As we enter one of the holiest times of the year, religious leaders around the world are giving praises to the internet for being able to virtually carry through traditional religious services. COVID-19 has already shut down traditional holiday celebrations around the world. Many churches, synagogues, and mosques will be closed to the public during […]
Washington – Even before he stepped into the Oval Office on Tuesday (Jan. 20) as America’s 44th president, the nation’s Catholic bishops sent Barack Obama their public policy wish list, with a special emphasis on “the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death.”
In twin letters sent to President-elect Barack Obama, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago outlined the policy priorities for the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops as they face a new president and strong Democratic gains in Congress.
Specifically, George asked Obama to uphold Bush administration conscience protections that allow healthcare providers to opt out of procedures that violate their religious or moral beliefs.
“I urge you to consider that this could be a terrible mistake — morally, politically, and in terms of advancing the solidarity and well-being of our nation’s peoples,” said George, the president of the bishops’ conference.
He also asked Obama not to overturn the so-called Mexico City Policy, which restricts U.S. funds from going to international family planning groups that provide abortions, and not to lift Bush’s 2001 restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research.
“To divert scarce funds … toward the avenue that is most controversial as well as the most medically speculative would be a sad victory of politics over science,” George warned in a Jan. 16 letter to Obama.
“We seek to work together with our nation’s leaders to advance the common good of our society, while disagreeing respectfully and civilly where necessary for preserving that same common good,” George said.
By Kevin Eckstrom
Religion News Service
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