I am obliged to reply to Father John Neff's letter in the October 29, edition of the Times Observer.
This November, it is not only Catholics who will be put to the test, but rather all Christians who follow the second greatest commandment, to love their neighbor as themselves.
I will reserve my comments on issues 1 and 2 of his letter, and limit my reply to the third, health care in general and Obamacare in particular.
I am reminded of the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 22. The Pharisees plotted to trap Jesus about the census tax, asking, "... is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" Jesus answered them by asking, "Whose image is this and who inscription" is on the coin. They replied, Caesar's." Jesus then told them to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God.
Unfortunately, Jesus is no longer with us to heal the sick, cure the leper, relieve the hemorrhaging woman, restore sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. Those, like the poor, will always be with us. Health care is beyond the ability of the individual, and is a right that must be available to all. Health care is now "Caesar's", not God's. Catholics who believe health insurance violates their religious freedom and liberty are free to refuse its benefits, but, like the census tax, are required to pay for it, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
Bernard J. Hessley
Holy Redeemer Parish, Warren
University of Notre Dame, 1964