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Catholic Teaching and Healthcare Reform: The Proper Role of Government
Life And Liberty/ SummorumPontificum.net ^ | April 2012 | Mark Chuff and Mark Frederick

Posted on 04/19/2012 3:40:02 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catholic Teaching and Healthcare Reform: The Proper Role of Government

By Brian Kopp

The following full page ad is being run in newspapers in Altoona, Johnstown, and Pittsburgh PA by our local pro-life group. Anyone who would like to use this for advertisements in their own market is free to use/reproduce the text of this ad:

     
In adhering to the doctrine of the Church, Catholics must follow specific moral teaching relative to the life issues (i.e. abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, etc.), and Catholic social teachings which include the person, society and the role of government etc. (i.e. economic injustice, health care). When moral teachings are distorted, one arrives at false and erroneous conclusions. One such distortion is the Seamless Garment argument which holds that all life issues have equal weight. The argument, while trying to unify a life ethic fails to recognize the preeminence of certain life issues (abortion and euthanasia) over others. The Church teaches that abortion and euthanasia are intrinsically evil act and never justifiable. Abortion and euthanasia are the preeminent life issues. Capital punishment in contrast, although an important life issue is not intrinsically morally evil as is abortion and euthanasia. Some, including many Catholics, have used this distorted argument to justify voting for a pro-abortion candidate (because the candidate is against capital punishment or another lesser life issue).

A true culture of life recognizes the above distinction and values the inviolability of human life, from conception to natural death. 

In the same way, when social teachings are distorted, one could conclude that the Catholic Church obliges governments to provide national health care for its citizens. What the Church has taught is that governments have a duty to ensure their citizens have access to basic healthcare. Their role is to facilitate an environment where access to care is available; quite different than a government-run system. This point was emphasized in a pastoral letter from Kansas City Bishops Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann - Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas and Most Reverend Robert W. Finn - Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph as they quote recent Popes. (August 22, 2009) 

“Right to Acquisition of Health Care”
“The right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it. Yet in our American culture, Catholic teaching about the “right” to healthcare is sometimes confused with the structures of “entitlement.” The teaching of the Universal Church has never been to suggest a government socialization of medical services. Rather, the Church has asserted the rights of every individual to have access to those things most necessary for sustaining and caring for human life, while at the same time insisting on the personal responsibility of each individual to care properly for his or her own health.” 

Misguided Compassion

Many Catholics have a misguided compassion relative to government give away programs. They equate government provisions with charity, and as a means to achieve social justice. Often unseen however is the danger in socialistic programs and welfare states which - although providing for people - have a negative and sometimes unintended consequence of creating dependency and diminishing motivation and enterprise. 

The Kansas City Bishops, referencing Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict in this matter noted:
Pope John Paul II wrote:

“By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.” (Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus #48) 

And Pope Benedict writes:

“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need... In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est #28) 

The Limits of Government
The Church has provided safeguards and guidance in this area of Social teaching, especially as it relates to the function of government. They point to basic principles such as the obligation to the common good, Solidarity with our fellowmen and a key principle of Subsidiarity. The Kansas City Bishops emphasize that the Principle of Subsidiarity is fundamental to the work of health care reform, stating:



Case in Point
The Obama Administration’s recent Health and Human Services Mandate is a precise example of what the Church warned about. The mandate, only a small part of “Obamacare” requires religious health care providers to defy their conscience by offering contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion- inducing drugs. This is an egregious over-reach of the federal government and ignores the aforementioned principles. It’s overly secularized and bureaucratized system which ignores the conscience of individuals and organizations. The mandate drew the ire of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, and many Protestant leaders who have spoken out vehemently against it. 

Put simply, Obamacare mandate erodes our First amendment right to freely exercise our religion. This is no surprise to those aware of President Obama’s anti-life record. 

The President’s Record on Life and Liberty

President Obama has demonstrated hostility toward life and religious freedom throughout his political career including:

-As State Senator, Obama opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have provided care and protection for infants born alive after an abortion.

-As a candidate, he made derogatory statements such as that of people “clinging to their guns and religion.”

-Changing the first amendment language by referring “freedom of religion” as “freedom of worship,” knowing full well how social engineering is

preceded by verbal engineering.

-Under the Obama administration the Army restricted the Catholic Bishop’s letter from being read by chaplains to their men and women... yet

another first amendment infringement!

-Denying Catholic Charities funding for their treatment program of victims of human trafficking because they refused to refer victims for abortions.

-Most recently, the U.S. Department of Education quietly changed eligibility requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgivenes Program to specifically EXCLUDE people who do any kind of public service work for a religious organization or institution.

The list goes on and on... To read more on the President’s record see www.lifenews.com/2010/11/07/obamaabortionrecord 

Battling Back: The Legislature and Courts Last month, an Amendment was introduced in the Senate to give religious employers a conscience exception. Unfortunately, it was defeated 51-48 with nearly every Democrat voting against it!
Many are calling for another amendment, perhaps from the House of Representatives, but nothing yet has emerged. There are numerous lawsuits challenging the mandate, including seven on behalf of various states. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in late March which challenge Obamacare as unconstitutional. Experts believe the vote could go either way given the recent liberal appointees. 

The Inevitable Result
If amendments, lawsuits and Court challenges fail, this will have a grave effect on all institutions.
In his Sunday column in Catholic New World, Catholic Cardinal George wrote that only three options will exist for Catholic institutions to avoid shutting down under the Obama administration’s mandate: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop, 2) to pay exorbitant annual fees to avoid paying for birth control-inclusive insurance policies or 3) to “sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government.” “The state is making itself into a church,” the Cardinal wrote ... (March 6th 2012 Huff Post Chicago, The internet Newspaper: News blogs video Community)
The Cardinal added that if the President does not rescind this HHS mandate there will be not Catholic hospitals or services in the next two years!!

Do what is Necessary!

Regardless of what may happen in the legislature and courts, people of conscience should give this thoughtful prayer and become politically ACTIVE! Let your representative know you want him or her to take a stand to protect our liberties. Those who voted for Obama, in particular Catholics, must examine his record, inform their conscience and vote accordingly. 

page1image39320 page1image39404
We hope and pray this leads to an anti-Obama vote. Life and Liberty are at stake!
Written by Mark Chuff and Mark Frederick Paid for by Mark Chuff , Mark Frederick and friends
To learn more about this and other related issues, visit us on facebook.


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/19/2012 3:40:09 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: TeĆ³filo; Cronos; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; Mad Dawg; ArrogantBustard; ...

Thoughts?


2 posted on 04/19/2012 3:41:05 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
somebody email it to Cardinal Dolan.
3 posted on 04/19/2012 3:49:37 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: the invisib1e hand

Email: Archbishop Timothy Dolan

archbishop.dolan@archny.org


4 posted on 04/19/2012 3:58:59 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
he was put on notice of Archbishop Nickless' exposition on this very topic before the American people were bound by this evil law.

As recently as last month he declared (in a statement he requested be disseminated at local parishes): "The Church has advocated universal healthcare for nearly a hundred years."

Whatever he meant, in the minds of your average Kennedy Catholic, those words are manna.

5 posted on 04/19/2012 4:02:01 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Brian, this is very well written. My primary thought is in the same vein as one expressed by Ann Barnhardt: in the end, there will be but one path left to us, regrettably: noncompliance. We cannot abide by these regulations, nor the in-a-year-or-so adjustments the HHS claims it will make. Any other path leads to mortal sin and damnation, as far as I can see it, whether quickly or slowly. Of course, the one other thing we can do: pray.


6 posted on 04/19/2012 4:31:38 PM PDT by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: sayuncledave
We have a half page follow up ad coming out next Tuesday signed by a half dozen of our local physicians.

in the end, there will be but one path left to us, regrettably: noncompliance.

I posted a thread about our "options" last week:

Bishops warned: Obama will seize assets, only proper response is "Courageous Defiance"

7 posted on 04/19/2012 4:43:29 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

bkmk


8 posted on 04/19/2012 4:58:08 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Often unseen however is the danger in socialistic programs and welfare states which - although providing for people - have a negative and sometimes unintended consequence of creating dependency and diminishing motivation and enterprise.

Something the do-gooder nuns and many lay people of Catholic Charities will never understand.

9 posted on 04/19/2012 5:26:10 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
My thought:

The old adage, a HAND-UP, instead of a HAND-OUT, has never been more true when it comes to the Church (hand-up) and the Democrats-Obama (hand-out).
Politicians have been BUYING votes for years with promises of hand-outs. They KNOW it hurts people, but then, what else is new?

10 posted on 04/19/2012 6:44:34 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: SuziQ
Often unseen however is the danger in socialistic programs and welfare states which - although providing for people - have a negative and sometimes unintended consequence of creating dependency and diminishing motivation and enterprise.
Something the do-gooder nuns and many lay people of Catholic Charities will never understand.

All that you say is true. I don't see them in my parish, thank goodness. The nuns there are older and haven't too many illusions about people.
The do-gooder nuns and those "many lay people" that YOU mention obviously haven't been listening to their head nuns, priests and bishops.

I've seen those kind of do-gooders in all walks of life that serve the population: politicians, lawyers, teachers, counselors...mostly YOUNG ones. As people age, deal with people and learn about life, you would THINK some of that experience would SINK IN.

11 posted on 04/19/2012 6:54:09 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Mrs. Don-o
You very rightly discuss the issue of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violating the principle of subsidiarity, as mentioned by Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Finn.

The one point that I think has never truly been brought up is that this Act fundamentally violates the principle of the common good (in fact, a flawed understanding of this principle has led "the common good" to be used as, ironically, the justification for this Act).

Examining this principle, we see it succinctly defined by Pope John XXIII, in his encyclical, Pacem in Terris, paragraph 58: the common good of all "embraces the sum total of those conditions of social living whereby men are enabled to achieve their own integral perfection more fully and more easily."

This is a definition that is very commonly in use. Unfortunately, people don't read the very next paragraph: Men, however, composed as they are of bodies and immortal souls, can never in this mortal life succeed in satisfying all their needs or in attaining perfect happiness. Therefore the common good is to be procured by such ways and means which not only are not detrimental to man's eternal salvation but which positively contribute to it.

Nor do they read down a couple of more, where it says: It should not happen that certain individuals or social groups derive special advantage from the fact that their rights have received preferential protection. Nor should it happen that governments in seeking to protect these rights, become obstacles to their full expression and free use. "For this principle must always be retained: that State activity in the economic field, no matter what its breadth or depth may be, ought not to be exercised in such a way as to curtail an individuals freedom of personal initiative. Rather it should work to expand that freedom as much as possible by the effective protection of the essential personal rights of each and every individual."

Here is where the fallacy of the socialistic interpretation of the common good comes into play: by reinforcing dependency through Robin Hood policies, this misuse of the principle of the common good results, on one hand, in a condition of envy on the part of those who would receive benefit and, on the other hand, miserliness, on the part of those whose property is taken in this Robin Hood scheme.

Further, there is no way that it could not be argued that to carry this scheme out, a portion of society received special favor at the expense of the other.

The spiritual effect of this should be obvious for anybody to see.

Furthermore, a careful reading of this encyclical shows us that John XXIII viewed the role of civil authorities as one of promoting the common good, not of providing the common good. One should ponder this a bit. The two words have distinct meanings.

As he also wrote in that encyclical, 56. In the second place, the very nature of the common good requires that all members of the state be entitled to share in it, although in different ways according to each one's tasks, merits and circumstances. For this reason, every civil authority must take pains to promote the common good of all, without preference for any single citizen or civic group. As Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII, has said: "The civil power must not serve the advantage of any one individual, or of some few persons, inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all."[40]

The bottom line is that, according, not only to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but to John XXIII, the role of the civil authority of a State is not to provide, but to promote the right behaviors of the members of society and to create the economic and social climate within that society where each member of society can provide for himself and his family. In addition, the State has a legitimate role to protect members of society from unscrupulous individuals who would use their position to deprive other members of society of their legitimate rights...rights that result in their ability to provide for themselves.

Consequently, rather than providing substandard medical care to all, in the name of the common good, the common good demands that the civil authority protect society from those who would put them under such slavery.

Ironic, isn't it?

12 posted on 04/19/2012 7:30:33 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley
Oops, in formatting the post on the blog, I missed the whole quote on subsidiarity!

Here is how it should have read:

The Limits of Government
The Church has provided safeguards and guidance in this area of Social teaching, especially as it relates to the function of government. They point to basic principles such as the obligation to the common good, Solidarity with our fellowmen and a key principle of Subsidiarity. The Kansas City Bishops emphasize that the Principle of Subsidiarity is fundamental to the work of health care reform, stating:

“This notion that health care ought to be determined at the lowest level rather than at the higher strata of society, has been promoted by the Church as “subsidiarity.” Subsidiarity is that principle by which we respect the inherent dignity and freedom of the individual by never doing for others what they can do for themselves and thus enabling individuals to have the most possible discretion in the affairs of their lives (See: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, ## 185ff.; Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1883). The writings of recent Popes have warned that the neglect of subsidiarity can lead to an excessive centralization of human services, which in turn leads to excessive costs, and loss of personal responsibility and quality of care.” 

13 posted on 04/19/2012 8:05:00 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Catholic Teaching and Healthcare Reform: The Proper Role of Government

Doesn't the doctrine of subsidiarity come into play here? In our Constitutional framework, it seems the Church would say that each branch of the federal and state government is to do what is Constitutionally appropriate for it to do, everything else left up to the people, in their private associations, both religious and secular (familial, work, and church affiliations) to decide best how to care for themselves and those for whom they have responsibility. If Chinese Buddhist Americans want to get together to contract to get a good health plan for other Chinese Buddhist Americans from this or that health care provider, it's nobody's business to claim that this shouldn't be permitted because there wouldn't be enough Vanuatu Lutheran Americans to band together to provide for themselves a similar medical package, and to say that disparate coverage by disparate groups means that a government entity must decide on something that's "fair" for all.
14 posted on 04/19/2012 10:23:40 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

Yes, see post # 13.


15 posted on 04/20/2012 6:31:00 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: markomalley
This is an extremely good point. People forget that in defending the interests of liberty and property, we are defending them for everybody: in a free society, the liberty to work and keep most of your earnings (low taxes), engage in business without complex, costly licensing and regulation (free enterprise), and build on contract relationships which are secure, and with currency that is stable --- these are the keys to overcome poverty and aoid a degrading condition of lifelong dependency for yourself and your family.

Not sure what document this quote came from, but I have it written down somewhere: "The right to private property is essential, epecially for the poor, who have so little of it." Pope Leo XIII

16 posted on 04/20/2012 12:25:19 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The first duty of intelligent men of our day is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
When this issue surfaced, it annoyed me that the msm allowed liberals to make the case for equal employment rights. None of the spokespersons for the Church pointed out that the Church is not in the healthcare business or the education business to make money. In both cases, these institutions rely heavily on private charitable contributions to make ends meet. The Church has always built and run schools and hospitals for ministerial purposes and the employees of these institutions are there to serve others as Christ instructed us. Thus, they can not be separated from any aspect of Catholic tradition. It annoys me that I still haven't heard Cardinal Dolan (or at the very least someone like Fr. Johnathan Morris on FOX) clearly make that point to non Catholic observers.
17 posted on 04/22/2012 2:04:18 PM PDT by presidio9 (catholicscomehome.org)
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