Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/22/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Without the Fundamental human right to life, all other derivative rights are jeopardized

Once again, this inaccurate interpretation of the principles offered in Catholic teaching on social justice is raised as a banner, but only to obscure the foundation of all justice -- the fundamental human right to right to life. Without the Fundamental human right to life, all other derivative rights are jeopardized. In effect, the very infrastructure of human rights is placed at risk!

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/22/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Abortion, Right to Life, Religious Liberty, Catholic vote, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, Vincent Rougeau, Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - This past Sunday a friend of ours named Alex attended Mass in Washington, DC, at the well-known Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish in Georgetown.Alex has been part of a Catholic outreach effort in several battleground states. Its specific goal has been to educate Catholic voters on the key distinction between settled or non-negotiable principles and issues - and those which allow for the proper exercise of our prudential judgment. 

What, however, did he find on the front of the Holy Trinity bulletin? Alex found an article from Prof. Vincent Rougeau, Dean of Boston College Law School, which portrayed the prudential judgment issue of how to best approach the provision of health care as if it were a settled issue (reprinted from America, Aug. 13-20, 2012.)

In this article, Dean Rougeau praised the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law passed by the Obama administration. He did not mention that it was publicly opposed by the Catholic bishops because, particularly through the implementation of the notorious HHS Mandate, it provides federal funding for abortion and mandates the provision of abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception. In addition, it contains no real exemption for religious institutions, fails to recognize the fundamental human right to religious liberty and violates the conscience of health care workers. These are genuinely settled issues of a serious nature.

Rougeau wrote: "Most countries with the necessary financial means (and some without it) have provided universal health care to their citizens and residents for decades because it was fairly obvious that human dignity required it. Universal health care is a moral imperative, something a political community ought to offer if it hopes to encourage meaningful membership and participation in the community, both of which are essential to a well-functioning democracy."

Is this reprinted article intended to influence the vote of Holy Trinity parishioners? Absolutely! It's introduced in the Holy Trinity bulletin thus, "In the article, Dean Rougeau suggests how, as Catholics, we might understand our responsibility as a voter and a citizen."

Does the argument contained in Rougeau's article help the reelection of President Obama? Of course! This is not to suggest that Holy Trinity has done anything in violation of its non-profit status -- it has not.  But, the pastor of Holy Trinity has employed his latitude as a teacher of the faith to mislead his flock on two fronts: First, on the Church's vital distinction between settled and prudential issues, and, second, by omitting any reference to the abortion funding in Obama's health care legislation, or the opposition of the USCCB.

The bulletin's introduction to Rougeau's article also announced, "Part Two will appear in next Sunday's bulletin," the Sunday two days before the election on Nov. 6. (We knew where the District of Columbia 3 electoral votes were headed anyway.)

Rougeau, as our friend pointed out, included an extremely objectionable argument near the end of his article -- that Catholic values should be put aside. He vaguely refers to the abortion issue but claims it is trumped by the need for universal health care:

"Although I take very seriously the role that we as Catholics should play in bringing our values to the discussion of specific aspects of national health care policy, I think it is more important to make sure that everyone who needs health coverage has it - period. Allowing people to go without access to decent health care in the midst of this nation's extraordinary affluence is at best a shameful misdirection of our priorities and at worst evidence of a nation blind to the basic requirements of social justice."

Once again, this inaccurate interpretation of the principles offered in Catholic teaching on social justice is raised as a banner, but only to obscure the foundation of all justice -- the fundamental human right to right to life. Without the Fundamental human right to life, all other derivative rights are jeopardized. In effect, the very infrastructure of human rights is placed at risk! We pray that this repugnant habit, whether mere rhetoric or not, will be put aside by Catholics in coming decades.

To his credit, Alex attempted to discuss his objections to this article by Dean Rougeau being featured in the Holy Trinity bulletin two Sundays before the national election with the Pastor. But he reported, "The pastor disagreed on all fronts and wasn't much interested in having the conversation." When pastors and other clergy place such material in front of their parishioners, they, of course, know exactly what they are doing. Alex, however, did the right thing -- even clergy need to know that the laity knows what they are doing when they do it.

Had we been the editors at America, the following ad hominem section of Rougeau's article would have been excised:

"In the United States, however, many people do everything they can to prevent the entire population from receiving health coverage because they cannot stand the idea that the government (as opposed to the free market) might be in the best position to provide it or because they despise the President and his political party or because of disagreements about whether particular procedures should be covered."

Really? Just who are these "many people?"  We would have removed this comment, given that it reflects not only on the mean, subhuman Republican Party but on the bishops themselves. 

And who are these people who "despise the President and his political party?" We doubt very much if Dean Rougeau actually knows any of the "many people" about whom he speaks -- it's not likely he runs into them at Boston College law school or his social circle.

Perhaps Dean Rougeau has the gift of seeing into the souls of those who disagree with the President's pro-abortion policies and sees a hatred driving their pro-life objections?  Ah, but we don't know that to be the case anymore than Rougeau knows whether or not they "despise the President and his political party."

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

As hundreds of bills languish on his desk, push is on to 'fire Harry Reid' Watch

Image of The GOP now hopes to use those examples to build a case against Harry Reid and argue that his procedural stranglehold is the reason for the Senate's painful levels of gridlock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The GOP is now calling for either the resignation or firing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Republican National Committee is launching a two-week "robo-call" campaign in efforts to nationalize Senate races across battleground states, arguing that each ... continue reading


DOES the President have the unilateral power to legalize illegal aliens? Hoyer: No Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Does U.S. President Barack Obama have the unilateral right to convert countless illegal immigrants to legal status? House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that President Obama "can't legalize" the illegal aliens, but added that the president "can ... continue reading


RATCHETING UP SANCTIONS: U.S. Europe increase sanctions against Russia Watch

Image of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he is not considering adding new sanctions. Australia lost 28 citizens on Flight MH17. Abbott said that at the moment

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy have been announced by U.S. President Obama. It's all part of Washington's latest efforts to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy,' Obama celebrates achievements of Muslims Watch

Image of A recent survey found that 72 percent of Muslim-Americans approve of the President, more so than any other religious group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the persecution of Iraqi Christians at the hands of Islamic jihadists continued, President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement this past weekend thanking Muslim Americans for their many "achievements and contributions...to building the very ... continue reading


U.S. Bishops say Obama's executive order 'implements discrimination' Watch

Image of Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new order by U.S. President Obama that forbids federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," has been denounced by U.S. bishops as "unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed" and, in effect, ... continue reading


Israel harshly critical of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, called 'an Alien' Watch

Image of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent decision to use Qatar as a conduit through which to communicate with Hamas, effectively ditching an earlier Egyptian proposal which the group had rejected has stirred the pot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and Israel have been the staunchest of allies since Israel reached statehood following World War II - but this doesn't mean that the nations have always seen eye-to-eye. Indeed, the right-wing faction of the Israeli government are harshly ... continue reading


President Obama is 'mailing it in', bought the farm - spending lots of time golfing and goofing off Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lackadaisical. That word is used to define "lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy." Lackadaisical appears to described U.S. President Barack Obama as of late. The president is pending an awful lot of time playing golf while the nation and the ... continue reading


In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all the ... 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, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... 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