The Catholic teaching (meaning the real one) looks pretty much straightforward, so it comes as a huge disappointment that 86 Catholic (?) legislators (h/t CMR) voted in favor of the bill (the final vote: 219-212), despite strong opposition by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It seems the 2002 CDF pronouncement fell on deaf ears.
In November 24, 2002 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released a DOCTRINAL NOTE on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life.
Its introduction states:
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, having received the opinion of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has decided that it would be appropriate to publish the present Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life. This Note is directed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies.
In the light of recent developments, the Doctrinal Note is worth reiterating, and is exemplified by some excerpts from section 4 (emphasis mine).
What is it with this Vatican note that Catholics find very difficult to understand? With respect to declining fidelity to the Magisterium, there is an alarming trend that indicates the word 'Catholic' is now taken for granted. The outstanding thing is that there appears to be very strong state-of-denials, as each one is wont to have a personal brand of 'Catholicism'. I recently asked one US-based friend who celebrated the passage of the bill: What about the prolife concerns? He responded rather firmly (and quite indignantly, I felt) that the health care bill IS prolife, and that he IS prolife for supporting it. I guess that puts him in common ground with those LCWR nuns. House Speaker Pelosi, it can also be remembered, once said she was "an ardent, practicing Catholic".
Here in the supposedly more conservative Philippines, I believe the signs are already there. Same road.