Health Care, Catholics, and the Surrender of Truth

As the March for Life approaches, I have the undeniable impression that a full moon is permanently glowing during the nighttime hours.  The strangest things have been happening and I don’t think there is any other explanation.

Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Catholic Secretary of Health and Human Services, is praising the language contained in the Senate version of the health care reform bill, telling the feminist site, BlogHer.com, the fact that taxpayer-funded abortion was contained in the bill means that the Senate did “a good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options, and making sure that, while public funds aren’t used, we are not isolating, discriminating against, or invading the privacy rights of women.”

Sebelius apparently sees no problem in her advocacy for the denial of fundamental human rights to an entire class of people who are not yet born but are very much part of the human race.

Catholic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who is a Democrat from Connecticut, has “hinted” that she will support the abortion language contained in the Senate bill. She is quoted as saying that the bishops now have a chance to step aside rather than “hold health care hostage in the way that they did and tried to do in the Senate.” How sad that DeLauro’s bishop has never publicly admonished her and decried her support for the intrinsically evil act of abortion.

Martha Coakley, the state attorney general who just lost her bid to be the new senator from Massachusetts, is a Catholic who not only supports Obamacare but also insists Catholics “probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room” if they do not want to provide services that contradict the teachings of the Church and their consciences.

We have not seen any public comments on Coakley’s status in the Church from her bishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Perhaps that is too much to expect, even though she is not only spreading false teaching, but doing her best to make sure Catholics are relegated to the basement if Obamacare becomes the law of the land.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi continues to refute Christ’s teachings while claiming that she can, in good conscience, support aborting babies and still maintain her Catholic identity. However, her bishop, Archbishop George H. Niederauer, did opine in his “journal”:

It is entirely incompatible with Catholic teaching to conclude that our freedom of will justifies choices that are radically contrary to the Gospel-racism, infidelity, abortion, theft. Freedom of will is the capacity to act with moral responsibility; it is not the ability to determine arbitrarily what constitutes moral right.

I had no idea that according to Catholic teaching racism, infidelity and theft were as evil as murdering an innocent baby by an act of abortion so I consulted the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which instructs on each of these sinful actions:

Racism: 1935 … Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.

Infidelity: 2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. … The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.

Abortion: 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:  You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. … [A]bortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

Theft: 2408 The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner.

The Catechism further teaches that though each of these acts is sinful, the gravity of some acts is far greater than that of others, for example, murder versus theft.

This is my point. We know that Speaker Pelosi is at the forefront of promoting abortion on demand; she is not an advocate, as far as I know, of racism, infidelity or theft. It is her position on abortion that needs to be sternly addressed by not only Archbishop Niederauer, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a whole. But maybe there are reasons why this has not occurred.

Archbishop Niederauer went on to write,

As participants in the life of the civil community, we Catholic citizens try to follow our consciences, guided, as described above, by reason and the grace of God. While we deeply respect the freedom of our fellow citizens, we nevertheless are profoundly convinced that free will cannot be cited as justification for society to allow moral choices that strike at the most fundamental rights of others. Such a choice is abortion, which constitutes the taking of innocent human life, and cannot be justified by any Catholic notion of freedom. Because of these convictions we commit ourselves to a continuing witness to, and dialogue about, the Gospel values that underlie our understanding of freedom, conscience, and moral choice.

The Archbishop, in setting forth the problematic nature of Pelosi’s statements did, at the same time, avoid the use of language such as sin, hell or righteous indignation. While it might be said that the Archbishop prefers nuanced language when dealing with a powerful political figure like Pelosi, it is her eternal salvation that concerns me. I wish he had reminded her of that aspect of her eternal life.

Pelosi’s twisted concept of conscience, which she employs as justification for her support of killing babies prior to birth, leaves the common man in the dark about what happens to people who deliberately choose to offend God while claiming it’s just a difference of opinion.

The “dialogue” to which the Archbishop refers is simply not working. Nobody needs to debate about the horror of a single act of abortion. Somebody needs to start enunciating the reasons why no Catholic can ever condone murder while claiming a mere difference of opinion with Catholic teaching.

We Catholic citizens need leadership, sound teaching and resounding correction when we fail to live a public life consonant with our proclaimed faith. Pelosi needs a wakeup call, a warning and a stern comeuppance rather than dialogue.

As I write these words I am painfully aware that the bureaucrats at the USCCB are sending out desperate pleas for action regarding a health care proposal that is only going to satisfy Catholic moral principles if it arrives DOA (that is, dead on arrival, not Democrats only allowed).

There have been so many backroom meetings, closed door sessions, telephone calls and financial sellouts that nobody really knows what the final version of the Obama nightmare known as health care reform will be, but here are couple of things that should never have been said about it by Catholic entities.

The first comes from an article on the current health care reform debate entitled “Ethics: Cultural Addictions Trump the Common Good.” Catholic Health Association senior ethics director Ron Hamel writes, “Among the many disappointing dimensions of this debate is that Americans, whether as individuals or as particular groups, have not been able to transcend, to some degree at least, their own interests for the good of the whole.”

As I read the article I was left speechless because Hamel neglected to point out that the “good of the whole” means that no human being should be extinguished for the sake of the common good, whether he or she is residing in the womb, a petri dish, a nursing home or, for that matter, anywhere at all.  The “good of the whole” has to begin with a respect for the dignity of every human being, and somewhere along the line, Hamel forgot to mention that when health care reform includes paying for abortion, human embryonic stem cell research and more, then it is not the kind of reform that all of the members of “the whole” can live with.

To put it more succinctly, allow me to say that I am one hundred percent addicted to the Catholic vision of respect for human dignity and proud of it.

Finally, as I bemoan the absence of firm moral guidance when it comes to the likes of Pelosi and her cronies, I am stupefied to read this from the USCCB bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., quoting their latest alert on health care reform: “Provisions against abortion funding and in favor of conscience protection, affordability, and immigrants’ access to health care must be part of a fair and just health care reform bill, or the final bill must be opposed.”

Obviously when the USCCB cannot even mention the elderly, the human embryonic children who will be condemned to death or the severely disabled whose lives will be at risk, we dare not hope for corrective action regarding those Catholics in public life who choose to support mass killing while defining it as “a woman’s right to choose.”

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Joe DeVet

    Amen, amen to the points of this posting.

    The bureaucrats of the USCCB are again asleep at the switch. They are so enamored of a socialistic “solution” to the health-care “crisis” that they turn a blind eye to the obvious problems with all forms of socialized medicine currently being considered, including even the House bill with its minimally-acceptable Stupak amendment.

    They should be opposing all forms of socialized medicine hammer and tongs, without their famous equivocating, because serious offenses against life will happen regardless of what “provisions” are in the bill.

MENU