The group of nuns under the umbrella of the Catholic Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has publicly broken ranks with U.S. Catholic Bishops who oppose the bill. Father Frank Pavone, national director at Priests for Life, tells OneNewsNow that most nuns who are members are actually pro-life.
"It's just that they are severely misinterpreting the effect this bill will have on the lives of the unborn and by extension on the health -- the moral health, the physical health -- of our entire nation," he explains. "Abortion is far more destructive than apparently they are taking account of when they take this particular position."
The group claims to represent 59,000 nuns, but Pavone believes it may only be the 59 nuns who signed the letter. "The accuracy in what they're saying is that they, together, collectively have responsibility for that many nuns," he notes. "It certainly doesn't mean they all agree with this."
Since a vote on the healthcare measure could come soon, the Priests for Life national director is urging people to contact their elected representatives in Washington, even if they have done so before, and urge them to reject the current bill.
In another sign that Catholics are weighing in on both sides of the debate, The Associated Press reports that a retired Catholic bishop supports President Obama's healthcare overhaul, despite the church's official opposition. Retired Bishop John McCarthy of Austin, Texas, says he is opposed to abortion and believes that the bill before Congress would guard against using taxpayer funds to pay for it.