Monday, March 16, 2009

Cooperation with evil?

Over at GetReligion there is a story about the controversy that has raged in the Archdiocese of Boston over a proposed joint venture between the Catholic hospital chain and a non-Catholic insurance provider.

GetReligions take is that it provides an excellent example of how journalists could/should use their blogs to give readers the bigger picture of the story. For what its worth (not much) I agree.

In the process we are provided with some really good links to

1) the original article:

Critics of a proposed joint venture between the local Catholic hospital chain and a secular insurance company say they are concerned about the arrangement because of one major issue: abortion.

But supporters say there is another issue at stake in the discussion of whether Caritas Christi Health Care should take part in providing insurance to low-income people in Massachusetts: poverty....(more)

and 2) some really good discussion (if you are so inclined) on moral theology at the journalist's blog Articles of Faith. For example, Rev. James Bretzke, professor of moral theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry writes:

...Pope John Paul II writes in Evangelium Vitae, Paragraph 73 the following in regards to civil legislation which may allow for abortion:
'A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations—particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation—there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.'

Now I believe we have a fairly clear analogous case here in the current brouhaha with the Caritas hospital case. Both Cardinal O'Malley's opposition to abortion and that of Caritas are well-known and well-documented. Thus there is no REASONABLE possibility of scandal, which would mean that someone might be led to believe (mistakenly) that either the Cardinal or Caritas in fact condone abortion. (more)

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