Can Catholic Hospitals survive the onslaught of unjust laws?

Contraception has long been legal. But only recently has there been an outcry to compel Catholic hospitals to provide contraception, including abortifacient contraception. And there has also been some discussion of compelling Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, or at least refer patients for abortions.

What is next? Physician assisted suicide is legal in Washington state, Oregon, California, and Vermont. And there are efforts to spread the legal approval of this grave sin to other states. Eventually, it may become legal nationwide, just as abortion is.

Sex change operations are also contrary to Catholic moral teachings, and yet these operations are legal. Hospitals may soon be compelled to offer this procedure as well.

The basic question here is whether government — and the sinful secular culture which rules over government — should be able to compel Catholic hospitals, doctors, and nurses to act contrary to religion and conscience. So far, the legislatures and the courts have allowed little ground for Catholics to stand upon, in order to refuse to commit grave sins related to the medical profession.

Here’s the basic process at work. The culture decides that a grave sin is moral. Anyone who disagrees is branded a bigot or some other negative term. The culture then influences lawmakers and the sin becomes legal. Eventually, the law changes to the point that the grave sin is treated as a right, and refusal to participate in that sin is criminalized, regardless of religious faith or conviction of conscience. In the realm of medicine, health care insurers and providers are then forced to become participants in grave sin, by law, as if the sin were a right, and as if following one’s religious faith and conscience were an expression of hatred of humanity.

If this process continues, Catholic hospitals will no longer exist. A hospital which dispenses contraception and abortifacient contraception, which performs abortions, which performs sex change operations, and which participates in physician-assisted suicide is not a Catholic hospital, but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There may remain some hospitals with Catholic names, but they would be Catholic in name only.

Already there are many colleges which are Catholic in name only. So we can easily see that a different large Catholic institution, such as a hospital, could similarly be corrupted. The Church herself is indefectible. But Catholic hospitals, colleges, institutes, television networks, publishing companies, etc. are not given the gift of indefectibility by Christ.

Most Catholic legislators today are Catholic in name only. And the few Catholics in politics who might be willing to stand up for true justice, lack the numbers and influence to change the laws.

The Church is about to enter into a time of great suffering, trials, and tribulation. Part of the problem is the sinfulness of secular society. Another part of the problem is the sinfulness of the Catholic laity, and the willingness of Catholic teachers to distort and pervert Catholic teaching, in order to justify grave sins.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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