Archbp. Nauman, backed by Bp. Finn and Archbp. Chaput, about Sr. Keehan and CHA

Canonist Ed Peters offers this on his excellent blog In the Light of the Law:

If it deserves Abp. Naumann’s attention, it certainly deserves ours

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City KS (no stranger to doing the right thing under difficult circumstances) has called out Sister Carol Keehan, Chief Executive of the "Catholic Health Association" for providing "cover for any member of the House who chooses to buckle under the pressure of the President and the Democratic leadership to accept government funding of abortion". Keehan’s arguments, says Naumann, are "either incredibly naive or disingenuous". He concludes "I encourage you to contact Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association expressing to them your disappointment in their willingness to accept government funded abortion as part of health care reform." Abp. Naumann is backed up by Bp. Robert Finn (KC, MO) here, and Abp. Charles Chaput of Denver CO.

"Disappointment" is putting it mildly. This move by CHA leadership (one wonders whether Sr. Carol sought support from her board before declaring for Obamacare) is taken in obvious opposition to the USCCB, not to mention that it contradicts the studied conclusions of numerous pro-life groups with long track-records of knowing what they are talking about and who don’t tend to make gi-normous amounts of money for their "philanthropy".

So, yes, do contact Sr. Carol.

But I raise a further point: To whom exactly is the "Catholic Health Association" accountable in the first place? It appears that they answer only to their own board.* But, if they aren’t accountable to a given bishop, or to the USSCB, or to Rome (1983 CIC 216, 300, and 312), then how does the CHA justify, say, using the word "Catholic" in their title? They apparently claim Catholic identity (and tax-exempt status) in virtue of their inclusion in the Kennedy Directory (see Archdiocese of Saint Louis), but do they deserve such accommodations from the hierarchy?

Groups that want the perks that come from being called "Catholic" need to conduct themselves in accord with the obligations of being Catholic, no? It’s time, I think, to take a closer look at the Catholic Health Association. + + +

* The CHA Board lists one bishop as a member (out of 23 slots), Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg FL–sharply criticized for his stance on the Terri Schiavo travesty–and an "episcopal liason", Kevin Vann of Ft. Worth TX, who probably has no vote on CHA policies.

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  1. moon1234 says:

    It’s time for the hammer to drop at least ONCE. This organazation should be removed from any Catholic register, their corporate affiliation dissolved with the Catholic Church in a very public way. This, and only this, will make other “Catholic” organazations who favor their tax exempt status think twice about violating Catholic tradition and being rebellious against their Bishops.

    Talk is just talk, sometimes a little action is needed to backup the talk. Otherwise the talk just becomes background noise to those with an agenda. Talk to acknowledge and then ignore.

  2. Bill in Texas says:

    Bishop Vann is solidly pro-life, as far as I know. I am sure he is appalled to have his name associated with this “endorsement” by the CHA. Maybe he will resign in some noisy fashion …

  3. Oneros says:

    Supporting abortion or legalizing abortion would be one thing and should get them kicked out.

    But the CHA doesn’t support abortion. They merely disagree with the USCCB about whether, in fact, the Senate language does constitute federal funding for abortion.

    They think it doesn’t, in fact, do that.

    And I’ve seen conflicting references in the media as to what exactly the differences between House and Senate bill are. I’m not entirely convinced the Senate language will be substantively different in practice.

    But for now, I’ll take the USCCB’s word for it and not support the bill.

    Still, this is simply not on the same level as supporting abortion in principle. They don’t support abortion in principle or practice, they merely disagree with the specific analysis of this individual practical application that the Senate language allows its funding. This isn’t a disagreement about doctrine or morality, it’s a disagreement about concrete FACTS.

  4. kittenchan says:

    These good bishops do a lot of talking. Don’t get me wrong; I love what these bishops are doing (and all other bishops who speak out against other wrongs, from abortion to immorality to liturgical abuse).

    But at some point they need to put up or shut up. When will they get these wayward organizations’ attention by focusing on what dissidents hold dear – their pocketbooks (or purses in this case)? When will the bishops say “We can no longer give you money because you use it in support of things which go against Catholic teaching”? When will these people who get away with murder be told that unless they shape up, their financial support is going to ship out?

    I understand that proclaiming the truth is honorable, laudable, and valuable. But there comes a time when talk becomes cheap.

  5. mpm says:

    I wonder if “repudiation” of the CEO’s statement by member organizations would accomplish anything? Some of them depend directly on their local bishops, or did.

  6. Fr. W says:

    When the government orders ALL hospitals to do tubal ligations, refer for abortion, and everything else, these hospitals will then try to find a way to do them. Then the bishops will tell them they can’t call themselves Catholic, and they will say ‘fine.’ Ultimately they are more liberal democrat than they are Catholic. Trouble is, then it will be too late. You can’t ‘play with the devil,’ in the end you yourself get burned. Throwing babies under the bus in order to get your hospital subsidized will come back to haunt us.

  7. avecrux says:

    Good point, Bill in Texas.
    Bishop Vann’s letter is here: His position is not that of the CHA. One wonders what an “episcopal liason” actually is. Perhaps we could contact Bishop Vann and ask in kindness if he could publicly show the contrast between his statement and the statement of the CHA.

  8. I am glad to see that letter from Bishop Vann. He was my pastor here in Springfield, Illinois, prior to being ordained a bishop. He was the first Catholic priest in Illinois to deny Communion to my fellow-parishioner, Sen. Dick Durbin. One way or another, he’ll do the right thing.

  9. Peggy R says:

    Speaking of Springfield, IL, where I did some time working for the state, the IL Supreme Court just determined that non-profit hospitals, including religious, may not be exempt from local property taxes. The issue hinges on the extent of services that are charitable by the hospital, not religious status. Poetic justice for their evil stand today.

    PDF to SC-IL order:

  10. Peggy R says:

    Oh, the Provena Hospitals in question in IL are run by women religious. The CHA did intervene.

  11. John 6:54 says:

    Do these “good” sisters know what eternity means? Jesus said how he wished to set the world ablaze. I have a feeling he may not wait much longer. Lord, God in Heaven, have mercy on us.

  12. spock says:

    As far as Springfield IL is concerned, they’re going to look for money in every location they possibly can. They’re broke.

    Issues like with the Sister in question remind of issues I’ve had with charitable organizations within the Church who say things like, “The Church has no Catechism”, or we should find a mechanism to help people pay for contraception, or the Church hierarchy should be more Protestant, or this Pope is not working in a way that affirms Vatican II, or we want liturgical dance etc. etc. This is all nonsense. As far as I’m concerned, the optimum thing “Trad-oriented” people can do is to make sure we’re EVERY BIT AS CHARITABLE as these people are, but do it in accord with what the Church teaches and at the same time, do it with humility (this is hard for me). For myself, I need to watch VERY carefully where my money is going, so it’s not going to places like this Sister’s salary and at the same time maintain a level of trust in the Church.

    I firmly agree with the statements above that the Bishop’s need to act. How to do it without anger?

    That’s why they’re Bishops and I’m not.

  13. New Sister says:

    As posted on EWTN Q&A, from our dear Judie Brown:

    “Sister Carol Keehan is in President Obama’s pocket as is her organization. It’s all about the money. There is no doubt about it.”

  14. Sedgwick says:

    This is a classic example of a debate taking place on disoriented liberal terms rather than on civilized terms. How is it that ANY Catholic – let alone a bishop – could support socialized medicine operated by an atheistic, totalitarian state…if only abortion funding were removed from the legislation? When the Church’s leadership rejects a satanic tree, but embraces the satanic forest, then this is clear proof that the Church in America has been utterly corrupted. Most Blessed and Glorious St. Michael the Archangel, unsheathe your sword and let the chastisement begin, for we have completely lost our way. Or perhaps I’m missing the point. Perhaps the chastisement has already begun, in the form of Wall Street’s Marxist Alinsky-ite prop sitting in the White House. You know, the fellow who was elected by the “Catholic” vote…

  15. Holy Cripes, Peggy R, that is apalling. Will Provena appeal to the federal courts?

Comments are closed.