If you want to discuss a mine field, here is a good place to start. The world of clergy seems to be infected with the concept of the word “profession” complete with as many certifications in the secular world. And with those terms, the area of faith and government partnerships becomes very messy. One can argue such partnerships are becoming the apparent downfall of our Catholic charitable organizations in health care and education. Some call them slippery slopes or the elephant’s nose under the tent, and whatever the metaphor, they eventually seem to be holding the correct position.
What is sad, for a Catholic, times of illness, death and bioethical dilemmas, are times where the Church’s wisdom and sacraments are most necessary. The worst coercion these days is not from what the Church offers, but what the health care industrial complex is pushing. What feels right at the moment, may be the decision that haunts for a lifetime. So to have a legal discussion about whether a priest should even be called or how a patients need can be facilitated, can be a devastating roadblock to the care that is truly needed, but not acknowledged by our secular society.