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?

  • Pingback: 3 Catholic Hospitals to Close Allegedly Because of Obamacare?: The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • 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.

CatholicVote & Endorsements

Thursday, September 30, AD 2010

The folks of CatholicVote had some objections to my post Tuesday. Brian Burch had this to say in the comment box:

Thanks Michael for your post, though I am compelled to respond and disagree with much of what you and others have written. I do believe that the questions you raise are highly relevant to the conversation occurring within the Church today about the proper role of the laity in public life, and especially American politics. I should also note for those that don’t know, Michael has been, and continues to be, a guest blogger on CatholicVote.org and we continue to welcome his contributions (and disagreements) on our site should he choose to cross post there.

CatholicVote.org was founded specifically to champion the cause of faithful citizenship from a distinctly lay perspective. As such, we seek to serve the Church by assisting the laity with material, catechetical resources, news and commentary, and tools for evangelization (videos, ads, etc) that incorporate an authentic Catholic worldview as applied to our civic life, in pursuit of the common good. To be sure, the issues that involve intrinsic evils, or questions that involve the “non-negotiable” issues are always treated as foundational, and not open to compromise or debate for Catholics. Our programming has almost exclusively been focused on the life issue, for example.

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38 Responses to CatholicVote & Endorsements

  • You mean all these years as a Catholic I wasn’t a
    Bear fan? Wow I should really get rid of all the Bears stuff I have. Maybe I should Drink the Greenbay Koolaid. Not!
    Anyway I am glad this is a blog that allows discussion and disagreement in a civil way without name calling. I thank you for your blog but I also appreciate all the help that Catholicvote gives us. Thanks for the blogs and God Bless

  • As the article clearly points out, Green Bay fans are not Catholics either so do not drink that Koolaid. Only those fans of the noble Who Dat Nation, the New Orleans Saints, are living out their call as Catholics to the fullest.

  • This is precisely where we hope to provide the laity some needed counterweight to the default socialist oriented, government-first, policy prejudices often assumed to be the more authentically “Catholic” position on many issues.

    It would be nice if you disclosure your bias on your website. I propose a FaithfulCatholicVoter.org to provide a counterweight to the default anti-solidarity policy prejudices often assumed to be the more authentically “Catholic” position on many issues.

  • to provide a counterweight to the default anti-solidarity

    ‘Anti-solidarity’? What does that mean?

  • In my hare-brained opinion: the USCCB, the commie-cath (Gospel of St. Marx) social justice crowd, et al have embraced humanism, statism and secular socialism: such that they believe it is a moral imperative to displace the evil, racist, unjust private sector distribution of goods and services with Obama regime rationing by hate-filled, class-envy warrior-bureaucrats.

  • I voted Demokrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending your (hard-earned) money than you do. NOT!

  • I voted Democrat because I’m more concerned about keeping keep all death row murderers alive than murdering millions of unborn babies by abortion.

  • I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

    Stop me . . .

  • In my hare-brained opinion: the USCCB, the commie-cath (Gospel of St. Marx) social justice crowd, et al have embraced humanism, statism and secular socialism: such that they believe it is a moral imperative to displace the evil, racist, unjust private sector distribution of goods and services with Obama regime rationing by hate-filled, class-envy warrior-bureaucrats.

    You clearly have devoted not one second to examining what the USCCB actually has said.

    Stop me . . .

    That I will do quite gladly.

  • CV could do a great service by putting the responses to the questionnaires online.

  • Once, again, Michael you are right on target. It seems to me that the folks from CV who have responded to your post do not really grasp what it is you are arguing, which suggests to me that they are more entrenched in their partisanship and dubious interpretation of subsidiarity than I initially thought. It reminds me of some of the leftist Catholic groups who misunderstand and/or misapply other chief principles of Catholic social thought, such as the dignity of human life and the common good.

  • Denton: Do you dislike my hare-brained opinion?

    Spend two seconds. Prove it false. Give me examples.

  • Spend two seconds. Prove it false. Give me examples

    Uh, no. You want to accuse the bishops of being Marxists, you darn well better have some proof. Burden of proof is on you this time.

  • I don’t think Nate Sliver’s percentage likelihood of winning is the best barometer. It’s true that Lipinski and Fortenberry are in the driver’s seat. But as I mentioned, we are supporting Lipinksi for many of the same reasons you like Cao. And in fact, because he’s a Democrat, that makes it all the more important. Fortenberry is now in the driver’s seat, thanks to the fact that a high-profile challenger (Nebraska’s Lt Gov) opted against a run. If he wins big and has strong support, it will make the case for a strong run against Nelson in 2012.

    A look at the other races:

    Benishek – Larry Sabato and Cook Report both had this at a Toss Up for months and only changed it to Leans R this past week.

    Schilling – Sabato has this as a Likely D race, but Cook now considers this a Toss Up. So opinion on this race varies.

    Duffy – Sabato has this race as a Toss Up.

    Guinta – Sabato has this race as Leans R. Not Likely. So it is competitive.

    Angle – Toss Up.

    Mulvaney – Leans D, but the District has a lot +7 R advantage and DeMint has come out strong for him. So it is winnable.

    Fimian – Leans D (not Likely D as Sliver indicates). The Democrats assailed Fimian’s Catholic faith last cycle. He deserves some Catholic support (and the race is winnable.)

    We think it is good to get Catholics active in supporting good candidates in office.

    Hopefully this will encourage more good citizens to run for office so we can turn things around.

  • Joshua:

    Ok, so I gather that an important race are those races you deem competitive, which makes sense. But what of the rest of the post?

  • I don’t think the claiming the USCCB has a specific agenda (whatever that may be) and claiming that is equal to what the bishops think is necessarily the case. One only has to look at the USCCB’s support of Health Care reform (with three objections) and the positions of the Bishops of Denver and Sioux City to understand that they can be quite different.

    The USCCB is made up in large part of laymen who have their own political perspectives. I think it fair to say it is quite liberal in a modern American sense and does not exhaust the possibile options for lay opinion. The USCCB in the past would note that their judgments were THEIR prudential judgments. Not so anymore.

  • Michael, you state that we at CatholicVote are “endorsing in the name of the Church.”

    I think it’s helpful to be more specific about terms. As Americans we sometimes use the words Church and the Bishops interchangeably when obviously in a true sense the terms are distinct.

    We at CatholicVote agree with the Bishops’ that they should not endorse candidates for office. We think having them outline the principles of Catholic teaching is a great role for them. But they think it’s wiser for them to not endorse candidates so as to not divide the flock.

    As a lay Catholic group, representing lay Catholics, we strive to put these principles into action. Not only through further education and lobbying (which the Bishops also do), but also through providing financial support for candidates that we think are worth supporting.

    So I don’t think we claiming to representing the Bishops. But yes, we do hope to be good representatives of the Catholic vote, by which I mean, the Catholic laity, who must ultimately decide who to vote for. The Bishops (rightly) won’t say which candidate to vote for. We come along and suggest that Candidate X is better than Y — we then give our reasons and state that we base this on Catholic teaching. Some of our conclusions are based on non-negotiables like life and marriage. Other issues are open to prudential debate and we freely admit that other Catholics applying the teachings of the Church could come down on the other side on a given issue.

    For example, on health care, there is considerable debate on which legislative program or health care delivery system would be the most just or the best application of Catholic principles (or at the very least an improvement).

    You think lay groups should avoid coming to conclusions. But this is where you and I very much disagree. Lay Catholics have been asking for more guidance. They love that their Shepherds outline the principles, but they then ask, okay, so who do you think we should support?

    We answer and give our reasons and, like our website says: “Unlike the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom, these issues allow for a variance of policy approaches, and not every Catholic must agree with us (though we think you should!). We use the teachings of our Church, the lessons of history, nature, and our intellects to form our judgments in this area.”

    Michael, you contend that it’s virtually impossible to find candidates that could be defended and supported along Catholic principles.

    But with Bobby Schilling, Frank Guinta, and Keith Fimian we have three pro-life and pro-marriage Catholics who are trying to defeat Phil Hare, Carol Shea-Porter and Gerry Connolly — all pro-abortion “Catholics.” Additionally Shea-Porter and Connolly have co-sponsored a bill to repeal DOMA.

    We think it makes sense to get Catholics to financially support these three candidates (and the others we have endorsed) because we think they would be a vast improvement over their competitor.

    David Obey had a mixed record on life. Now that he’s retiring, Obey is supporting Julia Lassa, who is supported by Emily’s List. We think Catholics should financially help pro-life and pro-marriage Sean Duffy win this race.

    No candidate is perfect. And CatholicVote itself is made up of fallible people. But I don’t think that this means we shouldn’t have start a campaign fund that tries to support candidates along the teachings outlined by the Church. In fact, I think that’s a great idea. Obviously. 🙂

    Michael, I hope you re-consider your thoughts on this matter. If you move from being negative to neutral on the question of Catholics starting a PAC, that would be an improvement. But I do hope you begin to see it as a net good. I’m not asking for you to think it is perfect, but that it is better to have this PAC than not to.

    We think it is important for Catholics to become more politically active and to financially support good candidates for office. Will the next Congress have Julia Lassa, Phil Hare, Gerry Connolly and Carol Shea-Porter? Or do we have the chance to send Sean Duffy, Bobby Schlling, Keith Fimian and Frank Guinta to Congress?

    We can use all the help we can get. Let’s get these candidates the resources they need to win.

    How do you expect good people to get elected if you won’t support them when they run?

  • So I don’t think we claiming to representing the Bishops.

    I really don’t know where this line of argumentation came from. I never claimed that CV was attempting to represent the bishops, but the Church. What I argued was that CV, in speaking for the Church, was claiming authority it does not have (namely to produce conclusions on proper applications of Church teaching).

    Lay Catholics have been asking for more guidance. They love that their Shepherds outline the principles, but they then ask, okay, so who do you think we should support?

    There is a difference between guidance and answers: guidance helps you understand the problem and the possible solutions. By pronouncing the principles, the bishops are giving guidance. No, the bishops aren’t giving the quick “Vote for X” easy answer-not out of a concern for division of the flock, but b/c there are no easy answers. You have this bizarre view of the bishops as seemingly afraid and unable to endorse the candidates they know need endorsing. Instead, they’re not endorsing b/c there isn’t an clear favorite.

    Let’s take Schilling for example. 10.0 score. Pro-life and pro-marriage, but judging by his issues pages it seems pretty clear he’s in favor of deportation (with the euphemistic “should be given the opportunity to return to their country of origin”), in clear violation of the Church’s teaching on immigration & deportation. He also propounds the disgusting and demeaning view that “immigrants must be required to learn the English language as all American citizens are.” I imagine that if his blurbs on national security were expounded, we would find that he is favor of the unjust wars and torture (though if we had the CV questionnaire, we might have a resource to know for sure).

    How on earth do you balance that? Perhaps you make the judgment that abortion & marriage outweigh the damage he does on immigration & national security, and can make arguments on that (arguments I probably would agree with). But it is far from conclusive there is a definitive Catholic answer on this.

    In short, you simplify where simplification is not warranted. Catholics will be better voters when they understand that there is not a simple answer, and that both parties have significant problems that need to be addressed with substantial reforms. CV’s PAC moves us away from that, providing lazy Catholics with a quick checklist that fails to address the whole range of Catholic teaching. Instead of arguing whether the GOP or Democrats are more in line with Church teaching and then funding the GOP, CV’s resources would be better spent educating Catholics and politicians about the teachings of the Church. Even if one accepts endorsements by Catholic lay groups as permissible, those endorsements would be better served by promoting candidates who bravely defy party convention in favor of Church teaching (pro-life Democrats; socially-conscious Republicans-in this, CV’s endorsement of a democrat is encouraging, though frankly it seems to be a token endorsement).

    You ask how I expect good people to get elected if I won’t support them. My answer is that I think political reform will come not by electing a candidate her or there, but by fundamental changes in party philosophy. Neither party accepts the dignity of human life (Dems reject via abortion, escr, etc. ; GOP rejects via torture, war & immigration). Until those parties are converted, we can expect Catholic social teaching to remain untried. CV is not working towards that end, and so I think it ultimately a waste or misuse of resources. However, the work it is doing is not leading Catholic Voters to pressure politicians for a holistic embrace of CHurch teaching, so I’m afraid I cannot find CV’s PAC a neutral. Rather, CV’s PAC is doing demonstrable harm by attempting to simplify and frankly perverting (through bizarre interpretations on a number of issues) Church teaching, leading Catholic voters away from the goals they ought to pursue. It would be better if it did not exist.

  • Actually there is nothing is CST that prohibits deportation.

  • I might also add that leaning the language of the receiving country is not prohibited by CST either.

  • Michael,

    No need to provoke silly fights between TAC and CV. I critiqued you and your readers only for their unwillingness to draw specific conclusions on how Catholics ought to measure candidates, particularly in the admittedly messy business of applying Church teaching in areas of prudential concern. Your posts repeatedly defend this reticence.

    The “I will put the readers and contributors of TAC against any Catholic group…” sounds like playground talk. Of course you would. We hardly claim to be the only ones talking about these issues.

    But be careful you don’t get too specific, lest you have to remove the word “Catholic” from your blog name. I would hate for people to think you are speaking for the Bishops. 🙂

  • Phillip,

    I was basically going to say the same thing. What is demeaning about expecting immigrants learn the dominant language of the Nation that they are emigrating to? Moreover, even if one opposes instituting a national language, how does that conflict with Church teaching? Moreover, this:

    I imagine that if his blurbs on national security were expounded, we would find that he is favor of the unjust wars and torture

    Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova. First of all, we don’t know what his positions are in either respect, and second you’d then have to demonstrate precisely how those stances clearly contradicted Church teaching.

    And finally this:

    GOP rejects via torture, war & immigration)

    is off base. I know that one of the things that certain Catholics like to do is the “they’re all equally bad” game, but when you equate the Democrats clear embrace of positions absolutely antithetical to Church teachings with Republic positions that are not as clearly opposed to Church teaching, then your argument loses force. It takes a titanic leap of faith to argue that the prevailing GOP stance on immigration, for example, is in clear opposition to Church teaching. Now I’m sure someone will object and quote a passage from the Catechism or an Encyclical that actually doesn’t contradict the point I just made, but they’ll pretend it does so anyway.

    We’re also expected to swallow that the GOP “position” on the war and torture are similarly problematic. The problem is there is not GOP “position” on the latter, and while a fair majority supported the most recent wars, again you get into some difficulty proving that support for the war was a clear violation of Catholic teaching. As for torture, I would agree that some Catholic conservatives ignore the Church on this one, but then we get into the usual debate about definitions, etc.

    By the way, that’s not to say Michael’s ultimate stance on these endorsements is wrong. But I think trying to equate the faults of both parties vis a vis Catholic teaching is not going to work, at least on the issues mentioned here.

  • Brian,

    We enjoy reading Catholic Vote.

    There is no silly fight between TAC and CV.

    We both similarly aim for the same thing, engaging the public square.

    If anything we like to engage in creative dialogue to better fine tune our ideas in order to be the Creative Minority that changes America into a Catholic nation.

  • I amazed that out of a long post, Mr. Burch chooses to discuss one sentence. Alas. I was hoping at least he or Joshua Mercer would explain why CV did not post the questionnaires…

    No need to provoke silly fights between TAC and CV.

    I didn’t. You mischaracterized the nature of the readers & writers but pretending that somehow they lacked the courage to engage in issues involving prudence. That’s simply not true and I corrected you. All of our contributors advocate taking a particular prudential stand as being the one most in accord with Church teaching.

    sounds like playground talk

    What kind of playgrounds do you go to?

    But be careful you don’t get too specific, lest you have to remove the word “Catholic” from your blog name. I would hate for people to think you are speaking for the Bishops

    I imagine you think this is rather clever & witty, but it actually reinforces my point. TAC only promises a Catholic forum; TAC has not endorsed a candidate nor as a group claimed x prudential decision is the correct decision of a Catholic. In short, TAC is doing precisely what the Catholic laity ought to be doing by discussing these issues without issuing conclusions in the name of the Church. If TAC did, you are right, they should remove the Catholic from their name.

  • Now that I’ve critiqued Michael, let me come to my co-bloggers defense (not that he can’t hold his own).

    The “I will put the readers and contributors of TAC against any Catholic group…” sounds like playground talk. Of course you would. We hardly claim to be the only ones talking about these issues.

    He was merely responding to a comment that seemed to indicate that this blog and other Catholic blogs were not addressing serious issues as thoroughly as CV. Maybe you didn’t mean to imply that you were the only ones talking about the issues, but it certainly came across as an implicit put-down. Therefore I don’t think that Michael’s comment would qualify as “playground talk.” I also don’t think that Michael provoked any silly fights – he’s simply questioning – in a reasonable way, IMOHO – the basis of your endorsements. Nothing wrong with some good honest debate, is there?

  • I was basically going to say the same thing. What is demeaning about expecting immigrants learn the dominant language of the Nation that they are emigrating to? Moreover, even if one opposes instituting a national language, how does that conflict with Church teaching?

    There’s a difference between expecting them to learn it and “requiring” them to learn it. I don’t know what that requirement entails or what it is required for. As someone hesitant about governmental power, I think that would make you a little nervous.

    Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova. First of all, we don’t know what his positions are in either respect, and second you’d then have to demonstrate precisely how those stances clearly contradicted Church teaching.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental, you’re right. I based my opinion on the fact that if you’re against torture you usually promote that, and so its absence seemed suspicious to me.

    The problem is there is not GOP “position” on the latter, and while a fair majority supported the most recent wars, again you get into some difficulty proving that support for the war was a clear violation of Catholic teaching

    It is hard as you point out to pinpoint one belief of the party, but that is true of both parties. While we could discuss the issues you name more in depth at a later time regarding whether a Catholic could hold those positions, I think it is fair to say that most Republicans who did and continue to support the war in Iraq are not doing so on just war grounds. The same in immigration. The problem is not merely the conclusions are wrong but that the GOP is not using the right principles.

    Now, one could retort that the Democrats did not oppose the war on just war grounds either, which is true and gets to my point-we need to argue for the adoption of these principles first and foremost, then we could discuss whether x party is better living them out than y party.

  • Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova.

    Let’s play nice. No need to impugn TAC’s reputation.

    🙂

  • There’s a difference between expecting them to learn it and “requiring” them to learn it. I don’t know what that requirement entails or what it is required for. As someone hesitant about governmental power, I think that would make you a little nervous.

    I guess I’d like to know what exactly Schilling is calling for. If he’s advocating that English be the national language, then I don’t have a problem with that. Beyond that, I can’t see how you could “require” anyone to learn any language.

    As for war/torture, the difficulty is that the when it comes to torture, the issue gets fuzzy because there are few politicians of any stripe that clearly advocate for torture. What we get instead are endless debates about “enhanced interrogation techniques,” so it’s not exactly as black and white as, say, abortion and gay marriage. But since I don’t want this thread to descend into the one millionth debate about torture, I’ll just leave it at that.

    Let’s play nice. No need to impugn TAC’s reputation.

    Sorry. That was truly below the belt. 😉

  • To answer a question that has arisen a few times: If we told the candidates that we would make their answers on the Questionnaire open to the public (and thus fuel for their opponents) candidates would never fill out our Questionnaire.

  • If we told the candidates that we would make their answers on the Questionnaire open to the public (and thus fuel for their opponents) candidates would never fill out our Questionnaire.

    Then your questionnaire is fairly meaningless as far as giving advice to others on who to vote for. I am just supposed to take CV’s word on it that these candidates are have appropriate answers on all these issues? I don’t think so.

    While I understand the position you guys are in, you can’t use the questionnaire to defend your candidates and their positions if you’re not willing to make it public.

    How many people did in fact return the questionnaire?

  • I think Michael is not being charitable in discussing the efforts we are trying to do with CatholicVote PAC.

    I hope others on this site will disagree with his assessment that CV PAC is causing “demonstrable harm.”

    We all may hope and work towards a day when all people will take the appropriate time to investigate all the issues and all the candidates.

    But to suggest that CV PAC is hindering or hampering that goal is grossly unfair. We hope our videos, our website (with the Issues pages and our blog) will further aid a vigorous discussion about these issues. And we hope to engage the American people with advertisements on the radio and TV, too.

    We are trying our best to steer the national political conversation towards a Catholic view of life and family and, yes, subsidiarity.

    I’m not saying we’re perfect, that we won’t make a mistake from time to time, or that we aren’t open to debate and critique.

    But I do hope that others will not accept Denton’s view that: “It would be better if [CV PAC] did not exist.”

    Groups like National Right to Life have candidates fill out Questionnaires and then work hard to educate voters on the candidates and their different positions. They provide a slate from top to bottom for people to support statewide.

    If they failed to do a checklist (which Denton seems to indicate is over-simplification and thus bad), this would not help bring the day when every voter exams the issues as much as we all do.

    No, in fact, if they refused to produce a simple checklist, they would be doing a gross disservice to thousands of pro-life voters who look to them to do research on the different candidates.

  • Michael, all nine candidates on our Endorsements page returned the Questionnaire.

    And again, we are not the first to make use of Questionnaires. If we told the candidates that we would go public with their answers, then they would not fill out our Questionnaire. Or in order to get anyone to respond with a Questionnaire, we would have to offer only the most basic simple Yes and No questions that honestly would provide us little more information than the candidate’s own public statements offer.

    Campaigns see the value of an endorsement and are willing to provide a PAC with more detailed answers on questions (including also internal polling and fundraising details to show their likelihood of success) in return for the PAC not going public with all the information.

    Again, this is not unique to CV. National Right to Life, Emily’s List, Club for Growth, etc, all use this same strategy so they can better determine which candidates are truly worth supporting.

    The alternative which you would prefer (full answers) is just not possible in this political environment.

    So, yes, the supporters of CatholicVote entrust our research team to make the best judgment of public and private information on which candidates to support – given all the realities and difficulties.

    There could be other or better ways to determine which candidate to support. I’m open to suggestions.

  • Tito/Michael,

    After re-reading my original post, I understand my critique of TAC could have been misinterpreted as more broad. My point was that I think you are wrong to sit on the sidelines and counsel Catholic groups against drawing conclusions on specific candidates.

    Whether we have wrongly applied the principle of subsidiarity, as Mr. Acquila seems to imply, remains a good question that deserves to be debated. But your argument that such particular judgments ought to be avoided altogether in the context of specific candidates remains unconvincing.

    It seems to me the debate boils down to this: should a Catholic lay organization spend time and resources researching and interviewing candidates for office and drawing specific conclusions for Catholic voters based on their application of the principles of Cath social doctrine? Your position seems to be, yes to research and conversation, but no conclusions. We disagree, and believe the trajectory of the development of the Church in this area, namely an increased deference (on non-negotiable questions) to the role of the laity, is precisely what is needed.

    Another point – we do not “endorse in the name of the Church.” In fact, we explicitly disclaim this in multiple places on our website, and I am dubious of the accusation that somehow, unknowing Catholics (or non-Catholics) will assume that CV is the political mouthpiece of the institutional Church.

    Final point, whether we adjust our policy and reserve the right to publicly disclose candidate responses to our questionnaire remains a point of debate within CV. I am not aware of what other political orgs do. For now, if you would like to see the blank questionnaire, we would be happy to share it.

    And of course, Catholic social teaching, authentically read, requires all football loving Americans to cheer for the Bears. See you in the playoffs.

  • Joshua:

    When I refer to CV PAC, I assume that is the branch of CV that handles the endorsements and the donations. My understanding was that the videos and blog were a separate aspect of CV. Never having been read into the structure of CV, I could be wrong. My comments ought to be taken that it would be better for CV to cease its endorsing activities, but that hopefully it will redirected its resources in more productive ways.

    The comparison to NRLC is apples/oranges. NRLC claims only a handful of issues and proclaims those issues to be the most important ones. The scores are based on those issues and are designed to educate on those issues. If I am not mistaken, NRLC (or other groups like) will often provide detailed voting records to justify their scores. NRLC also does not claim to speak for the Church. CV on the hand is supposed to be addressing all issues in the name of Catholicism.

    While I think a checklist on a narrow slate of issues isn’t a good way to base your vote (as you have said, I think we need to be broader than single-issue), it can be informative. There are however other ways for CV to provide research considering the scope of issues it claims to address. A much longer write-up on the candidates would be a start, such that it could address all the issues in a more in-depth way. It could provide a comparison between the candidates in a race (actually reid’s record to angle’s, for example). There are a lot of innovative ideas that using technology and social media CV could employ that would be far more informative than the simple “We like X” that would also avoid making conclusions on matters of prudence.

    The alternative which you would prefer (full answers) is just not possible in this political environment

    I’m not saying don’t use them, but I don’t think you can keep them secret while at the same time arguing that their presence justifies your decision. If someone tells me “Hey, I talked to that person. It’s okay,” I’m not going to base my decision on the fact that they talked; rather, I am going to base my opinion on my ability to trust the person telling me it’s ok. In other words, for these questionnaires to have an impact on my decision to vote, I would need to really trust CV to do my job for me.

    all nine candidates on our Endorsements page returned the Questionnaire.

    I figured that. But how many were sent out and how many were returned was more of what I was asking.

  • The USCCB letter on economics (“Economic Justice For All”) would be merely incomprehensible if it hadn’t been written with the stated intent of issuing pastoral counsel on a topic of which the Bishops freely admit, in the letter itself, to having no advanced knowledge. In doing so, it becomes a rather dangerous document written by Chruch authorities who clearly should have been dealing with more important issues in their own backyards at the time it was written (1986). I have the letter open in front of me right now and it is self-contradictory and does not even make correct use of the terms “economy” and “economics.” It is quite literally nonsensical from any perspective of academic and economic thought, from Keynesian to Austrian, and it is an all-around unfortunate document for the USCCB to have attached its name to, considering that the letter might seem to those who don’t know any better to offer meaninfgul instruction on topics that are indeed very imporant and which the Church can and does ameliorate on some levels: poverty and injustice.

  • Mr. Burch

    Your position seems to be, yes to research and conversation, but no conclusions.

    I think that’s accurate.

    Another point – we do not “endorse in the name of the Church.” In fact, we explicitly disclaim this in multiple places on our website, and I am dubious of the accusation that somehow, unknowing Catholics (or non-Catholics) will assume that CV is the political mouthpiece of the institutional Church.

    I think your error is in assuming that if people know that CV is not speaking on behalf of say the USCCB or bishops, then it’s not speaking on behalf of the Church. That’s not true. Once you claim to be Catholic, your actions and your statements are representative of Catholicism as a whole. This is true for us as individuals living our lives (think of how many people have been turned off from the Church b/c of person who claimed to be Catholic that lived a life that was anything but), and especially true for groups claiming to be Catholic in the public square. This requires a heightened duty to be faithful to the Church’s teaching.

    When CV says “this is our position” it is also saying “This is the position of good Catholics” regardless of the number of disclaimers put on the website. Insofar as prudence is involved both in the application of Catholic principles to various issues as well as the weighing of issues between one another, I think it is imprudent at best for Catholic groups to make such statements.

    For now, if you would like to see the blank questionnaire, we would be happy to share it.

    I think that would be very helpful in figuring out what CV is basing its decision on.

    And of course, Catholic social teaching, authentically read, requires all football loving Americans to cheer for the Bears.

    The fact that CV is led by someone who does not root for the Saints tells me all I need to know about CV’s lack of commitment to true Catholic principles. 😉

    See you in the playoffs.

    That’s very kind of you to tune in to watch Saints playoffs games. You’ll find them very entertaining.

  • I take back my snide remark towards Vox Nova.

    I like those guys (really I do).

    Charity needs to start somewhere.

  • Some thoughts from the Bishop of Camden on culture and migration:

    “The defense of cultural pluralism, especially in regard to migrant peoples, is always consistent with the Holy Father’s understanding of the human person. To strip a person of his or her culture, to reduce a person to an object, when only a person can truly be human is to be able to have the freedom to create their own culture. The Holy Father’s theory of culture is perhaps best expressed in a talk that he gave at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on June 2, 1980. This gave him the opportunity to speak in later discourses on the relationship of culture and faith. The theme of the talk was that the future of mankind depends on culture. In that historic talk he said, “It is through culture that man lives a truly human life. Human life is also culture in the sense that it is by culture that man is distinguished and differentiated from everything else that exists in the visible world; man cannot do without culture.”27 If we were to apply this to the situation of migrants, a migrant person also cannot do without culture. He or she often straddles two cultures and not only must maintain his or her own, but also acquire all that a new culture entails; languages, customs, etc. Migrants become the purveyors of diversity which contributes to the ultimate unity of the human family.”

    While he does not state that learning the language of the receiving country should be forced, he does note that the migrant should acquire the culture of the receiving nation as a duty of becoming a member of that nation. This includes its language.

    I might argue that failure to do so is a moral failure. As there are rights, there is always a corresponding duty. Moral failures can be compelled by legal requirements.