The Bishops, Not Stupak, Are The Problem
March 29, 2010
By Cliff Kincaid
Last November we noted that, through the Stupak amendment, the Catholic Bishops guaranteed passage of Obamacare through the House of Representatives. The Bishops put on a big show this time around, saying that they were opposed to the House passing the Senate health care bill without similar Stupak language. In the end, Stupak, a “pro-life Catholic Democrat,” made a deal, once again guaranteeing passage of the bill in the House. It’s difficult to believe the Bishops were not in on it.
This is because, as we also revealed in late January, a personal representative of the Bishops explained during a conference call in favor of health care legislation and “comprehensive immigration reform” that it was all about money. Kevin Appleby, director of the Bishops’ Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, said the Bishops wanted a national health care plan funded by taxpayers to pick up the costs associated with covering the illegal aliens coming to the Catholic hospitals.
It’s impossible to believe, in the final analysis, that Stupak betrayed the Bishops. Catholic Church lobbyists were working hand-in-glove with Stupak from the start.
Even as they were issuing press releases insisting that the bill had to be more pro-life, the Bishops were reiterating that they have been for national health legislation all along and that they wanted to see it changed to cover more immigrants. “Universal coverage should be truly universal,” they said. In other words, they wanted it to be more expansive and expensive. They don’t think Obama and the Democrats went far enough!
In the same letter calling for tougher pro-life language, the Bishops called for “undocumented immigrants” to be allowed to buy health insurance under the federal plan.
Stupak says his deal with Obama over abortion funding, in the form of an Executive Order, reaffirms that the Hyde amendment “could not be circumvented and that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for health plans that cover abortion.” Democrats for Life of America supported the deal.
Pro-life conservatives and Republicans disagree. But the point is that the bill has pro-life cover. One can expect the Bishops, now that the legislation has passed, to officially fall into line as well and start talking about holding Obama’s “feet to the fire” and so on. It will be more pro-life rhetoric. Meanwhile, Catholic hospitals will be wildly feeding at the public trough.
While commentators speculate as to whether Stupak was in favor of health care legislation all along and was always intending to vote for it, the real attention should be on the Bishops. They were playing the double-game, acting as if the legislation had to be toughened-up in order to be more pro-life, while insisting it be expanded to cover more immigrants. They were sounding conservative and liberal at the same time. All along they were active players because, in the end, they wanted to see national health care legislation passed.
On Friday, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, was part of a conference call in opposition to House passage of the Senate bill on pro-life grounds. He was asked about a group of Catholic nuns endorsing the bill and expressed his opinion that they were ignorant about how abortion would be funded on the federal level through the Senate bill. I asked why he or other Catholic Church lobbyists or the Bishops themselves hadn’t educated them about the issue. He had no coherent explanation.
When I asked why the five Catholic lobbyists involved in passing the original Stupak language were not being sent to explain to the nuns why the legislation was deficient, he took issue with the number of church lobbyists that were reported to have been working on Capitol Hill. Whatever the number, the Bishops know how to lobby and make their views known. But they clearly permitted Catholic groups like NETWORK, “a national Catholic social justice lobby,” to support the legislation, even without pro-life language.
“NETWORK congratulations [sic] the U.S. House of Representative for passing the historic healthcare reform legislation,” the group proclaims. “This is a remarkable time in our nation’s history as we finally take concrete steps to bring healthcare to tens of millions of people who have been denied this essential right.”
The conclusion is inescapable that the Bishops were playing both sides of the street, so that, no matter what happened, they could work with the winning side. The Obama executive order gives them cover, too.
The health care debate, with either side citing this or that Catholic group, has proven that the Catholic Church is exercising far too much influence over the national affairs of the United States. If Marxism is coming to America, it has a Catholic imprint.
The Catholic Church is quickly moving ahead to pass a bill to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. It is significant that on Sunday, as national health care legislation was passing the House, the Catholic Bishops were promoting a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to force congressional passage of “comprehensive immigration reform.” The rally was preceded by a Mass in support of immigrants with celebrants Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Wester at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.
The Center for Community Change (CCC), supported by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Open Society Institute of George Soros, organized the demonstration, operating through the front group called “Reform Immigration for America.” The CCC has also been supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the Catholic Bishops. John Carr, the Bishops’ director for justice, peace and human development, once sat on the board of the CCC.
One of the key sponsors of the pro-amnesty rally was the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, an organization established by the Bishops which has received at least $530,000 from the Open Society Institute.
Germonique R. Ulmer, CCC director of media relations, denied this columnist press credentials to cover the rally, saying, “I’ve been informed by trusted sources that you are not a legitimate news gathering operation.”
I went anyway and took a series of photos of the demonstrators and the assorted Marxists who were there passing out their Spanish-language pro-communist literature. The demonstrators carried many different signs, one of them saying, “Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform,” with a reference to “Justice for Immigrants” in smaller letters. The “Justice for Immigrants” project is officially sponsored by the Catholic Bishops.
The Marxist conquest of America is on track, and it is being disguised in Catholic religious garb. The problem isn’t just Stupak; it’s the Catholic Church hierarchy. They were playing conservatives like suckers.