In the past week, we have seen multiple negative responses to our views on supposedly Catholic institutions’ involvement with the Obama administration’s health care “reform” plan. We have also seen attacks by leftist “Catholic” entities on our friends at Family Research Council.
Apparently, criticism of the Obama proposals have engendered a bit of ire on the part of some, including Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, who wrote in his blog, “Catholics United will be working in key states throughout the August Congressional recess to correct inaccuracies about health care reform proposals and to build support for health care reform within faith communities.”
Korzen also continued his verbal attack on FRC: “The Family Research Council's continued effort to distort the facts leads one to wonder whether the group's true intent is to derail health care reform. Instead of issuing misleading attacks and inciting fear, the Family Research Council would do better to support efforts aimed at implementing abortion-neutral policies in health care reform legislation.”
Please note that Korzen accuses FRC of making statements that “distort the facts” and are “misleading.” He then goes on to suggest that everyone should agree that as long as health care reform legislation is “abortion neutral,” we should be pleased.
In essence, his argument is that regardless of whether the federal government even belongs in the business of dictating health care policy, Catholics United is sticking with the program. This seems to be the consensus among some similar entities as well, including Catholic Charities USA, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Catholic Health Association.
In fact, just recently CCUSA not only disputed our report, calling it “inaccurate,” but its president, Father Larry Snyder, also claimed, “These attacks appear to be politically motivated by opponents of health care reform. They are distortions of the truth and disingenuous. Catholic Charities USA will continue to work to reform health care in a way that is consistent with the teachings of our faith.”
The problem with such statements, particularly from Father Snyder, is enormous. First of all, Father Snyder is intimately involved with the Obama administration, having accepted an appointment to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Father Snyder sits on the President’s Advisory Council with none other than Harry Knox, a militant homosexual activist who has described the Knights of Columbus as the “foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression.”
Furthermore, just a few days ago, on behalf of CCUSA, Father Snyder publicly expressed his gratitude for receiving a five-year, one hundred million-dollar contract from the federal government. Reportedly, the funds are earmarked for disaster relief.
All of this leads one to wonder what exactly Obama has been stirring up. His administration has been persuading various so-called Catholic leaders that—regardless of Catholic magisterial teaching—there is a seat at the table for Catholics who will set aside the tragedy of abortion for the supposedly greater cause of “reforming” health care, via Obama’s virtual fiat.
InsideCatholic.com’s director, Deal Hudson, who addressed the same problems in his commentary “Why Catholics will not get abortion out of the Obama health care bill,” asked,
So why should either Congress or the White House be afraid of Catholic criticism of the health care bills as they now stand? Yes, the USCCB has made its official statements, but there's no great roar of opposition to the prospect of federally funded abortion services as a part of universal health care.
As far as the public's perception is concerned, the "Catholic" imprimatur on health care reform has come from Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Health Association, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. (God help us if L'Osservatore Romano weighs in on this!)
The good news is the two-month delay in voting on the bill. Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, told the National Catholic Register, "Right now, these bills are a moving target.… But we will stay on top of it and continue to educate the public."
Whether or not abortion services remain in the health care bill will be a definitive test of the bishops' ability to educate and to put the "fear of God" in the Congress and the White House. It is a test, I fear, they will fail.
We also have the prominent Catholic commentator and author Philip Lawler, explaining to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, that the health care “reform” problem has been created by the same administration that has done all within its power to ensure that abortion is freely available to anyone and everyone. Lawler’s compilation of the facts is irrefutable. He points out, in introductory comments, “The following information– which is not my own work, but the work of astute friends in Washington, DC– provides all you need to know about the Obama White House plans regarding abortion and health-care reform.”
Yet the “Catholic” panderers continue to add the powder and water to Obama’s Jell-O!
What America is facing is potentially cataclysmic, but for Catholics, the situation is even worse. Most Catholic leaders are not listening to the voices of reason and are not leading the flock along the road to Calvary. Instead, they apparently prefer the road to slavery under the Obama regime. They are also largely overlooking the question of subsidiarity, recently addressed by noted Catholic scholar and commentator Jeffrey Mirus, Ph.D. in “The Problem(s) with Federal Health Care”:
With respect to life issues, the United States Federal government has demonstrated a fairly consistent immoral ideological bent over the past fifty years, an ideology more or less continuously evident in court decisions and frequently manifested in both Congress and the White House. Therefore, we must ask ourselves why any fundamentally moral person would wish to place medical care in the hands of the Federal government at all?
Perhaps Americans have become so supinely dependent on government over the past few generations that they cannot conceive of any other solution to widespread social concerns than to shift more power to the highest possible governmental level. This knee-jerk reaction, unfortunately often exhibited even by Catholic bishops, amounts to a sort of instinctive violation of the principle of subsidiarity—one of the cornerstones of Catholic social teaching. The principle of subsidiarity, which holds that authority over human affairs should always be vested at the lowest feasible organizational level, is essential to human dignity because it is the only way to preserve the immense good of deep personal involvement in arranging one’s own affairs. As subsidiarity crumbles, tyranny and—in well-organized modern nation states—totalitarianism are the inevitable result. One would think the history of the twentieth century had already made this abundantly clear.
It is time for each Catholic—whether lay, ordained or consecrated—to rethink the path the American Church is following at this moment. The problem underlying this entire situation and the one that has troubled me the most is this:
Forty years ago, when I first became involved in fighting against abortion, I heard from my pastor (an incredible Catholic priest who never hesitated to preach about sin, hell and the need to confess one’s sins) that abortion was an act of murder. In fact, Father Willenberg, God rest his soul, was the first person to point out that even one abortion is a scourge upon our nation.
At that moment in time (1969), unbeknownst to me, the federal government, in conjunction with Planned Parenthood and its allies, was setting the wheels in motion for a program known as Title X of the Public Health Service Act. This was and is a federal funnel for pouring tax dollars into the coffers of pro-abortion organizations.
Since that time, the federal government has gotten deeper and deeper into the contraception and abortion funding business. The government has turned a blind eye to science, to rational thought and to God. So why are the USCCB, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association leadership now apparently willing to trust the very same federal government with taking over health care in America? Or even to simply “reform” it?
When a government condones wholesale murder and calls it “reproductive choice,” what could these supposedly Catholic leaders be thinking?
Now is the time for sincere prayer, for recommitting ourselves to stopping this juggernaut some call health care “reform” and, especially, for humble reassessment of government’s proper role concerning respect for the dignity of the human person.
Now is not the time for Jell-O, which is another name for lack of fortitude.