Daniel Cassidy
ObamaCare: an urgent message to our Catholic readers
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By Daniel Cassidy
March 20, 2010

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men." (Matthew 5:13)

The Catholic Health Association has recently endorsed the Democrats' health care bill. This organization is comprised of 600 hospitals, hospices, long-term care facilities, and 3 of the largest HMO's in the nation. They are a network of institutions that may have some association with religious orders or the dioceses in which they operate, but they do not have the authority or competence to represent the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church. That they use the name "Catholic" to endorse policies antithetical to the Church is an attempt to sow confusion, undermines the authentic teaching of the Church, and is a grave sin.

Some have said that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) should condemn the Catholic Health Association for its advocacy of policies that would fundamentally change our country. However, the USCCB is itself a voluntary association of bishops with no more authority to teach, govern and sanctify than the Catholic Health Association, and we have seen how the USCCB has engaged in the same sorts of deception.

While it is the responsibility of individual bishops to address broad, moral concerns, to teach the faith, govern the local Church, and administer the sacraments, Catholic social teaching recognizes that it is primarily the responsibility of Catholic laymen to work out the details of a just, truly human, and Christian society. Sadly, many Catholic leaders have become advocates for reforms that are in direct contradiction to long established and carefully stated moral teachings of the Church.

As we have noted before, there are wolves in prominent positions throughout the Church. We think the late Pope Paul VI had them in mind when he spoke of "il fumo di Satana nel tempio di Dio" ("the smoke of Satan in the Temple of God.") In regard to the Obama administration's effort to fundamentally transform America by seizing command of one sixth of America's economy, every Pope since the time of Marx and Engels has condemned socialism. Socialism was condemned in the 1878 papal encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris by Pope Leo XIII. It was even more thoroughly critiqued and condemned again by that Pope in the landmark encyclical Rerum Novarum, when he wrote:

    "Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonwealth. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property."

It was denounced in the 1931 letter Quadragesimo Anno in which Pius XI famously wrote that "no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist." Other twentieth century Popes have been clear on this issue, including Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Centesimus Annus, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum.

My fellow Catholics, we are confronted with evil the likes of which we have never encountered before. This week will be a pivotal moment for our nation, in which we decide whether we will be a people of the government, or have a government of the people. Will we take the side of those carrying out Lenin's prescription for destroying a society by debauching its currency, or will we affirm Winston Churchill, who wrote that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation"? Will we agree with Ronald Reagan, who said that as "government expands, liberty contracts"? Or will we side with Obama, Pelosi and Reid in their seizure of private sector industries and our freedoms?

Churchill wrote that "When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits not animals." Now is the time to affirm what our Church taught so clearly before schismatics created confusion. To affirm truths about the dignity and freedom of man, we must stand like those faithful clergy and laymen who died for their faith in the last century, rather than relent to totalitarian statism and socialism.

It is a time to remember the thousands of Catholic servicemen and women who lived and died for faith, freedom, individual rights, and opportunity, and where the possibility of being forced to pay for the state-sanctioned murder of infants was unthinkable. It is time to affirm and be faithful to the commitment made and the graces received in the Sacrament of Confirmation. We are obliged and duty-bound to protect our nation from false notions about man and society that have so recently gained a foothold in our country after they were thoroughly discredited in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The Democrats' plan for health care in America, whether it contains specific language sanctioning taxpayer funding for abortion or not, is anti-life and evil. It fundamentally changes the nature of our society, our relationship to government, undermines our economic security, makes government the final arbiter as to what health care you should receive, rations health care, and ultimately decides who lives and who dies. And does anyone think that a President who has voted to let infants surviving abortion die of neglect, will not find ways to advance his demonic culture of death? Our Secretary of State has lectured Brazil in just the past week on why they should sponsor this kind of infanticide.

The American poet James Russell Lowell wrote:

    "Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;"

Mid-Lent is a good time for every Catholic to decide on which side one will fight. Will we support policies from the pit of Hell, or will we resist, call our Congressmen, and take whatever actions are appropriate to our state in life to ensure that such legislation is not passed? And if it is passed, will we ensure that the next Congress rolls it back and fundamentally changes the direction in which our country is headed? One cannot be both Catholic and socialist.

God has a plan for your life. It is no accident that he created you for this time. Raise your voices and, in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

    "Arise, shine, your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rests upon you ...nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn."

© Daniel Cassidy

 

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Daniel Cassidy

Daniel J. Cassidy served on the staff of Senator Herman E. Talmadge, while working his way through The Catholic University of America... (more)

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