Archbishop Charles Chaput supports healthcare reform -- but his mind could be changed.Although Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput is seen as an arch-conservative in many quarters, he's actually supported a number of measures considered progressive, including immigration reform. He's backed an overhaul of the healthcare system, too -- but this weekend, he's telling members of his flock that there remains one obstacle to his enthusiastic endorsement of any plan. You guessed it: abortion.
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This weekend, a letter by Chaput will be read at area masses making it clear that federal funding for abortion is a deal-breaker for him. He lays out his thinking in the current Denver Catholic Register, declaring that if dollars for abortion aren't excluded -- "I mean really excluding it and not sneaking it in under the cover of some bureaucratic shell game" -- he'll reverse field. "To put it bluntly," he writes, "all of the healthcare reform solutions currently facing Congress violate human dignity in potentially grievous ways. Unless these proposals are immediately changed to reflect the concerns of Congressman [Bart] Stupak, other like-minded members of Congress, and leaders of the national Catholic community, Catholics need to vigorously oppose and help defeat this dangerous legislation."
The italics above are in the original, emphasizing Chaput's seriousness -- a tone that will no doubt be reflected on altars all over Denver this Sunday.