Bishops To "Resist Culture Of Coercion"

WaTi: Bishops warn Obama about abortion issue. Can't find the actual statement yet (ah, I see it's being finalized and will be released later in the week) but it's charactarized thus:

The five-paragraph statement, which was debated at length during an afternoon session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual meeting, said the 223 bishops present were "completely united and resolute in our teaching and defense of the unborn child from the moment of conception."

Several bishops said church leaders must be prepared to suffer for their beliefs.

Remember how I said this means war? The bishops see it.

FOCA denies freedom of conscience, so Catholic hospitals would have to close.

The statement singled out the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) for criticism, saying it would "reduce religious freedom, and the Church must work against its passage."

If passed by Congress, FOCA would nullify all state laws limiting abortion. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to sign FOCA into law.

Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki said FOCA would have a "significant and adverse effect" and that bishops "need to be prepared in the face of increasingly militant threats to unborn life."

"The next step would be for federal law to require abortions by all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, which we cannot do," he said. "We'd need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our Catholic hospitals completely."

So that means the bishops, seeing the writing on the wall with FOCA, are aiming narrowly: at least protecting freedom of conscience.

Joe Biden's bishop is having none of him:Referring to Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Scranton native, Bishop Martino said, "I cannot have the vice president-elect coming to Scranton, saying he learned his values there, when those values are utterly opposed to the teachings of the Catholic church."

And they cut off funding to ACORN. They should end the Campaign for Human Development altogether, as Fr. Neuhaus argues, but it's a start.

What most Catholics don’t know, and what would likely astonish them, is that CHD very explicitly does not fund Catholic institutions and apostolates that work with the poor. Part of the thinking when it was established in the ideological climate of the 1960s is that Catholic concern for the poor would not be perceived as credible if CHD funded Catholic organizations. Yes, that’s bizarre, but the history of CHD is bizarre. The bishops could really help poor people by promptly shutting down CHD and giving any remaining funds to, for instance, Catholic inner-city schools. In any event, if there is a collection at your parish this month, I suggest that you can return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation.