If this sounds familiar, it's because Al has been outlining for about 5 weeks now, his "Basic Catholic principles regarding the health care reform bill." The quote is in our opening montage of the show and he has repeated it about 50 times. 1) Health Care for All 2) Exclude Abortion 3) Protect Conscience Rights.
Now the Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota - Samuel J. Aquila - has written a letter encouraging priests, deacons, vowed religious and laymen to become engaged in promoting “genuine health care reform.” His letter presents four principles on which to evaluate legislative proposals for health care plans.
He said health care plans must exclude any provisions which deny “the dignity of human life,” such as abortion, passive or active euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. It would be “inherently inconsistent” to expand access to health care without safeguarding human life from conception onward, Bishop Aquila wrote.
The bishop listed conscience protection as another important facet of health care for health care professionals, participants in health care plans, and society in general. "The right to follow one’s conscience, as informed by God, must be guaranteed,” he stated.
Another principle of reform is access for all, Bishop Aquila added. “Finding ways to provide medical care to those who have none is a perennial priority for the Church,” he wrote, adding that access to health care must be ensured for the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, legal immigrants and the unborn.
The bishop invoked the concept of subsidiarity as his fourth principle. He quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s description of subsidiarity, which holds that a “higher order” of society should not needlessly interfere with or displace a “lower order.”
The bishop encouraged readers of his letter to visit the web sites of the North Dakota Catholic Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.