Religious Sisters Stand by the Bishops

Although in recent days there’s been news of some religious sisters who have betrayed the Church by endorsing the Senate health care bill, there is hope:  the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious has issued the following statement in support of the bishops:

March 17, 2010

In a March 15th statement, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke on behalf of the United States Bishops in opposition to the Senate’s version of the health care legislation under consideration because of its expansion of abortion funding and its lack of adequate provision for conscience protection. Recent statements from groups like Network, the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) directly oppose the Catholic Church’s position on critical issues of health care reform.

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, believes the Bishops’ position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

Protection of life and freedom of conscience are central to morally responsible judgment.  We join the bishops in seeking ethically sound legislation.

Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, R.S.M.


On behalf of the Membership of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious

These sisters recognize and understand that when our Bishops call on us to unite in defense of human life, the proper response is to rally around their flag.

Let’s all join them.


5 Responses to “Religious Sisters Stand by the Bishops”

  1. Jann K. Armantrout says:

    Dear Mother mary,

    Thank you for publicly supporting the position of the USCCB on health care reform. I am the Diocesan Life Issues Coordinator for the Diocese of Rochester and am just sickened by the behavior of the Leadership Conference and the CHAUSA.

    Your actions give me encouragement.

  2. John Blaney says:

    I don’t get it. The USCCB said the superiors of the LCWR couldn’t possibly speak for all their members. If not, why was this statement from the (much smaller) Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious more legitimate?

  3. John Blaney says:

    By the way, the sisters said they believed that the bill would NOT promote or fund abortions. You might say they are mistaken, wrong, naive, gullible, but to say they “betrayed the church” is pretty ugly. How about retired Bishop John E. McCarthy in Texas who also supported the bill? Why didn’t you say he betrayed the Church?

  4. Ed Mechmann says:

    Here’s how Merriam Webster defines “betray”: “to fail or desert especially in time of need”.

    The Bishops repeatedly called upon all Catholics, in urgent appeals, to insist that the Senate bill be amended to include the Hyde Amendment language and adequate conscience protection. At the critical moment, less than a week before the vote, the sisters rejected that plea and thereby failed and deserted their Church in time of need.

    And yes, they were mistaken, wrong, naive and gullible too.

    I never heard of Bishop McCarthy, but his brother bishops in Texas have, and they publicly rebuked him for his comments in support of the health care bill.

  5. John Blaney says:

    That’s hardly a “public rebuke.” They didn’t call him a “so-called ‘Catholic’ bishop who betrayed the Church,” as bishops (Madison and Denver) have said of the Sisters and CHA.

    They (and you) could have used the same respectful language with the CHA and the sisters as they gave Bishop McCarthy: “In light of this, we find the remarks of the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Council of Women Religious on this topic to be disappointing. Others may have personal views that differ from our position, but they cannot speak for the Catholic Church in Texas.”