Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Mar 12, 2010 in Education, Health, Media, Politics, Religion, Society | 44 comments

Under-reported Reasons Catholic Bishops Meet with Stupak and Other Politicians on Healthcare

Hello there, and thanks CStanley for holding the fort by yourself and with good will regarding a debate elsewhere about Catholic Bishops meeting with Stupak. (see one of CStanley’s comments about this matter below in CODA) I teach on occasion at a Catholic hospital and am an oblate/ associate with the Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, who run many hospitals nationwide. The more realistic characterization of the bishops and their meetings with whomever in government are far closer to CStanley’s insights than to what is put forth by writers who claim the Bishops are against whatever/ Church vs whomever and whyever. Again.

I often wonder why so few seem to realize that the Catholic health care system especially is a jewel in the crown of American healthcare, along with Lutheran, Presbyterian, Jewish, Adventists, (Mormon, Muslim and Buddhist which are rolling in the US, but are far younger in terms of centuries established, and sometimes not as widely spread in areas outside the domiciles of their own religious groups) etc., and other religious bases, not for profit health care orgs.

If Catholic hospitals were to fail in the US, the entire hospital health care system would cave in. The overload could in no way be taken up by whomever/ whatever was left still standing.

Speaking just as a Catholic who knows full well there are some few bishops who are inflated politicos and there are many other bishops who are true holy men filled with intelligence and compassion, the Catholic Health network holding true health care together for the poor, the indigent, as well as for the uninsured working class, AND the wealthy, cannot do several things in health care and go on existing.

Though some want to hammer abortion issue only, a Catholic hospital, health center, clinic, cannot agree to perform abortions, tubal ligations, or vasectomies.

Doctors who want hospital priviledges at Catholic hospitals cannot do these procedures there.

I hate to say that I am aware that for some, anything Catholic is demonized. And I speak as a person who holds the Life Force from conception onward as sacred, yet I listen to all points of view as I have here at TMV when I’ve written several articles about how I see Life come to earth.

I see over and over, however, that some demonize Catholics in general, without noting in full and in depth what profound social safety nets Catholics have always provided and for centuries. I decry that, not as a plaint, but because those who put such fragmentary and derogatory points forth are, to my mind, seeing with full white cataracts over both eyes; their insights and discourse accordingly, suffers.

Though none of us are immune from ‘not being able to see’ in certain ways… this over and over again patronizing of a huge health care system raised by literally millions of souls dedicated to care for the sick and lonely, and literally for centuries… that diminutizing of the actuality, continues to undercut an able discussion of basic social systems in ‘a pluralistic society’– if I could use that phrase for lack of a better one at the moment.

Those of you who know me, know I grew up just miles from the base of the kkk— We were Catholics and immigrants and refugees. And those involved with kkk were intent on spreading falsehoods about these groups, as well as Jews and blacks, and attempting to harm them, for we were seen as being ‘mud people.’

I refuse to ‘get used to’ this again in modern discourse. I just find it impossible to debate an issue when the facts about Catholics, or other groups, are cherry-picked, when the 2 percent of difference or disappointment, is held out to be the 100% fact only. And all good is conveniently dumped to uphold a thesis that has more holes than the Swiss got cheese.

And dont even think to patronize by saying pat pat, there there, ‘the Catholics have done their duty, but.‘ And then go on to knit up a story about a story about a story about Catholics that fits 1000 Catholics out of 6 Million, but portrays negatively and degrades the whole. It used to be called ‘a balanced article, a balanced inquiry’ to look beyond opinion alone based on something someone read somewhere writtten by someone who read something somewhere.

Forgive me, I am having a little fan-de-wui, as we called it back home. It’s pidgin. It means sort of like having the vapors, only with annoyance at the forefront. The more I see articles online– setting aside Catholic-only matters for the moment– the more longing I have to read first-hand, first witness accounts by people who are dedicated to seeing all sides. I think, in my fan-de-wui state, I am just livid that people– myself and others– are often held in ignorance of many-sided newstories by eye-witnesses and investigators and just fed the same old regurgitated pap each day. I lose my appetite when it’s announced for the ka-jillionth time, Hey guess what, we’re having instant oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again.

I am not yet sure what to do about this problem, except to question myself about how to strive harder to quote from first sources… and how to find a way to, as the Montessori people say about true education: the child must ‘go out.’ Must go out under the sky and into the world. Cannot stay in the blankness of four walls no matter how highly decorated they are: they are static. And when there is stagnation, sight and insight are formed only by the ‘same old’ view as always.

So back for just a moment to the issue of Catholics and Bishops and health care legislation and policies and the infrastructure of hospitals in the US…. my article is not to say that bishops, churches, people, ought be not criticized. Believe me, as CStanley puts it, many within the larger ‘family group’ of any political, religious, educational, corporate group have ‘mixed feelings’ about various issues that affect others’ lives and their own. But, ‘mixed feeling’s doesnt mean ‘know-nothing’…nor does it mean ‘inability to think.’ Nor does it mean “undecided.”

It means, most often, the issues are deep, the considerations great, and points of view sometimes have to have time to deepen; that ongoing looking, learning, study is one of our traditions as Catholics, as it is of our root religion in midrash.

Are some bishops wanting to play politics? It is possible. But more likely it is that some of the priest-careerists want to gain El Pope’s attention because they want to be Cardinals real bad. Frankly most Popes dont select bishops for Cardinals who are controversial, speaking only to the monied, or fawning to the Pope, but that hasnt filtered down to a few ambitious fellows yet.

Most bishops want the hospitals, clinics, health care centers under their dioceses to be able to function fully and without having to spend more time and money than they already do (our money from Catholic tithing and grants, estates, and weekly donations, popcorn and bake sales, and fund-raising money, and sometimes corporate sponsorship to raise scholarhship money) trying to tiptoe around the latest tulips in health care/ insurance/ etc., dreampt up by people who do NOT spend their days caring for the ill and their families, and all for no profit.

If you had a huge mission of care for others, and an enormous hospital system that covers as much as 25-50% of all care in various cities and in many places is the ONLY health care system in backwaters and smaller towns and rural aras, you too I think would be talking to the often seeming ‘out of touch’ senators and congresspeople. For whatever legislation they make has, as we have seen already with other magnificent legislations plowed through, such as suspension of certain rights, huge ‘unintended consequences.’

I’ll say it again. If the Catholic/ religious hospitals fall, the entire hospital system of the US will fall. All the other religious non-profit health care systems will not be able to power up to take up a terabyte, when they are 1G systems and nearly past capacity as it is.

It is true that abortion/ vasectomy/ tubal ligations are issues re providing services in Catholic hospitals. But religions aside for a moment– a far greater temblon for all who live in the US, is who will rebuild the hospital system if half of it were to suddenly fall?

And especially, ESPECIALLY, where on earth would they find literally tens of thousands of nuns to take salaries that could barely support a dog for a year, those nuns who clean and comfort and care for the sick and the dying. Those who administrate, those who negotiation with suppliers, those who teach 2nd and 3rd year residents (who incidentally are accepted from ALL religious or not religious backgrounds to do residencies in Catholic hospitals). Though some like to say, well, the nunhood is diminishing. It isn’t. Certain orders have diminished in numbers, and many more have taken up the slack, and worldwide, many of whom come to the US for formation.

There is no work force like the good sisters in nursing, doctoring and healing. None. Not for the money. And especially not for the underlying aim, to act in the name of the One they follow, to preserve life in every way possible.

Thanks
dr.e

__________
CODA
the comment by CStanley (amongst others of hers) that I referred to in opening para>

“Everybody thinks fungibility arguments regarding federal funding are bogus when they involve issues that they side with, and vice versa if it pertains to something they oppose.

“Case in point…I’ve heard lots of liberals argue that separation of Church and state means that churches shouldn’t be able to operate tax free, even for their charitable operating units, because the money they save in taxes would then be freed up for their use for religious purposes. And conservatives who don’t agree with that argument suddenly think along similar lines when it comes to funding for Planned Parenthood, because even though their abortion operations aren’t directly funded they are indirectly subsidized by the money that goes to the organization’s other activities.

“I’m not arguing the point one way or the other (I have mixed feelings myself.) I’m just explaining, for those who might not know, what the objections are about indirect funding, and also pointing out that the main current federal health insurance program for childbearing women is set up in a way that corresponds to the fungibility concern being legit. So, preserving the status quo would mean agreeing with that argument (or if not agreeing, at least agreeing to table that debate until a later time.)
This comment by CStanley

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • Jim_Satterfield

    Sorry, dr. e, but your bishops have as their goal forcing every single American to live their lives as though they were Catholic when it comes to certain areas, such as abortion. Denying it doesn’t make any difference. A rather flippant dismissal of services that Catholic hospitals refuse to provide even in areas where they are the only health care doesn’t help your case either.

  • Schadenfreude_lives

    And by what right do we have to force the Catholic Church to violate their core beliefs? In fact, the First Amendment pretty much takes that option away. I wish they were more open to certain procedures, but forcing them to bend to the will of the government is true Facism.

    • CStanley

      This is one of the points I was trying to make to Kathy in that other thread. The situation on the ground is such that some communities are underserved by any healthcare facilities other than Catholic hospitals. Thus, people in those communities who seek services not provided there due to religious objections, would feel they’d be better served by secular hospitals.

      The solution to that is for secular organizations to step up and provide the services, not for the govt to dictate that conscience clauses should be nullified. The Catholic Church isn’t forcing its beliefs on anyone in these situations- it’s the lack of provision of services by other organizations that might be resulting in the unavailability of the procedures.

      • kathykattenburg

        The solution to that is for secular organizations to step up and provide the services, not for the govt to dictate that conscience clauses should be nullified.

        I, too, have been trying to make a point related to this that does not appear to be getting through. No one is advocating that the government dictate that Catholic hospitals violate their religious beliefs. The “conscience clauses” to which you refer here is not actually a conscience clause at all. It is language inserted into an actual law passed by Congress that bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. How does that affect the right of Catholic hospitals to retain their policy of not providing abortions?

        The Catholic Church isn’t forcing its beliefs on anyone in these situations- it’s the lack of provision of services by other organizations that might be resulting in the unavailability of the procedures.

        That’s true, but what does that have to do with the Catholic Church helping to write anti-abortion language in the health care reform bill?

    • Jim_Satterfield

      In spite of their claims, no one is forcing them to violate their core beliefs. What they wanted was for Stupak to help set it up so that no insurance company who is a member of the new exchange system could offer anyone a policy that included abortion coverage. My comment about services was just pointing out that dismissing those concerns so lightly doesn’t exactly help in defending them.

    • kathykattenburg

      They are not being forced to violate their core beliefs. Who is or would be forcing Catholic hospitals to provide reproductive health care services for women if such services violate their religious beliefs?

  • CStanley

    Thank you, Dr. E! Your insights from one who has ‘been there’ in the trenches mean a lot in support of the more abstract ideas I was trying to express (and not very well, I’m afraid as I read back that comment you quoted- I’m rambling a lot these days while I’m distracted by real life interfering with blogging.) I’m heartened that you also defend against the general knee jerk anti-Catholicism as well.

  • DLS

    They’re at least acting with a clear conscience and a defensible position even if others don’t like it.

    The hard-core pro-abortion leftists are the ones misbehaving here, as usual, right on cue — and attacking the Catholic institutions in a similar way to how the Religious Right is mistreated as standard operating procedure (while ignoring blatantly political Dem black churches or anti-war or extra-pro-gay Religious Left churches). The hard-core farther leftists are, predictably, tainting this health care “reform” effort. (It was probably inevitable, but that never makes it acceptable.)

  • DLS

    As an intellectual side note:

    “The solution … is … to step up and provide …, not for the govt to dictate …it’s the lack of provision …”

    There is a shortage of organs for transplantation. Some leftists say that the system is inherently unjust to minorities. There is a lack of organs donated among minorities that if donated would yield more organs with better genetic compatibility to potential recipients. The leftists’ answer is instead to cut corners on genetic compatibility requirements and even change the wait-list rules by awarding “race-concious points” to minorities so that they speed through the wait-list queue faster than everybody else.

    Why do these people routinely want to violate logic and ethics and morality rather than face the real problems and work to solve those, as ordinary sensible people do?

  • casualobserver

    “bishops have as their goal forcing every single American to live their lives as though they were Catholic when it comes to certain areas, such as abortion.”

    And liberals have as their goal forcing every other Americans to pay for their choice of activity even though those Americans find those activities reprehensible.

  • DLS

    It’s okay when the bishops advocate US or Western disarmament, trespass on missile sites, etc., though.

    (And don’t forget “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants!)

  • DLS

    It’s not too late to revive “liberation theology” and be an accomplice to Chavez down south, you know.

    [grin]

  • Thanks for this one. . . many good points. . .two thumbs up for both you and CStanley. . .much to think about, to let settle and then re-read.

  • kathykattenburg

    Oh my god, sweet Jesus, thank you.

    Dr E, allow me to respond to a few of your points:

    I often wonder why so few seem to realize that the Catholic health care system especially is a jewel in the crown of American healthcare,

    Well, I don’t know, but one possibility may be that there is an entire category of health care Catholic hospitals do not provide, or provide only in a very limited way. When hospitals do not provide family planning services other than the fertility roulette method; when hospitals do not allow rape victims to be counseled about the availability of emergency contraception, or provide any access to pre-conception birth control; when hospitals refuse to perform hysterectomies, vasectomies, or tubal ligations; when hospitals will not perform abortions under any circumstances, or refer women needing abortions to providers who will perform abortions; then — although it surely may be true that such hospitals may be a jewel in the crown of cancer research, or of infectious blood-borne diseases, or of tropical diseases, or of coronary care — it cannot accurately be said that such hospitals are jewels in the crown of health care in general.

    If Catholic hospitals were to fail in the US, the entire hospital health care system would cave in.

    That may very well be true, but it’s less of a recommendation or an endorsement of the value or comprehensiveness of the health care services provided by Catholic hospitals than it is a statement of a problem. If Catholic hospitals are essentially the whole enchilada when it comes to health care in the United States, and if Catholic hospitals have extremely problematic policies regarding provision of women’s health care and reproductive services, then that is a problem.

    Though some want to hammer abortion issue only, a Catholic hospital, health center, clinic, cannot agree to perform abortions, tubal ligations, or vasectomies.

    You’re right. I quite agree on the necessity and importance of pointing out that Catholic hospitals refuse to provide an entire range of reproductive services in addition to abortions.

    I see over and over, however, that some demonize Catholics in general, without noting in full and in depth what profound social safety nets Catholics have always provided and for centuries. I decry that, not as a plaint, but because those who put such fragmentary and derogatory points forth are, to my mind, seeing with full white cataracts over both eyes; their insights and discourse accordingly, suffers.

    You are quite right. Catholics, both as individuals and organized groups, have historically been in the forefront of many social justice and liberation movements: anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-corporatist and anti-fascist in the context of military dictatorship, human rights abuses, murder, and oppression by U.S.-supported right-wing regimes in Latin America. There are also many individual Catholics and Catholic organizations, or Catholics included in coalition umbrella religious organizations, who are pro-choice and who support all women’s right to make their own decisions about their own reproductive health care.

    I realize there is a fine line between condemning injustice that is rooted specifically within religious doctrines (of various kinds), and being biased against the religion itself. If I have done that, even in a minor way, I apologize.

    Having said that, it’s also true (for me) that when I feel myself and those I love being personally attacked and threatened, in an existential way, by the policies or beliefs of others, I react to defend myself and those I love, as well as all others facing such an existential threat. I respect YOUR beliefs, and Christine’s beliefs, and all individual’s religious beliefs, *as beliefs.* I don’t feel threatened by your beliefs as individuals. But when an organized religious institution (a very powerful one) such as the Catholic Church moves to restrict or remove MY rights in the name of THEIR conscientious beliefs, that is a threat to me, and I react accordingly.

    And especially not for the underlying aim, to act in the name of the One they follow, to preserve life in every way possible.

    But they don’t. (If “they” is Catholic hospitals, they don’t.) That’s my point. Preserve life in every way possible, that is. How can you say that they do, when they prioritize the life of a fetus (or a fertilized egg) over the life and health of a woman?

  • ProfElwood

    Beautifully said, Dr. e. There’s a lot to ponder in there.

  • jkremmers

    FYI — Although abortion reporting data lags by about five years, the national right to life website reports 45.5 million abortions since 1973. Annual abortions are decreasing slightly, averaging about 2.1 million per year. That indicates to me the issue is more widespread than I had imagined without knowing the number of child-bearing-age women and the total number of births each year. Still, it seems a small percentage for those who cannot afford the procedures when weighed in Stupak terms of killing the health reform legislation all together.

  • alphonsegaston

    I have been in Catholic hospitals quite often–I don’t remember seeing many nuns working there. And I realize they usually don’t wear habits any more. Tens of thousands working with little or no pay? Really? I have been reading about the shortage of teaching nuns in the Cathoic schools anf have observed it locally.

    My mother was not a Catholic but trained in a Catholic teaching hospital in the 1930s. She often told me that the sisters did not reflect the same “pro-life” values as the priests then or now. These women who trained her in maternity work had views much closer to those of the millions of women, throughout the ages, who lived and still do in the real world of reproduction and its responsibilities.

    Like KK, I respect the views of Catholics as all religions, but feel that they should not have power over the lives of others such as they seek.

  • Have re-read this and Kathy’s post and can only say i am drowning with all the complexity. The mind keeps intertwining the energetic of the ongoing Life/Choice/Secular/Catholic with modern day Fundamentalist debate with Martin Luther’s Reformation with a foundational concept of Protestant Reformation; The Priesthood of the Believer.

    Underneath the ongoing debate of abortion and all the contention of the present manifestation i wonder is it really Life/Choice or is it a veil for the 500 year old opposition concerning Priesthood of the Believer.

    As the years have progressed on the issue i am solid for Life and so wished we could all gather to make it possible for every child to have a viable and sustainable life. The Choice part of me has much more to do with claiming personal relationship with the Divine within/ without rather than having the Government or some religious leader or religious organization having that kind of power.

    There use to be signs at Pro Choice rallies that said, ” Keep your hands off my ovaries.” I always wanted someone to write; ” Keep your laws off my personal relationship with the Divine.”

    Issues of pregnancy Life and Choice are God’s and mine (the woman’s) business. Could there be a more personal or sacred issue for a woman than those issues involving the womb?

    ” Religion has no business to formulate social laws and insist on the difference between beings, because its aim and end is to obliterate all such fictions and monstrosities.” Swami Vivekananda

    Dr. E. i hope i have not said something really stupid or offensive here. But that is my true position.

    • kathykattenburg

      Dear ordinarysparrow,

      If you are capable of feeling yourself to be drowning in the complexity of an issue (any issue), then obviously you are capable of perceiving the existence of that complexity.

      That already puts you way ahead in your attempt to understand and communicate your ideas about the issue.

      Thank you.

  • AntonioSosa

    As a Catholic, I’m grateful and proud of Catholic hospitals and other Catholics institutions. I’m very disappointed, however, with the Catholic bishops, who seem ready to help dictator Obama force us to swallow the Marxist Obamacare scam if he just deletes some pro-abortion language in the Obamacare bill. As if his deleting a few words would change Obama’s pro-abortion, pro-infanticide plans!

    Our Church and our representatives should be defending us from the WHOLE Obamacare scam and not only form the abortion part of the scam.

    Those “representing” various religions and supporting the Obamacare scam are probably receiving funds from George Soros, who has invested billions to destroy the U.S.

    Soros funds, for example, the Catholic Left, Catholics for Choice, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics United and who knows how many other anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish groups.

    Lies do not change Obama’s pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama’s Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

    Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

    Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

    We expect our churches and our representatives to defend us from the whole Obamacare scam, not just the abortion part of the scam.

    Those “leaders” are betraying us and supporting dictator Obama while harming the people they say they represent. They don’t represent us. They represent our enemies.

    • ProfElwood

      I’ve seen your comments here and elsewhere and, as a fellow opponent, have to ask you to please do more to support your position with facts instead of inflammatory language. Regardless of what any leader may secretly desire, the bills, not their desires, are what get written into law. This kind of talk does nothing to either advance the conversation, rally your supporters, or convince your opponents. I believe that the laws and the principles behind them are filled with several provable problems, and I’m trying to get those facts and common sense principles across. Your rhetoric isn’t helping.

      Please concentrate more on the facts and supporting evidence, and less on the unprovable accusations of motive.

    • SteveK

      “dictator Obama” “Marxist Obamacare scam” “another scam to enslave us” “dictator Obama”

      You even go after other Catholics and link them to

      … other anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish groups.

      Antonio – Your comment has more venom and hate than anything I’ve read in a very long time.

    • kathykattenburg

      Personally, Antonio, I don’t feel that I need to be protected or “defended,” as you put it, from either abortion or health care reform in general. If I disagree with something, I can handle it myself. I don’t require an external religious institution (or any institution) to handle it for me.

  • annneumann

    Fantastic discussion. A couple of corrections: Catholic hospitals get 50% of their funding from the government, just like every other non-profit hospital. Less than 3% of their income is from donation so they are clearly not providing Catholic health care with Catholic donations. And Catholic hospitals – all 624 of them – statistically do no more “charity” work than other non-profits. In fact, all hospitals are required by federal law to treat the uninsured.

    The best analogy is a company town. The company provides the jobs, the housing, the schools, even owns the grocery story. They are “too big to fail” in that town. One can say, oh thank god for the company, without it we would have no jobs or schools or groceries. But the truth is that the company then dictates all aspects of the town’s life. And if the company says women should not be able to plan how many children they have or that a terminal patient can’t be removed from artificial nutrition and hydration when they wish, the company is exercising it’s size and monopoly to the detriment of employees rights.

    When a pluralistic society finds itself subject to the doctrine of a religious health care institution, patients’ rights are violated. Those who suffer the most are the poor and minorities in society. But we are bashful about calling out this issue because we give reverence to the “good intentions” of the Catholic church and those of us with voices have the resources to go elsewhere.

    Reproductive services clinics have risen over the past 38 years to provide what Catholic and other denominational hospitals have not. They serve the poor and provide services unobtainable elsewhere.

    I do believe that denominational healthcare is a discriminatory practice in the US but I also accept that the dictates of the Catholic hierarchy are not necessarily what’s practiced in Catholic hospitals. Yet, that dissent cannot erase the fact that Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives discriminate against the poor, women, elders, gays and others by not informing patients’ of all legal and medically-sound treatments and providing meaningful referrals. If we continue to privilege provider (and institutional) conscience over patients’ conscience, we perpetuate this discrimination. Denying this is dishonest and a disservice to equality and individual conscience in this country – as well as a violation of equal rights.

    • CStanley

      While I feel that the article you referenced is slanted (that is, it gives only one side of the story), it raises some important points. I actually agree with several of the conclusions regarding disclosure and discussion of options with patients- since the hospitals provide care to a pluralistic society, there should be discussion of medical options even if that hospital does not provide them.

      On funding- I think it is misleading to say that 50% of funding is from the govt when most of that is actually Medicare/Medicaid payments. Those funds are actually more accurately thought of as disbursements to the individuals who are enrolled in the programs, and the payments are then transferred to the medical facility where treatment occurs. Sometimes that is a sectarian nonprofit hospital, sometimes a secular nonprofit institution, and sometimes a for-profit hospital. In none of those cases did the govt choose the facility- and in fact, if I’m not mistaken the govt mandates that the hospitals take these patients so the funds are forced on the hospital. Making that the basis for ‘strings attached’ to federal funding would in fact violate the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution.

      In fact what you (and the article) are doing here is making the reverse fungibility argument that I previously described. Just as prolifers worry about the fungibility of federal funds to the facilities that provide reproductive services including abortion, you are looking at the opposite side of that coin- that funds that flow from the federal govt through medical entitlement programs are fungible to the sectarian hospitals that do not provide abortions.

      It’s worth noting here too that in regard to the Medicaid money, not only are the hospitals that accept these payments not required to perform abortions in exchange for the money, they are actually forbidden from doing so according to federal law! I can’t see that it makes sense then to say that because they accept payments that originated with the federal govt, payments that are not permitted to be used for abortions, they MUST be willing to perform that forbidden service on their patients who pay with private funds.

      The best analogy is a company town. The company provides the jobs, the housing, the schools, even owns the grocery story. They are “too big to fail” in that town. One can say, oh thank god for the company, without it we would have no jobs or schools or groceries. But the truth is that the company then dictates all aspects of the town’s life. And if the company says women should not be able to plan how many children they have or that a terminal patient can’t be removed from artificial nutrition and hydration when they wish, the company is exercising it’s size and monopoly to the detriment of employees rights.

      I get the analogy but just need to note that the implications there about Catholic doctrine are faulty (Natural Family Planning is condoned and taught, and when used properly is of equal efficacy to artificial birth control, so “the company says women should not be able to plan how many children they have ” is not an accurate portrayal of what the Catholic ‘company’ is doing even if it were true that the ‘company’ was enforcing itself as a monopoly on the community, which is also not accurate.

      When a pluralistic society finds itself subject to the doctrine of a religious health care institution, patients’ rights are violated. Those who suffer the most are the poor and minorities in society.

      And again I’ll point out that the only reason our pluralistic society finds itself in that situation is because of the failure of secular organizations to step up to their responsibilities to the community.

      • annneumann

        Well, statistics aren’t slanted if captured scientifically.

        Natural family planning fails 25% of the time: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

        It’s not a practical option for most women which is why other methods are used – and by an overwhelming majority of Catholic women of childbearing age. Saying that women who seek health care can just accept what the Catholic church will give them is not appropriate. Particularly when other methods better protect women from unwanted pregnancy. If the Church were serious about reducing abortion rates – which it isn’t- it would be doing everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

        In other words, the company decides that if all the women in the town must have new shoes, we’ll sell flip-flops at the company store. So what if it’s winter in Michigan. The women with money can mail-order from other towns while the bishop/manager looks the other way.

        Your blame of secular society for failing to rise to the needs of hospital care is odd. The church happens to have a world-wide network of resources and a long history of hospital management. A financial security that stand-along or regional organizations don’t have. And the Catholic church, because of this, continues to take over secular hospitals at an alarming rate. (See the situation in Denver right now) My criticism is not for their care but for their neglect. They are discriminating and they are doing so with federal dollars, no matter how you want to technically track that cash flow.

        Your fungibility point is interesting. I assume that you oppose the clause on the Hyde amendment that prevents use of “federal funds” or payments to Medicaid for sterilization and abortion? I do. The government has forgotten it’s role as a non-theocratic provider of services to all its citizens.

        The point is that these organizations only continue to operate because they are paid for their “charity work” by the federal government. (Same goes for many faith-based initiatives but that’s another conversation.)

        Listen, I’m a Catholic – and not a self-hating one either – but the Church has gone too far in imposing it’s doctrine via hospitals. And the church fails to be relevant by not addressing issues of contraception and discrimination, women’s rights, gay rights. The church has always suffered dissent; the current far-right hierarchy however forgets what equality and personal conscience are. And it will continue to lose members, as it has since the 70s, because of this.

        • CStanley

          Natural family planning fails 25% of the time

          “As used” not when “used perfectly”. The failure rate (as listed on the same chart) for symtothermal (which is the commonly taught method) is identical to condom failure rate. I’ve seen data indicating better than that (matching that of the pill) but I won’t quibble.

          I think the biggest thing they probably fail to take into account is that many couples using NFP are in committed relationships and may accept some degree of ‘failure rate’ by not using the method perfectly (the mindset of thinking you’re going to delay or space out pregnancies but if the event of a pregnancy isn’t so troublesome then couples may choose to take a chance- thus an ‘unplanned pregnancy’ but not ultimately an unwanted one.

        • CStanley

          I assume that you oppose the clause on the Hyde amendment that prevents use of “federal funds” or payments to Medicaid for sterilization and abortion? I do. The government has forgotten it’s role as a non-theocratic provider of services to all its citizens.

          No, I don’t oppose that and I don’t understand why you’d assume that I do. I think it’s a reasonable compromise which keeps intact the legality of abortions in most situations (which although I oppose on grounds of morality, I accept that it may be the correct legal position in a pluralistic society) while preserving the right of individuals to refrain from participating in abortions in any way if they so choose. Legality of a procedure doesn’t mean that there is a right to have it funded by other people, and if access is a problem then that is a problem to be taken up by the individuals and groups in society who believe the procedure is necessary without burdening the consciences of those who feel it is harmful both to the fetus and to the mother.

          • annneumann

            But I think we’re both in the weeds here. The point is that women and others don’t have access to what they want. Neither do gays or elders. The point is access. And doctrinal imposition.

            If one looks at health care as a commodity, then you think that legal, medically sound services are the luxury of the wealthy, the poor and minority be damned. If one doesn’t then you must see the problem with denominational health care dominating our markets. The third option is that one is a theocrat who thinks that the Catholic church knows better than women and others do and that the government should continue to let them make care decisions for our pluralistic society.

            Oh and, people aren’t perfect. With sex or otherwise. Condoms prevent other diseases and pregnancy when used right. The pill is 99% effective. The Hyde amendment is an abomination, not a compromise. Women who can’t afford health care can’t access the services they need; those with money can. It’s a classist ruling.

  • annneumann

    My statistics come from here: http://www.mergerwatch.org/pdfs/bp_no_strings.pdf I highly recommend that those of you interested read the entire report.

  • shannonlee

    3 cheers for the Catholic Church!

    DUBLIN – It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation’s demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe’s many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons.

    Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church’s worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

    The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be touched next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like join their American cousins.

    “You have to presume that the cover-up of abuse exists everywhere, to one extent or another. A new case could appear in a new country tomorrow,” said David Quinn, director of a Christian think tank, the Iona Institute, that seeks to promote family values in an Ireland increasingly cool to Catholicism.

    Quinn noted that stories of systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse circulated privately in Irish society for decades, but only moved aboveground in the mid-1990s when former altar boy Andrew Madden and orphanage survivor Christine Buckley went public with lawsuits and exposes of how priests and nuns tormented them with impunity.

    Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation, which has footed most of the bill to settle legal claims topping euro1 billion (nearly $1.5 billion).

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100313/ap_on_re_eu/eu_europe_church_abuse

    • dear Shannonlee…..

      Some would obviously see and experience your comment as a jab from left field.left. I would call it dumping the gunny sack. Shannonlee on reflection do you believe this is a fair comment or does it bring anything to the discussion of this post?

      Any person that has a heart or conscious will have a strong reaction to childhood sexual abuse. Shannonles after working for a number of years in the field it is not a Catholic only problem. They are the ones in the process of cleaning it up these days. A few years back there was a most interesting article in Christianity Today. I would encourage you to read it.

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/childrensministry/operations/sexualabuseinthechurch.html

      As one that specialized in the area of sexual abuse for a number of years i can only agree the sexual abuse and exploitation of children is a global epidemic. At least the Catholics are bringing it to light and committed to cleaning it up.

      Shannonless why splash Dr. E.? You know what her life is about.

      A snippet from the article:

      ” In the last three years, an average of 23 new articles each day have appeared in secular media sources revealing sexual abuse allegations arising in Protestant churches in the United States. Protestant denominations have been tempted to call sexual abuse a “Catholic problem”; this is simply not true. Within the past eight years, verdicts, judgments, or settlements exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars have been levied against Protestant churches for sexual abuse allegations arising from children participating in ministry programs.

      The church and its children are increasingly endangered by sexual predators whose opportunity to ensnare children elsewhere is growing smaller, while the church opens its doors to anyone. Sexual abusers looking for access to children will gravitate to activities and organizations where there are fewer protective measures in place. Secular organizations have responded to this inevitable truth by implementing policies and training to reduce risk. Many churches, however, have done little, because ministries fail to recognize the risks or are laboring under the misconception “it won’t happen here.”

      Standards of care embraced by public entities with children’s programming have risen dramatically in the past 10 years. Secular organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs, theme parks, swimming pools, and children’s clubs have grown far more sophisticated in screening employees and volunteers, creating policies and procedures that protect children from abuse, and implementing effective oversight and program accountability. These measures protect staff members and volunteers from false allegations, while safeguarding children involved in programming.

      As public awareness and secular standards of care rise, sexual predators are looking for access to children in places where protections are few: the church.

      While volunteers often undergo less scrutiny than paid staff, a 1996 study in Hammar’s Church Law and Tax Report found that half of all sexual misconduct offenses in churches were committed by volunteer workers. Paid staff constituted 30 percent of the cases, and the remaining 20 percent were committed by other children in the congregation (peer-to-peer abuse).”

      Hope you take the time to view this link: Truly it is not a Catholic only problem.

      • CStanley

        Thank you for this, sparrow.

        It seems any and all Catholic related articles must always lead to someone taking a shot at the Church for the scandal of pedophilia. No one should trivialize how harmful and detestable those actions were- the actions of the pedophiles as well as their enablers, but you have provided information to put it into the proper perspective. And coming from someone who (I believe?) is not Catholic, hopefully others will take this more seriously instead of assuming that it is a defensive posture.

        For my part, like all Catholics I was rocked to the core when the allegations became public, and like others I had to evaluate whether or not I could remain part of this Church. The information you’ve provided is basically what led to my decision to remain. I do feel that religious groups have even more of an obligation to protect young people (and that is truly an extra scandal for men in Holy Orders to abuse children and adolescents), and in that sense I have a lingering feeling that the problems should have been addressed sooner than they were. I also feel though (without saying that this excuses the coverup) that the willingness to face this problem is partly a reflection of the changing times (in generations past, ALL forms of child abuse were routinely swept under the rug.) And as you point out, part of the reason the Catholic Church gets beat up over this is that they are actually addressing it now while other religious and secular organizations are not doing so in a systemic way.

        • shannonlee

          Good lord, help me Jesus.

          They protected and moved molestors from church to church…do you not see a special problem with that?
          Organiized religion brainwashes intelliigent people into putting on blinders in order to find some way to forgive the unforgivable….hmm….I take that back…maybe 1000000000 hail mary’s means that all is forgiven?

          • CStanley

            Trying not to draw this out since Dr. E rightly asked us to keep on topic, but I feel the need to clarify. I do see the ‘special problem’ that you point out and I in fact discussed that in my earlier comment. The issue is whether or not yours is the only legitimate reaction to that because you see the ‘rot’ as the entirety of the Church while others see it as the sins of fallible men within an institution like any other human institution. I don’t say that America has failed because we have horrendous crimes occurring, even horrendous crimes and coverups in the highest levels of our government.

            I will say that the blinders you mention regarding forgiveness really are a special problem for the Church because we do believe that we must always forgive. The problem in this case is that pedophilia is not just a sin, it is also a psychological illness and forgiveness does not solve the problem.

            I could go on but will try to leave it as that- just a bit more elaboration on my earlier comment. Take it as you will.

      • shannonlee

        the problem is not only the abuse…it is the cover up. It is the church teaching priests that the church is more important than protecting small children.

        Your numbers are nice, but you completely avoid the hypocracy of the church…you were taught well.

        And to answer you question…
        “Shannonlee on reflection do you believe this is a fair comment or does it bring anything to the discussion of this post? ”

        My comment is fair…because this post was in praise of an organization that systematically protected child molestors. From the top down…the Catholic church knew what was going on and shuffled these bastards from parish to parish…all to protect the only thing they truly worship…their church.

        I am not saying all priests are bad…I am saying the Catholic church is rotten…and if God is dead, the Catholic church is who killed him/her.

        • (with a soft voice). . . Sigh. . . . . . . Dear Shannonlee forgive my lack of clarity. I was trying to make three points and can tell by your reply they were not clear enough.

          Just for the record i am not Catholic.

          Childhood sexual abuse is truly tragic and often times there are silent partners and yes mistakes where made at many levels. Would never deny or minimize that reality for ones that have been abused.

          Your insertion of Priest scandal was a slam of an unrelated issue into the post. Carrying this kind of resentment and allowing it to come out sideways anytime “Catholic” comes up is about as productive and healing as guzzling a pint of poison and expecting someone else to die. Not good for you friend.

          This kind of resentment can bruise others. Shannonlee can you allow yourself to think/feel what it has been like for the vast majority of Catholic priest (98 to 96 percent) and laity that have no connection with the scandal but only desire to love and serve? This was part of what i was inviting you to reflect upon.

          sincere peace and honor to you

          sparrow

        • archangel

          Hi there mr Shannonlee,
          Please return to the topic of the article. You have veered way off topic. Please read the commenters’ rules if you haven’t already.

          They are: 4) Our comment space is reserved for comments that relate to each post’s topic. You should not reprint lengthy text, more than a couple short paragraphs, from your own works or those of others, including news articles. You MAY link to them.

          (
          (6) All points of view are welcome on The Moderate Voice, with the following exceptions:

          (a) Comments posted several times a day with the intent of dominating, re-directing or hijacking the thread by turning a discussion into the equivalent of a bitter shouting match, or comments going off-topic thereby interrupting those who are discussing the post’s content.

          Appreciate it.

          thanks,
          dr.e

        • archangel

          mr Shannonlee: I certainly see and share in many people’s abject horrification at the uncovered circumstances of sexual intrusion in some US parishes, and I wrote and published a lengthy scathing indictment of how the bishops first stammered their way through it. Also gave a keynote at presentation of group award for SNAP, just three months ago. (And, the Irish, yes. But also I ‘m focused on the equally egregious news out of Germany, and it sickens me. I have a venue in mind for the article next that must be written from this pen.) And you? I hope you will use your heat for good/better too.

          But that aside as it is off topic, mr Shannonlee, you are incorrect. This article was not written “‘in praise’ of an organization that systematically protected child molesters.” I’m sorry that’s what you seem to have projected onto the article. But that wasnt my intent. My intention was to add to the dialogue as a person who is a first witness, and also because several of our commenters (CStanley most recently) over the many weeks of many many posts at TMV on this matter, have held an even hand with it all, so that we can discuss the issues without sarcasm or vitriol. And I see on this article, sometimes that occurs, and sometimes not.

          I accept that it is difficult to have discussions that teach and bring forth new understandings about certain topics. I see that this article is an example of that. And I see the same daily across the blogosphere, and in what is so often incivil discourse in media.

          But, I have always liked, in person, to sit with people of various backgrounds, heritages, and personal experiences, who have good will toward one another and who bring interesting insights, ideas, humor, personal stories, and potential solutions for/ to us all. I have liked it when I see/ hear that sort of commentary in the blogosphere also. Just my .02

          Thanks.
          Dr.e

  • Axel Edgren

    Any organization that tries to force women to act as if a little lump of cells is equal to them is evil.

    Any organization that wants gay people to be second class citizens is evil.

    Therefore, I hate the Catholic church even more than I hate religion in general – it’s Christianity with a more meddlesome and haughty attitude. The Vatican is at the center of a despicable, horrible entity that threatens the liberty, worth and dignity of millions. As long as it intends to harm abortion rights and gay rights, I will be committed to seeing it lambasted and spat on the world over.

  • CStanley

    Your blame of secular society for failing to rise to the needs of hospital care is odd. The church happens to have a world-wide network of resources and a long history of hospital management. A financial security that stand-along or regional organizations don’t have.

    What’s odd is that you call my statement odd and then you go on to prove the point. Secularists who aren’t happy with the choices provided by sectarian hospitals are complaining that they’re outmatched by the Catholic Church in resources, instead of working to compile the resources from like- minded individuals and groups to improve the access in all communities for the services you feel are lacking.

  • CStanley

    Oh and, people aren’t perfect. With sex or otherwise. Condoms prevent other diseases and pregnancy when used right. The pill is 99% effective.

    Of course people aren’t perfect, and NFP requires more discipline than most other methods. I was just clarifying the stats because they were misleading- when you look at the difference between the failure rate when used perfectly and the failure rate overall, it’s clear that it’s the incorrect (deliberate as in the example I gave, or not deliberate if someone is improperly trained) usage and not the method itself that causes the higher failure rate.

    I don’t know about being in the weeds, but I do think we’re all over the map because in no way do I equate my defense of NFP with a desire to push it on anyone who isn’t interested, and so to me it has no bearing whatsoever on the legal issues we’re discussing.

    As for that, I’m sure we will never agree. In my view, the default position of govt which best preserves the rights of all in a pluralistic society is the one doesn’t take sides on the access issue because that allows people or groups that agree with the activity to choose to participate in it (including funding) while groups that have a moral objection to it can abstain. Your default position is that the funding must be there for all and that this must be provided via taxation of all citizens, while my position is that the funding to create equal access for poor women for this procedure should come from the wider group of people in our society who don’t have moral objections to it. You feel that denying govt funds means that the govt is siding with the religious views over the secular, but my view is that it’s the closest to neutrality because it then allows each group in society to opt in through private donations or opt out if there’s a moral objection.

  • Sethsay

    While what I think is just a pebble in the ocean and is meaningless when you think of the billions in the world who beleive otherwise or halfway-inbetween. I will put my two cents worth in this discussion anyhow.

    I am Catholic from the cradle and in most of my adult life I have heard the abortion issue argued from every conceivable angle. Especially when it comes to election time, I am under the impression that the ‘abortion’ issue comes forefront and plays as a leverage in who will be the next president as of lately, it seems the Christian rightwing as well as the left play this as their trump card or urging “Let your conscience be your guide” from the pulpit and papers to take home and read all about the protection of the ‘innocents’ who have no one to speak in their behalf ,designed to weigh heavy on the heart, this is true and we as Catholics must be lead to adhere to what is being set before us and follow accordingly to what the church wants of us. I have other Catholics say that THIS time “we are not going to let the priests dictate to us who we are to vote for.”

    And its not only the Catholics doing this but other christian churches lead by ferce evangelists who have in the recent past elected a republican because of the power behind the abortion issue, I have noticed the republican base and all of their candidates were against abortion, while all of the democrates were for prolife which to me covers the ‘mother’s well being as well as the child she is carrying. Its a heartwenching decision to make regarding the circumstances of mother/baby. And I have come to the conclusion after much debating with my conscience that -it really comes down to the person who is carrying a life, and should NOT be part of the political arena at all. Its a personal decision and one that ,that person and that person alone to have to live with for the rest of her life on what decision she chooses. Only let it NOT be with the taxpayers money.

    To become a plateform for a candidate,s preference on such a hot button issue interferes with our freedom to choose as an idividual right. I have also said a while back that I was for capital punishment, but only under for the most henious crime of taking another,s life and should be carried out only by Right of the law.

    The healthcare reform from all of the articles I,ve read states that monies will Not come from taxpayers or federally funded, that sounds agreeable to me and leaves the choice up to the (mother) to fnd some other resources if she wants to abort for whatever reasons and her sin if its neglectifiable immorality. Isn,t that what Free Will is all about?

  • mariaycorazon

    To quote a famous Spanish Poet, Antonio Machado, “There is no one path, paths are made for walking.”
    The same is true for our spiritual journeys we must all find our own way through trial and error…it is a mistake to over-impose moral imperatives on individuals whose souls are here to grow in consciousness. The best that religion can do is to provide insight and practices to attain the knowledge of what is right…ultimately this knowledge leads to the realization that we are all ONE.

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com