Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

8/25/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Funding killing of unborn children or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs is not 'common ground'.

The growing misuse of Catholic 'common ground' and 'common good' language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism.

The growing misuse of Catholic 'common ground' and 'common good' language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism.

Highlights

By

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/25/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


DENVER (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver is a prophetic and courageous voice defending life, marriage, our obligations to the poor and the right to religious freedom. He embraces the full meaning of the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the dignity of every human person and articulates that message with clarity, conviction and passion.

The Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado is a shining example of the "New Evangelization" which the late Servant of God John Paul II called for and which his worthy successor, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is now leading. The seminaries are full, the parishes are growing (in fidelity and number)and the ecclesial movements are flocking to find a missionary outpost.

This editorial appears in the August 26, 2009 edition of the Denver Catholic Register. Given its clarity of thought and the urgency of this matter, we present it in its entirety for our global readers:

*****

Health care and The Common Good

Archbishop Charles Chaput

"Last week a British Catholic journal, in an editorial titled "U.S. bishops must back Obama," claimed that America's bishops "have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue - making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion - rather than the more general principle of the common good."

It went on to say that if U.S. Catholic leaders would get over their parochial preoccupations, "they could play a central role in salvaging Mr. Obama's health-care programme."

The editorial has value for several reasons. First, it proves once again that people don't need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a "specifically Catholic issue," and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic "common ground" and "common good" language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism.

No system that allows or helps fund - no matter how subtly or indirectly -- the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as "common ground." Doing so is a lie.

On the same day the British journal released its editorial, I got an email from a young couple on the east coast whose second child was born with Down syndrome. The mother's words deserve a wider audience:

Magdalena "consumes" a lot of health care. Every six months or so she's tested for thyroid disease, celiac disease, anemia, etc. In addition, she's been hospitalized a few times for smallish but surely expensive things like a clogged tear duct, feeding studies and pneumonia (twice). She sees an ENT regularly for congestion, she requires a doctor's prescription for numerous services - occupational therapy, physical therapy, feeding, speech, etc. -- and she needs more frequent ear and eye exams.

I could go on. Often, she has some mysterious symptoms that require several tests or doctor visits to narrow down the list of possible issues. On paper, maybe these procedures and visits seem excessive. She is, after all, only 3 years old. We worry that more bureaucrats in the decision chain will increase the likelihood that someone, somewhere, will say, "Is all of this really necessary? After all, what is the marginal benefit to society for treating this person?"

What do we think of the [Congressional and White House health-care] plans? A government option sounds dangerous to us. The worst-case scenario revolves around someone in Washington making decisions about Magdalena's health care; or, worse yet, a group of people -- perhaps made up of the same types of people who urged us to abort her in the first place. In general, we feel that policy decisions should be made as close as possible to the people who will be affected by them. We are not wealthy people, but our current set up suits us just fine. We trust our pediatrician, who knows us very well, who hears from us personally every few months, who knows Magdalena and clearly sees her value, to give us good advice and recommend services in the appropriate amounts.

We are unsure and uneasy about how this might change. We worry that we, and Magdalena's siblings, will somehow be cut out of the process down the line when her health issues are sure to pile up. I can't forget that this is the same president [Obama] who made a distasteful joke about the Special Olympics. He apologized through a spokesman . . . [but] I truly believe that the people around him don't know -- or don't care to know -- the value and blessedness of a child with special needs. And I don't trust them to mold policy that accounts for my daughter in all of her humanity or puts "value" on her life."

Of course, President Obama isn't the first leader to make clumsy gaffes. Anyone can make similar mistakes over the course of a career. And the special needs community is as divided about proposed health-care reforms as everyone else.

Some might claim that the young mother quoted here has misread the intent and content of Washington's plans. That can be argued. But what's most striking about the young mother's email -- and I believe warranted -- is the parental distrust behind her words. She's already well acquainted, from direct experience, with how hard it is to deal with government-related programs and to secure public resources and services for her child. In fact, I've heard from enough intelligent, worried parents of children with special needs here in Colorado to know that many feel the current health-care proposals pressed by Washington are troubling and untrustworthy.

Health-care reform is vital. That's why America's bishops have supported it so vigorously for decades. They still do. But fast-tracking a flawed, complex effort this fall, in the face of so many growing and serious concerns, is bad policy. It's not only imprudent; it's also dangerous. As Sioux City's Bishop R. Walker Nickless wrote last week, "no health-care reform is better than the wrong sort of health-care reform."

If Congress and the White House want to genuinely serve the health-care needs of the American public, they need to slow down, listen to people's concerns more honestly -- and learn what the "common good" really means."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Supreme Court justice Sotomayor warns about drones encroaching on American way of life Watch

Image of Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that she's particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unmanned surveillance planes called drones pose a threat to the privacy of American citizens, warns Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Speaking to students at Oklahoma City University's law school, Sotomayor says that frightening changes in technology ... continue reading


Obama says Islamic State 'is not Islamic' - what are they, then? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama vowed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria, He intends to do so with airstrikes and a minimal military presence on the ground. The president also declared that the Islamic State terrorists "are not Islamic." ... continue reading


Obama vows to attack Islamic State militants 'wherever they exist' Watch

Image of There has been some progress made against the group. After more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in the past month, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have halted the Islamic State advance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist." Obama will be sending a limited U.S. military presence of 475 personnel. The president also declared that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition ... continue reading


Opinion: We Need a Blue Collar Conservative like Rick Santorum in the 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum is not an establishment candidate. He threatens establishment leaders in both major political parties. he has always played the role of the underdog and been counted out by the many self professed experts. That is one of the greatest assets he would bring to the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the potential to draw voters from across party lines and help to forge a new governing coalition which can resuscitate the American dream and set us on a course to brighter future. I sincerely hope he runs.

By Keith A. Fournier

Rick Santorum is a statesman in an age of salesmen - and women. He is a man with a chest.  I will be watching his movements over the next few months. If he decides to run, and I hope he does, he will bring along with him into his presidential campaign a ... continue reading


Pelosi favors sweeping regulations to save net neutrality and ban Internet 'fast lanes' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an unpopular stand for many Republicans, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she wants to give federal regulators sweeping new powers over Internet access. It's a necessity in order to save net neutrality and protect Internet users, she says. ... continue reading


READY TO STRIKE: President Obama prepared to use airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of President Obama believes he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have spoken with the president recently.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From admitting that he had no policy in regards to Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama is now ready for some clear decisive action. The president says that he is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria in order to defeat the militant jihadist group ... continue reading


Real cost of Obamacare - 350,000 jobs loss and premium hikes for small businesses Watch

Image of Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new analysis of the effects of the health-care reform law, Obamacare has taken a toll on small businesses. According to a new study, there have been millions of dollars in reduced pay and hundreds of thousands fewer jobs. In short - many ... continue reading


More emails 'lost' connected to Lois Lerner case Watch

Image of IRS teacher Lois Lerner, who was placed on leave and has since retired, has emerged as the key figure in congressional investigations.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the most recent development, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS says it has lost emails from five more employees' part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Team Clinton turns on Obama! Foreign policy in new book dismissed as 'feckless' Watch

Image of A scathing new book from a member of Team Clinton takes President Obama to task for an unfocused foreign policy.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The honeymoon appears over between top U.S. Democratic alliances, the Clintons and the Obama administration. A member of the Clinton kitchen cabinet is out with a new book that slams U.S. policy as "muddled, irresolute, and even feckless." Doug Schoen's takes ... continue reading


Is hummus too fatty? First lady Michelle O's diet plan driving kids away from school lunches Watch

Image of As championed by Michelle Obama, the new school diet plan is fraught with loopholes.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First lady Michelle Obama has rolled up her sleeves and launched a campaign against childhood obesity by devising a diet that eliminate high-fat foods from school lunches . The trouble is, kids find the approved school lunches too bland and are seeking ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter