If you read this blog at all regularly, you know I admire the work of La Salette Father Edward Richard. Formerly a professor of Moral Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, he now pastors a parish in his native Louisiana, and thankfully for us internet surfers, has more time to devote to his excellent blog, Catholic Morality.
Enough praise. Consider this a standing invitation to assume control of Saint Louis Catholic whenever he wants, but that is beside the point.
Like many other concerned Catholics, when Il Duce came out with his “Great Accommodation” I wanted to consider carefully (since I am not the head of Catholic Charities or a leftist nun) whether this accommodation cured the moral problems with the prior mandate. Father Richard does the heavy lifting below:
Willing cooperation in grave evil inorder to secure a benefit for oneself makes the person who cooperates equallyguilty of the grave evil. What is the goal, exactly, of agreeing with thePresident on this? Is it because those who go along with the President’s mandate want people to have access to theseso-called preventive services? If so, the cooperation in the program ofcontraception, sterilization, and chemical abortions is immoral and gravelysinful. Is it because they want to maintain government funding and theability to “serve” the general public? The cooperation is stillgravely sinful.
In fact, it is quite clear that these agencies and their affiliated institutions cannot cooperate in this plan to provide abortion, sterilization, orcontraceptives. Indeed, this plan of the President’s is morally evil, initself. It is what moral theology and Catholic doctrine refer to as”intrinsic evil.” Yes, that’s right. The plan itself, notjust the acts of abortion, contraception and sterilization, is intrinsicallyevil.
Please see the following Doctrinal Statement issuedby the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on March 13, 1975. (SLC Note: you may read it at the linked post here). Itwas called “Quecumque sterilizatio.” Some will argue that thisdoctrinal statement does not apply because we are talking about healthinsurance plans and not the health care institution as the statement does. I say, however, that this is a distinction without a difference. Asa matter of fact, on the basis of principles espoused in the document itself,one must conclude that providing the approval ofa plan for such gravely immoral actions across a wide array of institutions and circumstances is itself a greater evil than a plan which consents to the evil in one singleinstitution.
I will post later on the abortion drug issue.