Media Watch

Critics of Catholic Health Plan Oppose ‘Choice’

CULTURE & COSMOS, Nov. 16 — Thanks to the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, federal employees working or residing in one of 27 Illinois counties can now participate in a Catholic health plan that does not provide coverage for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization or in-vitro fertilization, according to Culture & Cosmos, an e-mailed bulletin of the Culture of Life Foundation.

The Sisters own and operate OSF Health Care Systems, which is offering the plan as part of President Bush's goal of letting faith-based organizations participate in government programs. Culture & Cosmos said Planned Parenthood was among the “typical litany of ‘pro-choice’ groups” opposing the plan and referred to an unsigned article on the organization's website stating that contraception was “basic health care” and that the OSF plan takes away the employees' right to choose. Federal employees are not obligated to participate in the OSF health plan.

Commenting on organizations opposed to faith-based health care, OSF's communications director James Ferrell was quoted as saying, “They aren't really pro-choice.”

Marriage Re-Designers Shift Focus to Culture War

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 12 — Fearing a public backlash, homosexual-rights groups are redirecting their efforts toward civil unions and pulling back from their primary goal of legalizing same-sex “marriages,” The New York Times reported. The groups fear that attempts to legalize homosexual “marriage” might energize President Bush's efforts to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting it.

Among the factors influencing the change of strategy is that many of the state amendments against same-sex “marriage” passed by overwhelming majorities in the Nov. 2 elections. Homosexual-rights advocates said in the story that the current challenge is to change public attitudes. Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, said the forum for the debate over marriage has shifted, adding, “The gay marriage issue is being fought primarily in the culture, not in the courts.”

Pastor Asks Pro-Abortion Pol to Leave Choir

THE EAGLE TRIBUNE, Nov. 16 — Massachusetts state representative Barbara L'Italien refused a verbal request by the new pastor of St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Andover, Mass., that she step down as cantor and head of the youth choir, the The Boston Globe reported.

Father William Cleary, who made the request because of L'Italien's pro-abortion position said, “In this particular case, we're dealing with a person who is against the Church's position. I can't allow her to be in a public posture — to be standing up at the pulpit singing or directing singing.”

According to the northern Massachusetts daily, L'Italien said, “I was told that, because I am a legislator and a Democrat, I was being asked to step down.” Father Cleary countered that L'Italien's political affiliation was unrelated to his request. A lifelong member of the parish, L'Italien said she told Father Cleary she has her own personal view on abortion but is sworn to uphold the law.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.