by The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, S.T.D. Archbishop of San Antonio
We are here tonight to talk about health care reform, ethics, and Catholic teaching. Those are big issues. But I think it’s important to remember first, why we’re here as Catholics. We’re here because Jesus Christ chose to come among us “healing every disease and every infirmity among people,” as the Gospel of Matthew says (Matt. 4:23).
The Catholic mission in health care is a continuation of the healing ministry of Christ. When we talk about ethics and health care policy, our goal is to ensure that all medical institutions in our society remain places of healing in which the dignity, and the mystery of the human person is respected-as it was respected by Christ.
I want to start our time together by telling you about a story I heard earlier this year. It was about IBM’s plans to build a new data processing center in Dubuque, Iowa. National Public Radio reported that people were excited because this new plant would bring more than a thousand new jobs to an economically distressed region (”Morning Edition,” Feb. 2, 2009).
NPR interviewed a consultant who was an expert on corporate labor strategies. The reporter asked the logical question: Did this new IBM plant represent a trend of companies deciding to locate again in the United States instead of places like India or China or Mexico?
The consultant’s answer surprised me. She said the real issue had very little to do with things like minimum wage, labor and benefit packages, or tax incentives offered to the corporations. The real issue, she said, was “population trends and demographics.”
The competitive disadvantage for America, she said, is that we have an “older population,” while places like India and Mexico have a much lower median age and a much larger pool of young workers for companies to tap into. Later I was able to verify this: the median age in America is about 37 years old; the median age in India is about 25. In some countries, the median age is below 20.
Now, what does this have to do with health care? Actually, quite a lot. But it will take me a few minutes to explain.
Demographics and population trends are a hidden factor in a lot of the issues that America faces today. Jobs, the economy, immigration, and health care are among them.
My point is that Catholic teaching and ethical decision-making never take place in a vacuum. Today, we are trying to form consciences in a health care environment that’s rapidly changing.
This new environment demands fresh thinking and new approaches. Not to compromise or water-down our teaching. We need to find new ways and even a new vocabulary to articulate our teaching in this changed environment... Read the whole article.
Welcome to the Reading Room
Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Vatican Clarification on Delay of Anglican Provisi...
- Attacks on traditional Anglicans prove pope's poin...
- Finding a Catholic home
- Foul Ball!
- Top Catholic bishops demand apology from Rep. Kenn...
- Dissident theologian criticizes pope’s opening to ...
- Developing nation Anglicans decline pope's offer
- A Resilient Baghdad on a Day of Horror
- Benedict’s Gambit
- Obama a tough guy, at least with Fox News
- What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means
- America’s Obama Obsession
- The Anglicans and the Eastern churches
- Vatican decision to receive Anglicans prompts US, ...
- Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era
- I shall send you the Paraclete, who will lead you ...
- A Bridge Across the Tiber
- The Pope's bold invitation to Anglicans
- Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
- Is there a Historic Anglican - Vatican Announcemen...
- The Power of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
- Taking Obamacare Off the Books
- The lucrative business of racism
- Subverting Democracy
- Treating the Elderly Like Spoiled Brats
- The danger of Obama's dithering
- Belmont Abbey College: Preparing to Fight
- The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
- A Tale of Two Soundbites
- 'Reform' No One Wants to Pay For
- The Vote Democrats Don't Want
- Obama’s Theorems
- The Boys Who Cry Racism
- It’s Not Political, It’s Personal
- Why Catholics Should Take a Position on the Hate-C...
- The Obama Fiasco
- Could a Wave Be Building?
- The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
- "Personally Opposed, But..." Five Pro-Abortion Dod...
- How to take down a great power
- Relics of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Westmins...
- Twits, Twitter, and Tweets
- God vs. Science Isn't the Issue
- The 'youngest headmaster in the world'
- Obama's Job-Killing Agenda
- 'Conceptual Language' Hides Health Care's Costs
- How to Sell a War: First, Start to Win
- Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama
- A Vain President, or a Weak One?
- Note To Catholic Bishops: Obamanomics Is Evil, Too...
- Our Crybaby Culture
- What I Heard in Honduras
- The Nobel Hope Prize
- A Fitting Prize, in a Way
- What If . . .
- Bioethics, Health Care, and Catholic Teaching
- Max's Adventures in Wonderland
- Young Hamlet's Agony
- Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the No...
- States of Personal Privilege
- Stimulus scam
- I'm the laziest man on Earth.
- Romney Reboots
- What's the Rush?
- Remembering Lepanto
- The New Catholic Manliness
- Same Old Obamacare
- Those White Coats In The Rose Garden
- Obama and the General
- The Obama Snap-Back
- Deployments and Diplomacy
- Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to k...
- Corporate Welfare for Mickey Mouse
- Reconciliation Looms Large As Debate Continues
- The Conservative Case for Reform
- Half a president
- Bad Options on Iran
- Support for Abortion Slips
- Clunkers in Practice
- Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim...
- The Obamas Violated First Three Rules of Selling
- How to Talk to an Atheist about Christianity
- Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to...
- President is AWOL as our commander
- Now will Congress investigate ACORN?
- Update: directives on Medjugorje
- This Mission Is Not McChrystal Clear
- Détente and the Bunker
- The Young and the Jobless
- Food Fight: An Unappetizing Development
- Obama’s French Lesson
- Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts ab...
- Benedict’s trip to Britain: new details emerge
- The Obsolescence of a Slur
- Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief
- Palin: ‘Keep on honking; I’m reloading’
- Rotten in Denmark
- Three Dangerous Stooges
- The Limits of Reinvention
- ▼ October 2009 (102)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.