Posts Tagged ‘First Things’

15th March
2010
written by Sean Noble

First Things is the premier Catholic intellectual journal founded by the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

First Things has an excellent piece about the Senate health care bill that the House is trying to pass later this week written by Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Denver. As an outspoken voice for the Catholic Church, Archbishop Chaput is, to use evangelical vernacular, preachin’ the truth. And, to use Baptist vernacular, damning the Catholic posers to hell.

The Senate version of health care reform currently being forced ahead by congressional leaders and the White House is a bad bill that will result in bad law. It does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops of our country. Nor does the American public want it. As I write this column on March 14, the Senate bill remains gravely flawed. It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants.

Groups, trade associations, and publications describing themselves as “Catholic” or “prolife” that endorse the Senate version—whatever their intentions—are doing a serious disservice to the nation and to the Church, undermining the witness of the Catholic community and ensuring the failure of genuine, ethical health care reform. By their public actions, they create confusion at exactly the moment Catholics need to think clearly about the remaining issues in the health care debate. They also provide the illusion of moral cover for an unethical piece of legislation…

The long, unpleasant and too often dishonest national health care debate is now in its last days. Its most painful feature has been those “Catholic” groups that by their eagerness for some kind of deal undercut the witness of the Catholic community and help advance a bad bill into a bad law. Their flawed judgment could now have damaging consequences for all of us.

Do not be misled. The Senate version of health care reform currently being pushed ahead by congressional leaders and the White House—despite public resistance and numerous moral concerns—is bad law; and not simply bad, but dangerous. It does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops in our country, who speak for the believing Catholic community. In its current content, the Senate version of health care legislation is not “reform.” Catholics and other persons of good will concerned about the foundations of human dignity should oppose it.