Archbishop Listecki: Health Care Bill Opposes Real Social Justice

Two Reasons Why Archbishop Listecki Opposes the Health Care Bill

Written by The Catholic Herald: As the U.S. bishops called on Congress and people in the Catholic community to make sure promises are kept that new health care legislation will not expand abortions in the United States, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki stated two reasons why he opposes the health care bill.

Writing in his weekly March 23 “Love One Another” communiqué to people involved in parish and diocesan ministries, the archbishop stated,

  1. I am not convinced that there are sufficient provisions to protect federal funds from their use in supporting abortions (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was right in their opposition).
  2. The price tag on the current legislation will severely cripple the already fragile United States economy placing on the backs of our future generations a terrible financial debt.”

Archbishop Listecki acknowledged a need for health care reform but said “passing flawed legislation … will turn the most advanced national medical environment into a profession that is satisfied with the adequate rather than the excellent.”

He said he was not convinced that the poor would be better served as a result of the legislation, but added that time will determine that.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

“Until then we all must be vigilant that abortions are not the product of the new health care reform; that doctors and nurses will be able to exercise their right to conscience; and that the poor will have access to adequate health care,” Archbishop Listecki wrote.

Noting that people of faith were responsible for those in need, the archbishop said that some are trying to characterize the term “social justice” as “an offshoot of a socialist or communist agenda.”

“Social justice is the responsibility all of us have to cooperate with each other to further the common good that is individually, locally, nationally and even globally. The Gospel is the ultimate criteria by which our actions are judged,” Archbishop Listecki wrote.

He noted that  “any social legislation claiming it furthers the common good, consideration must first be given to the dignity of all human life.”

In a statement issued moments after President Barack Obama signed the Senate version of health care reform legislation approved by the House of Representatives by a slim margin, March 21, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops applauded “the effort to expand health care to all.”

However, he noted concerns about the legislation, including that “the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other people’s abortions with their own funds.”

Cardinal George pointed to President Obama’s executive order that said “it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that federal funds are not used for abortion services.”

The need for such an order underscores deficiencies in the bill, Cardinal George said.

“We do not understand how an executive order, no matter how well intentioned, can substitute for statutory provisions,” he said.

President Obama and others claimed the bill does not expand abortion, Cardinal George noted.

“We and many others will accompany the government’s implementation of the health care reform and will work to ensure that Congress and the Administration live up to the claims that have contributed to its passage. We believe, finally, that new legislation to address its deficiencies will almost certainly be required,” he said.

The statement was approved unanimously by the 32-member Administrative Committee of the USCCB

Disowning Your Catholic Heritage

Disheartening story of “Young Catholics for Choice” produces good fruits with the new Archbishop of Milwaukee, Reverend Jerome Listecki. What a courageous way to start out as an Archbishop. God bless priests who are not afraid to tell the truth.

By John-Henry Westen

MILWAUKEE ( – The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, has responded to a campaign by “Young Catholics for Choice” to promote use of contraception and abortion among Catholic youth.

Using media advertising the group is, says the Archbishop-Designate, “attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing.”

However, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like ‘Young Catholics for Choice’ in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called,” added the archbishop.

Using language first employed by Catholic dissenters to Humanae Vitae, YCFC calls on Catholics to use an “informed conscience” to decide to use birth control and the morning-after-pill, also called “emergency contraception.”

Their ad campaign states: “Young Catholics are having sex. We are using contraception and condoms. We are having abortions. We are bisexual, gay, lesbian, straight and transgender. And none of this makes us any less Catholic than conservative Catholics who speak out against us.

“The truth is, they don’t represent what the majority of Catholics – especially those of us in our 20s and 30s – think about sex. It comes down to Catholic teaching on conscience. Basically, every individual has the right and responsibility to follow his or her own conscience – and respect others’ right to do the same. With conscience and respect, good Catholic sex is not only possible, it’s already happening. ”

The group, claiming to be a youth wing of “Catholics for Choice,” admits that it’s mandate is to “take action to counter the bishops’ impact both in the United States and around the world. ”

Archbishop Listecki concluded his statement calling for prayers for the YCFC members.  “We pray that they may reconcile their position which is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess.”

Let us say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the conversion of these misguided youth and for the perseverance of the courageous Archbishop Jerome Listecki.