Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cardinal George Fears the Health Care Pig

It's probably too little, too late, but at least Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has publicly scolded the so-called Catholic Health Association for its support of the health care reform bill that is on the verge of becoming the law of the land.

The CHA head, Sister Carol Keehan, issued a letter to lawmakers this week urging them to "quickly" pass the Senate health care reform bill that includes no prohibitions on the direct public funding of abortions.

So much for expecting a nun to uphold Catholic teaching.

Cardinal George says the bishops are puzzled that lawmakers have settled on the onerous Senate bill as the focus of their efforts.

We tried to warn you! You thought you could trust the Congress and the president when you can't even trust the people to whom you entrusted the operation of the nation's Catholic hospitals?

Here's what Cardinal George said on Monday, according to LifeSiteNews:

George pointed out the slew of flaws that the U.S. bishops find "deeply disturbing" in the Senate health bill, including its lack of conscience protections, Hyde-amendment protections against federal abortion funding, and the millions in new funds for Community Health Centers which will be available to fund abortions.

"It expands federal funding and the role of the federal government in the provision of abortion procedures," he explained. "In so doing, it forces all of us to become involved in an act that profoundly violates the conscience of many, the deliberate destruction of unwanted members of the human family still waiting to be born."

The cardinal directly disagreed with the Catholic Health Association's favorable assessment of the bill.

"This analysis of the flaws in the legislation is not completely shared by the leaders of the Catholic Health Association," stated George. "They believe, moreover, that the defects that they do recognize can be corrected after the passage of the final bill. The bishops, however, judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote.

"Assurances that the moral objections to the legislation can be met only after the bill is passed seem a little like asking us, in Midwestern parlance, to buy a pig in a poke."

I know that we are, for the moment at least, one the same side, but I would like for Cardinal George and the other Catholic bishops to consider some other questionable moral aspects of this or any other federal health care legislation.

1. We cannot abrogate our responsibility as individuals or as the Church to provide for the needs of the sick by passing it off to the government. This goes against the clear teaching of Christ.

2. It is immoral to force one's neighbor to pay for one's charitable impulses. The mandates in this legislation, and in the abomination of a government program that will follow, does just that. We use the power of the government, through threats of fines and jail sentences, to force others to do what we think is a good thing. The end does not justify the means, and you'd think the bishops would know this.

3. Socialized medicine has never been successful in any country where it has been attempted. Indeed, government health care's history is that of unmitigated disaster. Knowing this, is it moral to force Americans to follow the same path?

4. The U.S. Constitution does not permit the federal government the authority to force individuals to buy a product, even if it is in their best interest. Health care is a product. Is it moral to support legislation that violates the fundamental legal framework of a country, without amending that framework?

5. Is it moral to give away the authority of the Church to supervise and regulate its own health care ministries to bureaucrats who will not and never will be answerable to religious authority; indeed, will be duty bound to ignore and repudiate any attempts by religious authority to influence the delivery of medical care from those once-noble Catholic medical institutions?

By focusing on the narrow issues of conscience and abortion, the Catholic bishops indicated that they believed health care reform to be a "done deal" and so they merely tried to steer it into a less objectionable path.

If, instead, they had relied on First Principles and opposed federalizing health care as a matter of the greater morality of maintaining the Christian ownership of performing spiritual and corporate works of mercy, then we might not have come to this point.

The Progressives (and closet Marxists) are using "good intentions" to pave the road to a socialist Hell in which our nation will be, as Barack Hussein Obama predicted shortly before his election, "fundamentally transformed."

It has happened in other countries and it has without exception been a very bad thing for Christianity.

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At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent comment. As a life-long Catholic I now despair of the Church. Why did not the Bishops firmly oppose all aspects of the Obamacare monstrosity? Maybe when they start to be actively persecuted by the Government they will belatedly realize that their accommodation ultimately proved counterproductive? Were they also perhaps accommodating a large constiutency--illegal Hispanics- and selling their souls?
God help the Church.


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