Friday, September 18, 2009

Obamacare and the Principle of Subsidiarity

The principle of subsidiarity, described in Pope Pius XI's Quadragesimo Anno and Pope John Paul II's Centesimus Annus certainly seems to be "An Inconvenient Truth" (to borrow Al Gore's term) a goodly percentage of the United States bishops. It certainly seems to be so for the USCCB and for many of the state Catholic conferences. It almost seems that there isn't a governmental handout after which they won't slobber and pant. It even seems that Renato Cardinal Martino, a former Vatican official known for his rabid liberalism, has lavished praise upon Obamacare, inherent and fatal flaws nothwithstanding.

It is therefore most refresing to see that
some US bishops realize the peril that Obamacare poses to true Catholic social teaching, regardless of the presence or absence of abortion and euthanasia. Let us be clear; the specter of taxpayer-funded abortion and euthanasia is horrible beyond description. However, the elimination of these murderous provisions from the bill will not render the bill any more acceptable to the true Catholic. The presence of socialized medicine foists its own deadly and yes, sinful poisons upon civilization. Please read and study the linked articles closely.


  1. True Catholic social teaching teaches us to love our neighbors, especially the poor and the vulnerable. A neighbor of mine, Joe, a homeless man, has severe cancer. He is not insured, not is he eligible for Medicaid, or other government-funded program. This "Obamacare" will make it so that he will qualify for Medicaid, as eligibility will be increased. God willing he survives until 2014, he will be able to undergo cancer treatment with Medicaid funding. Without this funding, he would not be able to afford treatment. This reason is fundamentally why the Affordable Care Act is consistent with Catholic social teaching.

  2. During the time that the bill was being debated, we were assured that there was no abortion funding in the bill. Well, lo and behold, it is. Moreover, if the GOP strips the abortion funding out of the bill, poor ole' Pelosi is afraid that we ladies will drop dead like flies all over creation! Anytime you have that kind of authority entrusted to civil government, the results will literally be murderous. I wonder if Sister Carol Keehan is ready to return her Pen of Perfidy - probably not.
    Brother Peter, I assume you have a fixed residental address at this time. You have a "neighbor", but he's homeless? I find that - interesting!

  3. Perhaps Luke 10:29-37 might help explain:

    Wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

  4. Anonymous of 11:29 today, that actually is a most relevant passage. Notice that Jesus taught us to serve the disadvantaged out of our own substance. Notice that the Samaratan did not attempt to "organize the community" to coerce the innkeeper into caring for the invalid for free. The essense of socialism is for government to take by fiat the property of one individual and to disburse that property to other individuals at its discretion. That is Obamacare. Of course, Obamacare worsens the picture by paying for the murders of babies. Search the Scriptures and you won't see any justification of socialism. The passage from Luke is a "case in point".


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