Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Pardon Me, While I Get Sick….

November 4th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Spiritual toxemia?  Soul-eating organisms?   Metastatic apathy?  Or just a good old tummy rumbling heave-ho of a bad meal?  Regardless of the diagnosis, the source is clear:  Catholic News Service’s reporting as a case of almost heroic virtue: “Catholic hospitals give advice to ease insurance confusion.”   And for an extra finger down the throat, consider this didn’t appear in the National Enquirer or even “City”, but in the Diocese of Rochester’s own publication: “The Courier.”

301233_497603713594077_1767322673_nSadly, many had hoped that our Apostolic Administrator might have taken a more authoritative stance over what can appear or not appear in a presumptive teaching vehicle of the Catholic Church.  But is it News that there is such dissidence in the Church?  Well, minor news perhaps, but hardly unexpected. 

The issue isn’t just what is written with the “Catholic” name, but also where leadership chose to present it — and the potential damage to souls.  The poorly catechized who read the article  can easily assume from the way it is written that the Catholic Church now accepts all the heretofore unacceptable parts of the HHS mandate.  The question is not so much WHY Catholic News Service provided such an article, but why DoR’s Diocesan Courier would choose to print it?  And, we ask, why would our Apostolic Administrator choose to run the article without even a sidebar explanation or clarification.  Of course, it is always possible that he didn’t know or approve it.  In that case, the powers-that-still-be in the DoR need a little more of a bit in their mouths, and some spurs in the sides.  For, as St. Paul learned, “it is hard to kick against the goad.”

The “explaining” being done by those so-called Catholic Hospitals to help people enroll in Obamacare is not their explaining of Church teaching or conscience issues or witnessing to why the Church holds her beliefs, but rather of how to fill out the forms to get the freebies.  And, some of these organizations are getting big bucks for their facilitation.  Big bucks such as grants and subsidies have held sway over Catholic organizations before, and the current Administration is not naive to buying what it cannot otherwise have. 

The link shown above will lead to the entire content of the subject article in today’s Courier.  Being very careful of the Washington-based Catholic News Service’s copyright on this article, and suspecting it is invoked more often against critics than against fawning admirers, the following are a few particularly objectionable items:

Navigators are  people who guide others through the “maze of the new health care law” [with their own spin if favorable to HHS?], sympathizing with the frustration of those trying to use a disastrous website, and the pseudo implication that it will be “fixed by the end of November.” 

Direct quote is given that it is “extremely rewarding” to see people who have been unable to afford insurance get it for the first time.  But it is rewarding for the navigators or their institution as well.  The article praises the hospital  health fairs and social media being used “to get the word out about available health insurance.”  Aaaah, then the money.  “…the largest Catholic nonprofit hospital chain in the U.S. … received two federal grants to serve as navigators … $165,683 and … $202,706.”   So, in essence, it seems that these ‘navigators’ at Catholic hospitals have been co-opted to become pimps for an immoral piece of legislation.

While affirmation is given by one of the hospitals ‘senior director[s],’  it seems more about signing up people for insurance, being “compassionate,” than true compassion about the effect such coverage might have on the souls of those signing up, and their potential complicity in evil.   Buried way down in the text, the author touts the bishops’ earlier call for such health care insurance, though not endorsed by them due to the Church’s position on elective abortion and conscience rights [and, maybe, can we say, contraceptives and sterilization too?]  But there is no explanation of how these navigators seem to be in a fog themselves on the moral issues.

The article reports there have been “105 recipients of navigator grants,”  but seems to make no connection to how these navigators are dealing with the bishops’ teaching, or even if the so-called navigators are Catholic.  Then there is the misleading statement that “Final rules implementing the mandate include an exemption for some religious employers fitting certain criteria. There also is an accommodation for some employers to use a third party to pay for the objectionable coverage.”  

Such a statement seems to add undeserved credibility to the argument that an ‘accommodation’ addresses the objections, which it does not, but rather looks more like face-saving words so the bishops can say they have upheld Catholic teaching, but really, they have just been made to look like fools if they are silenced now.  2012 Stand up sign  002 

Nothing of substance changed since their original objections.  You remember?  The objections about which they asked us all to “STAND UP for Religious Freedom!”

Among the more outrageous elements of the article is its quoting Sister Carol Keehan,  still esconced in her position as the Catholic Health Association’s CEO, saying that  “hospitals and community agencies should view this time as an ‘historic opportunity’ to educate the uninsured about insurance coverage.”  This statement from one who clearly separated herself from the bishops’ teaching, publicly endorsed Obamacare, and ran the CHA which  “last year submitted friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.”    “CHA said it accepted the HHS accommodation….”  No surprise, the CHA is “included in HHS’ list of ‘Champions for Courage.'”

There is more to read.  Then, please share your thoughts about WHY a supposed Catholic Newspaper would run this article.  Don’t they know that the poorly catechized person in the pew will glance at the article and assume it means that there are no moral concerns any longer about the elements of Obamacare?   If they know, don’t they care?


3 Responses to “Pardon Me, While I Get Sick….”

  1. Richard Thomas says:

    Perhaps I am a bit angry but you can never rely on most bishops and priests to faithfully preach and teach all that is Catholic but many, too many of them are willing to spout the “party line” pushing and advocating much of the platform of the Democratic Party. Excluding the sacraments that I am totally grateful, I find thesm useless as teets on a bull.

  2. sydwynd says:

    “it seems more about signing up people for insurance, being “compassionate,” than true compassion about the effect such coverage might have on the souls of those signing up, and their potential complicity in evil.”

    So, catechesis aside for a moment, I get my health insurance through my employer, the ACA does not affect me. My employer’s plan includes benefits for contraception and/or abortions. Should I turn down health insurance for my family on moral grounds? If not, then why is this different for someone that signs up for insurance under the ACA? That statement seems to imply that having insurance coverage is in and of itself immoral.

    There are portions of the law that many find morally objectionable. Working to update the law based on these objections is a worthy goal. Additionally, educating Catholics on the official teaching of the Church on these issues is appropriate. But I firmly believe providing health insurance to the poor who cannot otherwise afford it is the moral thing to do.

    As for the article itself, I did not draw the conclusion that you did. I did not assume that there were no longer moral objections to the law simply because Catholic hospitals are assisting people with signing up for coverage. The article focused on the “process” for signing up for coverage, not the moral objtions to portions of the law.

  3. militia says:

    This is not an easy decision. There are people who plan to pay the fines and finance their own health care in order to avoid their premiums being used for even one abortion, or one contraceptive, or one abortofacient. Not saying it’s a church law to do so, just that good people with all the facts should make the most moral decision they can, given their own means and ability, and the needs of those who depend on them.

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