Why keep having Catholic hospitals?

Of course, I agree with Christopher Haley that a law forcing people to support evil acts like contraception is an abomination.  It would be so even if there were no Catholics in America, since contraception and abortion violate the natural law.  So I was all ready to join in his freedom-of-religion crusade, but then this tripped me up:

The impact of Catholic institutions currently far exceeds the number of Catholics in America; Catholic hospitals, for instance, took well over 100 million visits and admissions in 2009, while there are just over 68 million Catholics in America. The doctors, nurses, and staff at Catholic hospitals are not primarily Catholic, and most importantly, the patients are not primarily Catholic. Catholic Charities USA, one of many Catholic charities, alone served almost 10 million people in 2009; the US Conference of Catholic Bishops oversees the federal program to serve victims of human trafficking and sex slavery; the list goes on—and none of these services “has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose.”

So, Catholic hospitals are not run for Catholics, and they’re not even run by Catholics.  In this case, what’s the point of having the Church involved at all?  It seems like it’s not Catholics performing corporal works of mercy any more, but bishops holding some (probably nominal) administrative role while non-Catholics perform corporal works of mercy.

There was a time when all of this made sense, when rural areas lacked hospitals, and the Catholic Church, with her army of cheap celibate female labor was the only institution that could respond.  America owes a big debt to the Church for creating her hospital network, but it doesn’t make sense anymore, and the bishops should be looking for a way out.  Communities still need those hospitals, but the episcopacy would be better off with a check and a freeing from unneeded responsibilities.

Also, why the hell is the USCCB running a federal program on sex trafficking?  I ask this as someone who would like Catholicism to eventually become the state religion.  Maybe the fact that “none of these services ‘has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose.’ ” should make us worry that there’s been some serious mission creep in the American Church.  Come to think of it, how many services does the Church have that actually do have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose?

6 Responses

  1. “It seems like it’s not Catholics performing corporal works of mercy any more, but bishops holding some (probably nominal) administrative role while non-Catholics perform corporal works of mercy.”

    As part of my legal practice, I used to act for a nominally religious hospital in Ireland, and this seems pretty close to the mark.

  2. You could say the same about Catholic universities.

    I ask this as someone who would like Catholicism to eventually become the state religion.

    I’m not Catholic, but Protestant, but I’m quite in sympathy here. I’m sure you’ve run into the same look of shock and fear on church people’s faces as you’ve proposed such a thing that I have. I tell people, “so, I should pray for an anti-Christian state? Why? We already have one!”

  3. Of course, I want the population to convert first. In the country’s current state, I would support a Protestant establishment.

  4. “Come to think of it, how many services does the Church have that actually do have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose?”

    Judging by the appalling number of Catholics having contraceptive premarital sex and voting to subsidize abortionists and so on, it would seem the Church itself no longer serves the end of inculcating religious values.

  5. My wife worked in management at a “Catholic” hospital for fifteen years. After this decade and a half of day to day observation she concluded that the place was nothing more than a “no charge for services” whorehouse. In effect, the doctors and male administrators were involved during the three daily shifts in a sexual free-for-all with the hypergamous and quite naive female employees, be it the female docs, technicians, nurses or the office staff. Everybody was doing everybody. And in regards to these supposed “Charity Hospitals” – every single one of them has its own collection agency to hunt down the financially distressed.

    Regarding “Catholic” colleges? Gimme a break. The handful that don’t present the Vagina Monologues annually you can count on the digits of your hands. Check with the Cardinal Newman Society. GBLT clubs proliferate, socialist teaching little or no different than that taught in the public sector is the norm, as well as the fact that 99% of them have “Co-ed” dormitories. Outside of exceedingly rare examples, everything about both of these supposed “Catholic” institutions is nothing but a facade and a farce.

    Hospitals=Whorehouses

    Catholic Colleges=Left Wing Whorehouses

  6. My wife gave birth to our most recent child at a “Catholic” hospital. Her OBGYN was, of course, selling a tubal ligation pretty hard (gotta make those boat payments!). The OBGYN explained, though, that my wife had to decide well before the birth since the OBGYN had to seek permission for each tubal ligation from the religious sister who runs the place. Really strange.

    On the other hand, when I went to the emergency room with one of my children on a different occasion, I found the crucifix on the wall comforting.

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