The Catholic Church is in decline. Why? Because it has failed perform its primary mission to minister to and provide for the sick and needy. It has surrendered to government that role that once was the sole dominion of the church.
I recently read a statement by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Dewane states:
“It is deeply disappointing to many Americans that, in modifying the American Health Care Act to again attempt a vote, proponents of the bill left in place its serious flaws, including unacceptable modifications to Medicaid that will endanger coverage and affordability for millions of people, according to reports,” said Bishop Dewane. “Sadly, some of the recently proposed amendments-especially those designed to give states flexibility-lack apparent safeguards to ensure quality of care. These additions could severely impact many people with pre-existing conditions while risking for others the loss of access to various essential coverages.”
His concern should not be about what the government is doing with healthcare. His concern should be that government should not be dictating to the states nor the people, who should or should not be covered. Particularly people of faith.
Bishop Dewane and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops should not be casting the first stone, for they are not without sin. Government taking over healthcare has harmed the Catholic church, its institutions and is congregations.
Let’s look at the Little Sisters of the Poor. The December 2016 edition of the Atlantic reported:
[T]he Supreme Court decided to tackle the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who believe, along with some priests, a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and several universities, that the government is compelling them to violate their beliefs. Their claim: The so-called birth-control mandate of the Affordable Care Act places a burden on their religious exercise, even with an accommodation from the government.
The Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. insurance plans to cover 20 varieties of FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost to patients. This affects employers at both for-profit and non-profit organizations, because they have to provide coverage for contraception in their insurance plans. Immediately following the passage of the law in 2010, a number of organizations objected, saying that some of the approved forms of contraception are the equivalent of abortifacients, or drugs that cause abortion. If they refused to provide the coverage, they would face heavy fines.
Note the words “some priests” and a “Roman Catholic Archdiocese.” This is what happens when the Catholic church fails to stop the government from imposing itself on the lives of the faithful with mandates such as killing the innocent via abortifacients.
Perhaps Bishop Dewane would better serve his Archdiocese and Florida’s Catholics by working to get government totally out of healthcare?
The Roman government taxed the Jews unjustly and many of the tax collectors were thieves. When asked about this dilemma, Jesus took a coin and said, “‘Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’” (Matthew 22:20-21).
But remember that the Roman Empire fell not because of external pressure but because of internal rot.
EDITORS NOTE: Following oral argument on the Little Sisters of the Poor case, the U.S. Supreme Court requested supplemental briefing from the parties addressing “whether contraceptive coverage could be provided to petitioners’ employees, through petitioners’ insurance companies, without any such notice from petitioners.” Post, p. ___. Both petitioners and the Government now confirm that such an option is feasible. Petitioners have clarified that their religious exercise is not infringed where they “need to do nothing more than contract for a plan that does not include coverage for some or all forms of contraception,” even if their employees receive cost-free contraceptive coverage from the same insurance company. Supplemental Brief for Petitioners 4. The Government has confirmed that the challenged procedures “for employers with insured plans could be modified to operate in the manner posited in the Court’s order while still ensuring that the affected women receive contraceptive coverage seamlessly, together with the rest of their health coverage.” Read more.