Sunday, November 29, 2009

Memo to the Archbishop of NY

[posted on his blog, typos corrected].
There is no need for a government in a highly developed free market society to appoint itself as "provider of healthcare coverage." None, whatsoever. The proposition would be identical to the government taking control of the restaurant and grocery businesses because there are some people who, regrettably, cannot afford to eat. To do so would undermine the market mechanism of distribution, which is quite an effective mechanism. I believe the discussion of "subsidiarity" speaks to this.
Furthermore, New York City once was a shining example of what Catholicism, when practiced, can do to generously overcome any "shortcomings" -- temporary or otherwise -- in the market mechanism.
It is interesting to me, indeed -- in a grotesque way -- that the Bishops are inclined to welcome government interference into the operation of the market mechanism when the Church itself has witnessed the destructive effect government intervention has on the delivery of charitable services. For it is my understanding that Catholic schools in NYC currently are "permitted" to operate in disobedience of a court order to hire those who not only don't agree with the Church, but in fact demonstrably live in rebellion to her (as practicing homosexuals, for example) in proportion to the number of such people in society at large. I believe His Eminence Cardinal O'Connor addressed this in the book he co-wrote with Mayor Ed Koch, "His Eminence and Hizzoner."
Finally, I was dismayed to be asked, during the Prayers of the Faithful at a recent Mass, to "amen" this: "that congress would act to provide healthcare for all....[with disclaimers for protection of life and acknowledgment of conscience]. " It was repulsive on many grounds, and bizarre for the reasons given above: why pray to enlarge government which is not only an offense to the principle of subsidiarity, it ignores the effectiveness of the market mechanism, is contrary to the virtue of personal responsibility, likewise contrary to the principle of limited government, which quenches the spirit of charity and indeed may even outlaw it, and which has set itself up in legal opposition to the Church?

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