Monday, September 7, 2009

If Bishop Piche' can write letters to the editor, you can too!

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Now here's a way to write a letter opposing another letter writer Of course, Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche' might have an easier time getting his published. This is another reason why I like him in addition to his being not fond of the word "ambo."

The Editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press.


On Wednesday afternoon I drove from St. Paul to Duluth for a 30-minute meeting with Congressman Jim Oberstar, members of the staff of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, representatives of two other Catholic dioceses, a Lutheran pastor, and an Orthodox priest. We discussed with Mr. Oberstar our shared concern as Christians about the current version of the health insurance bill. Yes, we did make our point with him about our opposition to mandatory coverage for abortion - about which he, a Democrat, agrees with us - but we also shared with him our conviction that health care is a human right and should be accessible to all, and our hope that the reformed program will give special consideration to those people who live below the poverty level. Even before the current debate began, the Catholic bishops of this country have consistently called for reform of the health care system and have championed the cause of the poor. Because we include unborn citizens among the poor and most vulnerable, we are deemed obstructionists by those who have another agenda.

I returned to St. Paul, picked up the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and read the letter to the editor "The Church and health care." In an uninformed rant, the writer castigated the Catholic hierarchy for opposing health care reform (they do not), for being a "vital unit of the right wing of the Republican Party" (they are not), for using the abortion issue as a cover (a cover for what?), and for being another "wealthy group that opposes change (I challenge the writer to examine my bank account and then call me wealthy). The writer ends by saying that he is, or used to be, a Catholic. If he is a Catholic, he should be ashamed of himself for shaking a fistful of falsehoods at his own leaders, leaders who are working as hard as they can to promote positive change. If he is no longer a Catholic, it is too bad because he stood a better chance of seeing his hopes realized by pitching in with the bishops and other members of the very institution he has abandoned. Either way I will pray for him.

Most Reverend Lee A. Piché

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