Cardinal George: Sr. Keehan Chose Obama Over Catholic Bishops
From Catholic News Agency:
St. Petersburg, Fla., Jun 16, 2010 / 02:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sister Carol Keehan, CEO and President of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) openly acted in favor of President Obama’s health care reform and in opposition to persistent requests from the bishops, said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), during their spring meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida.(emphasis added)
During the bishops' executive session held Tuesday morning to address the fallout of CHA’s support for the health care legislation despite the bishop's opposition, Cardinal George recounted the events that took place prior to President Obama's signing of the health care reform. The prelate then concluded his remarks by criticizing CHA and Sr. Keehan, saying they have created the dangerous precedent of a parallel magisterium to the bishops.
According to the Archbishop of Chicago, when the Stupak Amendment was defeated in the Senate in December 2009, “everything went south.”
That is when “the Catholic Health Association and other so-called Catholic groups provided cover for those on the fence to support Obama and the administration.”
Cardinal George clearly remarked that “Sr. Carol and her colleagues are to blame” for the passage of the health care bill. He continued by revealing that the bishops repeatedly tried to reach out to Sr. Keehan both before and after the vote. “I personally met with her in March to no avail,” the cardinal reported.
The president of the USCCB reiterated the bishop's fundamental opposition to the health care reform. “The bill which was passed is fundamentally flawed. The Executive Order is meaningless. Sr. Carol is mistaken in thinking that this is pro-life legislation,” Cardinal George emphatically said.
The cardinal also expressed disappointment with CHA “and other co-called Catholic groups” because, “in the end, they have weakened the moral voice of the bishops in the U.S.”
In that regard, Cardinal George highlighted that the USCCB and CHA’s positions on Obama’s health care are not just “two equally valid conclusions inspired in the same Catholic teaching,” and reiterated that what the bishops said on May 21 in their statement “Setting the record Straight” is and will remain the official position of the USCCB on the contentious issue.
The document, presented by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice, Peace and Human Development, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Immigration, says: "As Bishops, we disagree that the divergence between the Catholic Conference and Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Health Association, represents merely a difference of analysis or strategy (Catholic Health World, April 15, 2010, “Now That Reform Has Passed”). Rather, for whatever good will was intended, it represented a fundamental disagreement, not just with our staff as some maintain, but with the Bishops themselves.
“As such it has resulted in confusion and a wound to Catholic unity.”
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
American Papist: Obama an Enemy to Catholic Unity
The Catholic Health Association and the Future of Catholic Unity
Sister Carol Keehan Misrepresents Her Support of the Health Care Bill
The Bishops Strike Back Against Dissenting Women Religious [UPDATED]
Bishop Tells Pro-Life Democrat: Nuns Can’t Absolve ObamaCare Vote
Bishop Morlino: “Speaker Pelosi is Not Called by Jesus Christ to Lead the Catholic Faithful”
Sister Carol Disinvited from D.C.-Based John Carroll Society Speaking Gig
Establishing the "Alternative Magisterium"
The Smear, Part 2: Stupak Attacks Catholic Bishops
Archbishop Chaput: A Bad Bill and How We Got It
Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill
Catholic Obama Supporters More Interested in Providing Cover Than Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire
Catholic Nuns Urge Passage of Obama's Health Bill
Obama's Catholic Strategy: Divide and Conquer
Newsweek: Obama More Catholic Than the Pope
Pope Hope I (a.k.a. "The Great")
Pope Greets "Hope"?
Of "Neo-Caths" and "Sharia Catholicism"
Notre Dame's President Jenkins: "We Are Tremendously Proud" to be Acting in Defiance of the US Catholic Bishops