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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The New Church

       Dr. Janet Smith has come up with an argument about how the Archdiocese of New York did nothing wrong by covering abortion and contraception in its contract with health workers.  Estase won't bother with reading it.  Why?  Because Dr. Smith is engaging in a high level casuistry to justify cooperation with evil.  And the bizarre thing is that it is the same kind of cooperation with evil that the Catholic bishops have been protesting against in terms of the HHS mandate of Obamacare for a year!  Cardinal Dolan (Oh Blah Blah's good friend, who likes to hang out with the President and have dinner with him, and who refuses to endorse refusing communion to pro-abortion politicians, as does Cardinal Wuerl of Washington) has vitiated the argument that the Church cannot fund abortion and contraception, because he already has funded abortion and contraception.  So what has all this huffing and puffing about not complying with the HHS mandate been about?  The Catholic church can pay for abortion and contraception in some cases, but not others? 

       When Jesus made the analogy of giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, the meaning was (in my view) that money can be given to the government, but that's all government can expect from us.  The government doesn't own us.  The government doesn't control our will, our intellect, our soul.    This is why the Catholic Church once thought it should be in the health care business in the first place.  Once, the Catholic Church saw fostering human life as a part of its ministry.  The behavior of Catholic bishops today is quite different.  Now, handing out free stuff to the poor is the only criterion.  This is why Sister Carol Keegan sees nothing wrong with fostering Obamacare even as it will run her Scranton hospitals out of business.  All that's important is that people get free health care.  It matters not a bit if formerly Catholic hospitals now provide abortions.  It matters not a bit if Catholic hospitals offer contraception and abortion to their employees in New York.  What does the revelations about New York demonstrate?  One, Catholic health care is dead.  Nowhere in America does a Catholic hospital actually act according to Catholic morality, or if it does, Estase hasn't heard where.  Second, the bishops have been complaining that they can't do something that the Archbishop of New York has already agreed to.  And the leading Catholic ethicist has come up with a moral justification!  So does the government have the right to expect more than money from us?  If the Church is in the process of ceding its role in health care to the government, is the government the new Church? 

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