Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Question 87: How far may Catholic hospitals cooperate with providers of immoral services?‏" (Germain Grisez, The Way of the Lord Jesus, Volume III, 1997)

P.S. Your Excellency: Could any of our grandparents have imagined that - by the dawn of 2015 - it would be routine for Catholic hospitals to be overwhelmingly staffed by OBGYNs who are NOT NFP-only?  Could our grandparents have imagined that unsuspecting individuals could check Catholic hospital web sites for private contact info of providers of morally excluded services?  Back in 1997's The Way of the Lord Jesus, Vol III (which is available online in its entirety), Germain Grisez provided a fascinating reflection on "Catholic" hospitals and their prospects for remaining truly Catholic:
"to be an apostolate that carries on Jesus’ ministry of mercy, Catholic hospitals must not only deliver quality health care but provide service to 'the poorest and most abandoned of the sick,' give religious instruction and encouragement along with health care, explicitly evangelize, strive to humanize medical practice, fully conform to the Church’s moral teaching, and supply sound formation in that teaching. Of course, even isolated individuals’ work in the field of health care can qualify as a lay apostolate, in the same way as other morally acceptable occupations Christians might undertake, if carried out in a way that struggles against the evils that afflict such work and restores it in the light of the gospel, manifests Christian mercy, and bears clear witness to faith (see AA 5–7; LCL, 102–13). However, Catholic hospitals will have lost their identity unless they meet all the conditions for carrying on Jesus’ mission of mercy 275....

"doing God’s will and entirely avoiding wrongdoing are at the heart of anything that can be called an apostolate. Do not regard actions such as sterilization and abortion merely as forbidden procedures and do not think of wrongful cooperation with them merely as rule breaking, to be avoided if possible. Recognize such acts as grave injuries to persons or their very destruction, and thus contrary to Christian love and entirely incompatible with your apostolate....

"If a Catholic hospital is to carry on its work as an apostolate, its board members and administrators should deal with formal cooperation in various evils by its personnel. If those responsible instead studiously avoid noticing such formal cooperation or decide to tolerate it, they at least materially cooperate in it in a way that hardly can be justified. As a community committed to an apostolate, the hospital will have betrayed itself even if its board members and administrators manage to stop just short of letting its own complicity in evil become formal cooperation.

"Material cooperation with wrongdoing can be scandalous in the strict sense: It can lead people to sin by encouraging them in rationalization and self-deception (which do not free them of guilt) regarding the wrongdoing. The scandal would not be prevented by a Catholic institution’s prohibition of morally unacceptable procedures within the domain remaining to it, even if that policy is well publicized. For to most non-Catholics and many Catholics the material cooperation would seem to imply that those procedures are not wrong in themselves but merely forbidden to Catholics, as eating meat on Friday used to be. Moreover, other things being equal, a Catholic institution’s material cooperation is much more likely to be scandalous than an individual Catholic’s. The institution’s acts are presumed to be fully deliberate and free, not the product of ignorance or weakness, as an individual’s might be. And since the institution claims to be distinguished from others by being Catholic, whatever it does is taken by many non-Catholics and even unsophisticated Catholics to be the Church’s own act.

"In various ways, a Catholic institution’s significant, obvious, voluntary cooperation in wrongdoing inevitably will impair and probably even negate its capacity to provide credible witness. For example, commingled with the service of secularized providers, its activities will become less identifiable and less distinctively Catholic. Again, the closer association with health care providers whose practice violates moral norms taught by the Church often will make it harder for a Catholic institution’s administrators and staff to speak out for the truth of those norms and work against their violation....For those engaged in health care as an apostolate to impair their witness in these and other ways would be utterly self-defeating, since, to repeat, the essence of apostolate is not only to promote a human good such as health but to practice Christian love and bear witness to the gospel’s truth, including love for the tiniest and the most debilitated of Jesus’ sisters and brothers, and the moral truths regarding how they are to be dealt with."

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"


Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

Blog Archive

About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

Total Pageviews

12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010