This saddens, but doesn't surprise me. Though it is worse than I thought. The headline made me think she said something like "what would Fr. Hesburgh do?" but, it turns out, he actually was asked to make a phone call
Hesburgh was called in to persuade U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to vote for the health care bill despite the vast expansion of abortion funding embedded in it. Donnelly had been a member of the group of Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who opposed the bill without Hyde-amendment restrictions on abortion funding.A well formed conscience should have been able to see clearly what the issues at hand were. In fact, it really would be the role of the episcopate and presbyteriate to help form the consciences of those considering this bill. There was no pressing need to pass this bill now, on that day, as it stood. After all, people weren't dying in the streets; the current system works, though perhaps imperfectly, and we thus should have done such a massive reform correctly, even if it took a little more time.
Elizabeth Shappell, Donnelly's press secretary, claims Hesburgh did not tell Donnelly how to vote but only advised him to "vote your conscience."
If only Fr. Hesburgh had forgotten all about the Land O' Lakes statement, and just told Congressman Donnelly to listen to the Bishops.