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St. Cloud bishop urges priests and parishes to support GAMC override

St. Cloud's Catholic Bishop, the Most Rev. John F. Kinney, is urging priests, deacons and parish life coordinators in his diocese to support legislative efforts to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of the General Assistance Medical Care bill.

In a memo, Kinney says:

"I would encourage you to be in contact with your representatives by phone or e-mail as soon as possible to express your support of the override of Governor Pawlenty's veto of the General Assistance Medical Care bill. ... I would also ask you to ask the support of the members of your parish for the override of this veto."

He then quotes a statement from the Minnesota Catholic Conference:

"In less than six weeks, the General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) program will end. This program provides basic health care to our poorest and sickest neighbors — all of whom are living in deep poverty. Access to affordable health care that protects and supports the life, dignity and health of all people is a matter of justice. Less than two weeks ago, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill temporarily extending health care coverage to our poorest and most vulnerable neighbors which does not include coverage for abortion services. The House passed the bill on a 125-9 vote, and the Senate passed the bill on a 47-16 vote. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill. Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to vote yes on a vote override. Our neighbors with the greatest needs are counting on us. for more information and to find contact information for your Representative, please visit the Minnesota Catholic Conference web site at www.mncc.org/."

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Comments (2)

Even a broken clock is correct twice per day.

Herb D: The Catholic Church has a long record of devotion to the eradication of poverty, hunger, violations of human rights, lack of access to health care or employment.

Most Catholics agree with this record. SOME agree that abortion is the taking of a human life and some do not, the same as all Christians and members of other faiths.

When Pope Benedict was a cardinal in charge of communicating with the bishops of the world, he told Catholics, through a letter to their bishops, that to vote for a politician because of his/her position on human rights and suffering -- but in spite of his/her position on abortion -- was no sin. A few right-wing American bishops still try, in error, to convince Catholic voters that it is a serious sin to vote for any politician who does not loudly and firmly renounce abortion.

We are fortunate in Minnesota to have bishops like Bishop Kinney.