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Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Death Toll of State Care

Recently the Philly Inquirer revealed serious flaws in the city's Department of Human Services.

Based on public records and interviews, The Inquirer article focused on three cases in which relatives and neighbors told of danger signs that DHS caseworkers either had missed or discounted. In four other cases, the newspaper raised questions about what DHS did before a child died of abuse or neglect. All told, 20 children in families that had prior contact with the agency died from abuse or neglect from 2003 through 2005. On Friday, the city disclosed five such deaths in 2006.
Philly Inquirer 10/22/06 Ken Dilanian

When we turn the supervision of helpless innocents over to the state and we are left with a body count that includes children under DHS care, elderly residents abandoned in nursing homes and terminally ill hospital patients euthanized via feeding tube removal. When we trust the state with our schools we are left with corrupted young people who turn to guns or sex for solace. When we put our faith in the state to save us, we wind up with rows of abandoned homes in Louisiana and people unable to go home. Indoctrinated in a culture of death, the state can offer no hope and no real help to those in need.
When Catholics step up to the plate and do their job we have hospitals that minister to the sick and dying, oblivious to profits. We have schools that teach solid Catholic doctrine not watered down, self esteem centered 'I'm okay, you're okay' garbage. If a family is unable, the extended Catholic parish family picks up the slack.
So there is a solution to our problems and it is Catholic through and through. We are only numbers to the state but we are individual souls to the Church. We must maintain our Catholic identity to protect ourselves and help others. We cannot allow the care of the helpless to fall to those whose primary motivation is a paycheck and whose interaction is dictated by state guidelines instead of the Gospel.

"We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern. Those who work for the Church's charitable organizations must be distinguished by the fact that they do not merely meet the needs of the moment, but they dedicate themselves to others with heartfelt concern, enabling them to experience the richness of their humanity. Consequently, in addition to their necessary professional training, these charity workers need a "formation of heart": they need to be led to that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others. As a result, love of neighbor will no longer be for them a commandment imposed so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which become active through love (cf. Gal 5:6) ...
We contribute to a better world only by personally doing good now, with full commitment and wherever we have the opportunity, independently of partisan strategies and programs. The Christian's program-the program of the Good Samaritan, the program of Jesus-is "a heart which sees". This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly."
Pope Benedict XVI Deus Caritas Est31 a-b