Michael Gaynor
Speaker Pelosi trumped USCCB on Catholic theology among Congress's "Catholics"
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By Michael Gaynor
March 29, 2010

Archbishop Dolan is not a lawyer or a Congressman, so his ignorance of United States law is understandable. But any Congressperson, especially a lawyer Congressperson like Stupak, should know that the Executive Order is not even as useful as a transparent fig leaf. Message to Archbishop Dolan and the Catholic News Agency: The Executive Order scheme was WORSE than nothing, because the Executive Order is trumped by the Obamacare law and by agreeing to the scheme and voting for Obamacare, the Stupak bloc allowed Speaker Pelosi to protect other Democrats by letting them vote no (assuming that she really had their votes). Even if the Executive Order was irrevocable (instead of immediately revocable), upon request, a judge will declare that the President cannot by executive order overrule actual law. That will be great for Obama. He will get the pro-abortion result through the court and appear to be a fan of checks and balances and faithful to the Constitution...and Obamacare will still be the law (no re-vote because the deal turned out to be illusory).

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has to be embarrassed. (Humiliated may be a better word.) Many more "Catholics" in Congress heed Speaker Pelosi than the USCCB on what a faithful Catholic should and should not do.

The USCCB unambiguously urged the House of Representatives to fix flaws in the Obamacare bill or vote against its passage in a March 20 letter to House members.

The letter emphatically concluded: "With deep regret, but clear in our moral judgment, we are compelled to continue to urge House members to oppose the Senate bill unless these fundamental flaws are remedied. At this critical moment, we urge Representatives to take the steps necessary to ensure that health care reform respects the life and dignity of all, from conception to natural death."

The letter explained clearly that the Senate bill threatened instead of protected life and conscience:

"The Senate bill extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions (for example, through a new appropriation for services at Community Health Centers that bypasses the Hyde amendment), and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions. Needed health care reform must keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy that neither elective abortion nor plans which include elective abortion can be paid for with federal funds. Simply put, health care reform ought to continue to apply both parts of the Hyde amendment, no more and no less. The House adopted this policy by a large bipartisan majority, establishing the same protections that govern Medicaid, SCHIP, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and other federal health programs.

"Despite claims to the contrary, the status quo prohibits the federal government from funding or facilitating plans that include elective abortion. The Senate bill clearly violates this prohibition by providing subsidies to purchase such plans. The House bill provided that no one has to pay for other people's abortions, while this Senate bill does not. While the Senate provides for one plan without abortion coverage in each exchange, those who select another plan in an exchange to better meet the special needs of their families will be required to pay a separate mandatory abortion fee into a fund exclusively for abortions. This new federal requirement is a far more direct imposition on the consciences of those who do not wish to pay for the destruction of unborn human life than anything currently in federal law.

"It is not those who require that the Hyde Amendment be fully applied who are obstructing reform, since this is the law of the land and the will of the American people. Rather, those who insist on expanding federal participation in abortion, require people to pay for other people's abortions, and refuse to incorporate essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context) are threatening genuine reform. With conscience protection as with abortion funding, our goal is simply to preserve the status quo."

At crunch time, however, President Obama, the most pro-abortion president in American history, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a heretic posing as a Catholic and sowing confusion, prevailed, because Catholics in Congress overwhelmingly sided with them instead of the USCCB and the USCCB shares blame for that.

Obama never claimed to be a Catholic, but Pelosi does.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado: "...If the defective Senate version of health care reform pushed by congressional leaders passes into law against the will of the American people and burdened by serious moral problems in its content we'll have 'Catholic' voices partly to thank for it. And to hold responsible."

It's worse than that. Catholic voters were decisive.

Fact: If none of the United States Senators and Representatives who identify themselves as Roman Catholics had voted, Obamacare would not have been passed.

About two-thirds of Catholics in Congress voted for Obamacare.

The Catholic Health Association and 55 nuns gave their personal blessings to Obamacare, even though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed it. Apparently they heed the theology of Speaker Pelosi.

That gave political cover to "Catholics" who voted for Obamacare.

So did the Executive Order ploy that served as a tiny fig leaf for once pro-life Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan.

On March 24, 2010, Cattholic News Agency reported: "Stupak revealed in the wake of the negotiations that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had the votes to pass the bill without his bloc's support, and that the executive order was the best pro-lifers could do"(www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=35946).

At the fifth annual Divine Mercy Conference on March 27, 2010. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York took satisfaction that America's most pro-abortion President had signed the Executive Order promised to Stupak for his support while noting that an Executive Order is not as good as a law.

Archbishop Dolan is not a lawyer or a Congressman, so his ignorance of United States law is understandable. But any Congressperson, especially a lawyer Congressperson like Stupak, should know that the Executive Order is not even as useful as a transparent fig leaf. Message to Archbishop Dolan and the Catholic News Agency: The Executive Order scheme was WORSE than nothing, because the Executive Order is trumped by the Obamacare law and by agreeing to the scheme and voting for Obamacare, the Stupak bloc allowed Speaker Pelosi to protect other Democrats by letting them vote no (assuming that she really had their votes). Even if the Executive Order wasrrevocable (instead of immediately revocable), upon request, a judge will declare that the President cannot by executive order overrule actual law. That will be great for Obama. He will get the pro-abortion result through the court and appear to be a fan of checks and balances and faithful to the Constitution...and Obamacare will still be the law (no re-vote because the deal turned out to be illusory).

Jennifer Hartline, "Pelosi Misleads and Deceives: St. Joseph Would Not Approve" (March 20, 2010) (www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=35868):

"The headlines this past week have talked about a 'Holy War' going on within the Church between those who want the health care bill rejected and those who want it passed. The bishops have made strong and clear statements about the 'fatally flawed' nature of the Senate bill and said in explicit terms that the bill must be rejected by all faithful Catholics.

"Sadly, their statements were answered by several groups of so-called Catholics who flat out defy the wisdom and leadership of the Church and insist that the only right thing to do is pass the bill. Included in this defiant group were nuns from a small number of religious orders who published a letter stating their opposition to the Bishops and their support of Obama's plan.

"This isn't simply a ping-pong game between two equally worthy opponents. This isn't a back-and-forth debate between two equally morally sound arguments. This is a manifestation of the spiritual battle between truth and lies. There is a right and a wrong here, and the distinction isn't murky.

"The Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death, period. One cannot support the mythical 'right' to abortion and claim to be a faithful Catholic. One cannot tolerate legislation that uses federal dollars to pay for the execution of the unborn and claim to be a faithful Catholic.

"Whatever other good this legislation may produce will come with innocent blood on it. The ends do not justify the means. On this point, there is no wiggle room; no freedom to 'agree to disagree.' Humility and obedience ask each of us to heed the instruction of our Bishops on matters of such grave moral importance, not arrogantly and defiantly dismiss them outright.

"Chief among those who call themselves Catholic while openly defying the Bishops and the Church is Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has spent her political career lobbying and voting for abortion 'rights' in utter disregard and contempt for the Church's teachings, all the while claiming to be a faithful Catholic. She manipulatively trots out her Catholic faith for press conferences and interviews, enjoying the glowing support of other so-called Catholic groups, publications, and politicians who defy the Church as openly as she does while they profess how precious their faith is to them.

"She wears her Catholic upbringing lovingly around her neck like a trophy charm and then publicly distorts, misrepresents or just plain ignores Church teaching when it suits her purpose. In doing so, she causes scandal after scandal as she confuses the American public and even the faithful about the Catholic Church. She holds herself up as an example of a 'modern' Catholic woman and uses her status as a Catholic to give false cover to her immoral and anti-Catholic pursuits.

"She is not a faithful Catholic; she is a scandalous dissident...."

Speaker Pelosi should have been stopped from pretending to be a faithful Catholic in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church long ago.

In 2004, I wrote: "Despite authoritative Vatican opposition to the receipt of Holy Communion by persons professing to be both Catholics in a state of grace and abortion supporters, ardent pro-abortion 'Catholics' like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi 'fully intend to receive communion, one way or another.' Ms. Pelosi said that receiving Holy Communion is 'very important' to her. That makes good sense politically, since a Catholic who presents herself or himself for Communion thereby represents that she or he is in a state of grace and being in a state of grace (or at least appearing to be) is still a political plus."

Alas, Minority Leader Pelosi wasn't declared to have excommunicated herself, became Speaker Pelosi, and pushed through Obamacare thanks to other unfaithful Catholics like herself.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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