Cardinal Martino applauds universal health care initiative

Cardinal Renato Martino

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, speaks at a press conference Dec. 11, 2008. (CNS photo/Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican hasn’t weighed in very much yet concerning the fierce debate in the United States over health care reform. Some of the opposition in the U.S. centers around whether the government should have such a dominant role in providing affordable coverage for all Americans.

Cardinal Renato Martino, who is head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, lived in the United States for 16 years when he served the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations from 1986-2002.

When I interviewed the cardinal today at the end of a Vatican press conference, I asked him what he thought of the current health care debate in the U.S. and whether the government should be offering universal coverage or if it should just be left up to private businesses. Here’s what he said:

The health of their own citizens belongs to the authorities, to the central government. And so I have been 16 years in the States and I was wondering why a big portion of the American people is deprived, have no health assistance at all. I could never explain this…

And you know that everywhere in the world it is a concern of the government first of all, and after there are possibilities also on the private sector, but those who are without anything… the central government must provide to that. So I cannot but applaud this initiative.

60 Responses

  1. Amen! We need more guidance like this in our country. The divisions among Catholics have been allowed to go unchecked for way too long. This is such a critical time. Where are our bishops with CORRECT teaching?

  2. Do you think this bent a few noses??? I hope so!!!!!

  3. It’s about time!!! Provided there is NO provision for abortion, ALL Catholics should be for quality universal health care…we have tried the alternative for years and it keeps excluding people for pre-exisiting conditions and increasing costs. Tort reform is also needed.

  4. With due respect, Cardinal Martino, does 16 years in this Country make you an expert on our government.? There are other ways to make our
    healthcare better, without adding to the debt that our
    children and grandchildren can never pay off. Tort
    reform is not being looked at and fixing the problems
    with Medicare and Medicaid as well as Social Security. The number of uninsured has been exagerated by
    our government – healthy young people should be
    paying for their own insurance. If these policies pass,
    all charities and the poor will suffer (citizens will no longer be able to give) – plus the elderly, who will end up with rationed healthcare, just like in european countries (UK, Ireland, just to mention two.) I’ve lived in both places and I have traveled extensively in Europe. I grew up poor in America – but I worked my way to lower middle class. A free pass only leads to continued poverty. I’m not an economist but I am a senior and have had many years to see that loads of people come from all over the world to get our healthcare – healthcare reform we need – the current plans in their written state – are not the answer.
    Citizens I know are concerned about the poor and people that are sick – but you must allow people to help themselves, otherwise you have a society of people living on handouts without any responsiblity for themselves. Without a distinct bill with languageto ban payment of abortion procedures, can
    we trust the congress to not cover them?

  5. Cardinal Martino speaks for me. Some of the uninsured can afford health insurance, but many cannot. Many file for bankrupcy due to health costs that insurance companies will not cover or that occur after they lose their health insurance. Unemployed and under-employed people cannot afford the costs. The profits of health insurance companies continue to rise. An existing condition is often not covered by health insurance.

  6. What did Cardinal Martino have to say about abortion coverage? The bill as stands would effectively bypass the Hyde Amendment, which must be renewed every year, and thus provide federal funding for abortion.

    And of course Cardinal Martino supports anything that would allow for a more centralized government. He’s European, and that’s how their system works. The trouble is, to cope with the greater taxes, standards were lowered and rationing exists. No thanks. As Christians, we as individuals and churches need to share what we have to help our fellow man.

  7. When trillions of dollars went to the wholesale slaughter of war no one ever heard a right to life rep complain about that .

    Nobody believes those who fail to put their money where their mouth is . Who can believe a political party so two-faced ?

    It appears only pre-born human persons matter to this faction . They jumped on this band wagon looking for votes .

    If we still are a government of , by , and for the people then the health plan is by us .

    As to Social Security we all pay into it and it’s one’s own money saved for the rainy day of old age or disability or dependents of a deceased contributor .

    Many citizens see through the smoke screen of rightist philosophy by the light Cardinal Martino named : Justice … and justice for all people .

  8. The Vatican should keep to things spiritual and mind its business elsewhere.

  9. As the bread winner of a young American Catholic family of nine children, I am scandalized by Cardindal Martino’s alleged statements. If he said them, he is way outside of his lane. Is he the same Cardinal Martino who was a papal hopeful after JPII died who dissents from Church teachings regarding human sexuality? Regardless, the worst thing for the poor is a government run health plan that will ultimately destroy its competitors via governmental controls, provide horrifically slow and drastically reduced care, absolutely will pay for abortions, euthanasia, etc. Let alone the devasting effects government health care will have on the economy & jobs. Socialism is incompatible with Catholicism according to at least two popes. God save us from such leadership as that of Cardinal Martino. It is no wonder the Church is in such turmoil at this time.

  10. Yet another Vatican prelate who is completely clueless. Shocker! After all these are the same people that brought us the novus ordo!

    I’m even less surprised by the comments left here. Mainstream Catholics, left without shepherds and abandoned to the wolves, strayed from so much of their faith a long time ago that most can’t even recognize it any more.

  11. This is another example of the world according to Robin Hood. The Church teaches, with Divine authority, that we must give of our possessions and talent until it hurts – and then some. What it does NOT teach, and what Christ NEVER taught, is that we have to give of someone ELSE’s possessions until it hurts them. And that is exactly what all of these governmental interventions do. The money to pay for this program comes from somewhere – like the backs of hard-working middle class families and small businesses with less than 20 employees.

    And with all due respect to Aloysia Moss, there were MANY pro-life people and leaders who opposed both the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war – like myself. Also, so you are aware, the Social Security system does NOT work that way. You pay for someone else’s retirement in the hopes that there will be enough people around when it’s your time to retire that you can collect on it. Social Security is structured EXACTLY the same way that Madoff’s ponzi scheme was built – the only difference is that Social Security has a government that says it’s legal.

  12. The Holy Fathers have often specified that the church, and sometimes just individuals, do not have the competency to speak on a certain subject matter. In this instance Martino is clearly speaking on a personal level, as a member of the hierarchy I don’t think he has the competency to speak to this matter under these circumstances.

    It’s unfortunate that an experienced diplomat would do such a thing, as it will result in certain confusion and could likely help foment evil consequences.

  13. All that was written regarding the relationship of the state and the Church vis a vis service to the people was written for non-secular states! In Vatican II, while there were still Catholic states, this very important principle was abandoned (Nostra aetate), and this is surely one of the issues on the table between the Vatican and SSPX (possibly one of only two; the district superior said ecumenism was the most critical isue of all and all differences could be traced to this departure from tradition, but clearly the problem of the relation of Church to state is one other thorny patch).

    A secular government’s principles are up for grabs, up for the next vote, and this government in particular proves again and again that it is deficit in understanding the sacral nature of human life.

    Yesterday in McDonald’s I shared a table with an elderly African American man who told me quite seriously, ‘The government will be coming for the old people, you know that, don’t you? But maybe Barack can stop them!’

    So he’s put together the numbers of the economic crisis facing us–but he didn’t know, he said, when I told him, that Barack was for abortion. He didn’t know that Barack was the only guy to twice vote against giving so much as a pain shot to a baby surviving an abortion and lying alive and suffering on the table. He doesn’t know that Barack is perfectly willing to view abortion as simply a great solution to the ‘problem’ of an ‘unplanned pregnancy.’ When the problem is supporting our elderly population, a similar solution must come to mind to those willing to re-define life. It already entered the mind of a rheumy-eyed eighty-four-year old. It’s instinctive.

    We Americans are raised to knee-jerk acquiesce to the separation of Church and state. Not so. The two entities must be in agreement, for a society that works. We are seeing the result of our famous American experiment in the separation of church and state, the one that influenced the Council so heaviy via John Courtney Murrey–I’m not checking the name, I think that’s it. We are living the result now. We are paralyzed. We desperately need health care–and we desperately must not get it and will not get it. Non-Catholics and Catholics alike sense that someone who has no moral moorings other than winning the next election cannot be trusted with power over health-care. No matter how wonderfully cheaper it would be, that kind of power cannot be given to a secular state but most especially not to this secular state. Thus the town hall meetings.

    If you are interested in Church teaching prior to the Council and an examination of the Council’s new teaching, the actual wording, get a copy of ‘They Have Uncrowned Him’–Lefebvre’s.

  14. The universal coverage of health will lead to the same disaster that is the UK, Canada, and French systems.

    Of course, if the Cardinal is satisfied with the Government saying no to Granny or Grandpa or to the unborn then the present proposal is fine.

    Seems to me that the Cardinal’s statement that the health of the citizen belongs to the Government completely destroys subsidiarity. A person’s health is the most precious commodity we have. To hand that to the Government is simply a mild form of justifying the gas chambers used in WWII. A Government with complete control will be handing out end of life pills and we the citizens will simply have to take then. Is that really what the Cardinal wants? I hope not.

  15. Cardinal Martino is simply showing himself as a socialist/statist and a liberal. Now that the wolf has revealed his true identity I hope the Vatican quickly removes this man from his office.

    I will be so happy when the last of these Vatican II morons goes on to his eternal reward.

  16. Cardinal Martino has the privelege to express his own opinion but in the US, the health of it’s citizens or for that matter, anything else that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution, does not “belong to the central government”. Provisions for the necessities of life for it’s poor and vulnerable citizens are available in this country and health care is no exception but safety nets are not to be construed as a normal way of life. Socialism is a fine system in Monastic and religious communities that operate on a voluntary basis but the system has been proven absolutely ineffective in a secular state.

  17. Looks like the Vatican has its very own Jimmy Carter. The Cardinal is certainly entitled to his opinion. But he doesn’t speak for me. One only needs to look objectively at the delayed and denied care with health plans in the UK and Canada, and to the disgraceful manner in which seniors health care issues
    are handled, and to the financial burdens to know that that these systems are outright failures. Placing health care in the hands of any government is an outright prescription for failure.

  18. The Cardinal is willfully ignorant. He never paid a visit to an inner city hospital, for crying out load. If he has, he has decided to ignore what he saw.

    The poor in this country have better health care than the middle class have in Canada or England.

    He is, as some have already noted a socialist. And socialists willingly distort or ignore the facts to suit their purposes.

  19. Its quiet evident this Bishop did not read the bill.
    If he has than he is the only one who did, all 900 +
    pages.

  20. Cardinal Martino, it appears, has been sucked in by all the liberals he associates himself with in government. Maybe he should try reading the constitution-that defines the government’s role; and that role is not to control this country’s healthcare, provide abortions, trample on religous rights(conscience clause), kill off the old and/or impaired or employ Marxist theory in taking from one group to give to another.
    Isn’t this the same misguided soul that condemned Catholics that were outraged at the near cannozation of a pro-death liberal senator who recently died?

  21. The Cardinal should pay more attention with cleaning up the messes inside the seminaries and convents..there is where he can show his justice and peace doing work. Just like the many corruptions going on in this country , so to has the corruption continued and still continue inside our seminaries and churches. The bishops (many of them) are outright disobedient and the pastors etc. Clean up the mess Cardinal within our church and pray for the end of the millions of babies that will get slaughtered because of the governments of the world.

  22. Pardon me! But – Idiota!

  23. Catholic Principles on National Health Care

    If you are a Catholic engaged in our nation’s debate about health care, you need to read Bishop R. Walker Nickless’ latest column.

    It’s one of the very best articles on Catholic principles of health care written.

    Some Excerpts:

    “…. My brother bishops have described some clear ‘goal-posts’ to mark out what is acceptable reform, and what must be rejected.

    First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research.

    Second, the Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right.

    Third, in that category of prudential judgment, the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care.

    Fourth, preventative care is a moral obligation of the individual to God and to his or her family and loved ones, not a right to be demanded from society.”

    Below, Bishop Nickless takes a look at the particular parts of the legislation we are examining in Congress.
    Within these limits, the Church has been advocating for decades that health care be made more accessible to all, especially to the poor. Will the current health care reform proposals achieve these goals? Here is what the Bishop has to say:

    ”The current House reform bill, HR 3200, does not meet the first or the fourth standard. As Cardinal Justin Rigali has written for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, this bill circumvents the Hyde amendment (which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions) by drawing funding from new sources not covered by the Hyde amendment, and by creatively manipulating how federal funds covered by the Hyde amendment are accounted. It also provides a “public insurance option” without adequate limits, so that smaller employers especially will have a financial incentive to push all their employees into this public insurance. This will effectively prevent those employees from choosing any private insurance plans. This will saddle the working classes with additional taxes for inefficient and immoral entitlements. The Senate bill, HELP, is better than the House bill, as I understand it. It subsidizes care for the poor, rather than tending to monopolize care. But, it designates the limit of four times federal poverty level for the public insurance option, which still includes more than half of all workers. This would impinge on the vitality of the private sector. It also does not meet the first standard of explicitly excluding mandatory abortion coverage.”

    Here you have Bishop Nickless’ very compelling prudential conclusion about the current forms of the health care proposals. The idea that Catholics have an automatic obligation to support them is false. Instead, Catholics ought to be vocally involved in opposing the problematic features of this legislation, while also calling for authentic reform along different lines than the ones proposed now.

  24. I believe the Cardinal is mistaken about healthcare in this country. The poor and uninsured can receive treatment in any ER in this country and there are several free health clinics for those in need. Can our health care system be improved? Yes it can because there is always room for improvement, but to allow government to take control- which is ultimately what this whole debate is about- is antithetical to both religion and what it means to be an American citizen. IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S JOB TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE ANYMORE THAN IT IS TO PROVIDE YOU OR I WITH A FREE LUNCH- SOMEONE ELSE WULD BE PAYING FOR THAT TOO.

  25. I THINK THE PEOPLE SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THIS, INCLUDING THE CARDINAL.. SEE HOW UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED HEALTH-CARE IS WORKING IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Rf42zNl9U

    If your on any government program (PERS) for instance, they are dictating to you that in order to have your prescription filled out as written; say for 90 day supply, they tell you the ONLY way to get that filled is to go through MAIL ORDER!! Or you can only have a 30 supply filled at your local pharmacy. So, your medication is passing through 17-20 peoples’ hands before it arrives in your mailbox. Is this what we want?There should be a law passed to where they cannot DICTATE where and how you MUST have your medication dispensed. Law passed? did i say that? When the Government is the one doing the DICTATING. People better think before they jump on the wagon of Government controling YOUR HEALTH!

  26. The good CDL should learn more details before offering his opinion in the matter. The Federal Government already spends close to a $1 trillion on Medicare. And some states like Maine already have mandated health insurance. Main has the highest health insurance premiums in the nation as a result.

    The Baucus Plan includes both individual mandates (up to $3800 per family), and employer mandates ($5000). Add to this surtax on existing plans and no one will be able to afford “Universal Care”.

    The good CDL also appears ignorant of the plans to ration (or in Obama’s language “save”) some $500 billion in Medicare over the next 3 years. There is also no language in the bill preventing subsidized abortions.

    He is also ignorant of the fact that 94% of all Americans are covered under some plan already. Those who are not covered do so voluntarily or out of ignorance.

  27. It must be presumed ,in charity ,that Cardinal Martino was speaking generally and was not addressing the proposal recently released by Sen Baucus. The Baucus proposal is touted as providing no money for abortions. But it does so in two ways. First, it provides direct funding for abortions in the case of rape , incest or the “life” of the mother. Might a “Health Czar” or HHS Sec. Sebelius administratively construe “life” to include such potential stresses or neuroses as might “negatively impact ” that life? More importantly, the Baucus proposal would provide many millions of dollars to abortion industry leviathans like Planned Parenthood with so-called “walls” that theoretically exempt such funds from direct payment for abortions. But once these corporations get the money, it becomes fungible, allowing funds otherwise allocated to be freed up for their abortuaries.
    When he was the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, then-Archbishop Renato Martino supported and was to preside at the presentation, at a gala dinner, of a prestigious award by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement to Libby Pataki, wife of the then-Governor of New York. He was apparently unaware that Mrs. Pataki (like her husband) was a champion of abortion rights. After this was “pointed out” to him by scandalized Catholics, he publicly withdrew his support for the award and asked that his name be removed from the dinner’s program program. He did not attend the award dinner, citing the need to avoid any “confusion” on his position on the destruction of innocent human life. Perhaps Cardinal Martino will have future clarification regarding his views on Senator Baucus’s health care proposal.
    Raymond W. Belair

  28. Cardinal Martino,
    With all due respect….Margaret Thatcher was correct when she pointed out that”
    “Socialism only works until you run out of other people’s money.” NOBODY in this country is denied health care….some people in this country are unable to procure health insurance because the government, the same ones you want to take over health care, make the regulations so onerous and convoluted and unfair that it becomes nearly impossible to provide a diversity of insurance for a diversity of people. Other people of course choose not to take care of themselves and eschew health insurance premiums to buy other things. I should not have to pay for their choices.
    Children should not be punished for the choices their parents make and health care, not insurance, should be and always has been provided to them.
    I am appalled that abortion will be funded if this bill passes.
    May God have mercy on us.

  29. I really wish that some of the Vatican prelates wouldn’t try to “help” with American politics.

    I believe he means well, but I know he has not READ the bill, which will allow for abortion coverage. If it did not allow for abortion, then every pro-life amendment would have been allowed to stay on the bills.

    But, all pro-life amendments have been soundly defeated. Obama and his admins know who they work for, and it ain’t the pro-lifers.

    Certainly, abortion coverage is NOT health care.

  30. Caardinal Martion is correct. Thils country is set up for freedom of religion and freedom of thought. Insisting that ideas of one religion of one group be enacted into law does not protect your your fellow man, It just makes makes self centered piety not a democracy.

  31. The health of the citizens belongs to the citizens and not to the “authorities”.

  32. For a better understanding of the U.S. bishops’ position on universal health care, watch this video:

  33. Universal Health Care is no less than 100% GOVERNMENT CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Obama is the MOST PRO-DEATH PRESIDENT (SPEAKING OF THE UNBORN AND ABORTION!!!) He should never be praised….because he goes hand in hand WITH ABORTION IN THIS SO CALLED HEALTH CARE BILL!!! THE OPPOSITE OF PRO LIFE IS PRO DEATH SO LETS START USING THIS TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS MORE.

  34. The good Cardinal is entitled to his personal opinion –but that’s all it is. He does not speak for the Church on this or other matters on which he has been outspoken. Thanks be to God.

  35. This is not about health care. It is about our freedom. That’s all it is about. This is a power grab by the forces of evil. Kyrie eleison.

  36. It saddens me that the Church continues to focus more on the temporal issues of the world than on the spiritual. Sadly, the Church has decided to speak more for “social justice” and does not seem to concern herself at all with her primary mission: the spread of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ made available through faith and sacrament to all. For all of the great things said about him, the late Pope John Paul II appointed way too many bishops and cardinals who were/are far more current on political philosophy than theology.

  37. But Robert, we are body and soul composites. Jesus and the Apostles healed bodies, they didn’t give spiritual aid alone.

    Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and they deserve to be protected too.

    We do need to recapture the mission spreading the Gospel widely. I think that is part of the New Evangelization.

    But millions of lives are lost each year to abortion, euthanasia, hunger, and violence. We cannot turn a blind eye, as we would do that to Jesus.

  38. Cardinal Martino needs to stick to Church issues. He may have spent some time in the “States”, but it didn’t do much to reprogram his European socialist/ marxist indoctrination.
    Our rights are secured to us by our Creator. Government intervention into the health care theater would open another huge door in the violation of these rights. Just taking a look into what has happened to many of the GREAT Catholic hospitals after government (legeislative or judicial) got involved should be telling enough for the Cardinal.
    Healthcare is best left to the people. Government over intervention is what is causing the current systems problems. Then they want to ride in like knights on a white horse to fix it!!! No thanks. Always love your country but never trust your government is my motto. Government run health care is about control, not what is best for the people.
    The government could care less about what is right or what is needed; otherwise abortion would not be legal.
    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt.

  39. I would respectfully suggest that the good Cardinal re-read Humane Vitae. Pope Paul VI was a visionary and our spiritual leaders in the Vatican need to study the fruits of “reform” in the US before encouraging us to blindly continue onward with “health reform” without prayer AND careful study of the legislation.
    The poor need health care. This used to be provided by a Catholic health care system before they started down the governmental funding route.

    Is God broke? I seem to remember a scarcity discussion that took place around some fish and a loaf or two of bread…

  40. This cardinal and many other fools tell us that the “central government” shoul provide healthcare to its citizens. I’ll wager that these people can’t give an objective definition of the word. Well I’ll tell you. Goverment is simply applied force. Taxation is theft. No-one has the “right” to another persons labor, wether it is picking cotton or providing healthcare. Does the good Cardinal have any idea of the meaning of the eighth commandment?

  41. I find it interesting so many think a company should not make a profit.
    It is profit that keeps a company in business.
    It is that profit that funds research and development.
    R & D is in the increase in better medicines.
    There are numerous orphan drugs that are expensive. These drugs needed for diseases that are in a very small minority of the population.
    It is that profit that allows the pharmaceuticals to defray some of the cost that the financially strapped people need help with.

  42. Another pronouncement from a clueless, lefty Cardinal. Statements like this discredit the Church. Abortion King is president in the US and he has poked the Catholic Church in the eye ever since he took office. It sounds like the Cardinal is a state-worshipper, rather than a disciple of Jesus.

  43. Perhaps if Cardinal Martino asked the greedy physicians,hospitals and drug companies to stop charging people 5 times what they should be charging , the need for health insurance would lessen.What do you think insurance companies are supposed to do when they get a bill for $25,000 for a 3 day stay in a hospital? What would happen to your car insurance if it cost $5,000. to replace a windshield?? SSS

  44. There is a reason this Cardinal was not selected as Pope. Thank you Holy Spirit!!!!!!

  45. The United States Constitution does not authorize the federal government to provide health insurance, health care, federally backed mortgages, or to collect and disburse retirement funds, or to take stakes in financial institutions or automobile companies.

    We need a return to the Constitution. Every politician swears to protect it, but only very few do. For decades the federal government has run roughshod over the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

    Our representatives and senators need to stop arguing policy and start arguing Constitution!

  46. We could end up with universal poverty if the government gives us universal insurance. Why is it that our bishops act is if money grows on trees? The US economy is not a money tree. Someone has to work to make money to pay for the health care system. We are, thanks to poor government policy trillions in debt. This debt is a serious moral sin as well. People who cheat and refuse to work and pay their way, are also sinful. Why no bishops addressing this? It’s always hand outs, and no personal responsibility with our bishops.

  47. David is right. I was a judge for 15years and i knew hoe to bypass a statute that stood in the way of my decision. The US Supreme Court has been doing this for years and there is no check on them. They will gave a mass of literature and even decisions of foreign courts and put it in a form that looks like an impressive study. This will make the decision appear “learned”. The atheists have used this technique in every effort to remove from our culture any reference to a religion or a Supreme Being. It is time.to put a check on the judges. Let’s amend the constitution to require a six to three vote for the court to nullify a statute.

  48. It gets harder and harder to defend my faith, when you have a Cardinal like this! I am sooo weary of these men in robes,between their supporting Obama who thinks Abortion is basic healthcare for everyone and the clergy scolding faithful catholics who were scandelized by the Kennedy show in Boston. Even the prayer of the faithful was a push for healthcare, but not one mention for the UNBORN (a good teaching moment for all those Abortion supporting Catholics in the pews!). No wonder the reformation happend!!! We are indeed in the DESERT with no one to lead us!

  49. I do not know Italian, but I do know several other languages. I think the expression “The health of their own citizens belongs to the authorities, to the central government” means that it is the proper function of government.

    That is his opinion, and I agree that he lacks special compentency to say what he said. But I agree with him.

  50. The Catholic citizens of our country helped to elect the most pro-abortion, liberal president in the history of our country due to the fact that the Bishops of the US didn’t come out with a powerful enough statement about our responsibility to elect pro-life candidates. What is unfortunate is that God would pour out His heavenly blessings on this great country of ours, if only we had the conviction and courage to protect ALL of our citizens. The current attempt to have government run health care will be a decision that will have life altering consequences for our country. Fewer physicians, a debt that is unsustainable, rationing to contain costs and a lower standard of innovation and quality will be a burden shouldered by all people regardless of income levels. When will the government realize that the debts and burdens placed on middle class and upper middle class will only cause our people to be less generous with the poor and disadvantaged. Please pray for the our future as it does look bleak!

  51. Does this Cardinal realize that ‘universal health care’ will include ‘universal abortion’. No matter what the charming liar obama says Abortion will be covered in one way or another.

    We are not Pelsoi Catholics dear Cardinal.

  52. The Cardinal has no business-as well as the USCB, in trying to socialize our country, like another Europe or Canada .All they need is to stick to is life issues, and nothing else.The liberal teaching by church authorities over the past 40 yrs. has lost many souls.

  53. Couple of weeks ago I , as well as the rest of the congregation, was told by our priest as part of his sermon, we were “Rasist” because we disagreed with Barack Obama. “It’s because he’s black” is all he kept yelling. Today I read this! After 49 years of loving being a Catholic, I’m wondering if maybe just being spiritual versus being religious might be a better way to go.

  54. Well then, I guess how I worship is also owned by the the so-called central government . It is always dangerous to opine on things you know little about. The Cardinal should read the Popes encyclical re health care access. Something about social justice types that are socialist in nature.

  55. Eric, on September 17th, 2009 at 9:18 pm Said: Eric don’t know anything about your priest but I don’t think all the people that voted for President Obama are now racist if they disagree with his policies. That’s being American and, by the way, ones Catholic duty as well. The media and many voters did not do their homework regarding then Sen. Obama during the elections and are grudgingly realizing how radical he is and how destructive his policies are on this country. It’s not just him but also the dems in congress – a toxic combination. The race card will not work this time.

  56. God Bless Cardinal Martino for speaking truth. We need health insurance reform desperately. Any one of us insured can become uninsured at any time. The health insurance companies have all the cards in their hands. The evils of the health insurance system in this country are too numerous to list here. And as for the abortion issue, how many of you participate in health insurance plans that pay for abortions? How many of you will cancel your insurance because your health insurance company pays for abortion? If you are not willing to do that, then stop using abortion as an excuse to defeat this needed reform.

  57. With all due respect, the Church should just stay out of American politics. He has no idea what is in this bill and there is no provision in our constitution for universal health care. I have free will and do not want the government to tell me what I can and can’t do when it comes to my healthcare! Let him read all 1,000+ pages and then we can talk.

  58. The church hierarchy aren’t even trying to save souls anymore, which is supposed to be their mission. The Catholic Church is in a tailspin but they want to make sure everyone has insurance. God help us.

  59. Let me tell you from England not to have the state controlling the health service. In England it is the greatest suppliers of abortion and does so to girls of any age without the knowledge of parents let alone their consent. The old are frightened of going into hospital in case they are “euthanased”. In most hospitals, before you go on in you have to complete a form giving your race and sexual orientation. The treatment is awful by any standards and Britain has one of the worst heart-attack survivals rates in the civilised world. This Roman Cardinal is misinformed.

  60. Do you think that if the cardinal knew about abortion coverage he would support the bill?

    Doesn’t that show he knows nothing about the substance of the bill, except that it will somehow, according to liberals, ‘take care of health care for everyone”?

    Doesn’t that mean his statement is essentially meaningless?

    Isn’t it sad and ridiculous that cafeteria Catholics will grasp at any straw to support a president and a political party that are at war with the Catholic Church on its INTRINSIC teachings so that they can achieve political goals that are purely prudential in nature?

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