Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/22/2012 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

BANNING BULLETS: Obama to use executive action to ban ammo for popular hunting rifle Watch

Image of The inexpensive 5.56 M855 ammo, commonly called

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Banning all firearms across the United States would take a massive effort, and certainly not many Americans would willingly give up their protection. According to a memo, U.S. President Barack Obama intends to use his executive powers to ban the bullets for the ... continue reading


Abercrombie & Fitch's 'looks policy' under fire for stark employee discrimination of Muslim girl Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abercrombie & Fitch faces yet another lawsuit for potential discrimination. The hip clothing store has previously been under fire for lack of racial diversity in both employment and advertisement and for limited sizing choices. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING REPORT: Social Security card in hand, illegal immigrants can claim back tax benefits Watch

Image of Lawmakers have expressed distress that amnestied illegal immigrants could be potentially rewarded for illegal work.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Workers living and employed here illegally appear to be on a fast track to join the American dream. According to a Congressional Research Service, or CRS, memo, those illegal immigrants able to obtain Social Security Numbers and work permits due to President ... continue reading


NOT SO FAST! Net neutrality to get onceover before approval Watch

Image of Democrat Mignon Clyburn on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote later this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The hotly debated "Net Neutrality" - which will determine how the 21st Century's preferred mode of communication and information - is not a sure thing, just yet. Democrat Mignon Clyburn on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new ... continue reading


Democrats can dish it out - but are now shying away from Obamacare penalties Watch

Image of As those taxpayers discover the penalty they owe, they will already be racking up a new, higher penalty for 2015.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It looks like Democrats can dish it out, but can't take it. One of the stipulations of health care reform, or "Obamacare" was those who chose not to enroll had to pay a penalty come tax time. Now, as millions begin to file their taxes, Democrats are having ... continue reading


Human Tide: Texas' porous border allows thousands to flood in from Mexico Watch

Image of Speaking out on CBS's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Porous borders - one where demarcations are hazy and ill-defined, allowing people to cross over into another country without proper accounting, was one of the reasons for the Ebola crisis in East Africa. There exists a similar situation between the United ... continue reading


'Terror threat' from American right-wing extremists discussed at summit Watch

Image of The mastermind behind the Alfred P. Murrah building bombing attack, Timothy James

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Domestic terrorism in the United States has long been an ongoing concern. The White House held a "Countering Violent Extremism" summit last week to talk about "extremist ideologies that radicalize." The summit did not address radical Islam in particular, but ... continue reading


Is Obama corrupt? Contracts for amnesty being pushed at 'full-throttle pace' by Department of Homeland Security Watch

Image of The population of potential requesters for the president's deferred action will be

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite a federal court's decision to halt President Obama's amnesty order, the White House continues to award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms to process millions of illegal immigrants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The population of potential ... continue reading


Blackwell and Morrison: Obama's ISIS Policy - Above US Only Sky Watch

Image of With the murders this week of twenty-one Coptic Christians on the beach in Libya, the world has seen an example of the cruelty and barbarism. The Obama administration regularly denies it has anything to do with Islam.

By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

With the murders this week of twenty-one Coptic Christians on the beach in Libya, the world has seen an example of the cruelty and barbarism. The Obama administration regularly denies it has anything to do with Islam. Islam must change. The world cannot survive ... continue reading


Ron Paul issues dire warning: Secession is happening Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The time is here, the United States' may soon be no more. According to former Republican presidential candidate and congressman, Ron Paul, the states will stop listening to federal laws. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I would like to start off by talking about ... 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, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
15 Costly in Yahweh's sight is the death of his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:31-34
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 1st, 2015 Image

St. David
March 1: According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of ... 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