Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

Living Your Faith as Citizens and Leaders in Politics, Culture, Society and Business

What do you think the role of Catholics should be in politics?

ZE10051804 – 2010-05-18

Vatican to Study Bringing Catholics Back to Politics


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2010 ( The Pontifical Council for the Laity will begin its 24th plenary assembly Thursday, dedicating the three-day meeting to consider “Witnesses to Christ in the Political Community.”

A communiqué from the council noted how Benedict XVI has repeatedly affirmed a “pressing need” for a renewed commitment of Catholics in political life.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the dicastery, will inaugurate the event.

Three lectures are scheduled: Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy, will speak on “politics and democracy today: ‘status quaestionis'”; Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian bishops’ “Cultural Project,” will examine the topic of “Church and political community: certain vital points”; finally Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, will speak on “the responsibility of the lay faithful in political life.”

Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Catholic lay Community of Sant’Egidio, will give a report on great Christian personalities in the history of politics. And the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Guzmán Carriquiry, will speak on methods for forming the lay faithful in politics.
What do you think about the role of Catholics in the political domain?

Filed under: Church-State, morals, Politics, Uncategorized

Articles on Catholic Social Teaching and Immigration

The March 2010 issue of the Woodstock Report (from the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University) is dedicated to Immigration Reform. Articles by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Donald Kerwin, Thomas Reese, and several others include:
“Honoring Human Dignity and the Common Good: A Catholic Approach to Immigration Reform”
‘We Must Serve and Defend Them in the Public Square”
“No Person is Illegal”
“Were My Parents Criminals?”
“Love the alien as yourself”
“We Are All Sojourners Here”
“The Other”
“Crossing the Borders and Redefining Identity: Gener, Body and Space”

Filed under: Migration, morals, Social Doctrine, Social Justice

Here are some important points to consider when reviewing the health care reform debate

During the August recess, please urge members of Congress to keep working on comprehensive health reform.  We also need to educate/form our selves and neighbors on some important aspects to this debate, informed by the Catholic moral tradition, rather than rely on blasts by various interests.

Here are some issues in health reform legislation that need to be considered:

  • Support Health Care Coverage for All :
    • Expand Medicaid to everyone under 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL);
    • Cover immigrants, both documented and undocumented;
    • Provide subsidies for low-income individuals and families up to 400% FPL;
    • Reform the health insurance market, by prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions, requiring guaranteed issue of insurance, and establishing premium rating restrictions;
    • Ensure access to preventive care and chronic care management;
    • Provide support for long-term care services by including the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
  • Preserve Provider Conscience Protections and Support “Abortion Neutrality” — Not an Abortion Coverage Mandate:
    • Support an “abortion neutral” approach by continuing longstanding and widely supported policies protecting provider conscience rights; prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion; and not mandating abortion as part of any benefit package
  • Support Delivery System Reforms that improve quality of care, patient outcomes, and efficiency, but do not arbitrarily reduce reimbursement rates:
    • Support a targeted Medicare hospital readmissions policy focused only on the top 8 to 10 conditions for readmission;
    • Support a Medicare Value Based Purchasing program that reimburses hospitals based on improved quality of care, implemented in a budget neutral manner;
    • Test the feasibility of bundled hospital and post acute care payments through pilot projects and a study prior to considering a bundled payment system;
    • Ensure any public plan, if included, provides adequate payment rates for providers.
  • Ensure Sufficient and Fair Financing with “shared responsibility”:
    • Protect Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments by ensuring that any DSH payment reductions are tied to and occur after demonstrated reductions in the number of uninsured.
  • Visit the Catholic Health Association of the United States for more details.  Catholic health care is one of the largest providers of health services in the US and throughout the world.  Our moral tradition is very much connected to the practice of medicine and ethics that have been a hallmark of the Christian tradition for centuries.  Health care practice and policy have been a concern of the Catholic Church for centuries.

Filed under: Culture, Economic Policy, healthcare, Market Place, Medical Ethics, morals, Social Justice

Catholic health/Charities position on health care debate

Recently, there has been an attempt by some bloggers and others to distort the position of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Health Association and the St. Vincent de Paul Society on their and the Church’s position on the current health care debate.

The Catholic Bishops have been calling for reform in health care since they published a Pastoral Letter on health care.

For a clarification and articulation of the Church’s position see comments by Sr. Carol, the President of Catholic Health Association of the US in a CNS article.

Filed under: Catholic Charities USA, Church-State, Economic Policy, healthcare, Medical Ethics, morals, Social Doctrine

What does Caritas in Veritate have to do with Labor and unions?

I was invited by the Youngstown State University Center for Working Class Studies to write a blog on the relationship between Caritas in Veritate, the new papal encyclical, and labor, unions, work and Catholic social teaching.

Please visit the blog at

Filed under: consumerism, Economic Policy, Market Place, morals, Personal Reflections