Friday, April 26, 2013

Competition of Church and State

It used to be that the Church served the spiritual and physical needs of people, and the role of the state was to keep law and order. Indeed, the first orphanages, adoption centers, soup kitchens, schools and hospitals were all created by the Church. As governments have grown, they have decided to move into areas traditionally run by the Church, and since they have a monopoly on legislation, government has all the advantages.

Catholic orphanages and adoption centers are being shut down because of legislation barring them from being Catholic. Likewise Catholic hospitals are in danger if the Supreme Court upholds the HHS mandate. Catholic schools are doing surprisingly well despite the financial inequity compared to public schools, presumably because of the superior education provided. But in countries like Canada the state is legislating to push Catholics out of education. Perhaps the most direct attack on social services is in cities like New York and Philly, where it is illegal for anyone except the government to provide food to the poor and homeless.

But I have to say this story takes the cake. Priests were restrained from giving last rites to the dying in Boston. From the WSJ article:
But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites—a sacrament that, to Catholics, bears enormous significance.
[H/T FairAngel]
[N.B. I could say more, but I am literally sick over this.]


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