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Catholic Bishops Put Sex Obsession Ahead of Mission to the Sick and the Poor

First they threatened to take down health-care reform over abortion coverage. Now they're threatening services to the sick and poor of Washington, D.C., over same-sex marriage.

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The church has long excluded women from the priesthood for no reason other than their sex. Only a very naive or stupid woman would take church leaders at their word when they stake their abortion position on their purported love for the fetus.  How many pregnant women will the Archdiocese of Washington abandon in favor maintaining a discriminatory practice against those LGBT people willing to speak the name of a love once denied them. How many babies born to mothers unable to care for them would the church prefer to see languish in foster care rather than place them in the home of a same-sex couple capable of raising them? Does love for the fetus end at the outer bank of the birth canal?

Getting Their Way?

At press time, leading members the city council of the District of Columbia seemed unwilling to yield to the church's demands. If the church walks away from its contractual obligations to society's less fortunate, it won't be the first time it has done so. In Boston, where the sex-abuse scandal first came to light, Catholic Charities ended its adoption programs in 2006 when Massachusetts banned discrimination against same-sex couples. In 1991, the City of New York reached a compromise with the Archdiocese of New York after a threat to give back to the city thousands of teen-age children in foster care after the state passed a law mandating access to contraceptives for children over the age of 12.

But in the Congress, things are different. There a stand against the newly invigorated church can mean major policy losses, thanks to the efforts of conservative Democrats like Stupak, recruited by the Democratic National Committee to run in less-than-liberal districts, who are allied with the bishops on matters concerning women's rights.

"So the bishops were able to get their way," Kissling says of the anti-abortion measure added to the health-care bill. "And the thing with the bishops is, if they can get their way, no nuance or doubt enters their minds about whether getting their way is the right thing to do."

NOTE: The Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, a group that supports the anti-abortion Stupak amendment, was invited to comment for this article. AlterNet's call was not returned.



Adele M. Stan AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.