Catholic ChurchIn a harsh rebuke of the increasingly extreme United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a major Catholic health group backed the Senate’s health-care compromise on abortion. The Catholic Health Association said that the most important thing that Congress could do was pass a bill that would cover the nation’s uninsured.

Needless to say, the uncompromising, obstinate Bishops proclaimed the compromise “morally unacceptable.

I suppose the Bishops believe that leaving people uninsured to die in the cold in order to use health reform as a platform for abortion politics is the moral and ethical route.

The current crop of conservative Bishops appear hardhearted and clueless to the concerns of real people who desperately need help. They seem to believe that priestly polemics will solve the health care problem in this country.

“The Catholic Health Association does not represent the teaching of the Catholic Church on the non-negotiable defense of innocent life,” the conservative Catholic activist Deal Hudson said in a statement, calling the association’ move “utterly offensive.”

The difference between The Catholic Health Association and ideologues like Hudson, is that the hospitals actually deal with uninsured sick people. Well, Hudson and his ilk also deal with sick people – but in their case, a good shrink and medication is all that is needed.

Good for the Catholic Health Association for standing up to the extremists in the Catholic Church and the Republican Party.

In other Catholic News:

The Associated Press reports that two more Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland have resigned in the wake of a damning investigation into decades of church cover-up of child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

The bishops, Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field, offered an apology to child-abuse victims as they announced their resignations during Christmas Mass on Friday. Priests read the statement to worshipers throughout the archdiocese, home to a quarter of Ireland’ 4 million Catholics.

In his Christmas sermon, Archbishop Martin said the church for too long had placed its self-interest above the rights of its parishioners, particularly innocent children. “It has been a painful year,” he told worshipers. “But the church today may well be a better and safer place than was the church of 25 years ago ‚Äî when all looked well, but where deep shadows were kept buried.”

Of course, we know this is nonsense. Until the Catholic Church does the following, there will be abuse:

1) Allow openly gay, sexually active priests. Doing so will attract psycho-sexually healthy gay men who will not use the priesthood to hide their sexuality – and in many cases use their power to take advantage of the young and vulnerable. Out gay priests will look for age-appropriate partners.

2) Allow women into the priesthood. This would immediately break up the good old closet boys network.

3) Allow married heterosexual priests. Just as it is imperative to attract sexually mature gay people, it is just as key to attract sexually healthy heterosexuals. Having a team of immature, pent-up priests is a recipe for disaster.

Until these rule changes are made, the Vatican is just spinning us.