not just cooperation

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 09, 2005

Father J. Bryan Hehir, the embattled head of Boston Catholic Charities, tells the Boston Globe that in its dealings with government regulators, his office is carefully following Catholic moral guidelines.

'We are using the principle of material cooperation," Hehir said.

Material cooperation? Really?

The evil in which Catholic Charities is cooperating is the placement of adoptive children with same-sex couples. And the degree of cooperation? Well, Catholic Charities is doing the placements.

And why is Catholic Charities been doing this, in clear violation of Church teachings? Because otherwise they could lose government contracts. They've been doing it for the money.

Let's say you supply heating oil for a building which, you realize, is a house of ill repute. You wish the prostitutes would leave. You don't want to help their business. But it's your job to pump the oil, and by keeping the house warm you do, reluctantly, help them. That's material cooperation.

But if you go inside and start turning tricks yourself, please don't call it "material cooperation." It's the world's oldest profession; we all know what to call it.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 11, 2005 6:32 PM ET USA

    Fr. Hehir is right in step with the Vatican. When the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring that city contractors pay full benefits to gay lovers of their employes, Abp. Levada found a way to comply rather than lose Catholic Charities' contracts. (The Salvation Army gave up its contracts.)

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Dec. 10, 2005 6:52 PM ET USA

    just how did we reach a point where a Catholic (?) org places children with homosexuals? somebody pls tell how not to feel so bummed out about this?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 10, 2005 1:36 PM ET USA

    Is Fr. Hehir really embattled? I'll believe it when I see him removed as the head of the Boston Catholic Charities.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 09, 2005 3:14 PM ET USA

    Actually, Diogenes, in the example you cite, that's closer to formal cooperation than material. If you rented them the house without knowing their use -- that would be remote material cooperation. If you knew what they were planning but still rented them the house, then that would be formal cooperation. Hehir's renting them the house, knowing their plans, AND soliciting customers, and saying it's okay because it allows him to do other good deeds.