Bad Catholic: The Pope Calls for Guaranteed Healthcare for All People, Santorum Attacks Healthcare Plans for the Poor

Gee, it's been fun to talk about contraception, and the US Catholic Bishops' opposition to providing contraceptive care to employees of their affiliated charities and hospitals. But, to be honest, for a religious community that defines itself as pro-life, including, to their credit, "official "opposition to the death penalty, I wonder why the Catholic Bishops "went to the mattresses" to publicly and relentlessly hammer President Obama over the contraception issue, when there is a much more important moral and ethical issue that their church "officially supports," but on which they have remained essentially silent.

I speak of course of Pope Benedict's call for guaranteed health care for all people issued in 2010: 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.

Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message Nov. 18, was one of the "inalienable rights" of man. [...]

"The care of man, his transcendent dignity and his inalienable rights" are issues that should concern Christians, the pope said.

Because an individual's health is a "precious asset" to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by "dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access."

"Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care," he said, adding that the provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is "commonly accepted as a fundamental human right."

You know, of course, that when the Pope says health care is "an inalienable right he means the right to universal health care comes from the Almighty. In other words the Father Son and Holy Spirit (speaking through the Pope, naturally) have given humanity this right to health care for every person, even those who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet for some reason I do not recall the Catholoc Bishops making a big stink about Congress refusing to provide guaranteed health care for all people. Nor do I see them getting up in the grille of "good" Roman Catholics such as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, or any Republican in Congress for that matter, who has vowed to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. For example, here's Rick Santorum's position on health care, including existing programs such as Medicaid, which provides limited health care to some (but far from all) poor people, nor does it provide coverage for many people who are not currently covered by health insurance because they have lost their jobs: 

Did you hear that? Santorum said we should repeal Medicaid and Medicare and next Social Security. Oh and here is what he said the other day regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which as we know Republicans only refer to as "Obamacare" in an effort to denigrate what little progress we have made in health care reform in this country: 

They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

Ricky, didn't you get the memo from the Pope? Universal health care is a God-given, inalienable, fundamental right of all humankind, even poor people. So why do you want to eliminate Medicaid and Medicare? Why do you call "Obamacare" the first step toward tyranny? Why, in light of the Pope's statement that this is the official position of the Church to which you belong do you suggest that even modest health care reform, such as the ACA, is the first step toward a secular revolution that will lead to the guillotine? And why does your campaign website state that your Number 1 priority is the repeal of "Obamacare, i.e., the ACA?

As a life long Roman Catholic, shouldn't Ricky be advocating for universal health care guaranteed to all Americans? As a so-called "man of faith" why has he taken positions diametrically opposed to the Pope's call that governments, as a moral and ethical matter, as a matter of justice, provide all people access to health care, even the poor, the sick and the elderly? More importantly, when will the US Bishops publicly call out Mr. Santorum and other Republicans for their failure to support the fundamental right of every human being to guaranteed health care? When will they demand Republican politicians to pass legislation providing universal health care to all Americans, regardless if race religion, or socioeconomic status? They were quick to jump on President Obama over providing contraceptive health care services. Yet, they have said nothing -- I repeat NOTHING -- criticizing the Republican party, its elected officials and the current frontrunner for nomination as the GOP's presidential candidate regarding their plans to eliminate all the Obama administration's health care reforms, as well as Medicaid and Medicare?

Why don't we call them and ask when they are going to demand the republicans support universal health care for the American people, rather than threatening to deny Americans of this fundamental right? As the Pope said, all governments in the world, including the government of the United States, need to provide guaranteed health care for all as this is a matter of moral justice. To do otherwise would be immoral and an affront to God. At least, that is how I read the Pope's statement from November 2010, as well as the additional comments of his spokesperson Cardinal Bertone:

In his own written statement, Cardinal Bertone had strong words in support of the need for governments to take care of all citizens, especially children, the elderly, the poor and immigrants.

"Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care," he said, adding that the provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is "commonly accepted as a fundamental human right."

Here is a link where you can obtain contact information for Catholic dioceses and parishes in the United States. You know what to do.

Booman Tribune / By Steven D | Sourced from

Posted at February 16, 2012, 3:07am

Today's Top Stories