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

Article 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 calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Ron Paul says he will not pay IRS fine against his non-profit org Watch

Image of Ron Paul suggested his group will fight the IRS if they attempt to enforce a fine against Campaign for Liberty.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, a nonprofit political group, has been targeted by the IRS. The IRS has demanded to see the group's donor list, a demand the group has refused to meet which has led to a fine. The organization now says it will not pay the fine. LOS ... continue reading


Report says Christianity should be taught Watch

Image of Religions place in public education is a hotly debated issue for Americas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is commonly, though wrongly, accepted knowledge that public school teachers are not allowed to teach the Bible, biblical values, or Christian history in public schools. It is a debate that dominates every part of life, from a single household to the federal ... continue reading


Obama has proposed 442 tax hikes since taking office and you won't believe what he could tax next! Watch

Image of Obama has proposed hundreds of tax increases and more could come within the last two years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama has attempted 442 tax increases during his six years as president so far, and more are likely to come as the administration looks for ways to pay for their proposals. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the numbers suggest why it's important to have ... continue reading


Hey Eric Holder, where are the special prosecutors? Watch

Image of Hey Holder, why won't you answer simple questions?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At several federal judges said last week that in their professional opinion, Attorney General Eric Holder has exceeded his authority by giving federal prosecutors "improper instruction" to reduce drug sentences prior to official approval of new guidelines. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Corruption runs deep - Ranking member of Committee asked to explain 'surreptitious communication' with IRS Watch

Image of Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has suspicious contact with the IRS. He has also resisted efforts to compel Lois Lerner to testify.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is asking its ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) why he had surreptitious communication with the IRS over a group that received unlawful IRS scrutiny. The committee says the public deserves a "full and truthful explanation" ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder lashes out Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder has been under some intense, unflattering scrutiny as of late, stemming from the "Fast and the Furious" debacle. Holder went "off script" during a speech given at the National Action Network. While lauding the organization's effort ... continue reading


House Republicans contemplating jail for Lois Lerner Watch

Image of Lois Lerner could go to jail if she refuses to cooperate with investigators.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Republicans are contemplating the arrest of Lois Lerner for contempt in the event the Attorney General, Eric Holder refuses to act on their findings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to investigate whether or ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder gets 'ghetto' during hearing Watch

Image of Attorney General became angry and slipped into colloquial speech during a hearing with Representatives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder might not be in contempt of a Congressional hearing, but he certainly behaved contemptuously in our opinion, when he was questioned as to why his department could provide documents to terrorists and their attorneys but not congress. After ... continue reading


Your government at work: Feds ATTACK lone cattle rancher with army --to protect a tortoise Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy is under siege on his cattle ranch by a small army of federal agents, over a tortoise and unpaid grazing fees.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shocking paramilitary action in unfolding in the high Nevada desert pitting the Feds against a lone rancher and his cattle herd. It's the stuff of fiction, but it is happening right now and the U.S. government doesn't want anyone to know what they are doing. LAS ... continue reading


SEARCH AND READ - ACLU opens database of leaked NSA documents Watch

Image of Americans have widely condemned NSA spying, but little has changed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU has launched its own database of documents leaked by Edward Snowden as well as other disclosures regarding at activities of the NSA. The ACLU says the documents will serve as a primary source for understanding the government's interpretation of its authority ... 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, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:21-22, 25, 27
21 My hand will always be with him, my arm will make ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-21
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 1:5-8
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 17th, 2014 Image

St. Anicetus
April 17: Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and ... 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