AP rehashes old news to help Obamacare -UPDATE

Likely Members of the LCWR

The AP headline reads: Catholic nuns urge passage of Obama’s health bill:

Some 60 leaders of religious orders representing 59,000 Catholic nuns Wednesday sent lawmakers a letter urging them to pass the Senate health care bill. It contains restrictions on abortion funding that the bishops say don’t go far enough.

The letter says that “despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions.” The letter says the legislation also will help support pregnant women and “this is the real pro-life stance.”

What the AP is leaving out, Jammie Wearing Fool reveals:

This is a lie, of course, not to mention three month old “news” . . .I guess a rehash from late December is all part of the AP’s advocacy journalism effort on behalf of their bosses in the Democratic Party. Then, as now, Catholic bishops hit back hard.

JWF is quite right that this is old news. If the sisters have reissued their inaccurate letter, the media is rehashing the story as a means of minimizing the recent statement from the Catholic Bishops, that they could not and would not support the HCR bill as it is written. The Bishops took much too long to say it, but in finally doing so, they have been forceful and unambiguous.

Obamacare – like much of Barack Obama’s agenda – depends upon ambiguity and confusion in order to thrive, and so this story has been hauled out as a means of muddying the waters.

The sisters (not nuns) who signed this endorsement are part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). While they do represent some 59,000 sisters in the US, that should not be taken representative of the feelings of all those sisters. Just as the Firefighters Unions regularly endorse Democrats while the firefighters themselves tend to vote more conservatively, not all of the sisters whose leadership belongs to the LCWR will endorse or agree with this December/March statement.

I wrote a little about the LCWR here, from which I invite you to draw your own conclusions.

These religious are basically what is left of the leftist sisters – the mostly boomer sisters who have issues with the authority of the hierarchy and have come to rather delight in sticking their fingers into the eyes of Catholic orthodoxy. I would never recommend anyone casually passing judgment on their overall faithfulness; that would probably be unwise and uncharitable, too. But I do not think it is inaccurate or uncharitable to suggest that some of these sisters “self-actualized” in 1972, and have decided to stay right there, in that heady chapter, as the narrative has moved on.

Most of the orders these women are attached to are dying out because young Catholics are not attracted to their way.

I know some are up in arms over this story; I had one exceedingly uncharitable poster go so far over the line that I had to ban her, and I rarely do that. Do not be alarmed, and do not allow these inveterate objectors to color your opinion of all religious.

Do they “give scandal” by this letter? Yes, they do. As I’ve said before:

We all make mistakes; we all try, we fail; sometimes we really blow it and disgrace ourselves and our creed and thereby give scandal to the Body of Christ. I know more than a little about that. But we must get up and keep trying – keep trying to see each other within that Body, first and foremost – with ideologies shoved somewhere behind us.

Unfortunately, all of us, no matter our faith or piety, still bring our faulty selves into our faith.

And we’re all “useful idiots’ about some things, at some time or another. Sigh.

UPDATE: And here is what other sisters are saying.

Two Speeches
These Are the Good Old Days
Is Obama the Ultimate Stranger?
See what I mean? Chaos and confusion are Obama’s friends

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  • http://twitter.com/kevinjjones Kevin J Jones

    This was an old story? The White House Press Secretary (@PressSec) twittered the latest AP story as an “IMPORTANT HEALTH CARE ENDORSEMENT.”

    [Yes, well, desperation ...-admin]

  • Greta

    Until church leadership gains a backbone and starts to use excommunication effectively we will have catholics like these who are in fact dissenters within with a goal of tearing down the church as Obama is in tearing down the USA. Both these so called catholics and Barry both hate the organization they profess as their own.

  • Pingback: If you are wondering why the vatican is investigating nuns… « DaTechguy's Blog

  • Elaine S.

    Actually, this is NOT old news because the following press release, with updated references to the current bill, was issued yesterday by the “Catholic social justice” organization Network:


    It’s likely that most or all of the text is rehashed from the December letter, but the fact that the press release was dated YESTERDAY and has an intro referencing the current situation would make it appear to any secular journalist (I used to be one myself, by the way) that it is indeed a new development. So, maybe we shouldn’t blame AP — it appears to be Network that recycled the “old news.”

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    Thank goodness we have you to bring clarity to the mess, dear Anchoress. What would we do without you?

    Live a life less rich, that’s what! God bless and be well! Personally, I have a slight hangover from yesterday’s festivities. It isn’t only the Irish who shouldn’t drink so much – it’s the Hungarians as well!

  • Doc

    This is another example why our bishops should stop lumping Left wing “social justice” issues in with their statements condemning attacks against Life. When “immigration” and welfare and capital punshment are discussed in the same context as abortion, the door opens wide for those who wish to confuse the faithful with moral relativism.

    If American bishops hammered on abortion with the passion it deserves, no politician would be able to hide behind news releases like this one.

    The Democrats will never abandon abortion until Catholics abandon the Democrat Party specifically because of their abortion support.

    3 election cycles is all it would take. Exit polls indicating that Catholics avoided Democrats at the same rate that blacks or jews support Democrats would kill abortion support in this country.

  • dymphna

    All we need is one bishop to say, “Ladies get out of my diocese. Next we need people in the pews to say “No, I don’t give to that order.”

  • http://ConvertJournal.com George @ ConvertJournal

    Thank you for bringing a calm perspective to this. It is easy to get wound-up by this story – I know I do. You make a lot of great points that should be remembered.

  • DaveW

    The Gospel reading for this Sunday is the ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ story. At least it is if your parish isn’t doing the scrutinies for any elect coming in this Easter which would put you in cycle-A.

    It has become a favorite lesson for me, growing more significant over time since I entered the church. I knew about 3 years ago I was going to convert to Catholicism and pretty quickly figured out I’d have to change some of my behaviors. To my surprise that was *way* more difficult than I thought it would be. As a result I have become a good deal more tolerant of other’s foibles. Or at least I think I have.

    So while I tend to view this the way Greta does above I try to be patient and understanding with folks like these sisters. I try to view what they’re doing in the most favorable light possible.

    Unfortunately I’m coming up short. The problem I have with what they’re doing goes beyond the simple fact that this health care reform will indeed fund abortion on demand. My problem with what they’re doing is that they’re lying about that fact. I don’t for a minute believe they don’t know how the bill treats abortion and hiding behind the way the money will be laundered through insurance companies to fund the practice is flatly dishonest.

    I understand the idea that health care should be available to everyone. Anyone that has been paying attention knows this so-called reform does little to accomplish that goal and in fact is going to result in health care being denied to elderly patients on an arbitrary basis. I’ve come to view the pro-Obamacare position as profoundly evil, though it may be misguided and unintentional.

    One thing that has surprised me quite a bit since becoming Catholic is how many people do not get the fundamental point that as a Catholic you accept the teaching and leadership of the church. Period, full stop, end of paragraph.

  • Rene

    Perhaps what we see here, in addition to the 2002 homosexual abuse scandal in the US and currently in Europe, is God’s chastisement for the Spirit of Vatican II (not the Council of Vatican II) having almost taken over the Catholic Church in the West. The spirit of dissent was not nipped out in the bud and is now out of control. Let’s pray for Benedict XVI that he may be able to clean the filth that has entered into Christ’s Church.

  • http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/ Ed Mechmann

    Not all religious sisters are betraying the Church on health care. The Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious (the group representing over 100 traditional and loyal communities) has issued a statement in support of the bishops and rejecting the position of the LCWR and the Catholic Health Association: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=824.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I was ticked off at every nun in America when I read that AP story – now that I’ve read your post about it, I’ve cooled down. What with being “phished” and all, I’m in a foul and rather “iffy” mood today anyway – what with a 51 mile commute and all! To get to WORK. But then, I must remember that I am indeed fortunate to even HAVE work!

    Thank you God and may you shine your light upon everyone who is not as fortunate as Gayle!

  • AvantiBev

    Actually, Anchoress, these leftist nuns are older than most of us Boomers or at most, represent the first 5 years of the Baby Boom. I was born in ’55 and most of my friends and I are much more conservative than the nuns who taught us. Those were the Katholic kumbaya krowd that gave enthusiastic support to LBJ and his Great Society and all sorts of social experimentation. [How's that working out for you, Black America? Who needs a bunch of fathers hanging around the kids, huh?] They were young adults of 20 to 30 in the mid sixties while I was still in grade school.

    The Vat II nuns and priests who insisted on cinnamon bread hosts, tamborine solos in the choir loft and making janitor closets of confessionals tend to be much older than my 54 years (aka the “prime of life” *lol*). Politically and liturgically I am usually never in agreement with the 65 to 75 year old crowd. They tend to think communism/socialism needs to be given yet another chance. Not a lot of subsidiarity in their solutions.

  • Mutnodjmet

    Thank you, Anchoress, for this timely post. My beloved husband was questioning why, with all the funding and issues related to abortion in the proposals, the “nuns” would be keen to support this matter. He was quite vigorous in the questioning.

    I am no theologian, so I could hardly answer properly. Your post today eloquently addressed his many concerns. Thanks so much for your guidance.

  • Pingback: » Financial News Update – 03/18/10 NoisyRoom.net: There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt. John Adams

  • AvantiBev

    There are constitutional reasons to oppose the over reach of this monstrous bill outside of its abortion friendliness.

    This is not just about infanticide of the unborn babies; this is about the further
    infantilization of we already born adults.

    Amend McCarren-Ferguson Act and let
    us CHOOSE insurance packages across state lines and end the crazy quilt of states’ mandating coverage for aromatherapy to viagra. That’s my kind of pro-choice.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    If this bill passes, those who oppose abortion will have the added indignity of having to pay for it. And abortion rates WILL rise since the women getting them won’t be paying.

    What these nuns are thinking is beyond me.

  • Pingback: Journeys of a Catholic Poster Girl » What the Bishops are saying about health care

  • http://www.erud-awakening.blogspot.com Gina

    Why not call it what it is? Corrupt journalism, and not just advocacy journalism.

  • Elaine S.

    Another interesting development:

    In a case that was being watched by Catholic and non-profit hospitals around the nation, the Illinois Supreme Court today denied property tax exemption to a Catholic hospital on several grounds, including that the hospital wasn’t doing enough charity care and was basically operating just like any other business:


    I am really of two minds about this decision. On the one hand, it could be construed as yet another attempt to drive Catholic hospitals out of business and force everyone to depend on the government for their health care.

    On the other hand — in light of the Catholic Health Assocation’s embrace of Obamacare and the scandal they have caused, I can’t help but feel like they had it coming. If Catholic hospitals think government paid healthcare is so wonderful, it’s only right they should have to help pay for it. If they want to be treated like any other business, then let them pay taxes like any other business.

  • Pingback: Nun Too Supportive — By: Kathryn Jean Lopez | News Reviews

  • Pingback: Catholic News Headlines Mar. 18, 2010 « Catholic News

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    A few weeks ago Bishop Robert Vasa revoke an Oregon hospital’s privilege to call itself “Catholic.”

    I suspect that it is time for the bishops as a whole to rule that the Catholic Health Association, led by Sr. Carol Keehan, who draws an annual salary of over $850,000, can no longer call itself “Catholic.”

  • SKAY

    Thanks so much for this post Anchoress. My daughter asked me about the “endorsement” of Obamacare by the nuns — now I have the answer for her.

    This is an awful bill in so many ways. I am calling Congressmen/women that are on the fence -encouraging them to vote no– and thankng those who are voting no.
    That includes my Republican Congressman who is also a physician and understands it well.

  • CathyB

    Anchoress: I agree with most all of your commenters but Dave has so nailed it! Don’t you think it is awesome (and humbling) the way converts to our Faith are, more often than not, so amazing in their understanding?

    I think what this group (progressive nuns or whatever they call themselves!) has done is truly scandalous.

    Dave has it exactly right regarding this Bill.

  • Pingback: The Anchoress | A First Things Blog