Archive for October, 2015

Time for a Catholic Patton

According to their news release dated October 1st, the “American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced a federal lawsuit today filed on behalf of their members against Trinity Health Corporation, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the country,  for its repeated and systematic failure to provide women suffering pregnancy complications with appropriate emergency abortions as required by federal law.”
Good for them. Conversely, good for the Church’s insistence on the sanctity of human life. Leaving aside arguments about the law of unintended consequences and such, I think the Church needs to take on the ACLU and “the nattering nabobs of negativism”(apologies to Spiro Agnew) and do it with the nuclear option.
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals, with 65 percent of them located in developing countries. In 2010, the Church’s Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of the world’s health care facilities.
The early Christians were noted for tending the sick and infirm, and Christian emphasis on practical charity gave rise to the development of systematic nursing and hospitals. During the Middle Ages, monasteries and convents were the key medical centers of Europe. Catholic scientists (many of them clergymen) made a number of important discoveries which aided the development of modern science and medicine. As Catholicism became a global religion, the Catholic orders and religious and lay people established health care centers around the world. Women’s religious institutes such as the Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of St Francis opened and operated some of the first modern general hospitals.
Geoffrey Blainey likened the Catholic Church in its activities during the Middle Ages to an early version of a welfare state: “It conducted hospitals for the old and orphanages for the young; hospices for the sick of all ages; places for the lepers; and hostels or inns where pilgrims could buy a cheap bed and meal.” The Spanish and Portuguese Empires were largely responsible for spreading the Catholic philosophy regarding health care to South and Central America, where the church established substantial hospital networks. Catholic hospitals were established in the modern United States prior to the American War of Independence.
In America, the Catholic Church is the largest private provider of health care in the United States of America. During the 1990s, the church provided about one in six hospital beds in America, at around 566 hospitals, many established by nuns. The church has carried a disproportionate number of poor and uninsured patients at its facilities and the American bishops first called for universal health care in America in 1919. The church has been an active campaigner in that cause ever since. In 2012, the church operated 12.6% of hospitals in the USA, accounting for 15.6% of all admissions, and around 14.5% of hospital expenses ( roughly 100 billion dollars). Compared to the public system, the church provided greater financial assistance or free care to poor patients, and was a leading provider of various low-profit health services such as breast cancer screenings, nutrition programs, trauma, and care of the elderly.
And now the ACLU is unhappy. The answer, at least for the Church is simple. Dismantle all the hospitals and health care facilities it owns and operates. Close every single one of them. Don’t sell them, or sub-contract them; close and shutter every single one of them. Transfer all the patients to government run hospitals. Fire all the doctors, nurses, technicians, janitors, etc.
Time for the Church militant to burn and slash. Salt the earth, and lay waste to the ACLU and other critics who whine about the lack of abortions at Catholic facilities. Transfer all the nuns, brothers, priests, and others who provide the infrastructure of health care. Send them to Africa or South America. Take all the money that helps operate the Catholic medical infrastructure and send it to China or somewhere.
And then wait for the inevitable caterwauling. And have the intestinal fortitude to make the ACLU publicly ask the Church to come back into healthcare. Then demand that the government make it clear, by legislation and regulation, that Catholic conscience cannot be bought or sold. It is high time that the Church Militant lived up to its name.

Categories: Uncategorized
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