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Slaps Down U. S. Bishops' 'Social Wedge' Outrage
With one fell swoop, the Vatican's unstinting defender of health care as a universal right proposes a real-world answer to its one "American problem" open to change. Deep institutional fissures are more intractable, the still rippling pedophile scandal/coverup, dwindling church membership and, oddly enough, a rush by would-be altar boys for football, reckoning it was safer. Interestingly, both Pope Francis and President Obama share a destiny, struggling to serve the old and needy by urging younger folks to sign up and embrace their different versions of pie-in-the-sky.
Pushing reform, will the new Pope turn a blind eye when the Church's richest stronghold can't even manage online sign-ups for halfway national health care coverage? How can Francis' reborn Church, pushing "life" on birth control, abortion, and traditional marriage, disregard moral dereliction that assures thousands die miserably, without medicine or hospice care? "How can it be," Francis asks, "that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure"? It's not easy being the new pontiff on the planet, though commanding your own sovereign state helps.
Not only is America the health-care dinosaur of "advanced" nations, the Pope must negotiate this quandary: how to correct (read: slap down) the policy of regressive U.S. Bishops battling the opening Obamacare gambit? Spewing forth litigation and threats to shutter Catholic health institutions, even go to jail , Catholic clerics full of homey "family values" imagine ACA as total horror show, shredding their "religious freedom" by promoting birth control and abortions galore, all official exemptions to the contrary.
'Romanism' to the Rescue?
So imagine the shock within the unfeeling obstructionist posse when the Pope exhorts Catholic wiz kids to redeem the ACA by getting it out the starting gate. Why shouldn't the best and brightest, computer-savvy Catholics improve life-saving online accessibility? Wholly unconfirmed rumors abound this reform Pope is mulling over this game-changer: whether the doctrine over which he rules infallibly approves informational, church-run health exchanges, designed to reign in regressive governors who punish the poor. Talk about reform.