Lifeluber Pete Subkoviak on HuffPo -
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, until recently under the leadership of Chicago's own Cardinal Francis George, officially opposes health care reform (Merry Christmas, the poor and forgotten of America). This, my friends, is crazy.
They don't oppose the legislation because it fails to cover all Americans, or because it specifically excludes legal and illegal immigrants, most of whom are Catholic. Their reasoning is that of course, some how, some way, abortions might be paid for by the federal government; this despite the fact that the legislation and a related executive order signed by President Obama maintain federal prohibitions on funding abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life -- restrictions that have been in place since 1976.
Like so many of my generation, I'm a lapsed Catholic, and every so often the actions of the Church remind me why I cannot in good conscience support an institution that is prioritizes the facade of piety over the well-being of its followers. The systematic cloaking of child abuse is a most egregious example, but opposing the expansion of health care for poor Catholics is pretty darn harmful too. I have to say that in my experience the people of the Catholic faith are wonderfully good, but the bishops, cardinals and Vatican rarely lift a finger for their followers.