CHARLESTON--Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone is joining other bishops and religious leaders to urge lawmakers and Catholic voters to support an expansion of Medicaid that will help more of the nation’s poorest receive health care.
In a recent letter, Bishop Guglielmone supported a proposed expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act that will extend coverage to about 330,000 uninsured citizens in South Carolina.
“Providing access to health care is consonant with Catholic social teaching,” Bishop Guglielmone wrote. “Indeed it is more than consonant — it is called for by Catholic social teaching.”
The expansion faces a rocky road. At press time, it had already been voted down by the state House of Representatives and was being debated in Senate subcommittees. Gov. Nikki Haley also opposes it.
According to an article in The State newspaper, supporters say increased access to Medicaid would not only help the poor with access to health care, but add billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state economy.
Opponents, meanwhile, estimate expansion would cost the state $2 billion by 2020 (see related story on page 12).
States that accept new Medicaid coverage would be required to pay 10 percent of the total costs after three years of being completely funded by the federal government. Opponents say that cost would be too much for South Carolina to handle.
Bishop Guglielmone acknowledges the Affordable Care Act has many problems, including concerns about preserving religious liberty. He said, however, the goal of expanding access to health care is a good one, and urges a middle road: expanding access to Medicaid while also finding a way to make the increased costs affordable.
“Bearing a cost for the sake of something greater is the heart of our faith; it brought us salvation,” Bishop Guglielmone wrote. “At the same time, we can and must make this expansion and our whole health care system more effective and economically viable.”
Catholics in the state are also working with the South Carolina Christian Action Council to gain support for Medicaid expansion. In an open letter, Carl Evans, council president, said access to health care speaks to core Christian values.
“Health care is a basic human right … based on the basic Christian conviction that every human being is a child of God and deserves to have access to the goods and services that meet basic human needs, including health care,” Evans wrote.
“The discussion over this issue is primarily an economic one, but there’s a moral argument to be made as well,” said Father Sandy McDonald, pastor of St. John Neumann Church in Columbia and a member of the Christian council’s board of directors. “Jesus Christ engaged in a healing ministry that suggests we also should be concerned about the health and well being of others.”
Despite the legislative opposition, the council will continue to highlight the issue and attempt to change lawmakers’ minds at a special event for clergy and congregational leaders scheduled for April 23 in Columbia, including speeches and a press conference at the Statehouse.
Meanwhile, Bishop Guglielmone urged the faithful to form their own opinions on the issue and contact their legislators.
He stressed how important it is to seriously consider Church teaching.
“I ask that you start that evaluation with a presumption in favor of what the Church says is a good to be pursued in society, namely, the flourishing of all people through access to health care,” he wrote. “Hold as well our faith conviction that shared sacrifice for a greater good and concern for the poor make us more like Christ.”
CHARLESTON—The Diocese of Charleston’s Office of Archives is looking for a painting and needs your help.
For over a year, Archivist Brian Fahey has been searching for a missing painting of the interior of St. Finbar, the diocese’s first cathedral. The painting is dated 1835 and was done by John Blake White. It is titled “Taking of the Veil” or “Taking of the White Veil.”
Fahey said some descriptions list it as a painting of John England giving the veil to an Ursuline novice named Lynch in St. Finbar.
A graduate student, Paul Partridge, references it in his 1951 dissertation with the University of Pennsylvania. At the time, Partridge stated the painting was at Bishop England High School. But Fahey has had no results in his queries at Bishop England or even Cardinal Newman, which was formerly Ursuline High School.
A transcription of a Sept. 15, 1835, Charleston Courier article on the subject states:
“The Taking of the White Veil - We have had the pleasure of seeing the brilliant achievement of the tasteful and improving pencil of our native artist and fellow- townsman, John Blake White, Esq. It is an historical representation of the imposing and painfully interesting Ceremony, from which it takes its name, of recent occurrence in the Cathedral of St. Finnbar [sic] in this city.
“The picture measures more than four feet one way, by three feet the other, and portrays the chancel and altar, enclosed by iron railings, and is an exact delineation of that portion of the Cathedral, except that it imparts an air of rather greater spaciousness and architectural grandeur, than distinguishes the reality, which, however correct in design is coarse in material and execution.
“The light streams in upon the painting, from a window on the South, with fine effect, kindling with reflected lustre, the miniature cross on the top of the staff borne by one of the officiating Priests, and the optical illusion, and standing out from the nvass [sic] of the figures, and architectural and other fixtures and decorations of the church and the scene, are extremely successful.
The grouping is admirable in proportion and harmony – the composition consisting of a male group (besides the choir in the background) of 14 prominent figures in the foreground, subdivided into three minor groups, thus arranged – The central group first strikes the eye, representing the Bishop, is strong similitude both of physiognomy and apparel, supported by an Arch-Deacon and two Deacons, each designated by his proper costume – the canonical dress of the Bishop being extremely rich, of white satin damask ornamented with a profusion of very rich gold lace.
“The mitre, the cope, the maniple [sic] and the stole, are all tastefully disposed, and tend to produce a pleasing contrast with the simplicity of the other figures. To the right of these stand four men and two boys, in the simple costume of the Alb – among these are the cross-bearer and two acolytes or students, bearing lighted tapers, and another with a sensor, which almost seems to emit its grateful perfume.
“On the left of the picture is disposed a third group, composed of the ladies of the Ursuline Order, habited in their sable robes and hoods, each with a lighted taper in her hand; and in front of them, as having been presented to the Bishop by the Lady Superior, kneels the figure of the Novice – interesting victim of misplaced enthusiasm – who seems with lovely humility to be receiving a benediction from her episcopal pastor.
“She is already parted with her worldly habit, and assumed the somber one of her order, decorated only with the cross and rosary suspended from her cincture[sic]; and the white veil, the badge of her novitiate, and pledge of her self-sacrifice, covers the upper part of her pale and beautiful visage.
“All the incidents of the place and occasion are minutely detailed, and elaborated and finished with care. The burning tapers duly arranged on the altar, the rich carpeting, the antique stand, on which is placed the silver vase of holy water, the aperges, used for sprinkling the vestments, recently presented to the Postulate, the crosier, the privete chapel, the confessional, all combine to give identity and truth to the striking, and in this part of the world, novel and unwonted scene.
“The feeling, with which we mused over this reproduction on canvas of a recent event of actual occurrence in our city, was one of a melancholy cast – inspired by the self-exile of a young and lovely female from social fellowship with her kind, under the sincere but mistaken impression, that a life of vowed celibacy is acceptable to God.”
Anyone with information about the painting’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Fahey at
or call (843) 577-1017.
By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Christian isn't a person who simply follows some commandments, but is a person who tries to think like Christ, "act like him, love like him," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.
More than 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the audience April 10; the crowd included a group whose presence Pope Francis described -- with a smile -- as "very important": directors of Argentina's San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team, which has been his favorite team since he was a child.
At the end of the audience, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of an earthquake that struck southern Iran April 9, killing more than 37 people and injuring hundreds. "I pray for the victims and express my closeness to the populations struck by this calamity. Let us pray for all these brothers and sisters of ours in Iran," he said.
In his main audience talk, the pope continued a series of audience talks that Pope Benedict XVI had begun for the Year of Faith, reflecting on basic Christian beliefs.
Being a Christian, he said, means allowing Jesus "to take possession of our lives and change them, transform them, free us from the darkness of evil and sin."
Jesus' death and resurrection has a practical impact on believers, "just like a house built on a foundation; if this gives out, then the whole house falls," he said.
Through the resurrection, the pope said, "we are freed from slavery to sin and become children of God."
Being a child of God, a believer, isn't something Christians can set in a corner of the room and ignore most of the time. It implies a relationship with God that is deepened daily through prayer, reading the Bible, receiving the sacraments -- "especially penance and the Eucharist" -- and through acts of charity, he said.
"And God treats us like sons and daughters," Pope Francis said. "He understands us, forgives us, embraces us and loves us even when we make mistakes."
The pope told those at the audience not to listen to voices that try to tell them that God doesn't matter or give in to the temptation of "putting God aside and ourselves at the center."
Peace and joy come from knowing one is loved by God, he said. "God is our strength. God is our hope."
Pope Francis said sadness and the temptation of despair is strong in today's world, so Christians have an obligation to be "visible, clear, brilliant signs of hope."
"How many times in our lives have our hopes been dashed? How many times have the expectations we carried in our hearts not been realized? Christian hope is strong, certain, solid on this earth that God has called us to walk on and is open to eternity, because this hope is built on God who is always faithful," he said.
Unlike at his previous general audiences, Pope Francis read a summary of his main talk in Spanish, rather than having an aide do so. He stuck fairly close to the prepared text, adding just a couple of phrases to emphasize God's fidelity and the Christians' call to a new life "because through baptism we, too, are risen with Christ."
Among those present at the audience were Italian employees of the financially troubled IDI Healthcare, which is run by the Sons of the Immaculate Conception. In February Pope Benedict entrusted the leadership of the religious order to Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, and in early April Italian police arrested Father Franco Decaminda, who ran the order's hospital in Rome, accusing him of misappropriating more than $5 million.
The employees of the hospital have not been paid in months. Greeting them at the audience, Pope Francis said, "I hope that a positive solution to such a difficult situation can be found soon."
By Francis X. Rocca | Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY -- A "double life" that honors both worldly values and the teachings of Jesus is not an option for Christians, even when obedience to God leads to persecution, Pope Francis said in a morning homily April 11.
The pope spoke at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he has been living since his election in March.
Speaking to a congregation of employees of the Vatican newspaper, Pope Francis commented on the day's reading from the Acts of Apostles (5:27-33), in which Peter refuses an order to stop preaching in Jesus' name, saying: "We must obey God rather than men."
"In our life, we also hear things that do not come from Jesus, that do not come from God," said the pope, according to a report on Vatican Radio.
Such "proposals of sin" lead us away from the Lord, he said, and "this will not make us happy." At times we try to lead a "double life," nurtured by "what Jesus tells us" as well as "what the world shows us," the pope said.
But God the father "gives us the (Holy) Spirit, without limit, to listen to Jesus and go along Jesus' road."
Following that road requires the "grace of courage," the pope said, not only because obedience to God often entails persecution and the anger of the world, but because it means admitting one's weakness. Yet failure should not be cause for despair.
"The Lord forgives us," the pope said, "because he is so good."
Page 5 of 6
- May 22 2013 | 2:30:00 PM Mass for Marines
- May 24 2013 Golf Tournament
- May 25 2013 | 11:00:00 AM Honoring Mary
- May 27 2013 | 8:00:00 AM Run For Heros
- May 31 2013 Saints Soccer Camp
- June 01 2013 Memorial Gold Tournament
- June 08 2013 | 7:00:00 AM Breakfast Fundraiser
- June 14 2013 - June 16 2013 Exploring Religious Life
- July 11 2013 - July 17 2013 Project Good Help Summer Service Program