Pope’s Message To U.S. Touches On Health Care For Poor, Contraception And Abortion
On the second day of his U.S. tour, Pope Francis' speech to Congress is eagerly anticipated. Abortion and access to health care are among the topics he's likely to speak on as he has already been pushing Catholic hospitals to provide free health care for the poor. Yesterday the pope made an unscheduled stop at the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns fighting the Obamacare contraception mandate, to show his support.
Boehner Braced For Pope's Message
Still, Francis will likely please the GOP on other fronts. He’s expected to touch on the need to end abortion, defend traditional marriage and protect religious liberty, even if he uses opaque terms. As the threat of a government shutdown looms, Francis also may discuss the need for bipartisanship, though he’ll likely use a term such as “political unity.” (Toosi, 9/24)
Pope Pushes Catholic Hospitals, Clinics To Do More To Help Poor
Pope Francis, who will address a joint session of Congress on Thursday, is pushing Catholic hospitals and clinics to increase their free health care to the poor as many House and Senate Republicans try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which provided health coverage to millions of low-income Americans. Anthony Tersigni, CEO of St. Louis-based Ascension — the largest non-profit health system in the USA — will be in the gallery during the pope's address. Tersigni, who chairs the International Association of Catholic Hospitals, will meet with Francis in the Vatican in November to discuss the pope's push to get Catholic-owned health care providers to do more to help the poor. (O'Donnell and Ungar, 9/23)
Pope Visits U.S. Nuns Involved In Obamacare Contraception Lawsuit
Pope Francis on Wednesday made an unscheduled stop to a convent of nuns to show his support for their lawsuit against U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the visit to the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor for what he called a "brief but symbolic visit." Last August, a federal appeals court in Denver put on hold its ruling that the order of Roman Catholic nuns must comply with a contraception mandate in the law, giving the group time to petition the U.S. Supreme Court. (9/23)