You Can't Make This Stuff Up!Along with Ronald Hamel, Ph.D., Rev. Thomas Nairn, OFM, Ph.D. is "senior director of ethics" at the Catholic Health Association of the USA (CHAUSA).
"As for Me and My Household, We Will Serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15)????What follows are excerpts from Father Nairn's Catholic Health Care Must Stand in the Middle, which appears in the July/August 2013 issue of Health Progress, the journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. Father Nairn tells us that,
"The commitment to serve an increasingly secular society while remaining truly a ministry of the church can indeed cause discomfort for Catholic health care. More problematic for the future, however, might be the consequences if Catholic health care appropriates the mixed model and leaders use each perspective as a way to get around the other — emphasizing the public, secular face of Catholic health care when it seems too difficult to foster the institution’s Catholic identity, or using the Catholic, religious face as a way out when government or society in general raises uncomfortable questions.
"The danger of uncritically relying upon the mixed model could result either in our institutions not knowing who they really are or — even worse — in our institutions hiding behind their mixed identity so that they do not have to take a stance regarding who they are and should be....
"Over 700 years ago, the great medieval theologian and doctor of the church, St. Thomas Aquinas, OP, articulated an understanding of theology in which, following the ancient philosopher Aristotle, he described virtue as 'standing in the middle' between two extremes, each of which is considered vice.7
"What does the virtuous middle look like for Catholic health care today? It is not some sort of static average, but rather a dynamic middle ground that is comfortable with the tension described above. This virtuous middle, with feet planted firmly in both realities, allows each side of the tension to influence the other, inviting real cross-fertilization between both realities. To consciously embrace this mixed model of Catholic health care means that we are not apologetic about either side of the tension."