Loading
Denver archbishop: Health care reform that funds abortion is not common ground
Archbishop Charles Chaput
Archbishop Charles Chaput

.- "Common ground" is a phrase that President Obama and some of his supporters have been using to describe their efforts to work for health care reform. But Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is taking them to task for abusing the Catholic concept, calling any labeling of the current reform proposals as common ground "a lie."

In his weekly column for the Denver Catholic Register—to be published online this afternoon—Archbishop Chaput tackles the health care debate by recalling an editorial in the British Catholic newspaper The Tablet that insisted the U.S. bishops must back Obama's reform effort.

The editorial also claims that America’s bishops "have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue – making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion – rather than the more general principle of the common good."

This diatribe against the bishops raises some interesting observations, says Chaput.

"First, it proves once again that people don’t need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a 'specifically Catholic issue,' and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic 'common ground' and 'common good' language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism."

"No system that allows or helps fund – no matter how subtly or indirectly -- the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as 'common ground,' Archbishop Chaput insists, adding that, "Doing so is a lie."

As lawmakers and President Obama push to have their health care reform bill passed by the fall, Chaput writes that they are disregarding the experiences of concerned parents in their haste.

The Denver archbishop relates an email that he received from a mother on the East Coast who has a daughter with Downs Syndrome. Three-year-old Magdalena has to see doctors on a regular basis and "‘consumes’ a lot of health care," her mother told the archbishop.

What worries Magdalena's parents the most is: "On paper, maybe these procedures and visits seem excessive. She is, after all, only 3 years old. We worry that more bureaucrats in the decision chain will increase the likelihood that someone, somewhere, will say, 'Is all of this really necessary? After all, what is the marginal benefit to society for treating this person?'"

The best way to make policy decisions, her parents say, is to make them "as close as possible to the people who will be affected by them."

But when it comes down to it, Magdalena's mom—who can't seem to forget the comment President Obama made about the Special Olympics—just doesn't "trust them to mold policy that accounts for my daughter in all of her humanity or puts 'value' on her life.

Last March, the president joked about his poor bowling score with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" saying that it's "like the Special Olympics or something."

Admitting that leaders occasionally make gaffes, Archbishop Chaput writes that "what’s most striking about the young mother’s email -- and I believe warranted -- is the parental distrust behind her words."

"In fact, I’ve heard from enough intelligent, worried parents of children with special needs here in Colorado to know that many feel the current health-care proposals pressed by Washington are troubling and untrustworthy," he adds.

Insisting that health care reform is vital, the Denver prelate urges "Congress and the White House want to genuinely serve the health-care needs of the American public."

Lawmakers need to "slow down and listen to people’s concerns more honestly -- and learn what the 'common good' really means," Chaput says.

Archbishop Chaput's full column can be read at: http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/2440/Archbishop's-Column/.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: