comment this way to him?

  • Minneapolis

    Three points:

    Seamless Garment is Exactly wat JPII taught and the Catechism teaches. From Womb to Tomb includs Every part of a human life. Hard to think of this as corrosive…

    Not all the “rank and file” of these various orders support what the leadership is doing. Its unfair to assume they support the CHA position

    Excommunicate all these nuns? While I agee many of the orders have fallen into heresy, just gettting rid of of these people from the Church is uncalled for. It also smacks of just wanting to get ride of your poltical oppentents.

  • Brian English

    “Instead of attacking the nuns so intently (even questioning the sincerity of their faith) because they support legislation that MIGHT possibly fund abortions, perhaps we need to ask ourselves what we’re doing to stop this practice which so appauls us. Is praying outside a Planned Parenthood office enough? When babies are being murdered? Really? I fear that for some of the readers here the issue of abortion is first and foremost a vehicle to make themselves feel superior.”

    So let me get this straight, you are defending nuns who support legislation that WILL fund abortions (which is why the Democrats refuse to allow in the Stupak Amendment), yet you are criticizing people who are actually Pro-Life for not engaging in acts of violence to stop abortion?

    You are either a troll or extremely confused.

  • Brian English

    “The whole abortion debate is completely misguided. The truth is that when woman have access to healthcare the number of abortions drop. Our abortion rate is way too high and we should be lining up to ask our government to pass this bill if we respect life. Where there is access to healthcare there are fewer abortions.”

    This is a lie that Professor New has demolished:

    For instance in 1974, Hawaii passed legislation requiring all employers to provide relatively generous health care benefits to any employee who works 20 hours a week or more. Since that time, Hawaii has consistently had one of the lowest rates of uninsured adults in the country. However, according to data from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, Hawaii

  • Brian English

    “I am astonished at the virulence of these comments and lack of compassion for the sick and needy. Is anybody here a follower of Christ?…would you comment this way to him?”

    The more relevant question is, “What will Christ say to these nuns when they come before Him?”

    I highly recommend reading B16’s discussion in his book “Jesus of Nazareth” of the temptation to turn stone into bread. It explains why this healthcare bill, along with much of the agenda of the Social Justice crowd, is not only misguided, but doomed to fail.

  • Maureen

    Ironically, as the slaughter of the NON-PRODUCERS really gets going via euthanasia (one of the main goals of this bill) many of these SISTERS OF THE ANTIGOSPEL will be its first customers.

    This isn’t rocket science.

    Do a search on Ezekiel Emanuel (Rham’s brother). The goal is to cut and ration healthcare once you reach 55.

    OBAMA IS THE LEADER OF THE CULTURE OF DEATH.
    [smiley=evil]

  • DBR

    A reasonable way to look at why the heads of these orders of nuns support this:

    they are quite old,
    they have very few new postulants and novices,
    they never paid into social security.

    Since they are not entitled to social security, this is probably their only chance to have someone take care of them in their last years.

  • SAM

    I doubt that those 59 or so nuns who support passing pro-abortion health care are on the front lines, working in hospitals etc…most of them are too old. Joan Chittister goes about speaking – not working on the front lines – against the teachings of the Church…she reminds me of a female Michael Moore…stupid grin when her audience applauds in her agreement with her anti-Catholic church stance. Shame on her…those nuns that stand against the Church also lied about the number of Nuns who were in agreement with them…and their Orders are dying out because the youth of today want more than a washed down theology…I work with youth and they want an honest challenge…they want a radically different way of life…they want Christ! they want the Church founded by Christ! Some of the Bishops publicly stand against the teachings of the Church by allowing ‘Catholic’ politicians who publicy support and promote abortion to receive the Eucharist. If they stood strong against this I honestly believe that at least some of those pro abortion politicians would really see the horror of what they are doing and would begin to stand for life…as long as there are no consequences, people like Pelosi and Sebelius will get more and more arrogant and defiant. Remember, Sebelius was closely allied with Tiller…the man who bragged about his termination of babies who were fully formed, fully alive…now we will have a health care bill that will give Sebelius power and control over how some of the monies are to be spent…and she is radically pro abortion!!!! There is hope now that Pope Benedict will either publicly re-issue the letter he wrote to Cardinal McCarrick clearly stating that public figures who publicly promote or support abortion should not receive the Eucharist..or that Pope Benedict will publicly issue a new letter…Catholics are being told that since politicians like Sebelius, Pelosi et al are permitted to receive the Eucharist that abortion is not really a prime issue and they can support pro abortion legislation…shame!!!!

  • vincent manning

    Carol Keehan now joins Sebellieus,Kmiec,Diaz,Korzen and Denis McDonough and many others on the list of collaborators with the Obama abortion regime.We recalled in February how Polycarp refused to sacrifice to the emperor and his gods at the cost of his life. What was Keehan’s price? Where do Keehan et al. seperate from Planned Parenthood on this vote? How the state chooses to allow and subsidize the murder of innocents is not the issue anymore-schism is. Who on the list can claim to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome? Who stands for Catholic unity and identity? Has the bishop trustee of CHA resigned ? If not,why not? If our bishops can “play the man”, this could be a defining moment for orthodox Roman Catholics in America.

  • Ted

    Never fear.

    Jesus isn’t weeping. He’s on the move, and He’s dealing with the crisis in our convents and women’s religious orders in His own way and in His own time.

    As the years have gone on, the orders which have followed the new “model” have withered. They are dying on the vine; orders that have remained orthodox (such as the Nashville Dominicans) have to turn away postulants because they don’t have room for them all.

  • Anne


    The infection in the Church has been lanced by the world. Sort of like how many Anglicans are now coming home because of the evil agendas of the liberal wing in their church.

    The schism among believers is now out in the open. It is ugly, isn’t it?

    I’m just hoping for the 5th Marian Dogma and the procession of the statue of Our Lady of America into the Washington Basilica (as the Blessed Mother has asked in this APPROVED apparition). The graces that would pour down are the answer to the Church’s suffering.

  • Mena

    “Just gettting rid of of these people from the Church is uncalled for.”

    Christ and the apostles called for it. They know better than anyone that you have to excommunicate people who are working subversively to undercut the teachings and mission of The Church. You cut them off so that:

    (1) they might acknowledge they have sinned and repent before death
    (2) the Church not be contaminated and weakened by cancerous heresies

    Excommunication is absolutely necessary during times of revolt, and ours is a time of revolt. Let these catholic sisters be protestants for a while. Some will return with repentance; others will face judgment for complicity in the death of innocent babies.

    And may God give us all the grace and courage to obey His commandments and not betray them.

  • Gerry Zipf

    As a fourth grader at St. Patrick’s School in Bay Shore, NY, I entertained the idea of becoming a nun. I had a vivid dream that I have never forgotten and it is only now making sense to me. In the dream I am floating in the bay and Sr. Mary Gerada, my beloved teacher, rescues me in the water…but when she puts her arms around me to save me she is squeezing and squeezing and I become afraid of her… which is strange because she is really a nice nun.

    I have been happily married for many years and have three grown children. I have ever reflected on that dream. I have thought that I was just never meant to have a religious vocation…or look what happened to the convents…maybe it was about that…but these nuns…they must be what I was afraid of!

    I heard that dear Sr. Mary Gerada left the convent, married and had four children. I have at times wondered if she should have broken her vows…maybe she had dreams too!

  • georgie-ann

    EXCOMMUNICATION in these examples–that are “used” publicly in and by the media to confuse the issues in the minds of “observers” about the true meaning and relevance of the dogmas and teachings of the Catholic Church–SHOULD BE APPROPRIATE, and should be applied,…

    these people know fully and exactly what they are doing,…it is purely intentional and starkly rebellious,…

    it is sometimes hard for more normal people to imagine and realize just how far into evil some people have descended, and just how purposefully fixed and immutable this has become as part of their character,…

    “servants of our God?”,…i think decidedly NOT,…

  • sibyl

    We’ve got to all remember our Tolkien: Saruman feels that joining forces with Mordor will be the way to accomplish those lofty goals he’s had. He doesn’t see that Mordor doesn’t keep any faith, but will use him as a tool. And what began as a desire for knowledge and effectiveness turns into a pact with the dark lord.

    This is a dark time. But our Lord has already thrown the ring into the pit. We need to keep the faith, no matter who turns away.

  • John O’Donnell

    For those of us who have been following the goings on in our church for the last 50 years this should come as no surprise.
    We now have an American Catholic Church and a Roman Catholic Church. The governmental takeover of health care has made this split crystal clear. The supporters of the American Catholic
    Church are out in the open for all to see – nuff said.

  • Minneapolis

    These misguided souls should recive less severe punishments than excommuncation. Cuttting people of from the Blood of Christ should be a last measure.

    Then, if they dont repent, the strong medicine of excommunication is a a viable option.

  • Jane
  • coggie

    Dear US Bishops – If 59,000 nuns favor abortion funding – FIRE them. You are either for life or against – on the bus or off it. Those against life should find another line of work, their vocation is broken.

  • Bill Russell

    The Pope did not excommunicate the King of Spain for giving royal assent to the Spanish abortion bill, nor did any Spanish bishop. Nor was Spain put under interdict. So why should we expect more of our bishops, the majority of whose moral formation has rarely been informed by anything other than bureaucracy?

    As for those US religious sisters who have declared virtual schism by their opposition to the bishops on health care: let us remember that they have never opened their financial books to the public. How much property have some of their orders already alienated? Let us be prudent from now on with the the annual collection for their retirement fund. Boycott the general collection mandated by the USCCB and donate selectively only to authentically Catholic religious communities. I for one do not want to contribute to the retirement fund of Sister Carol Keehan. With her $850,000 salary, she can take care of her own.

  • Mark Brumbaugh

    [quote=Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    Catholic Social Teaching without the big words:

    Honor thy father and thy mother.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    How about, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods?

  • Mary H.

    I am astounded by the bitter tone and condemnation of the Sisters who are asking the US government to help provide healthcare for the most vulnerable among us. Please remember these Sisters are on the front lines every day. They see the destruction and wanton disregard of life caused by our selfish, profit driven society. These are the women who staff hospital emergency rooms and sit by the beds of the untreated dying.

    The wanton disregard of life you see will not be helped in any way by a government takeover of the healthcare industry. There is nothing in obama’s rhetoric to indicate that he understands or supports LIFE in his push for this legislation. I submit you will see an increase in death as result of government fiscal decisions.

    I’ve been to several Catholic hospitals for myself & others. I’ve never seen a sister in an ER. In fact, in many Catholic hospitals you’d be hard-pressed to get a priest for Last Rites unless you can convince someone that it’s necessary.

    Don’t be naive. This event is about power: The sisters vs. the bishops. These sisters decided already that they prefer Obama to the Church.

  • Mary

    The Church needs a lot of prayers right now, but it will survive and be made stronger, I believe. With God all things are possible.

  • Richard Graham

    When the nuns say this is the REAL pro-life choice, its because they work with sick people all day every day, and understand what is really happening out there. So we should begin our analysis of this issue under the understanding that we do not.

    Accept this as a victory for the community of God, whose responsibility it is to (and if you listen to Christ, I might say the ONLY responsibility) care for the weak, the poor and the sick. Not to obstruct any effort to do just that, because you are afraid some poor woman may have an abortion to prevent her child from growing up in a callous, uncaring, ungiving, cold society that will leave her and her children on the street to die 2 days after she leaves the hospital.

    To criticize these nuns would be like armchair quarterbacking a game.

    How can you be pro-life, but at the same time take no accountability for what happens to women and children after birth? And don’t say you do, because you can’t. The church does not have the ability to care for the poor anymore, because it no longer has the resources. Its not possible for charities to take on this task, when 1/3 people in this country is poor.

    If you aren’t willing to compromise in politics then stay out of polictics just as Christ said. If you can’t compromise, and give dignity and health to all at the expense of an evil that already exists, then you end up with a dysfunctional government that does nothing.

  • Richard Graham

    Let us not forget that Christ walked, lived, ate and loved sinners because he knew as we should know that it is necessary in order to spread the love of God.

    Forget the technicalities, assume that you don’t understand them, and that what you’ve been told about them only supports someone else’s agenda. Realize that this bill does an unimaginable amount of good, while only accepting an evil that already exists. Just as Christ did.

  • Baby Rose

    THEIR IDOL IS RADICAL FEMINISM;PUTTING THEM ON A FAST TRACK TO BECOMING TARES RATHER THAN WHEAT

  • Pam S.

    “How can you be pro-life, but at the same time take no accountability for what happens to women and children after birth? And don’t say you do, because you can’t. The church does not have the ability to care for the poor anymore, because it no longer has the resources. Its not possible for charities to take on this task, when 1/3 people in this country is poor.” Richard Graham

    Actually, Richard, according to US government records, 39.8 million people are considered at the poverty level. With 300+million people in the US, that’s hardly 1/3 of the population.

  • Richard Graham

    “How can you be pro-life, but at the same time take no accountability for what happens to women and children after birth? And don’t say you do, because you can’t. The church does not have the ability to care for the poor anymore, because it no longer has the resources. Its not possible for charities to take on this task, when 1/3 people in this country is poor.” Richard Graham

    Actually, Richard, according to US government records, 39.8 million people are considered at the poverty level. With 300+million people in the US, that’s hardly 1/3 of the population.

    Thank you for the technical information, but I’m not sure how its relevant. The official definition of poverty is far poorer than any reasonable definition of poor. The official definition of poverty is something like a family living on an annual salary of less than $18,000. However, you and I both know that a family living on a salary two – three times that suffers, and that is far more than 1/10th of the population. But if you like your definition, I think my point is still valid.

    Even if it is 1/10, you also don’t argue against my main point, which is that the Church does not have the means to assist the level of poor in our country — by your definition or mine.

    You also don’t argue that the minute a woman has a baby, her and her baby could be dying under a bridge within hours and not a single voice on this blog would bat an eye lash.

    Nor do you argue the truth that Christ lived everyday among sinners, washed their feet, fed them and taught them directly. He didn’t walk around patting the backs of the righteous.

    The critical voices on this blog sound much like the Pharisees of Christ’d day.

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