By Patricius Anthony

                               TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Network
                     E-mail:, Web:
   Copyright 2009 Anthony.  Reproduction prohibited without authorization.
                                                   Last Revised:  12/28/09


By Patricius Anthony

After considerable acrimony and grass root opposition, the United States Congress has passed a massive health care "reform" bill that will, among other nefarious things, greatly expand the federal government's role in the medical industry. It is expected to be signed into law by the present occupant of the Executive Office.

Although not often touted as such by proponents of the measure (mostly Democrats), "health care reform" is really the final phase of the massive federal social welfare legislation initiated in the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and drastically enlarged to include "civil rights" laws during Lyndon B. Johnsonís presidency.

Opponents of the bill (mostly Republicans) have argued that it is a "leap toward socialism" and have pointed out that it will increase the cost for insurance companies, create more government spending, and eventually lead to the complete collectivization of the medical and health industry.

While these objections are certainly accurate, the only way that "conservatives" could have blocked the measure, since they are now minority in both national legislative branches, would have been on "philosophical grounds." However, since conservatives have, for the most part, accepted the welfare and the warfare state, and have over the years sought only to reform its excesses and not to abolish it, they were destined to lose the debate.

A prime example of how conservatives have become little different from their supposed liberal opposition can be seen during a recent television "shouting match" between a big-mouth neoconservative talk show host and a proponent of healthcare reform. In a response to an assertion by the liberal, the neocon retorted: "but the bill will create a 'shortfall' in the Medicare system." The liberal incisively responded: "I thought you conservatives were against Medicare?" For once, the big mouth neocon had nothing to say!

At one time, Catholics, guided by the wise counsel of the Holy See, opposed social welfare measures such as "health insurance." They understood, unlike many of today's conservatives, that social welfare programs were, in part, designed to create a dependent citizenry and would, ultimately, lead to the enhancement of state power.

Moreover, Catholics realized that the modern state was created in opposition to the political order of Christendom. As the Church was attacked and stripped of much of its temporal power, governments gradually took over more and more of its tasks and services.

While Fr. Fahey has been criticized by "free marketers" for his supposed "quirky" economic positions, he certainly saw what modern welfare legislation was intended to do. In the hard-hitting journal, Fiat, published by the organization that he founded in the early 1940s, Fr. Fahey attacked a social security system that was being proposed for Ireland. The argument against social security could easily be employed in the current healthcare debate:

The proposed Social Security Scheme for this country, as outlined in the White Paper, is in line with similar developments in Great Britain, the United States, and elsewhere. Such a scheme is a sorry commentary on our avowed Catholic social philosophy and our adherence to the principles of social reform set forth in the Papal Encyclicals. The wide diffusion of ownership in productive property is the ideal envisaged in the Encyclicals. The Social Security Scheme cuts across such a solution of the social problem. It is designed as one of the first steps to Socialism. Such Scheme would result in the creation of a vast proletariat, with a correspondingly large bureaucracy to administer it; with membership compulsory for the working population, enforced by the sanctions of prosecution and exclusion from employment. (Fiat, No. 22, 1950)

America's social welfare legislation is based largely upon the 19th-century German model designed by Bismarck, which was a "conservative" measure to offset the rising tide of socialism and that of laissez faire. As Fiat continues:

Whether the Scheme is imitative, or whether it proceeds from more direct initiative, a glance at those sponsoring and inspiring Social Insurance abroad is instructive. Social Insurance had developed considerably since it was first introduced in Germany by Bismarck in alliance with the Marxist revolutionary, Ferdinand Lassalle.... Bismarck said that the laws were passed to throw 'a gold chain around the necks of the workers.'" (Fiat, ibid.)

While this is true, social welfare was also intended to interject the State as a decision maker in the life of the family superseding, the Church and eventually taking greater autonomy away from the family. The Bismarckian plan and later adaptations of it have, unfortunately, succeeded splendidly!

Western social democracy with its religious pluralism is an order that is the antithesis of the Social Reign of Christ the King. The provision of healthcare, education, and charity are the proper realm of the Catholic Church, as each has significant spiritual and moral connotations.

Those who follow the precepts of the Social Reign of Christ the King envision a healthcare system which is administered by the Church and its auxiliaries, where not only are the physical well-being of patients looked after, but, just as important, their spiritual needs. Most medical services would be "free of charge" where religious would tend to the sick. One does not have to imagine how much better the quality of care and patient recovery rates would be compared to the present system where administrators, medical staffs, and social workers owe their allegiance to secular bureaucracies, not to the patient or Almighty God.

Healthcare reform demonstrates again why conservatives and those who seek the restoration of Christ as King of society are at odds on most major issues of the day. For those who seek further clarification of the differences, the works of Fr. Fahey would be a good place to start.

Conservatives and opponents of healthcare reform should not wring their hands over the failure to stop "Obamacare." Socialized medicine is ultimately the result of Western manís rejection of a Catholic social order and the replacement of it with a secular omnipotent entity -- the State. Until those who are opposed to this fundamental aspect of the world's power structure recognize this, statism will continue its ominous march.