Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Material Cooperation

Since Cardinal O'Malley is evaluating whether Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts can do abortion, a.k.a. "family planning" referrals in order to win a health insurance contract with the state, let's look at some definitions/discussions on Material Cooperation.

Principles of Formal and Material Cooperation

Mediate Material Cooperation. Mediate material cooperation occurs when the cooperator participates in circumstances that are not essential to the commission of an action, such that the action could occur even without this cooperation. Mediate material cooperation in an immoral act might be justifiable under three basic conditions:

1. If there is a proportionately serious reason for the cooperation (i.e., for the sake of protecting an important good or for avoiding a worse harm); the graver the evil the more serious a reason required for the cooperation;

2. The importance of the reason for cooperation must be proportionate to the causal proximity of the cooperator’s action to the action of the principal agent (the distinction between proximate and remote);

3. The danger of scandal (i.e., leading others into doing evil, leading others into error, or spreading confusion) must be avoided.

Remote Material Cooperation With Intrinsic Evil

I wish that Cardinal O'Malley learned from Cardinal O'Connor about this type of situation.

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