Subsidiarity and the Social Doctrine

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." Margaret Thatcher

“Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” G. K. Chesterton

Subsidiarity in the Gospels

Saturday, January 15, 2011

...Liberal-consensus politics

"...liberal-consensus politics of the Bernardin Era, could be heard in the 2009 healthcare debate, with the bishops continually stressing the moral imperative of universal health care. That moral imperative exists; but it is not at all clear that meeting it requires a first, indeed primary, recourse to governmental means. Or at least that is what the core Catholic social–ethical principal of subsidiarity, with its skepti-cism about concentrations of governmental power, would suggest.

Putting that comprehensive vision—universality and subsidiarity into play in the new healthcare debate that will unfold in the wake of Obamacare and the 2010 midterm elections would be a genuine service to the country, and a distinctively Catholic service. Catholics bring a cluster of concerns to the table of the healthcare debate: They bring concerns about the unborn, the elderly, and the severely handicapped; they bring concerns for the poor and their empowerment; they bring concerns for maintaining a healthy pluralism in our national life through the principle of subsidiarity and the use of private sector mechanisms for solving social problems. It would be a real sign of movement beyond the public-policy orientation of the Bernardin Era if that concern for linking universality to subsidiarity (which a few bishops began to articulate in 2009) were to achieve a higher prominence in the bishops’ address to these issues, even as the USCCB continues to press hard on the pro-life agenda and the protection of the conscience rights of Catholic medical professionals."

George Weigel
First Things

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