Obama’s Latest Fig Leaf is Not Acceptable

Friday, February 10, AD 2012

Update III:  The USCCB Pro-Life Director Richard Doerflinger and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey agree with me that this “accommodation” or “compromise” is unacceptable.  Sadly Sr. Keehan of the the Catholic Health Associate found this “satisfactory”.  It looks like Obama will be happy that Sr. Keehan is on board.  Of course, Planned Parenthood and Sr. Keehan agree.

Update II:  Rumor confirmed.  Insurance, that Religious Institutions pay into, will provide contraception, ie, it is still a violation of the First Amendment.

Update I: Rumor is that “Hawaii” compromise will be offered, but the bishops have already rejected this.  So basically it’s a poor attempt at stalling and not really offering a solution.

The buzz this morning is that Obama is “caving in” to the pressure and will announce a “compromise” today at 12:15pm Eastern.

The news reports are saying that Religious Organizations won’t have to offer birth control, only the insurance companies that these Religious Organizations provide will offer birth control.

Yeah, that’s the compromise.

If these reports are true, this is dead on arrival.  Changing the meaning of the words won’t do it.

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34 Responses to Obama’s Latest Fig Leaf is Not Acceptable

  • It’s George Orwell’s 1984, except the date should be 2012.

  • …only the insurance companies that these Religious Organizations provide will offer birth control…

    And who pays premiums into the insurance pool? The Religious Organizations and in most cases, their employees. This is no compromise; it’s word-smithing.

  • Exactly Big Tex.

    I wish I were more eloquent and prescient as you were, but I wanted to get this out and digested before Obama did another Pravda Announcement.

  • Next, he’ll offer 30 pieces of silver, the price of a man.

    I’m insulted.

    He must think we are as stupid as he.

  • Pingback: . . .Breaking: Obama Compromise is No Compromise. . . | ThePulp.it
  • Politics at its worst. This administration is not caving in on anything. They are mandating and telling the insurance companies what product to sell and at what price to sell. Unconstitutional.

  • He’s on the run.

    Don’t accept the first.

    Counter with: “Resign tyrant.”

  • Let’s pretend that birth control is a health issue (hahahah, sorry — I’ll stop laughing now). Since when is the President qualified to ORDER medical treatments? Did he go to medical school or something?

  • Lord have mercy. Has Sr. Keehan have no shame? No conscience? Her bishop should have a friendly chat with her, remind her that part of the reason the Church and the entire country is in this mess is in part her doing, and then politely ask her to keep her mouth shut.

  • Unfortunately it may be that Sr. Keehan has no problem with contraception, sterilization etc.

  • She also has no problem in wearing anything but a habit.

  • HHS was The Institute of Medical Services idea. BO and KS said so.
    The change in payment was recommended by some Insurance Business Institute.
    One, quick little mention of ‘religious liberty’ being intact, so there you guys who are complaining so much.

    Contraception was the whole focus of what HHS means to USA, no mention of the laundry list of other ‘care’.

    Contraception is good for preventing women’s health problems. What about all the studies of causes for women’s cancer? Women, not girls, what happened to the 11 year olds that were going to be ‘cared’ for? Not PC for a noonday speech for Catholic listeners. Ugh. More questions than answers from he who was paid by a Catholic org. to do work.

    Contraception is the lowest common denominator of appeal for those who would trash Church teaching before letting go of complacency.

    No apology for using the word Mandate in olden times like yesterday. Now, it’s all about being the bearer of ‘good’ compromise for all concerned, especially those who want contraception. Politics, pandering to voters, and shutting up the Church.

  • I think Sr. Keehan has no idea how insurance works.

  • from he who was paid by a Catholic org. to do work.
    He said so.

  • Too busy today to do anything right now except to note that this is no compromise and anyone who thinks it is is either a fool or a knave. Obama truly does have nothing but contempt for those outside of his ideological bubble.

  • Who is this Senior Keehan?

  • Obama went out of his way to say that he supports freedom of religion, pointing out that one of his stints as a community organizer in Chicago was funded by a Catholic group.

    Gag me with a spoon. I wonder which Catholic group funded his community organizing. I wonder further if those funds made their way through the CSA.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-announce-accommodation-religious-groups-contraceptive-rule-enough-170500694.html

  • There can be no compromise with evil.

    I would hold out for his resignation. That’s me.

  • Another great takedown of this duplicitous “compromise” over at Vox Nova.

  • Haha Paul. I’ll comment on that later. I’ll let others read the takedown first.

  • “Sister” Keehan is a traitor. If she approves of this, then it is not to be trusted. The road of compromise is never ending! Don’t take it. Time for Catholics willing to suffer persecution to stand up and be counted. If Obama wins this, it’s all over for Faith and freedom. Wake up America!
    Immaculate Conception pray for us.

  • I’ll update my post with that link, Paul. Good catch.

  • If the bishops will not or cannot make (Sr.) Keehan behave then hopefully the vatican will discipline her and her order. She is a disgrace to American nuns who are pro-life. In effect, she is giving comfort to the enemy and she needs to be stopped!!!

  • I clicked on the link thinking someone at Vox Nova had actually written something critical of Pharaoh Obama’s “compromise.” It seems most there are content to retreat into philosophical condemnations of American Democracy and other acts of mental onanism.

    I suspect MM is waiting for the Dem talking points.

  • Phillip:

    Kudos. I am afflicted with violent nausea by ravings of lunatics that believe in a vast array of dumb and illogical rubbish.

    Apparently, that pack of catholic Commies (adherents of the gospel of Mao) believe the destruction of the evil, unjust private sector justifies both the damnation of souls and the denial of basic human rights, i.e., religious liberty.

    Seems, they have bought into the tyrant’s alibi: the “welfare of humanity justifies enslaving humanity.”

    You are too kind and genteel. I would have waxed sort of alliterative: “acts of mental masturbation.”

  • The vn are not compromising with evil. They are evil.

  • There aren’t enough exorcists — are there?

  • I was going to rebuke T Shaw for going a bit too far, but he’s really not far afield. To rationalize this decision in such a way is just astounding. There really is no road low enough for these folks at VN. That said, I have to agree with Tony on one thing.

    Think of Romney attacking Obama when he did the same thing in Massachusetts!

    Well, at least that one was non-demented sentence in the rant.

  • How did Sr. Keenan get quoted? I understood this article was about what Catholics thought?
    Dan Malone

  • May God Change Sr. Keehan’s heart. We all should pray she converts and repents. She is truly a lost soul directing others to HELL.

  • The Catholic Church will never obey this mandate, not if all the powers of Hell were to shove it down our throats. I know that moral doctrine may seem a strange and ancient thing to your administration Mr President, but understand that as Catholics, we are required to disobey unjust law. Commanded. It is our duty. Do you understand the gravity of the ultimatum you’ve made? You have placed the faithful Catholic in a position in which he must choose between obeying your mandate and obeying God. To comply with the HHS mandate will be considered a sin. Regardless of how you view your actions, do not so easily ignore how the Church views your actions — as attacking her flock. Force the mandate on faithful institutions, and faithful institutions will shut down their services. Force it on our hospitals, our universities, our schools, and our convents and we will bear the consequences of looking you, Sibelius and all the rest in the eyes and saying “No.” As it turns out, the Church doesn’t give a damn what you think — She never has cared for the powers of the world — and will resist you with all Her might. To be briefer still, and to say what those bound by politics cannot: Bring it.

  • Me and my wife have been trying to have a child for over a year and we are seeing a fertility doctor who is putting my wife on birth control for one month to regulate her cycle (i.e., as part of a plan aimed at treatments during the following month). I don’t think this is a sin and I don’t see any problem with the Catholic Church providing those contraceptives if I worked for them. I don’t see the catch-22 Nancy describes because it seems the sin only occurs when contraceptives are used to prevent a pregnancy. Although contraceptives can be used in a sinful way, so can other health-related drugs, medical devices, or equipment. The most obvious examples are the use of many prescription drugs to commit suicide or to be abused. In the case of these other drugs, the Church doesn’t eliminate the drugs from their health plan but instead provides them and expects Catholics to follow its teachings and not use the drugs in the commission of a sin. Why are contraceptives different? They have a number of non-sinful uses, including use by non-Catholic employees or to regulate menstruation (i.e., in someone who is not having sex). I don’t see why providing these drugs would be any more a sin than providing Oxycontin or morphine. Would it be a sin for the Church to provide baseball bats because they could be used to commit a murder?

3 Catholic Hospitals To Close Allegedly Because Of Obamacare?

Monday, October 11, AD 2010

CatholicVote is mounting a campaign to bring attention to 3 Catholic Hospitals that are closing. The CEO said that ObamaCare “absolutely” factored into the decision.

This is certainly a troubling concern, made more so by the allegations that the White House, the local media, and Sr. Keehan have tried their best to quiet the story.

However, one has to be cautious. The report that CV apparently relies on is based on a doctor’s opinion-a doctor that does not appear to have any knowledge of the actual discussions at the hospitals in question. This unnamed doctor alleges that it is due to Obamacare restricting the ability of the hospital to collect Medicare reimbursements and thereby making its debt unbearable.

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8 Responses to 3 Catholic Hospitals To Close Allegedly Because Of Obamacare?

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  • I agree with the overall gist of your post but I feel obliged to say that “unbearable debt” and “not profitable enough” are two quite different financial states. Your use of the phrase “not profitable enough” seems intended to imply that greed might be a factor. Exactly how much debt should Americans, catholic or otherwise, have rammed down their throats before they resist? Should we wait until the Greek debt crisis, with its concomitant violent civil unrest, looks like amateur hour compared to our own economic collapse? I do however agree that pro-life issues are a separate issue, and even more important, in this particular context.

  • Ugh, pardon my grammatical pratfall in that last sentence. Hopefully my point still came through.

  • Your use of the phrase “not profitable enough” seems intended to imply that greed might be a factor.

    I understand why you might think that, though it was not intentional. I only meant “not profitable” enough in order to have the resources to pay back its debt. I’m not accusing the hospital of short-changing patients in order to make a bigger buck somewhere else.

  • While Obamacare may not be a factor in the hospitals’ decisions, I can tell you non-profit hospitals are very afraid of what health care reform will do to revenues.

    The cover of a hospital administration magazine recently had its cover story about the potential threat to non-profits that health care reform holds. The cover photo was of a Catholic hospital.

  • Here’s from the CEO of the involved hospitals:

    “”Actually we’re doing well. We’re ahead of budget for the year. It’s more that when we look out over the landscape of health care over the next five years and the needs of these facilities, the needs of this community, we understand a different level of investment will be needed than what we can do on our own,” Cook said.

    They said much of that required investment is the result of the health care reform bill passed in Washington.

    The CEO said it means the need for more spending and less federal reimbursements.

    “Health care reform is absolutely playing a role. Was it the precipitating factor in this decision? No, but was it a factor in our planning over the next five years? Absolutely,” Cook added.”

  • Philip:

    Do you have a link for that quote?

    I’m a little confused by the quote, but it sounds like the hospitals think they’re required to expand services/facilities and combined with the other investment the hospital needs to do, the budget isn’t there so they want to bring in private investment to take over so the investment in the community can occur.

    While that may be a little more damning of Obamacare, it’s still a very tenuous connection. After all, they say the planning began before Obamacare, suggesting that much of the investment couldn’t be afforded even if Obamacare was passed.

    Regardless, CV needs to produce a lot more evidence before making the claims it’s making. A sentence quote isn’t enough.

Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

The American Life League (ALL) is making a strong case of placing most of the blame for passage of ObamaCare squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

What the ALL is alleging is that the USCCB was very desperate to push for universal health coverage that they compromised on some key principles.  One of which was that of abortion where instead of fighting against abortion they decided to stick their heads in the ground and use “abortion neutral” language.

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10 Responses to Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

  • It was imprudent for the USCCB to advocate for universal health care. While it is important and appropriate for the USCCB to explain the moral rules of engagement regarding access to health care, how a society can best satisfy those moral imperatives is outside its competency. Its opinions are no more or less instructive or insightful than mine, yours, etc. One of the most important moral rules of engagement regarding health care is that abortion is unacceptable.

  • I agree with Mike, but this is BS. The bishops (who certainly favor HC reform of some sort and in many or most cases prefer a government based system) were one of the loudest and most influential voices against abortion and the lack of conscience provisions. If it weren’t for them and other pro-life orgs like NRTL Obamacare would have steamrolled through with generous abortion provisions. In large part it was their influence with “pro-life” Dems that resulted in making the matter an obstacle to be overcome by Dem leadership and gaining what little protections there are.

  • There = their. Illiterate or something.

  • RL,

    Got it fixed for you buddy.

    Cardinal George personally telephoned pro-life GOPers to push for the pro-life amendment when it was in the House.

    He didn’t do any such thing when Bart Stupak and his Benedict Arnold’s reversed course and put the death sentence on innocent unborn children.

  • I’m with RL. The USCCB was one of the loudest opponents of ObamaCare. To say that they are somehow responsible for it passing is bizarre.

  • Thanks Tito.

    The bishops spoke to anyone and everyone who would listen. They made it clear to Stupak too. The bishops were rightfully disappointed in the “pro-life” Dems that changed their vote, and outraged at the shenanigans and betrayal of the CHA. I use the owrd outraged because that is pretty much what it would take for them to speak so disapprovingly publicly.

  • Why is it that anyone continues to think that our bishops are men of honor? Which of them would accept martyrdom in support of Church? Why was it necessary for the Vatican to issue rules about the protection of children?

    Blind mouths, as Milton called them.

    Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
    A sheep-hook, or have learn’d aught else the least That to the faithful herdman’s art belongs!
    What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
    And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
    Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw:
    The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
    But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw
    Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
    Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
    Daily devours apace, and nothing said:

  • Gabriel,
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process.

  • Politics are a problem for the USCCB. There are many so called “Catholics” who continue their support of todays culture and relativisms in Congress. The only fault of these Bishops , for most of them , is their inability in their teaching of the Church’s tenets to really enforced these teachings on those politicians after meetings and consultations with these so called “catholics” who continue to support the culture of death. A good example is the record of Nancy Pelosi and yet the extreme measure of excomunication is not used. These leaves many of the laity to wonder why they also can not pick and choose what tenets they may or may not follow, or disagree with, or why if these politicians are are able to cotinue their ” standing ” in the Church why then can’t they.

  • Mike Petrik said Friday, July 16, 2010 A.D.
    “Gabriel,
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process”.

    My point is quite simple: our bishops are failing in their duty. Compare ours with the bishops in China, Vietnam, Africa.
    A.N.Whitehead described religion in our time as “decoration for comfortable lives”. Our bishops are afraid; they congregate behind the chancery walls and the bureaucratic pomposities of the USCCB.

    Consider but the inanities of Fr. McBrien, published in so many diocesan papers. Uncharitable is permitting his misleading notions to be published under episcopal authority. {One among many examples: Fr. McBrien believes that ensoulment of the fetus happens three months after conception – which is to say that an abortion before the 3rd month is not murder].

    Bishops like hanging around politicians. They are not unlike the Arian bishops who delighted in being received at the court in Constantinople. Plus ca change…

Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

The ever exceptional Catholic blogger Diogenes couldn’t help himself as he commented on “Sister” Carol Keehan’s reading at a Mass for retired Archbishop Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

“Sister” Carol Keehan, who is the president of the Catholic Health Association, endorsed ObamaCare.  Thus declaring themselves in contradiction with Francis Cardinal George and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who opposed ObamaCare.

Here is Diogenes’s brilliant column:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has devoted so much of his episcopal career to the effort to make everyone comfortable, is approaching his 80th birthday, and already the celebrations have begun.

(No, I don’t mean the celebrations of the fact that as of July 7, “Uncle Teddy” will be ineligible to vote in a papal conclave—although that’s definitely reason enough to chill the champagne.)

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11 Responses to Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

  • More likely—and we’re talking dollars-to-donuts here—she was chosen as a signal that in the benign view of Cardinal Ted, we’re all still friends, despite our little disagreements on subjects such as whether or not babies should be dismembered in the womb.

    So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.

    CHA and Sister Keehan do not think babies should be dismembered in the womb. As long as you continue with this misrepresentation, all you get is proof of your own ill will.

  • Henry K.,

    You wonder why you are placed on moderation?

    It’s because of your unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on many of the columnists here at TAC.

    “Sister” Keehan is clearly going against Church teaching as she gleefully accepts a pen from President Obama in celebrating the murders of millions more innocent children.

  • Tito,

    Not only is she a sister, she didn’t celebrate the murders of millions… nor did Obama. And you talk about “unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks…”

  • Henry K.,

    She pushed hard, using the Catholic Health Association, to help pass ObamaCare.

    ObamaCare will fund millions of abortions.

    Your comments are bizarre and without basis.

  • She pushed hard to get health care reform. She believed that the reform bill will not fund more abortions. Therefore, she is not celebrating the death of more children.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

  • Henry K.,

    She has reached the age of reason.

    She has received a fine education in Church teachings prior to accepting final vows.

    She has purposely and consciously decided to oppose Church teaching by supporting and pushing for the death of millions of innocent unborn children.

    She was gleeful in her acceptance of one of the pens that President Obama gave her that he used to sign ObamaCare with.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

    Are you trying to be funny?

  • Guys,

    Anyone who supports Obama supports a man who believes in the “right to chose”.

    Anyone who supports Obamacare supports the “right to chose”.

    Now people can use all the obfuscation and sophistry they want, but one cannot in good conscience support either Obama or Obamacare.

    I wish people would pay attention to the daily Old Testament readings this week from 2nd Kings. The people of Judah were deported to Babylon because they sacrificed their own children to Baal, Asherah, Molech and the other Canaanite gods. How different is that from Obamacare which provides health insurance coverage to murder babies in the womb?

    Yes, God IS merciful and loving, and He is about to show Obama, Sister Keehan and every other liberal democrat how merciful and loving He is towards the unborn.

  • “So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.”

    Mr. Karlson,

    Back it up. You made the accusation. Provide proof. Otherwise you have nothing to offer except ad hominem.

  • Excellent, Mr. Primavera; and, of course, Mr. Edwards.

    Ancient fertility cults sacrificed first born sons (sometimes daughters, less valued) to appease the (river, rain, sun, etc.) gods and reap good harvests.

    Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Sister Carol, Henry Karlson, et al have aided and abetted the sacrifices of 47,000,000 (and counting) unborn babies for a chimera: social justice.

    And, THEIR trump card was commented on by F. A. Hayek: “ . . . ‘social justice’ is not, as most people probably feel, an innocent expression of good will towards the less fortunate, but that it has become a dishonest insinuation that one ought to agree to a demand of some special interest which can give no real reason for it. …I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice.’”

    Repent, confess, do penance, amend lives and (through personal good works) glorify God.

  • Our Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is a “Catholic”, is virulently pro-abortion,( she supported and was friends with Tiller the baby killer so IMO that says it all)and that gives one great concern when considering that she is the person who has the authority over the decision-making for the funding of the Community Health Centers.

    Here are the Bishops’ concerns:

    In the Senate bill, there is the provision that only one of the proposed multi-state plans will not cover elective abortions – all other plans (including other multi-state plans) can do so, and receive federal tax credits. This means that individuals or families in complex medical circumstances will likely be forced to choose and contribute to an insurance plan that funds abortions in order to meet their particular health needs.

    Further, the Senate bill authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills covered by the Hyde amendment and similar provisions. As the bill is written, the new funds it appropriates over the next five years, for Community Health Centers for example (Sec. 10503), will be available by statute for elective abortions, even though the present regulations do conform to the Hyde amendment. Regulations, however, can be changed at will, unless they are governed by statute.

    Additionally, no provision in the Senate bill incorporates the longstanding and widely supported protection for conscience regarding abortion as found in the Hyde/Weldon amendment. Moreover, neither the House nor Senate bill contains meaningful conscience protection outside the abortion context. Any final bill, to be fair to all, must retain the accommodation of the full range of religious and moral objections in the provision of health insurance and services that are contained in current law, for both individuals and institutions.

  • Those Catholics who support Obama and Obamacare have their reasons. I think they are much weaker then finding justification for the Iraq War or even the folloy of equating such support with support for changing the rules of engagement in Afghanistan.

    But they will hold onto whatever straw they need.

Healthcare Reform & the Magisterium

Saturday, June 19, AD 2010

In this spring’s debate over the healthcare bill, one of the disagreements that raised eyebrows most in Catholic circles was that between the US bishops conference and the Catholic Healthcare Association and other similar groups. The bishops claimed that the healthcare bill would lead to federal funding of abortions, while CHA et al. concluded that it would not.

In my opinion and that of numerous observers (including most of my fellow contributors here at TAC), the bishops were correct and CHA was horribly, terribly wrong.

There is another question, though… was CHA disobedient? That is, were they obliged as Catholics to accept the conclusions of the bishops conference? Was the activity of the bishops conference an act of their teaching charism which American Catholics were obliged to give their assent to?

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34 Responses to Healthcare Reform & the Magisterium

  • Thank you for raising this important question, Chris.

    I do not think the Catholic Health Association was “disobedient” for not taking the same position as the Bishops. I do think it was a bad political decision and I am not sure if the official stance reflected the views of every member of the CHA. The responses in the media and the internal “church war” did little to serve the visible unity of the Church. I think it could have been a more tactful disagreement — a suggestion, perhaps, that the Bishops’ reading of the legislation might need a second analysis. But it was a very pronounced disagreement that was unfortunately hijacked by the political operatives and partisan Catholics more than ready to paint the USCCB in bed with the Republicans — and we’ve surely gotten portraits of the opposite, that is, of the USCCB having succumbed to liberal politics. I’d like to think that both sides seriously needs to rethink their Catholicism before trying to translate their faith into contrived, acceptable political platforms rooted in secular schools of thought.

    I do thinks the Bishops were right in their basic analysis, but I do think some of the criticisms of their conclusions were actually very legitimate. I think there more at stake in the health care debate — something deeper than — than health care policy, or even the right-to-life issues.

    There was a lot of misinformation, single-word slogans, and rhetoric and willful partisan fighting to simply win. This was most unfortunate.

    I do not think the Senate compromise on the abortion language was necessarily immoral. Politically, it was not what we would desire first, but I don’t think it was a riot. It surely wasn’t the Capps’ language that required in explicit terms abortion funding. I thought that claims that the language was absolutely unacceptable were terribly exaggerated. I believe the scare over CHC’s were a bit naive.

    The serious overriding issue was that the legislation did not say explicitly, leaving room for no ambiguity that no provision in the Act would allow funds to be used to subsidize abortion. The Act did not say that abortion could be funded rather it remained silent. The problem is — to my understanding — is that abortion jurisprudence in the last few decades has a clear tradition of allowing abortion funding when Congress does not explicitly exclude it when it calls for, say, “comprehensive services.” The logic obviously being that abortion is a legal medical procedure and if it is not singled out, then it should be included amongst “comprehensive” and/or “preventative” services.

    There was a Colloquy (a pre-scripted dialogue that goes on the record to clarify and illuminate Congressional intent on certain provisions of a bill) before the House vote on the health care bill that clearly stated that the legislation would be subject to the spirit of Hyde as is all other federal programs.

    Such a colloquy could be cited in Court as evidence to clarify the intention of Congress (when debating whether Congress intended to allow abortion to be funded). An Executive Order obviously would be overturned if it contradicted an explicit statutory law. The problem is that President Obama’s EO does not contradict statutory law and therefore is not absolutely guaranteed to be overturned by a court. But that doesn’t mean that it would hold up in Court either. It could, but then again, it could not.

    Therefore the security of the pro-life provisions are undesirably weak. I think this would be reason enough — even though there were plenty of other reasons — to hold out for amendments to statutory law to ensure that there would no insecurity and no ambiguity over the fate of the pro-life provisions of the bill.

    This is obviously a prudential assessment of the situation and it is clear that I, with a few disagreements, came to agree with the Bishops.

    However, anyone who sincerely and honestly disagreed may not be “disobedient” or a dissident Catholic. Obviously they could be. But I’m not really talking about party operatives or Catholics who are pro-choice or for whom abortion was never really an issue.

    Someone may come to a different conclusion and I’m sure they would present the case for the EO and the final abortion language quite differently. I don’t think they would be correct but I’m not ready to claim that they are a “disobedient” Catholic.

    This brings us back to your fundamental question: was the Bishops’ position on health care an act of the Magisterium? No. I think the approach was very political and pragmatic. The Bishops mostly focused on abortion, conscience clauses for health care professionals, and access for legal immigrants. But there was so many other concerns — voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, government and private-sector rationing of medical care, abuses regarding organ donation (particularly those resulting in euthanasia) mostly because of the dubious concept of “brain death,” not to mention, financial sustainability and the overall structure of the health care system itself. The moral principles are all there but there be an array of policy perspectives from those who fundamentally agree. So I’m not sure sharing the conclusion of the Bishops (as long as one was agreeing morally) was necessary to remain a Catholic in good standing. I’d say it is probably wise not to tread too far from the Shepherds for they have a vast resource pool from which to draw to form very informed and moral conclusions.

    But if the Bishops’ analysis of legislation is an act of the Magisterium then their endorsement or opposition to any legislation whether it’s health care, immigration, or any such thing, no Catholic could disagree. And I’m pretty sure a number of Catholics, particularly in conservative circles, don’t share the USCCB’s position on immigration and therefore I’d suspect that wouldn’t go so far as to say we must always agree with the Bishops’ prudential policy judgments.

  • Can one be disobedient and not violate the Magisterium? If so, I think that happened here.

    I don’t think there was anything close to dogmatic in the bishops’ evaluation of the bill (other than abortion funding is wrong). That said, even in non-dogmatic matters deference is owed to the bishops. If one disagrees with them, one must do so after prudential consideration. Furthermore, I think one ought not to be actively campaigning against them.

    So while the CHA could disagree with the bishops, I don’t think they cared one hoot about what the bishops thought. Indeed, many of the liberal Catholics started painting this picture of the bishops as silly old buffoons easily misled by the NLRC and other Republican groups masquerading as pro-lifers. Worse, the CHA and others went out of their way to show their Catholicism in support of the bill, clearly frustrating the bishops message.

    Nothing the left did shows any support or obedience to the bishops, even if dogma did not require them to agree with them.

  • “So while the CHA could disagree with the bishops, I don’t think they cared one hoot about what the bishops thought. Indeed, many of the liberal Catholics started painting this picture of the bishops as silly old buffoons easily misled by the NLRC and other Republican groups masquerading as pro-lifers. Worse, the CHA and others went out of their way to show their Catholicism in support of the bill, clearly frustrating the bishops message.”

    Bingo! The magisterium that they are loyal to has little to do with the magisterium of the Catholic Church.

  • The misnamed Catholic Health Association was in bed with the Obama administration from the beginning on ObamaCare:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121805.html

    Abortion simply was not a priority for them in comparison to passing ObamaCare.

  • It seems to me that Sr. Keehan, the CHA et al. went out of their way to snub the Bishops, ignored the Bishops prudential judgment, and were indebted to helping the liberal establishment in passing any type of socialist or national health care regardless of what the consequences are going to be for unborn babies, elderly, and the rest of the most vulnerable human beings. They did not feel any obligation to follow the Magisterium and avoid scandal or a scandalous perception.

  • Obviously the bishop’s position on the health care bill was not a magisterial teaching. Lay Catholics take no vow of obedience to their bishops.

    I am one who thought Capps-Stupak would’ve been great but not absolutely necessary for me to support the bill. I ultimately opposed the bill on the grounds that the bishops told me to and, considering the politics, there was more to be lost in opposing the voice of the Church in America than opposing the bill.

  • Every time I see “the bishops” presented as some kind of Magisterial body I nearly want to go postal. The USCCB and “the bishops” in NO WAY have any teaching authority.

    Cardinal Ratzinger addressed this in “The Ratzinger Report” where on page 60 it says;

    “No episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.”

    http://www.ignatius.com/Products/RR-P/the-ratzinger-report.aspx

    In other words the USCCB is not an “American Magesterium” – despite the efforts of the bureaucrats who manipulate “the bishops” efforts to pose as such.

    There is an old saying that there are two things you never want to see being made – sausage and the law. I would add a third, a document from the USCCB.

    Their watered down “documents” more often than not muddy crystal clear church teaching after laborious twisting and contorting aimed at preventing anyone form being “offended”. If you don’t believe me – watch the TV coverage of the next USCCB Conference where endless debates over every punctuation mark will bring you to tears. Our “Shepherds” have become congressmen.

    Call the USCCB what it is – an administrative body stuffed with career bureaucrats that speaks out on politics – mostly with liberal positions. The entire mess should be shut down.

  • It could be their hospitals’ solvency was the main motive. Yet that is not supportable, unless . . .

    Else, the “nuns-in-pants-suits'” prudential judgement is that “free lunch/something for nothing” always overshadows liberalisms’ insidious aspects – exterminating 47,000,000 more unborn persons, class envy/hatred, ESCR, gay privileges, immoral public school brainwashing of youth, etc.

    Their priorities seem to lie with secular, humanist progressives. For the secularist, man is the end all and be all and the greatest good is not saving souls but making life better for the convict, drug addict, drunk, felon, fornicator, illegal invader, murderer, rapist, thief, et al: all at the expense of the evil, racist, rich unjust American taxpayer.

    The COMMON GOOD???? Likely (my opinion), every (except the rulers in DC) American will be reduced to an equal level of health care misery and desperation.

  • It is a moral teaching and directive – not to support a law that promotes or supports abortion.

    It has Magisterial binding power coming from each individual bishop who concurred with that. And the pols under the bishop’s authority is obliged to obey as the Lord is to be obeyed. “He who listens to you, listens to me.”

  • I don’t think it’s a matter of being obedient or disobedient to the Bishops per se…it is a matter of being obedient or disobedient to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Lawyers studied the bill and I have read part of it where the bill gives Kathleen Sebelius major authority down the line to distribute federal funds as she sees fit and we know that ‘Catholic’ Kathleen Sebelius is rabidly proabortion, was a friend and colleague of George Tiller who terminated viable babies in the womb…abortion is a grave evil and anyone participating in any way is cooperating with this evil…Sr. Keehan and her group can disagree or not with the Bishops but – they have defied the teachings of the Church which teaches that abortion is the killing of a human in the womb…Canon Law states clearly that anyone publicly promoting such evil cannot receive the Eucharist…our Bishops do not enforce this which is, I believe, why these ‘Catholics’ are becoming more and more defiant and arrogant in their advocacy for abortion. I was told that Joe Biden went to Africa to convince them to legalize abortion in order to receive aid…the Africans don’t want to kill their babies!!! Pelosi preaches about how ‘the Word’ is so important to her…the word was made flesh…where does she think the word became flesh???? In the womb of Mary the mother…would Pelosi have fought so ferociously to exterminate the baby in the womb of Mary? I don’t think we are obliged to follow the advice of Bishops but we surely are not meant to publicly defy them…I think it’s time for the Vatican, for Pope Benedict,to speak into this issue just as he did in his letter to the Irish Bishops – he spoke strongly and forcefully against the abuse of children in Ireland…well, we are talking here about the extermination of human babies in the wombs of their mothers…millions and millions of them!!!!! It must be stopped…please God the Bishops will have the courage to tell Pelosi and Biden and others who advocate for abortion that they are not Catholics in good standing and that until and unless the publicly reject their pro abortion stand they cannot receive the Eucharist…until they do, the slaughter will go on…and on and on…

  • Samwise,

    I completely agree!

    But, I would like to point out that the Pope just recently talked to the priests about using the “rod” against heresy.

    “The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod,” he said, “the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray.”

    “Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented.”

    This is a step in the right direction.

  • The Health Care Bill put together with the USCCB and CHA equals a headache. But I’m glad that you’ve narrowed down the discussion with your last paragraph: “Does the authority of the Magisterium extend to this sort of legislative analysis? If it does not, then how ought faithful Catholics respond to this sort of activity on the part of bishops?

    As previous commentators have said already very thoroughly, the USCCB has no teaching authority. They do serve as a guide for how to apply real Church teachings to real life for Catholics but this does not mean everything they say or suggest is infallible and in fact is sometimes quite the contrary.
    Faithful Catholics ought to listen respectfully and try and understand what the USCCB stands for and may be trying to teach us. I think though, that if one does disagree with some or all of a statement or a posistion of the USSCB they do have a duty to disagree tastefully and respectfully. If love is not part of the motivator behind the disagreement then there’s a problem.

  • Does the authority of the Magisterium extend to this sort of legislative analysis? If it does not, then how ought faithful Catholics respond to this sort of activity on the part of bishops?

    It does not. The bishops do not, as bishops, have the authority to interpret the meaning and consequences of civil legislation. If the bishops had this authority and competency, they would be able to provide an official Catholic interpretation of other documents, such as the U.S. Constitution. But, of course, we don’t look to the bishops for whether we ought to interpret the Constitution as a “living document” or as its writers intended. Such questions reside outside their domain.

    On the other hand, I understand the frustration the bishops feel at the very public disagreement with them made by the CHA and others. They have sought to understand the legislation as best they can, have judged it to be morally problematic, and have, because of their concerns about the potential immoral consequences of the legislation, spoken out against it. Then they see other public Catholics disagree with their conclusions about it. A messy situation, to say the least, but then, the moral life is messy.

    In the case of “Obamacare,” at least, we will soon know who was right. Either it will fund abortions or it won’t.

  • Kyle,
    I agree that the Bishops don’t have the authority to make it obligatory for Catholics to either support or oppose specific pieces of legislation when it comes to the Bishops’ prudential judgments. But, if after researching a particular piece of legslation the Bishops oppose that piece of legislation because of coming to a conclusion that that particular piece of legislation will indeed cover abortions or fund abortions, wouldn’t that fall under the Magisterium’s authority since abortion is an intrinsic evil?

    I would rather be safe than sorry, and be absolutely sure that this piece of legislation does not have federal funding for abortions on demand or taxpayer funded abortions then find out later that Obamacare does fund abortions.

  • But, if after researching a particular piece of legslation the Bishops oppose that piece of legislation because of coming to a conclusion that that particular piece of legislation will indeed cover abortions or fund abortions, wouldn’t that fall under the Magisterium’s authority since abortion is an intrinsic evil?

    Nope. The question here isn’t whether or not abortion is evil or whether or not funding abortion is evil – questions Catholics believe the bishops have authority to speak on. The question here is whether or not this legislation will fund abortion, which isn’t a question of faith and morals, but of legal meaning and consequence.

  • Kyle,
    Then one could draw a similar consclusion when referring to legislation related to border security or immigration, and matters of national security.

  • If the question is “Will immigration legislation do X?” or “Will national security legislation do Y?”, then sure.

  • “…we will know soon know who was right. Either it will fund abortions or it won’t.”

    Though on the question of conscience I think it may take longer.

    Are there any protections for health care workers or hospitals that are Hyde Ammendment-like. That is, will Catholic health care workers and hospitals be able to refuse medical treatments that violate medical ethics? Can the state say to them that if contraception or abortion, etc. is not provided, then they can be denied health care dollars?

  • I would also say that Bishop conferences can teach with magisterial authority but that this is limited to a doctrinal matter and seems to require a unanimous vote (see Apostolos Suos). When it comes to prudential application of doctrinal principles, a Catholic may licitly disagree.

    Thus the arguments that some (not all) in CHA and others offer are licit though I think wrong especially beyond questions regarding abortion. When others disagree with immigration policies or even the general thrust of a document such as Faithful Citizenship, they are also free to do so.

  • Here is an example of why we need to heed our Bishops words, and why our perceptions as to what constitutes “prudential” judgement may not merely fall under the umbrella of prudential judgment in the case of health care reform.

    “Federal funds in the Act can be used for elective abortions. For example, the Act authorizes and appropriates $7 billion over five years (increased to $9.5 billion by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) for services at Community Health Centers. These funds are not covered by the Hyde amendment (as they are not appropriated through the Labor/HHS appropriations bill governed by that amendment), or by the Act’s own abortion limitation in Sec. 1303 (as that provision relates only to tax credits or cost-sharing reductions for qualified health plans, and does not govern all funds in the bill). So the funds can be used directly for elective abortions.
    The Act uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions. Sec. 1303 limits only the direct use of a
    federal tax credit specifically to fund abortion coverage; it tries to segregate funds within health plans, to keep federal funds distinct from funds directly used for abortions. But the credits are still used to pay overall premiums for health plans covering elective abortions. This violates the policy of current federal laws on abortion funding, including the Hyde amendment, which forbid use of federal funds for any part of a health benefits package that covers elective abortions. By
    subsidizing plans that cover abortion, the federal government will expand abortion coverage and make abortions more accessible.
    The Act uses federal power to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions even if they are morally opposed.
    The Act mandates that insurance companies deciding to cover elective abortions in a health plan “shall… collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status) a separate payment” for such abortions. While the Act says that one plan in each exchange will not cover elective abortions, every other plan may cover them — and everyone purchasing those plans, because they best meet his or her family’s needs, will be required by federal law to fund abortions. No accommodation is permitted for people morally opposed to abortion. This creates a more overt threat to
    conscience than insurers engage in now, because in many plans receiving federal subsidies everyone will have to make separate payments solely and specifically for other people’s abortions. Saying that this payment is not a “tax dollar” is no help if it is required by government.”

    I found this here: http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/Abortion-Funding-in-Health-Care-Law-4-12-10.pdf

  • Teresa,
    First, I agree that disagreement with the USCCB is not in and of itself disobedience in any proper sense. So I have no quarrel with the CHS if its interpretation of the law differs.
    That said, the explanation you quote is pretty compelling. Has the CHA ever responded with similar clarity? As an attorney, I am well aware that reasonable people can in good faith interpret a law differently. I am prepared to believe that is what is happening here, but given the USCCB’s general affection for liberal causes its opposition to the health care legislation does seem credible.

  • For example, the Act authorizes and appropriates $7 billion over five years (increased to $9.5 billion by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) for services at Community Health Centers.

    CHAs haven’t performed abortions. Many if not all of them would have to change charters in order to do so.

    These funds are not covered by the Hyde amendment
    This is a point of dispute.

    The Act uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions.
    It is presently legal for health plans to offer an abortion benefit. Federal highway dollars cover roads driven on by drunk drivers too. More anon.

    Sec. 1303 limits only the direct use of a
    federal tax credit specifically to fund abortion coverage; it tries to segregate funds within health plans, to keep federal funds distinct from funds directly used for abortions. But the credits are still used to pay overall premiums for health plans covering elective abortions.

    There is no moral requirement to limit indirect funding. Federal housing dollars do not discriminate between women that have and have not had abortions. The tax code does not distinguish deductibility of premiums between plans that offer abortion and those that don’t. Further, there is no substantive difference between this and the USCCB’s endorsed Stupak compromise of requiring a rider be offered to the policies. With an executed abortion rider, a subsidy would still be offered to plans that “cover abortion.”

    everyone purchasing those plans, because they best meet his or her family’s needs, will be required by federal law to fund abortions.

    And this is really no different than today. As a consequence of where one works, one may be forced to subscribe to a plan that covers abortion. However, the idea that the plan that will “best meet his of her family’s needs” will be the one that covers abortion is malarkey and product of closing one’s ears to what insurance company’s have been saying. Insurance professionals have been claiming that they hard pressed to offer a plan with abortion due to the additional costs involved. Due to the additional costs, insurers believe they will have difficulty capturing subscribers on plans that offer abortion benefits.

  • Any thoughts on conscience protections?

  • I’m not sure Phillip. Do you (or anyone) happen to know what is current law regarding conscience protections?

    What are the laws on the books and are they being properly enforced? I think this question is getting regularly overlooked and new laws are being crafted unnecessarily when we could simply enforce or clarify existing law.

    But that is all contingent on whether existing law is sufficiently pro-life.

  • A primer:

    http://usccb.org/conscienceprotection/q_and_a.shtml

    Don’t know what it will all mean with the new Health Care legislation.

  • Finally, how something like this might play in to the discussion:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081005.html

  • Thank you Phillip for doing a bit of research.

    The next time there is a Republican Congress, the Hyde amendment needs to cease being an budgetary amendment attached to appropriation bills and voted on year-after-year and rather introduced as federal-wide legislation governing any and all monies. This could in effect end domestic subsidizing abortion and act as a permanent “Mexico City Policy” that prohibits funding of abortion on the international stage.

    The other thing is with such widespread abuse on conscience rights as the Bishops note (which I’m assuming didn’t just start happening post-November 2008), current conscience laws should be updated and clarified.

    I’m not sure how this has just now become an issue. We most certainly have dropped the ball on the first item.

    I think the latter story involving the Catholic college could be solved with contracts and this is a solution from a perspective of subsidiarity. But all employers of Catholic institutions should sign a contract stating in clear terms that all medical care and benefits offered to employers, spouses, children, etc will be in line with the clear and consistent teachings of the Catholic Church and no comprehensive plans or benefits will include abortion or birth control.

    The obvious point is that such things if people were to choose those things — unfortunate as it is — they would have to use their own funds.

    There really shouldn’t have to be a need to resort to such protective measures, but it has become increasingly necessary.

  • I think the conscience clause became an issue in Jan/Feb 2009 when the Obama administration stated it was rescinding Bush era protections. Before this it was undoubtedly a problem at local levels which prompted Bush era efforts. Prior to Bush I think most organizations/states accepted that health care professionals could refuse certain procedures that violated their conscience. I know as a medical student and resident I refused to take part in abortions, sterilizations and prescribing birth control. No one gave me grief over this (this was in the 80’s after all.)

    In the new millenium this started to change when organizations such as the American College of OB/GYN insisted that residents be trained in abortion procedures and some states supported this. See here:
    http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/ethics/co385.pdf

    This may have been further made urgent by the Benitez case:

    http://www.cmda.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Right_of_Conscience&CONTENTID=17179&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

    Thus the prompting of the Bush efforts. It seems to have taken on import with the USCCB with the Obama administration efforts noted above.

    A brief history that may require more unearthing and likely has more parts.

  • The position from the USCCB that points out the need to conscience protections. The threats seem to originate as I noted in the new millenium. Thus the Bush protections and the threat to such protections from Obama administration efforts:

    http://www.usccb.org/ogc/pl-hhs-conscience2.pdf

  • “…because the issue here is the competence of the Magisterium to determine the consequences of a particular legislative bill.”

    I suspect that the National Bishop’s council is a different entity than the “magesterium” and as such has “no hierarchal authority.”

    I still await their justification of failing to engage the Catholic issue of solidarity and their earlier approval of “the Welfare state”(Obamacare without abortion) so excoriated by JPII – not to mention their silence on the “death panels” government intrusion into end of life moral decisions by free citizens.

    I wonder why the eccleasial construction of the three bishops who wrote the final turnaround letter after the Stupak fiasco blew up in their faces was labeled the “migrant” bishop? Could that be that socialized Obamacare was really about immigration which the Catechism says is the business of the laity?

    Do they yet have any outside objective investigation ongoing or in the pipeline to find out how they jeopardized charity for the poor itself, by funneling all those millions to ACORN (long known to be of questionable character) to help elect the most pro- abortion pro-infanticide president in history. (thy still haven’t written a pastoral letter of protested about Obama”s installation of the principle of intent allowing the slaughter of a baby outside the womb because the mother intend to abort or simply asked -how long Obama, does such intent last?

    There are far too many unanswered questions about the national bishop’s council to blindly follow what appears to be their politics, as opposed to their obligation to lead souls to salvation.

    I also think the question of the “smoke of Satan in the tabernacle” finally raised by the late Pope Paul continues to require some housecleaning and serious redirection of the American Chiurch at its highest levels. Notre Dame honoring Obama (the first openly infanticide president in history)and the public silence of more than two thirds of our shepherds in the face of that scandal ought to have been the clue that more than healthcare needs to be reformed.

  • These nuns think they can speak for the Church. So, they offer an alternate teaching. And the media whores quickly pick up on the scandal that they’re causing. They’re applying American principles of independence and feminism in places where those do not apply. The community of faith is not a democracy even if they want to make it such and have themselves voted into power. The community of believers are not independent from their traditional and historical origins and an American revolution will not change that nature. But deluded with their degrees and having too much time in their hands plus the limelight of a secular press, these women forge on and wound the very people that they pretend to serve.

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Should Catholic Hospitals Remain Tax Exempt?

Friday, March 19, AD 2010

On the heels of the Catholic Health Association’s endorsement of Obamacare comes another precedent-setting decision affecting Catholic hospitals and other institutions.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Catholic hospital in downstate Urbana is not entitled to exemption from local property taxes because, among other things, it failed to devote enough of its resources to charity care of patients:

Provena Covenant Medical Center, one of six hospitals in the Provena Health system, had fought for six years to regain the tax exemption stripped from it in 2003 by a local tax board. Since then the hospital has been paying more than $1 million per year in local property taxes. The case was being watched by Catholic hospitals around the nation because of its precedent setting potential, and the Catholic Health Association intervened in the case.

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7 Responses to Should Catholic Hospitals Remain Tax Exempt?

  • Here is a link to the text of the decision courtesy of Illinipundit.

    http://illinipundit.com/system/files/Provena_107328_Filed_318.pdf

  • Part of me wishes to say chickens meet roost. You want government to run the show in regard to health care? This is a taste of what you can expect, you bloody fools!

    However, I do believe this is an appallingly bad decision from a public policy standpoint. I do not want government micro-managing charities. I especially do not want judges attempting to do it, since they have no expertise outside of the law. I do think that too many non-profits differ little from their for profit brethren, but my concern in that area is outweighed by my fear of government intervention doing long term damage to all charities in this country.

    A great and timely post Elaine.

  • I think you might reduce if not eliminate finicky controversies of this nature if you replaced property and general sales taxes with simple personal income levies as a means of state and local finance. An incorporated entity might still be held responsible for collecting Pigouvian excises, paying tolls and fees for select services (e.g. water provision), and paying excises for their purchases of supplies (of gasoline, for example). Taxes on the net profits of corporations could be limited to those which have a body of owners to which to pay dividends, which would commonly exempt philanthropies.

  • Just recenty we had a chaplin for Ministry for Prisoners to help prepare them for life in the outside world. I was told that they cannot speak about the Gospel to their clients because they recieve money from the Faith Based Initiatives fund.

    This plus the problem of our “Catholic” Colleges and Universities speak loud and clear to me that taking Government money is the Devil’s bargin. But evidently the Hierarchy does not agree.

    Faustina

  • I don’t think that the “Catholicity” problem of our colleges and universities can fairly be laid at the doorstep of government funding. Most such funding actually goes directly to students or is earmarked for specific research, and this funding does not include problematic strings. Catholic primary and high schools also have similar “Catholicity” issues even though they typically receive no government funding at all. This is not to say that government funding does not create risks and problems in some environments, but I think the case against it is more murky and contextual than clearcut.

    As far as tax exemptions go, I do think the public policy of extending such exemptions to non-profit organizations is sensible to the extent such organizations provide servics that reduce the burdens that otherwise fall on government. In such cases, the exemption is not only in the interest of the non-profit, but also in the interest of government.

    But as Faustina suggests non-targeting general funding of a charitable organization by the government does present some legitimate challenges for faith-based charities. The United States Supreme Court has said that faith-based organizations may not use “direct” government support to support “inherently religious” activities. Basically, this means a grantee may not use any part of a direct federal grant to fund religious worship, instruction, or proselytization. Instead, organizations may use government money only to support the non-religious social services that they provide. Therefore, faith-based organizations that receive direct governmental funds must normally take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the government-funded services that they offer. Such organizations should also carefully account for their use of all government money. This does not mean a charitable organization can’t have religious activities. It simply means it can’t use taxpayer dollars to fund them. Some faith-based organizations set up separate charitable organizations (so-called “501(c)(3) corporations”) to keep programs that receive government money separate from those that engage in inherently religious activities. Whether these encumbrances are inappropriately burdensome on a Catholic non-profits mission depends on the nature of that mission, but in some cases they would be.

  • I guess that is a mistaken impression about the colleges; I remember reading some where about the Land o’Lakes resolution declaring their independence from the Magisterium. They opted to become like secular schools wit lay governance and government grants. Maybe the idea was that the board started to cater to the thinking of politicians who push that grant money.

    The other example I can think of is a person who use to work for the Archdiocese of ….. She said their was nothing Catholic about the local Catholic Charities. This corroborates what I have heard from some other urban Catholics in another city that “on the street” people go to the Catholic church for social services but go elsewhere for the Gospel…

  • That would go along with what I’ve been hearing in a course I’ve been taking. Personal conversion is not important as personal orthodoxy is not important. What is important is right action or orthopraxis. When there is orthopraxis then there will be orthodoxy. Of course orthopraxis gets defined as greater govt. social programs.

Susan G. Komen Supports Abortion Still

Wednesday, September 30, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 8:31pm CDT AD 9-30-2009 shows alternatives  –other than Komen– for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook]

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) is an organization that funds breast cancer research.  This noble effort by Komen to save the lives of both women and men who are afflicted with breast cancer is tainted by their funding of abortion via Planned Parenthood.

Each year Catholics and most other Christians raise their concerns about supporting Komen specifically because Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood.  Catholics and most other Christians unknowingly assist Komen in their fundraising efforts which goes against the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”.

Due to this criticism attributed to Komen in funding abortion, Komen released an open letter in March 2009 concerning their relationship with Planned Parenthood.  In this open letter they defended their donations to Planned Parenthood raising three (3) reasons why it is acceptable to continue to donate money to Komen even though they provide funding to abort innocent unborn children.

I will address their open letter with their three (3) reasons here:

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39 Responses to Susan G. Komen Supports Abortion Still

  • It might be worth pointing out that their argument you summarize in 1) seems to be not that they do other good things and so funding abortion is okay, but rather that the funds they are giving to Planned Parenthood are specifically and only for cancer screenings, not for abortions or “family planning services”. Their claim is that only Planned Parenthood has a large enough network of locations in rural and low income areas for their screenings to be available to everyone.

    Now, I think there are two legitimate questions in regards to this:

    1) Does Komen’s funding of these programs free up other funds at PP for use on abortions and birth control?

    2) Is it simply unacceptable to work with PP for any cause, given how morally reprehensible their primary line of work is?

    I’m not sure if 1) is a problem in this case or not, but I do think that 2) is a problem, and it strikes me as a good reason not to support the Komen foundation. If we’re serious about how bad we think Planned Parenthood’s main business is, using them as a handy provider network for some other service is kind of like using the mafia to deliver packages — the fact that your particular activity is innocent doesn’t excuse providing business to such a reprehensible organization.

  • Even the World Health Organization and the Mayo Clinic (hardly pro-life institutions) recognize the synthetic hormones used in the Pill and hormone replacement therapies as human carcinogens.

  • Darwin,

    Excellent points.

    Komen uses PP because of their network, but nowhere do they (or PP) say how those funds are used. Though any support to PP is wrong to begin with.

    I think your two point are intertwined to the threshold that regardless of how you argue point 1, it is negated by the simple fact that they are PP, ipso facto, provide abortions is never a good thing.

    I like your analogy about the mafia, no matter how effective they are, using the mafia is never a good thing.

    Christina,

    Thank you for your points.

    I wanted to post this as soon as possible. The more I researched on my post the more links I was able to find so I had to stop somewhere or I would be posting a dissertation paper in the end! 😉

  • I’m glad you mentioned #3. While many doctors unfortunately seem to still cling to the “there’s no evidence” reasoning, there is much reason to suspect otherwise.

    The clinical upshot is that the Komen foundation may be shooting themselves in the foot through these contributions. And there are other organizations that support breast cancer research that do not make such contributions. Why the rush to promote this organization when others exist that do the same good work without the baggage?

    A side note: My youngest child was born in Germany. When I made contact with the doctor who provided my care for that birth, I observed that during my initial health questionnaire I was asked if I had ever terminated a pregnancy. The question, which was subsequently repeated over the next three years each time I visited for well care, intrigued me as no health care practitioner in the U. S. had ever asked me that question (or has, since.) I’m sure it wasn’t an idle question; had I answered yes it might have made a difference in my treatment (more or earlier testing, maybe?) Unfortunately, I never got up the nerve to ask why it was a concern.

  • DarwinCatholic,
    It might be worth pointing out that their argument you summarize in 1) seems to be not that they do other good things and so funding abortion is okay, but rather that the funds they are giving to Planned Parenthood are specifically and only for cancer screenings, not for abortions or “family planning services”. Their claim is that only Planned Parenthood has a large enough network of locations in rural and low income areas for their screenings to be available to everyone.

    We’re actually responding to the “Catholic ethicist” claim here, not their defense of using PP:
    “The good that Komen does and the harm that would come to so many women if Komen ceased to exist
    or ceased to be funded would seem to be a sufficiently proportionate reason”

  • This is a timely post for me.

    The principal of my children’s parochial school asked my wife and I to come with an alternative to Komen when we informed her about the link between Komen and PP. The children have had fundraisers in the past with proceeds going to Komen. I have not had any luck so far finding a suitable pro-life breast cancer research charity that I can recommend. Any ideas?

  • Nick,
    While not a perfect substitute, you might consider researching this option: http://www.bcpinstitute.org/home.htm
    Cheers,
    Mike

  • Nick,

    I just got off the phone with the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer and they recommended the following:

    Breast Cancer Prevention Institute:
    http://www.bcpinstitute.org/home.htm

    The Polycarp Research Institute:
    http://www.polycarp.org/

    Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer:
    http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/abc.html

    The first two actually do research to prevent breast cancer and the last one analyzes and dissects the information of all research done on breast cancer and disseminates the information (even the information suppressed by Komen and Planned Parenthood).

    I’ve also updated the article to show these links.

    Mike,

    Excellent link!

  • Thanks for drawing attention to this.

    The absurdity of the argument is glaring. I saved 10 men from drowning last week, so it must be OK for me to drown one this week.

    I feed hundreds of poor people out of my own stores so it must be OK if I want to starve one child to death in my basement for amusement.

    What kind of warped thinking makes this irrationality seem plausible?

    I notice the Shirner’s (freemasons) have hospitals for children, while they promote a Luciferian agenda. So is it OK for them promote Satan becuase they have hospitals for kids?

    Is it OK for me to support the Shriner hospitals knowing that frees-up resources to promote Satan’s agenda?

    I guess there’s nothing wrong with a teeny, little compromise with evil along as everything else I do is good right?

    No wonder Glenn Beck has blood shooting out of his eyes!

  • No wonder Glenn Beck has blood shooting out of his eyes!

    Exorcism?

  • I am so glad you mentioned the link to breast cancer. You said, “note that hormone therapy for the treatment of menopause has been banned because of the breast cancer link, it seems a short leap to birth control pills…” It is a very short leap. Research on synthetic hormones, specifically progestin, is directly related to an increase of breast cancer. Planned Parenthood and even the Mayo Clinic do not share any of the research findings on this subject. If I were a researcher, I’d search for statistical data linking the increase of breast cancer to the advent of the birth control pill.

  • Excosrcism?

    :rofl:

  • The letter itself only says the studies have not shown there is a conlcusive link between abortion and breast cancer – typical weasel words. Very few, if any, studies show a conclusive link between anything. In fact, even lung cancer studies don’t claim a “conclusive” link between smoking and lung cancer. That is such BS.

    Anyway, I am glad they came up front about their involvement with PP. I was always suspicious of a link, and now we know.

    As for the mafia analogy, I suppose it would be like donating to a “feed the hungry” organization that pays rent to mafia owned/run brothel network to use as a soup kitchen during the day. And every dollar of rent from the hunger organization frees up a dollar for running the brothel.

  • and the Catholic ethicist argument is a joke.

  • Tito:

    At least as I read it, argument 3 is not that there is no evidence of link, but that there is no conclusive evidence. In fact, they concede there is some evidence since they refer to the “bulk” of studies, though not clearly defining what a “bulk” is – 55%, 60%, 70%? Even if it was 80%, that means 20% of the studies showed a link, hardly a factor any prudent person would ignore. Do you think if 20% of studies showed high caffeine intake was linked to breast cancer, that the Foundation wouldn’t be screaming it from every corner?

    So while their claim may be literally true (bulk of studies show no conclusive link) it is completely misleading when talking about risks. It just shows they are more concerned about maintaining ties to PP than to actually exploring ways to reduce breast cancer.

  • Great article and thanks especially for the links to organizations that Catholics can donate to…

    When you get a chance, see if you can figure out where to donate money to fight Parkinson’s disease that doesn’t fund ESCR.

  • Based on what I’ve read, interpretation of some of those study results is kinda subjective. In any case, there’s often a disconnect between what the paper reports and what the press says about it. If you recall that far back, C. Everett Koop’s public remarks about why he didn’t think a new study on post-abortion syndrome would be useful was widely interpreted by the media as “Koop says there ain’t no such!”

  • CMinor, C Matt, et al,

    Thank you for vetting my article.

    I believe we can all agree that organizations such as Komen and Planned Parenthood have done for more to hurt women than to help (if any).

    They continue to block most research that shows connections between abortion and breast cancer (as well as birth control pills).

    What they do reeks of impropriety when they stonewall this research (and petty to say the least).

  • Thanks to everyone for the various leads!

  • You exposed the Komen Hypocrisy. They LOVE abortion, and they fund it PERIOD! There has been a new film about Planned Parenthood, called Maafa21. You need to see it http://www.maafa21.com

  • Its okay if they support Abortion. Really, Its the choice of the person who gets the abortion. Not everyone else. Abortion can be a good thing. Because if the person doesn’t have any money to support the baby then the baby will die of a diease due to lack of healthcare. Cause now a days doctors could careless about you if you don’t have healthcare. So why not support abortion??? Let it be done right instead of being done half assed. Donate money into doing an abortion the right way.

  • There is so much one could say here, but I will restrain myself. The handle ‘the one who knows’ could not be more ironic. I think it requires great intellectual confusion to think that abortion can ever be done “right.”

  • The Komen letter points out that some affiliates grant money to PP (not all affiliates). Do you know which ones? I’ve reveiwed the grants that my local Komen affiliate has donated and none of it goes to any organization associated with abortion.

    The national organization only funds research. It’s the local affiliates that fund breast health and screening programs. If you want to stop Komen from funding PP then identify the affiliates fund Planned Parenthood and put pressure on them.

    I will support my local Komen affiliate because I know where their funds are spent.

  • Dave,

    so you would fund your local KKK as long as none of the money went specifically to fund lynchings?

    Beyond the specific funding aspect, this is a matter of not affiliating with organizations which support evil. Komen supports evil (fetal stem cell research, and abortion), they also suppress information which would save women from breast cancer (abortion and contraceptive links) in order to appease their evil associates at PP.

  • This month I was inital taken aback by seeing my favorite NFL players decked in pink! I understand that this was support in breast cancer awareness month. Actually after the NFL unofficially told Rush Limbuagh to take a hike this week I think they should adopt pink as the official color of the NFL. Apparently welcoming the Susan Komen foundation is OK. Giving international recognition to this organization that lies to women about the logical risk relationship between terminated pregnancies through abortion and breat cancer is OK but welcoming a conservative businessman whose character was lied about in the media is not OK. But I am sure that the $805,000 given to Planned Parenthood by SBK affiliates will only be used for breast screening.

  • Somehow, I managed to miss this article and only found it via google…. Very timely, since they also just disinvited all Israeli doctors from the international conference SGK is having in Egypt.

    I think you might appreciate my mom’s response: “There is no disease I could possibly have that would make it alright to chop up babies.”
    (She ends up using many variations on it, since folks folks tend to make set assumptions. Bonus, she’s got a BS in animal husbandry, so generally knows more about fetal development than the ESCR supporters.)

  • Hey Foxfier,
    Ever watched your mom suffer in intensive care for three months and die a horrible death from breast cancer ? Very insensitive comment. I have and until you live threw this stop pissing on Komen people. What is the Catholic church doing to help out? Hopefully one day one of your family members will be cured due to research from the Komen foundation. I bet you will not refuse treatment.

  • Hey, Unbelievable, you have a child?

    You want insensitive?
    Try insisting that chopping up babies is a valid cure for suffering to someone holding their baby…which is what you just did.

    Apparently, you flunk at basic reading comprehension, too, because you failed to realize: I quoted my mother. Who has breast cancer.

    All that aside, “insensitive” is no reason for someone to fail to state a needful truth: embryonic stem cell research requires the deaths of thousand upon thousands of children, on the off chance that there may, some day, be some sort of a cure.

    As a bonus, those pushing for ESCR routinely attack adult stem cell research, which is not only a proven science that dodges the killing people issue, but which can be done with body fat in some cases.

  • Unbelievable I watched my mom die a painful death from breast cancer. She would have preferred a thousand such deaths rather than have an innocent child sacrificed to save her life.

  • I am very pro-life, and I send an angry e-mail asking what exactly they do to support abortion. Somebody e-mailed me back saying they gave money to abortion centers that gave cheap mammograms for poor women who couldn’t get proper check-ups. I think that they can tell them to not put any of the money they donate to abortions, but Susan G. Komen decides not to do that. The money goes to the abortion centers in general.

  • I have no idea what SGK does or does not do vis-a-vis PP. But I do know that Sierra is correct that SGK certainly can make earmarked contributions if it wishes. Whether such earmarked gifts would actually solve the moral question is less clear to me given the fungibility of money. While I would probably refrain from making contributions even under this scenario, I would not be confident in asserting the existence of a moral problem. Moral rules must be applied to facts, and often the rules are easier to come by.

  • Mike & Sierra,

    It’s called compromising with evil.

  • Darkly amusing: a run for SGK this week in the Tacoma area is using a tagline something like “because everyone deserves a life.”

  • Please don’t speak for “most other Christians” without citing references. I can’t speak for “most other Christians,” but I can speak for myself as a Christian and tell you that I appreciate discussions that are both moral and factual at the same time rather than opinions through a megaphone. Saying something louder or attributing an opinion to a larger group doesn’t make it right.

  • Just found out no PP has any breast imaging equipment. The vans are scheduled and it cost $220.00. It’s $60.00 for a manual exam and that is not by a Dr. There might be a sliding scale but like was written earlier, do you have to be without anything? I don’t know.
    A few years ago $475,000.00 was given to one of the Dallas PP facilities so that it would not close down. That is just one of many donations…there are many in each state. So, with no imaging equipment…it makes no sense.
    Nancy Brinker (Brinker International—Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, On the Border etc.) started SGK when her sister Susan G. Komen died of breast cancer. I am sure this was very tragic for her. Her husband Norman Brinker helped fund the start-up of Komen. Nancy Brinker was and maybe still on the PP board. She is a card carrying member of PP. She is a believer in PP and all that it stands for. The monies will continue to flow from this cash cow for contraception, Embryonic stem research and PP.
    There is a reason Komen exists…watch Maafa 21.
    Ever wonder why so many Proctor and Gamble products have the “pink”? Dr. Gamble worked with Sanger in the early 1900’s is what my search revealed.
    Folks walk, feel good and think they are doing good. The PP part does not matter—-what matters is how I feel right???
    As far as I am concerned Nancy Brinker and her organization Susan Komen has made pink a very ugly color.
    My mother had breast cancer.

  • Just found out no PP has any breast imaging equipment. The vans are scheduled and it cost $220.00. It’s $60.00 for a manual exam and that is not by a Dr. There might be a sliding scale but like was written earlier, do you have to be without anything? I don’t know.
    A few years ago Komen org. gave $475,000.00 to one of the Dallas PP facilities so that it would not close down. That is just one of many donations. There are many in each state. So, with no imaging equipment at the PP facilities for the Komen org. to say their donations to PP are for breast exams, it really makes no sense.
    Nancy Brinker (Brinker International—Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, On the Border etc.) started SGK when her sister Susan G. Komen died of breast cancer. I am sure this was very tragic for her. Her husband Norman Brinker helped fund the start-up of Komen. Nancy Brinker was and maybe still be on the PP board. She is a card carrying member of PP. She is a believer in PP and all that it stands for. The monies will continue to flow from this cash cow for contraception, Embryonic stem research and PP.
    After watching Maafa 21 I realized the reason Komen exists. I firmly believe that if Komen was legit it would not be as big.
    Ever wonder why so many Proctor and Gamble products have the “pink”? Dr. Gamble worked with Sanger way back when is what my search revealed.
    Folks walk, feel good and think they are doing good for breast cancer via the Komen org. The PP part does not matter—-what matters is how I feel right???
    As far as I am concerned Nancy Brinker and her organization Susan Komen has made pink a very ugly color.
    By the way my mother had breast cancer.

    Oh and the European interest in terminated abortions. They acknowledge the link and tie abortions to insurance rates. The more abortions the higher the premium. You can do a search of Great Britain/abortion/breast cancer. An actuary figured all of this out around 1967.

  • “Oh and the European interest…They acknowledge the link and tie abortions to insurance rates.”
    Thanks for the info, RLDP. I’ve read that some countries with longer histories of legal abortion than ours have data to that effect. Wonder if women going in for legal abortions in those countries are told their decision will result in their premiums being jacked up? Or if taxpayers there realize how those abortions raise their tax burden?

  • PB, if it’s the original post you’re referring to, please reread. It’s pretty clear that the statement refers to that group of Catholics and Christians whose concerns about SGK’s relationship with PP is leading them to drop support; it’s not a reference to everybody on earth who self-identifies as a Christian. Oh, and another good reason to reread is that there are actually a number of facts there (complete with linked references) that you seem to suggest were not. Might learn something.