In what can be characterized as nothing other than a compromise intended to keep pro-abortion employees at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) from protesting and damaging the LMU "brand," Trustees voted last night to end coverage for elective abortions in employee health insurance.
While the decision sounds like a "win" for faithful Roman Catholics,The New York Times has reported that the Trustees also agreed to make another health plan available at a higher premium for LMU employees who want to continue coverage of elective abortions.
Announcing the new policy, LMU's President, David W. Burcham, and its Chair of the Board of Trustees, Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, wrote in a letter to faculty and staff:
The right to life and dignity for every human being is a fundamental
part of Catholic beliefs (all other rights flow from this primary right
to life and dignity).
So, let's put this decision in its proper perspective: Even though "all other rights flow from this primary right to life and dignity," LMU Trustees have compromised with pro-abortion faculty and staff who believe their rights come before the primary right to life and dignity.
As with all compromises, neither side is satisfied.
Faithful Roman Catholic employees are insisting that the new policy is inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching. Pro-abortion employees are arguing that the new policy signals disrespect to non-Catholics who work at LMU.
Reflecting The Motley Monk's opinion, LMU philosophy professor, Christopher Kaczor, probably put it best, writing in an email:
I don’t think this is morally coherent. It is like saying, "Since I believe
abortion is intentional killing, I won’t drive you to the clinic, but I’ll
arrange for my brother to drive you there if you pay him a few bucks."
More importantly, when individuals are elected with the charge of upholding an institution's sacred "trust" --in this instance, LMU's Board of Trustees--and those individuals end up lacking the fortitude to uphold and promote the truth from which all other rights flow, namely, the right to life and dignity, those individuals forsake their trusteeship. As Pope Benedict XVI told U.S. Catholic educators in 2008 at the Catholic University of America:
Drawing upon divine wisdom, [the Church and Her educational institutions]
sheds light on the foundation of human morality and ethics, and reminds
all groups in society that it is not praxis that creates truth but truth that
should serve as the basis of praxis. Far from undermining the tolerance
of legitimate diversity, such a contribution illuminates the very truth which
takes consensus attainable, and helps to keep public debate rational,
honest and accountable. Similarly the Church never tires of upholding the
essential moral categories of right and wrong, without which hope could
only wither, giving way to cold pragmatic calculations of utility which
render the person little more than a pawn on some ideological chessboard.
Forget about the LMU "brand." Its Trustees have engaged in praxis that has created its own truth and forsaken the "truth that should serve as the basis of praxis." Shame on those Trustees who voted for this compromise and have sullied LMU's Catholic identity. Each should resign his or her trusteeship.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the New York Times' report, click on the following link: