What Is Catholic About the ‘Catholic Health Association’? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What Is Catholic About the ‘Catholic Health Association’?
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Sr. Carol Keehan, speaking at the 2019 Catholic Theological Union commencement, where she received an honorary doctorate (LearnatCTU/YouTube)

Sister Carol Keehan, who famously lobbied for Obamacare, received over $1 million in salary as head of the Catholic Health Association. Her successor, Sister Mary Haddad, started off in 2019 at $758,146. As nuns, they can’t take these salaries. Instead, the salaries go to their religious orders. Keehan belongs to the Daughters of Charity. Haddad belongs to the Sisters of Mercy. These orders have handsomely profited off the left-wing lobbying of Keehan and Haddad.

Vatican News recently lionized the habit-less nun: “Sr. Mary Haddad: Following in the steps of great women entrepreneurs” — an ironic headline given that her organization exists to undermine a free market in health care.

Keehan, recall, ran crucial interference for President Barack Obama as he advanced his notorious contraceptive mandate at the expense of Catholic charities and institutions. Haddad is cut from the same ideological cloth. She runs interference for the Biden administration, gushing over its “Build Back Better” monstrosity.

The Catholic Health Association is not particularly committed to Catholicism or health. It is primarily dedicated to the promotion of progressive politics and ballooning government budgets. On the “52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Inn police raids in New York City that sparked the LGBTQ+ Pride movement,” Haddad issued a statement about the Catholic Health Association’s commitment to the “LGBTQ+ community.”

She hailed “the progress that the LGBTQ+ community has made over the past half century overcoming injustice and achieving greater equality” and that those “of us serving in Catholic health care need to listen with openness and learn from the LGBTQ+ community to ensure that we consistently reflect Christ’s healing love as we meet and accompany LGBTQ+ patients, their spouses, and partners.”

Their spouses and partners? This is open rejection of Catholic teaching. But the Vatican obviously doesn’t care about her heterodoxy. Vatican News recently lionized the habit-less nun: “Sr. Mary Haddad: Following in the steps of great women entrepreneurs” — an ironic headline given that her organization exists to undermine a free market in health care. In the interview, Haddad sounded less like an entrepreneur than a woke activist. “The incidences of racism we saw here in the United States with the murder of George Floyd impelled us to look at health inequities — our goal being to eliminate healthcare disparities in access, in quality, and in services,” she said.

Slinging this nonsense is a big part of her job. She serves as an advocate for the liberal powers that be. “We need to mandate the vaccine,” she declared during the COVID panic. She is a font of social justice prattle — a voice not for authentic Catholic health care rooted in the natural moral law but for the bigger and bigger government from which her members benefit.

Relaying the concerns of her “members,” she has said “that the health of our most vulnerable populations is compromised due to: racial injustice; the climate crisis; poverty; immigration status; lack of access to health care and insurance coverage; lack of a comprehensive system dedicated to elder care and discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.”

What does any of this have to do with Catholic health care? Nothing, of course. That statement could have been made by any Democrat in Congress. Instead of highlighting secularist assaults upon Catholic health care, Haddad prefers to pontificate about “health inequity” and the “lingering legacy of the systemic racism and social prejudices that have existed in our nation since its inception.”

The Catholic Health Association is part of the lucrative “social justice” racket. In the past, religious orders steered clear of it. Now they plunge into it, letting their priests and nuns lobby for an ever-expanding government role in health care, even as government officials embrace an anti-Catholic ethos. Sister Keehan pioneered this kind of lobbying. She provided cover to President Barack Obama at key moments in the dispute over Obamacare. She endorsed his sham “compromises” and pronounced them acceptable to Catholics. The Little Sisters of the Poor and other Catholic groups paid the price for her duplicity and subversion of the faith. (After leaving the Catholic Health Association, she served on the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, where she browbeat Catholics into surrendering their religious freedom to anti-Catholic central planners.)

Could the foundresses of the Daughters of Charity and Sisters of Mercy have imagined that this is where sisters in their orders would end up — as lobbyists essentially for anti-Catholic Democrats who seek to wipe out true Catholic health care in America and a global elite hostile to the Hippocratic Oath and natural moral law? Those orders were established to change the world, not be changed by it. Their original members toiled quietly and nobly to spread Christian teaching and charity. Their orders made little money off them. But Keehan and Haddad embody a more recent tradition for these orders — the grift of outspoken “social justice” lobbying that generates millions off a perceived defense of the poor while selling out the Catholic faith.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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