Catholic Health Care Rifts
Catholic Health Care Rifts
Apr 13, 2024 9:33 AM

As rumors of congressional action on health-care reform continue to swirl (it will happen Sunday, maybe?), fissures in the American munity are ing increasingly evident.

The rift is highlighted in the current, in some ways unprecedented, public dispute between two important Catholic voices. By size and clout, the principal health-related organization of a Catholic identity is the Catholic Health Association. The official organ of the American Catholic bishops as a collective is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Although tension between the two on the matter of health-care reform could be discerned a long time ago, the disagreement was largely hidden by ostensibly shared principles of mitment to Catholic moral norms (of chief importance, opposition to abortion and to public funding thereof) and to extending health care access to all people.

But as the rubber hits the road, the CHA has parted ways with the USCCB, in a fashion that can no longer be ignored. In essence, the CHA says that the Senate bill currently under consideration is the best we’re going to get under the circumstances, its benefits outweigh its liabilities, and its protection against public funding of abortion is adequate (or at least will be adequately addressed at some point). The USCCB says no, the bill does permit public funding of abortion. (The matter plicated–there is a sense in which the bill can plausibly be said not to fund abortions directly with government money–but I believe the USCCB interpretation is the more honest and accurate. The claim that there is no funding of abortion is basically an accounting gimmick: in effect, tax funds collected by the federal government would be enabling abortion in a way that they are not, at present.)

Outside the channels of the USCCB, individual bishops have been even more outspoken. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver says,

Regrettably, groups like Network and the Catholic Health Association have done a grave disservice to the American munity by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.

This split between the CHA and the bishops is a shame. Catholic hospitals are a vital part of the Church’s mission, not to mention the American health care sector. But the CHA’s support of flawed health-care legislation in the face of the Church’s leadership is but the culmination of a history promise of Catholic moral teaching and a gradual acceptance of secular concepts of social justice and charity.

For further reading, see the Catholic Medical Association’s recent statement.

Acton pundits have already weighed in on the inadequacies of current reform proposals and the path to a more helpful approach. Abortion is understandably at the center of this controversy, but we have also argued that, leaving aside abortion, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity can be much better served by moving in a direction divergent from that envisioned by congressional plans now being considered.

Welcome to mreligion comments! Please keep conversations courteous and on-topic. To fosterproductive and respectful conversations, you may see comments from our Community Managers.
Sign up to post
Sort by
Show More Comments
Acton Commentary: Obama Administration Leaves Human Trafficking Victims Out in the Cold
“Most of us enjoy an economy where we can purchase with ease the things we need and enjoy. However, there is no moral justification for mercialization of some things; human beings are not products to be bought and sold,”writes Elise Hiltonin the latest Acton Commentary (published October 3).The full text of his essay follows. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publicationshere. Obama Administration Leaves Human Trafficking Victims Out in the Cold By Elise Hilton Imagine...
On Call with Dr. Pamela Casson
Dr. Pamela Casson, a pediatrician in Colorado Springs, knows what it means literally to be “On Call.” This week she shares with us in this video interview with Jon Hirst how she sees God working through her in her work with families, children and the world around her. Thank you Pamela for giving us an inside look at how you see your work as blessing the world. ...
Stop Apologizing for Our Liberties
You cannot apologize to a fanatic, says Lee Harris. It only serves to convince him that he was right all along: The last few weeks have witnessed a peculiar and disturbing spectacle: An American administration that has spent a great deal of time and energy apologizing for our liberties—in particular, for what many would regard as the foundation of all our other liberties, namely, the freedom to express our minds as we see fit. This signature freedom, of which Americans...
Want to Help the Poor? Promote a Free Market in Health Care
Want to help the poor? Promote a free market in health care. That’s the argument made by John C. Goodman, author of the new book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. Timothy Dalrymple recently talked with Goodman about the best approach for restoring free-market pricing mechanisms into the market for medical care and health insurance: Aren’t there some people, however, who have little of money and lots of time, and would prefer to wait in order to receive cheaper care? There...
Mr. President, it isn’t your job to ‘channel’ America’s genius, grit and determination
One line from last night’s debate leapt out at me. It wasn’t a stumble amidst the cut and thrust of open debate. It was during President Obama’s closing statement—400 words that I’m guessing he and his staff crafted with painstaking care. About half way through his summation, the president gave his vision of government in a nutshell. He said that “everything that I’ve tried to do, and everything that I’m now proposing for the next four years,” was “designed to...
Get the Audio Edition of Defending the Free Market
The audio book version of Rev. Sirico’s Defending the Free Market has just been released, and is available at Amazon. If you haven’t bought book yet (or even if you have) you’ll want to download a copy today. ...
Did 2,362 Millionaires Get Unemployment Checks in 2009? (Answer: Yes they did.)
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a group that works exclusively for the U.S. Congress, issued a report with one of the greatest titles I’ve ever seen on a government document: Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by e Unemployed Workers (“Millionaires”) Now the first nine words are nothing special, typical policy-wonk speak. But whoever added in the word “millionaires” with scare quotes and parentheses is a genius. Most people would have been nodding off around the word “Insurance” but seeing millionaires (that’s...
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Two Kingdoms, and Protestant Social Thought Today
Jordan Ballor’s paper, “Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Two Kingdoms, and Protestant Social Thought Today,” just made the Social Science Research Network’s current Top Ten download list for Philosophy of Religion eJournal. From the abstract: Last century’s Protestant consensus on the rejection of natural law has been quested in recent decades, but Protestant social thought still has much work to do in order to articulate a coherent and cogent witness to contemporary realities. The doctrine of the two kingdoms has been put...
Is it really ‘aid’ if it goes to relatively wealthy nations?
Alan Duncan, an aid minister in the UK, says his government is “forced” to hand over large amounts of money to the EU’s foreign aid budget, but has no say in how the money is spent. The problem is that much of the $2 billion+ “aid” money (one-sixth of the British budget) goes to projects such as making a Moroccan water park more eco-friendly, an art project in St. Petersburg, and building a hotel and plex in Barbados. Britain’s International...
Dodd-Frank: The Other Serious Threat
At least es at us head on. The greater legislative threat may be the one that most Americans have never heard of. Economist Scott Powell and Acton friend Jay Richards explain in a new piece in Barron’s: While Obamacare received more attention, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd-Frank after its Senate and House sponsors, … unleashed a new regulatory body, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to operate with unprecedented power. Dodd-Frank became law in...
Related Classification
Copyright 2023-2024 - www.mreligion.com All Rights Reserved