THE WORLD OVER HONORED BY CABLE INDUSTRY
This week, CableFax, a cable Industry magazine, honored "The World Over" by naming our program "Best Religious Show or Series in Cable Television for 2009." My producer Chris Edwards and I were in New York this week to receive the award.
We are so very thankful to the folks at CableFax and to all our loyal viewers (and listeners) who make the show what it is each week. It is an honor I share with my producer, Chris Edwards, our associate producer, James Faulkner, our Executive Producer, Doug Keck, and all the folks at EWTN who keep the show on the air each week: our directors, editors, and crew. How nice it is to be honored by the cable industry. At the awards luncheon, I kept thinking of Mother Angelica who first asked me to create the show and launch the news division thirteen years ago. Without her, the show (and the network) would not exist. As I told the crowd in New York during my acceptance speech: "It is said you shouldn't talk about religion and politics-- this honor demonstrates that we should talk about both with regularity."
Religion brings peace, causes war, and deeply guides man's every action, yet it is the most neglected area of reportage across the globe. What an honor it is to have the time each week to pull back the veil and examine the faith and teachings that drive so much of the surface news we cover. Thanks to all of you for allowing us to continue to do so.
WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH REALLY TEACH ABOUT HEALTH CARE?
In the midst of the never ending health care debate, partisans have suggested that the Catholic Church's (IE the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops') support of Universal Health Care means, de facto, that government run health care must be adopted. The argument has been advanced that aside from their concerns about abortion funding or conscience clauses, the Bishops support the "public option" making its way through the House of Representatives. Now a growing chorus of Bishops are clarifying exactly what the Church teaches about health care reform--and what She doesn't.
This is critical. Most people don't appreciate the fact that the Bishop's Conference in Washington merely puts forth principles to guide the debate. They do not endorse any one approach, nor do they have any canonical authority where Church teaching is concerned. It is up to the individual bishops to teach and guide their flocks.
On this week's "World Over Live" Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas will join us to explain their recently issued joint statement on Health Care. They raise concerns about the perception that Catholics are morally obligated to embrace a centralized bureaucratic approach to health care reform. They write: "The right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it ... The teaching of the universal church has never been to suggest a government socialization of medical services." Their complete joint statement is worth reading. It is here:
Other bishops have issued similar statements. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver writes: "a proper government role in solving the health-care crisis does not necessarily demand a national public plan, run or supervised by government authorities. Real health-care reform need not automatically translate into federal programming."
Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D., is even more blunt, warning that it is wrong to think that "the national government is the sole instrument of the common good."
These are important observations and words worth heeding-- especially as politicians attempt to attach "moral" urgency to their specific plans. Church teaching, at least on health care reform, is a lot broader than some would like to admit.