I hate poorly written articles. Who or what is PICO?
From the USCCB website:
Father Baumann is founder and past Executive Director of People Improving Communities through Organizing (formerly the Pacific Institute of Community Organizing) or PICO, a network of community organizations in low-income neighborhoods. Drawing on his deep commitment to Catholic social teaching, he founded PICO in 1972 as a training institute to help neighborhood organizations empower low-income people in Oakland, Calif.
With the creation of PICO, Father Baumann developed a successful new congregation-community model of organizing that invited Catholic parishioners and other people of faith to work as partners with the poor to address public safety, housing rehabilitation, educational innovation and reform, health insurance for the working poor, employment, and public improvements. In his 37 years with PICO, Father Baumann has been at the heart of a network of more than 1,000 member institutions in 150 cities and towns in 17 states. From his vision and leadership, the PICO network now has begun to grow in Central America and Africa as well.
The success of PICO to obtain regional, then state funding for health care for poor families played an important role in raising awareness and leveraging federal funding for health care for children in low-income families. As PICO's new Director of Special Projects, Father Baumann will continue to work with Catholic clergy and focus on international organizing.
Allow me to clarify what is becoming an extremely muddled situation concerning the Health Care Scam Bill. The only specific part of HR 3962 that the USCCB (Bishops' Conference) ever endorsed was the Stupak Amendment, banning federal funding of abortion.
Otherwise, as USCCB President Cardinal Francis George noted, "[W]e bishops do not claim or present ourselves as experts on health care policy. We are not prepared to assess every provision of legislation as complex as this proposal. However, health care legislation, with all its political, technical and economic aspects, is about human beings and hence has serious moral dimensions."
In other words, the Church has authority to speak out on moral matters (don't kill babies) but not on "prudential" matters (what is the best way to help the sick and needy?)
Though some Catholic spokespeople have obfuscated this point, the USCCB has not endorsed HR 3962.
Moreover, some 50 bishops at this point have come out criticizing the Bill as violating "subsidiarity": the principle that things should be done at the lowest and most local first, not at the level of big government.
I dont blame you, any of you, for not knowing this. The level of communication has been abysmal; there is apparently a Battle Royal going on within the bishops' conference about the statements coming out of the USCCB office --- USCCB delenda est----and the bishops (e.g.Nienstedt of MN) who directly oppose the whole Obama-Pelosi Bill have gotten practically zero publicity.