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Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

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Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  MRyan on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:28 pm

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm

Conscience Protection

Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate


Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration in which it "ordered almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans....Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."

He urged Catholics and the public at large to speak out in protest. Watch his video & then take action today!

http://bcove.me/ueg1u0fa

Background

The HHS has issued a rule forcing nearly all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as surgical sterilization. These are listed among "preventive services for women" that all health plans will have to cover without co-pays or other cost-sharing -- regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage.

The exemption provided for "religious employers" is so narrow that it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities, and service organizations that help millions every year. Ironically, not even Jesus & his disciples would have qualified.

During the public comment period last fall, the bishops' grassroots campaign alone generated over 57,000 comments to HHS opposing their mandate.

Now that the Administration has refused to recognize the Constitutional conscience rights of organizations and individuals who oppose the mandate, the bishops are now urging Catholics and others of good will to fight this unprecedented attack on conscience rights and religious liberty.

More than 400 Catholic leaders have called on Congress and the Administration to protect conscience rights in health care. The open letter appeared as a full page ad featuring over 150 of those leaders in the New York Times and the Washington Post on December 21.

Get Informed & Take Action Now

• Write to Congress urging support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).

• Share this page with others so they can get informed & take action, too. Social media & e-mail options are found under "SHARE" at the upper right of this page -- and at the upper right corner of Cardinal-designate Dolan's video. . . .

• Will contraception really be "free" under this coercive mandate? Read Richard Doerflinger's column "The High Costs of 'Free' Birth Control" to find out.

• There's lots of confusion about what the HHS edict involves. For a quick summary, see our 2-page FAQ called The HHS Mandate for Contraception/Sterilization Coverage: An Attack on Rights of Conscience.

• For more information on the HHS mandate and its inadequate conscience protection, read our Preventive Services Backgrounder.

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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  MRyan on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:36 pm

FROM THE PASTOR
January 29, 2012
by Fr. George W. Rutler

"Our many fellow Catholics now enchained for the Faith of our Fathers in such places as China, Syria, and Egypt are, as Father Faber’s hymn says, “in heart and conscience free.” But what happens when a government tries to chain the conscience itself?

A few weeks ago, in a remarkably unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the attempt of the present Administration in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC to restrict religious freedom. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the Administration's argument that the First Amendment does not guarantee the right of a religious organization to choose its leaders, was an “extreme” infringement of the free-exercise clause.

Undeterred, and menacingly on the cusp of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued an "interim final rule" which requires all private health plans, including those of Catholic hospitals and schools, to include coverage of prescription contraceptives, female sterilization procedures, and abortion counseling.

For a while, various Catholic leaders had hoped that they might reach an understanding with the Administration, and some even felt more at peace with the president's assurances. But "peace for our time" only lasts until Poland is invaded. Cardinal Mahony, whom no one would fault for intransigence, now says, “I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on the freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.” Our own archbishop said, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”

At the time of the last presidential election, some may have thought that I overstated things in finding parallels with the dystopian world described in Robert Hugh Benson's Lord of the World, in which Julian Felsenburgh makes eugenics “a sacred duty.” Since our Lord did not humiliate the frightened apostles by saying “I told you so” when he rose from the dead, I shall not say “I told you so” to any who underestimated the plottings of social engineers whose audacity is only an audacity of despair.

Blessed John Henry Newman, in Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects, cited the prediction of an eighteenth-century Protestant bishop and scientist, Samuel Horsley:

The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries. . . . For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none.


Our website is www.OurSaviourNYC.org."

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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:29 am

Hello to everyone- appears this place is hopping again!

Thank you for this posting, Mike. Certainly interesting times that we are living in. My bishop mandated that a letter about this be read in all of the Masses last Sunday. The priest at my Mass disappointedly did not expound AT ALL about it-simply read the letter; however the other priest who helps out on weekends had a great sermon about all of this. You can listen here if you feel so inclined: http://gaparish.podbean.com/2012/01/29/12912-4th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-fr-fernandes

I know that I should not be surprised...however I have to admit to being a bit surprised at the vitriole and the comments I see against the Church on friend's FB pages and/or web article comments, etc regarding this issue. (But maybe I just haven't been on the internet reading enough comments, haha). Seriously though, what I find most surprising is that so many people cannot see the forest for the trees and therefore they seem to not understand (or care?) that this will affect them in some aspect of their life down the road on some other issue that the government decides they have the right to impose upon.

on a somewhat unrelated sidetrack- have you seen this youtube? (hopefully no one is offended by all the "potty" talk Surprised)
http://youtu.be/ELDHaeEsNF0


Last edited by Allie on Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : embed did not work)
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  MRyan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:37 am

Obama Sandbags the Archbishop

By Patrick J. Buchanan

At the end of Sunday mass at the church this writer attends in Washington, D.C., the pastor asked the congregation to remain for a few minutes.

Then, on the instructions of Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the pastor proceeded to read a letter.

In the letter, the Church denounced the Obama administration for ordering all Catholic schools, hospitals and social services to provide, in their health insurance coverage for employes, free contraceptives, free sterilizations and free “morning-after” pills.

Parishioners were urged to contact their representatives in Congress to bring about a reversal of President Obama’s new policy.

Now, not only is this a battle the Church must fight, it is a battle the Church can win if it has the moral stamina to say the course.

In forcing the Church to violate its own principles, Obama has committed an act of federal aggression, crossing the line between church and state to appease his ACLU and feminist allies, while humiliating the Catholic bishops.

Should the Church submit, its moral authority in America would disappear.

Now, undeniably, the church milquetoast of past decades that refused to discipline pro-abortion Catholics allowed the impression to form that while the hierarchy may protest, eventually it will go along to get along with a Democratic Party that was once home to most Catholics.

Obama’s problem today is that not only is he forcing the Church to violate her conscience, he dissed the highest prelate in America.

In November, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held what he describes as an “extraordinarily friendly” meeting with Obama at the White House.

The president assured the archbishop of his respect for the Church, and the archbishop came away persuaded Obama would never force the Church to adopt any policy that would violate her principles.

Ten days ago, Obama sandbagged the archbishop.

He informed Cardinal-designate Dolan by phone that, with the sole concession of the Church being given an extra year, to August 2013, to comply, the new policy, as set down by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will be imposed. All social and educational institutions of the Catholic church will offer health insurance covering birth control, or face fines.

“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Archbishop Dolan, who went on:

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. … This represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”

Where do Obama and Sebelius get the power to do this?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, the colloquial name for which is “Obamacare.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America is celebrating the new policy. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, calls it a “health care issue … based on what’s best for women’s health.” Others have argued that many Catholic women practice birth control.

But that Catholics choose to ignore doctrine does not justify the U.S. government imposing on Catholic institutions a policy that violates Catholic teaching.

Even Washington Post liberal E.J. Dionne, in a Jan. 30 column titled “Obama’s Breach of Faith,” charges that the president “threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus. …

“Speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government … the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings.”

Why did Obama do it?

Facing a close race for a second term, Obama chose not to antagonize his left. Yet he must have known that siding with them meant leaving Archbishop Dolan with egg all over his face. Obama, calculatedly, came down on the side of those he believes to be more crucial to his re-election.

This affront should tell the Catholic hierarchy, if they did not already know, where they stand in the party of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebilius. And where they sit — in the back of the bus.

Yet if the bishops will look upon this crisis of conscience, this insult, as an opportunity, they can effect its reversal and recapture a measure of the moral authority they have lately lost.

Not only should the bishops file suit in federal court against the president and Sebelius for violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, they should inform the White House that no bishop will give an invocation at the Democratic Convention.

Then, they should inform the White House that in the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, priests in every parish will read from the pulpit at Sunday mass a letter denouncing Obama as anti-Catholic for denying the Church its right to live according to its beliefs.

If Obama loses the Catholic vote, he loses the election.

The White House will come around, fast. Rely upon it.
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  otremer6 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:53 am

It's time for the Bishops to collaborate with the insurance industry to create a Catholic Insurance company.

They should leave the Knights of Columbus out of it.

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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  simple Faith on Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:49 pm

Maybe Obama might understand what his polices are doing if he listens to this child
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-qgcpxtudc
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:23 pm

simple Faith wrote:Maybe Obama might understand what his polices are doing if he listens to this child
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-qgcpxtudc

Wow. Out of the mouths of babes.... that little boy really touched my heart today. Gives me hope for the future that many young people (even little children) realize the obvious evil of abortion and the politicians who are pro-abortion...but it is also sad that children have to learn about it at all and have their innocence tainted in such a way.

It certainly gives me pause when I hear my kids talking about ending abortion or wondering why a mommy wouldn't want their baby or why wouldn't they give their baby to someone who would love it... it makes me sad that their little minds have to even think about a mother and doctor killing an innocent baby. My oldest son told my husband and I once that "babies aren't for killing, they are for loving".

I know all of this is not even necessary to speak of to you all; not trying to preach to the choir, just getting it off my chest.

God bless you, thanks for the link simple faith.
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:16 pm

otremer6 wrote:It's time for the Bishops to collaborate with the insurance industry to create a Catholic Insurance company.

They should leave the Knights of Columbus out of it.

Interesting idea...I do not know much about how the whole insurance system works, would this be possible?

Another thing I have thought about, and perhaps I am too old-fashioned, but would it be a bad thing for Catholic hospitals to go back to the way that they were before government and business beauracracies took over?

I watched a show a few years ago talking about the Sisters of Charity (I know they have changed a lot for the worse today) and another religious order (forget which one right now) that had come over in the later 1800's to Cincinnati and they cared for everyone in their makeshift hospitals. Wealthy Catholics and members of the community donated to the hospitals, doctors donated their services as works of Mercy, and the care given by the sisters resulted in many conversions of patients to the Church.

It wasn't until somewhat recent decades that they said they had to turn over the control of the hospitals to boards, etc because the hospitals were becoming more like businesses working for profit instead of simply places to care for those in need of medical help. Therefore, they really weren't able to care for patients in the way they felt called to with insurance companies becoming involved and what not.

I don't know if it would even be possible today (particularly now with the fed'l mandates, etc) but could it be feasible that in the future we could return to more of the older model. Of course the technological and medical advancements would be a part of the care- but would there be any way to get the government out of the picture and allow people the "choice" of being cared for in the "Catholic" way versus the "government and status quo" way? Perhaps if the current laws were overturned and the Catholic Church said "we don't care about our tax-exempt status we are doing things our way"- would this be possible?


Just some obviously ideological ideas I have been thinking a little bit about. Perhaps silly or "unrealistic", but oh well, I am still interested in what anyone has to say for or against these ideas.
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  MRyan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:41 pm

Allie,

You’re on the right track, and so is Otremer6. It worked before, it can work again. But it is imperative that the Church in America sever its institutional corporate welfare dependency, and I mean completely. Only then can it ensure its liberty and its rights. Government money (fleeced from taxpayers) always comes with a price, and we see the result when the Gov't demands its unholy pound of flesh.

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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:16 pm

MRyan wrote:Allie,

You’re on the right track, and so is Otremer6. It worked before, it can work again. But it is imperative that the Church in America sever its institutional corporate welfare dependency, and I mean completely. Only then can it ensure its liberty and its rights. Government money (fleeced from taxpayers) always comes with a price, and we see the result when the Gov't demands its unholy pound of flesh.


I read an article a few days ago and it made me think of what you are saying here. The author raises some interesting points about what has led us to be put in this position. I have a feeling Jehanne won't like the author's view of the Church's use of force against heretics and apostates ( Smile )

I will go ahead and post the whole article here, but I want to point out that the author has links embedded in the original article that may be of interest to anyone reading. However, I bolded/highlighted some areas of the article that I thought were of particular interest/for further discussion.

www.lewrockwell.com/orig13/giunta1.1.1.html

The Bishops Are Wrong and Have No One But Themselves To Blame for Obama’s Persecution of Catholics
by Eric Giunta

This past Sunday, bishops around the United States delivered to their congregations a short pastoral letter urging prayer, fasting, and legislative lobbying against the Obama administration’s announcement that all employers, most religious institutions included, will soon have to subsidize their employees’ contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs.

Given the terribly low expectations most Catholics have of their bishops, it is no surprise that many of my co-religionists, surveying the now-daily condemnations by clerics and laymen (on both the orthodox "right" and the dissenting "left") speak of a proverbial "waking" of "the sleeping giant." But I’m afraid a dose of ecclesiastical realism is in order. All indications are that the bishops’ approach to these events is woefully off the mark and cannot but backfire against them in the long run.

In short: the bishops themselves bear a significant share of the blame for these latest actions by the administration, and in some respects the Catholic faithful are receiving their just deserts.

Let me be clear: the bishops are absolutely on-target when they insist that the new regulations are both constitutionally dubious and morally atrocious, and that because these executive rules are unjust laws (an oxymoron if there ever was one) civil disobedience is the only legitimately Christian response to them.

But where they fail most miserably is in realizing why these regulations are wrong. To this writer’s knowledge, not a single bishop has spoken out against the inherent immorality of the federal government forcing any employer to provide any particular benefit to prospective employees. Furthermore, in seeking exemptions solely for religious institutions the Church is neglecting to defend the conscience rights of for-profit employers whose Christian or other moral convictions would otherwise preclude them from complying with these regulations with a clean conscience.


In the interests of space, I cannot possibly give a detailed exposition of why it is that the only political philosophy that is compatible with the Gospel and the immutable core of Catholic social teaching is in fact some species of libertarianism. That’s libertarianism, not libertinism. At its core, libertarianism is nothing more than the political realization of the non-aggression principle, i.e., that the only time force is ever a proportional reaction to another’s evil is when that other has himself first resorted to violence and so must be punished and defended against. This means that the state can never morally resort to force (and yes, all government rules and regulations are exercises in force) in order to impose Caesar’s subjective determination of the precise contours of so-called positive rights; rather, the state must limit itself to employing force only to defend the innocent from violent aggression against their negative property rights ("property" defined as one’s life, liberty, and possessions).

Most Catholics, including most "conservatives," confuse libertarianism with libertinism. They mistakenly believe that libertarians are social atomists who deny the real existence of objective moral obligations to the weak and the indigent. I do not personally know a single libertarian that believes such; doubtless there are some who do, but not because they are libertarians. A libertarian may or may not be a social atomist; but suffice it to say no Catholic libertarian can be one.

Thoughtful Christian libertarians do not deny that charity is positively mandated by both the natural law and the Gospel. We do not deny that justice demands that we give of our time, talent, and treasure to serve the needs of those materially and spiritually worse off than we are. We do deny that there follows from these premises a moral right on the part of any man, democratically elected or not, whether he call himself Caesar or citizen, to impose at gunpoint his subjective determination of just how much superabundant time, talent, and treasure one man owes another.

The Church has not yet embraced a properly Christian libertarianism and made it her own, but several Catholic intellectuals and activists have (from Tom Woods and Jeffrey Tucker to Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin), and they are no less Catholic for it. Unfortunately, neither the US Bishops nor the Holy See have caught up to the lessons of history, and neither has taken to its logical conclusion the fundamental premises of their own Church’s social teaching.

It took the Church several centuries to definitively disavow her acquiescence (since the late Middle Ages) to the notion that the state had a moral right and obligation to violently enforce a man’s positive religious obligation to embrace the true religion and worship God according to the approved rites of His Church. For centuries, the Church, as ferociously as the most pious Islamist, endorsed the putting-to-death of apostate Catholics and, where feasible, the political subjugation of all non-Catholics besides, this in the hopes of encouraging the latter to embrace her true faith. This is an awfully truncated summary of a very complex history that must be understood with an appreciation of unique historical circumstances, and without anachronistically imposing present moral standards on our cultural forbearers; and it is worth noting to my readership the little-known fact that Protestants down through the 18th century and beyond almost unanimously endorsed these same policies. Nevertheless, this is a substantially accurate summary of a tragic history, and one that no amount of ahistorical pop-apologetic will do to mollify.

I bring this up not to re-open old wounds, but to make a point: The Church learned, through centuries of political trial-and-error, that it does not follow from the objective immorality of irreligion that the state has a moral right or duty to exercise coercive force to impose Catholic orthodoxy on an unwilling person. Besides being wrong in itself, religious persecution of non-violent "heretics" and "infidels" has had disastrous real-world consequences for the freedom of the faithful and the spread of the Gospel. For example, it is no accident that the same nations which once produced the Sun King, the Spanish Inquisition, and the conquistadors gave the modern era the Jacobin Reign of Terror, the Spanish Red Terror, and the Mexican Cristero War respectively. From Nazi death camps to Communist gulags, a common moral confronts the Church of the 20th and 21st centuries: whatever Caesar can do for the Church, he can and will do to her, and with a vengeance!

Sadly, the United States bishops have failed to apply this lesson to their full-throated endorsement of the modern welfare state under the Orwellian rubric of "social justice". Rather than devoting their time and resources to transforming Catholic parishes into real power-houses of real social justice for their local communities, the bishops have adopted a model of social polity that can, without much exaggeration, be reduced to the formula: God + Socialism = Catholic Social Teaching. Activism, that would be better and more evangelically spent pooling the resources of every practicing Catholic in every parish to provide near-comprehensive social services that would make Catholics (and others, but let’s begin at home) less dependent on Caesar and an immorally ungrateful entitlement mentality, is expended every year, to the tune of millions of dollars, lobbying state and federal legislatures to expand Caesar’s power and overreach.

What right do we Catholics have to be shocked and indignant at the latest show of religious persecution from the Obama administration and the Democrat Party? For decades our bishops have insisted, well beyond their competencies as successors to the Apostles, that the state must provide "basic health care" to its citizens, and they have raised no objection to that same state requiring private employers to provide such for their employees. Are we really surprised that Caesar, having been handed the Catholic imprimatur for these powers on a silver paten, has now decided that abortions, contraceptives, and sterilizations constitute "basic health care"? Every sensible libertarian, and many a mainstream "conservative," saw this coming: why didn’t any of the bishops?


Just about everything I’ve written above can be said of many an Evangelical leader, and to varying degrees, but I hope my Catholic brothers and sisters will forgive my taking the time to take the log out of our own eye before examining the specks in others. Prayer, fasting, and repentance are certainly called for as we resist the latest moves of the Obama administration, but I would humbly suggest the bishops take a sincere look at how their own disastrous political prescriptions have contributed to the present crisis.

Thankfully, Lent is just around the corner, and this year’s penitential season is as good a time for serious political metanoia as any.

February 1, 2012

Eric Giunta [send him mail] is a recent graduate of Florida State University College of Law, where he served as president of that school’s chapter of the nation’s premier fellowship of conservative and libertarian law students.

Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  MRyan on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:32 pm

The author of the subject article has a reputation for being something of a loose cannon (according to a mutual priest friend; I regularly attended the same Indult Mass with the author some years ago).

There are several inaccuracies in the article, but let’s focus on this one:

I bring this up not to re-open old wounds, but to make a point: The Church learned, through centuries of political trial-and-error, that it does not follow from the objective immorality of irreligion that the state has a moral right or duty to exercise coercive force to impose Catholic orthodoxy on an unwilling person. Besides being wrong in itself, religious persecution of non-violent "heretics" and "infidels" has had disastrous real-world consequences for the freedom of the faithful and the spread of the Gospel.
And this is the problem with lay apologists who are ill-equipped to address such complex doctrines as religious freedom, but make these types of public statements anyway as if they have competency in such matters.

Never has the Church taught that “the state has a moral right or duty to exercise coercive force to impose Catholic orthodoxy on an unwilling person”; but the Church certainly has this moral right over her own members.

In a Catholic confessional state, the state, in exercising coercive force, would be acting solely as the delegated arm of the Church, and has no moral right of its own. Furthermore, the Church has the authority (in a Catholic confessional state) to prevent the public worship of false religions, but she has no authority to coerce non-Catholics to “Catholic orthodoxy”.

Again, the Church’s authority to coerce extends to baptized Catholics alone (to include heretics and schismatics); for only Catholics are subject to her authority and jurisdiction.

Abuses by the state in the Church’s name; and abuses by ecclesiastics, are many; but let’s at least get the doctrine straight.

"Libertarianism" poses some particular problems for the Church, but that's another subject.
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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:10 am

Hi Mike- Thanks for your points. They are well taken. I think that when reading the article it did cross my mind that he was referring to things such as forced baptisms of Jews, etc in Spain. (That did happen, right?) So I somewhat overlooked the bigger error he was implying that the Church has actually taught that she can coerce non-Catholics.

I see now the point you are making, I mistakenly didn't read closely enough that area because I was focusing more on the points he made about the US Church's relationship with the government at present and the problems this has presented.
This resonated more with me (in spite of his perhaps having a different view of how we reached this point or what is wrong with it politically or philisophically). Particularly this point: "Sadly, the United States bishops have failed to apply this lesson to their full-throated endorsement of the modern welfare state under the Orwellian rubric of "social justice". Rather than devoting their time and resources to transforming Catholic parishes into real power-houses of real social justice for their local communities, the bishops have adopted a model of social polity that can, without much exaggeration, be reduced to the formula: God + Socialism = Catholic Social Teaching. Activism, that would be better and more evangelically spent pooling the resources of every practicing Catholic in every parish to provide near-comprehensive social services that would make Catholics (and others, but let’s begin at home) less dependent on Caesar and an immorally ungrateful entitlement mentality, is expended every year, to the tune of millions of dollars, lobbying state and federal legislatures to expand Caesar’s power and overreach."

I do think that the current mode for the Church in the USA has to a large extent exchanged subsidiarity for having a prominent place at the table with Ceasar. I think it could be argued that this is necessary up to a certain point or degree (it is better to influence legislation to our advantage than to have no say); but I think it begs the question of have we been conformed to the ways of the world? Or are we being the leaven in and the alternative to the world?

As far as libertarianism, I think that there are aspects that have merit. However, I agree that there are serious errors with it as well that we can discuss later. I do want to point out now that I think it was pretty arrogant and naive of Mr.Giunta to say that it is the only political philosophy that is compatible with the Gospel and Catholic teaching. I disagree with this assertion and the implications then that today's libertarians somehow know better and are more advanced than the Church. (Not to mention Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin were distributists, not libertarians).

In the original article in the section where you pointed out some errors Mr.Giunta linked to "Dignitatis humanae" ...which clearly opens up a whole other aspect of discussion and debate. ( I saw that you have a thread on this, I may bump it when I have the time- I have questions about this... surprise, surprise.)

Also, I have a question that I haven't quite found answers to yet. First, regarding this statement: "But where they fail most miserably is in realizing why these regulations are wrong. To this writer’s knowledge, not a single bishop has spoken out against the inherent immorality of the federal government forcing any employer to provide any particular benefit to prospective employees. Furthermore, in seeking exemptions solely for religious institutions the Church is neglecting to defend the conscience rights of for-profit employers whose Christian or other moral convictions would otherwise preclude them from complying with these regulations with a clean conscience."

What is the Church teaching on what an employer MUST give to it's employees other than a fair/just wage? If my memory holds correctly when the debate was occurring before ObamaCare was passed the Bishops seemed to be all for ObamaCare as long as it had conscience protections in place. Is health insurance itself a "right" or is the access to healthcare the right owed to man?

Also, it does appeat that private Catholic employers are going to be in a bind over this as well because it will be harder for them to fight.

Well, that's all the time I have this AM. Thanks for responding and pointing out a glaring error. I hope you are doing well and I'll check back when time allows!

God bless you,
Allie






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Allie

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Re: Bishops Vow to Fight Coercive HHS Mandate

Post  Allie on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:14 am

First of all I wanted to say that I do not want any of my previous comments to come across as not supporting our Bishops right now. I am very delighted (and surprised) by how so many bishops have come together and against the HHS mandate. I am praying for them and for our Church as we appear to be entering even more deeply into a tough (but grace-filled) time to be Catholic.

I am still looking for some of the answers to the questions I asked above, but in the meantime I wanted to post the link to a previous thread started by MRyan for anyone reading who may be interested in coercion, religious liberty, Dignitatis humanae, etc (I am also going to bump it).

http://catholicforum.forumotion.com/t529-coercion-and-liberty-reframing-the-debate?highlight=religious+liberty

Blessed Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!
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