Obama Admin lectures Card. Dolan and USCCB. Dolan responds.

“We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it.”

Thus, Card. Dolan about the latest insult tossed our way by the Obama Administration.

From LifeSite:

Cardinal: Obama Admin Lectured Bishops on Catholic Teaching
by Steven Ertelt

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, has released a public letter today detailing a stunning conversation he and other bishops had with top White House officials about the controversial Obama mandate.

In the letter, Cardinal Dolan relates a shocking meeting in which top Obama Administration asked to meet with the bishops to “work out the wrinkles” of the mandate. After accepting the invitation and arriving at the White House, the bishops asked whether any ability to broaden the very narrow religious exemptions in the mandate were off the table.

“The invited us to ‘work out the wrinkles.’ We have accepted that invitation,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, this seems to be stalled: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is scurrilous and insulting, not to mention flat out wrong.”)

Dolan writes: “At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.[Get this…] Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America.[The editorial in the Jesuit-run America which I looked at HERE.  In other words, The Magisterium of Nuns.]

He said, “The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers  [Isn’t this what I have been talking about?  Is it time for the American Patriotic Catholic Association?  “But Father! But Father!”, some of you are saying.  “This isn’t China; this is America!]

“We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans,” the archbishop of New York wrote in a public letter to the Catholic bishops last Friday. “We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it.”

The Catholic bishops’ president made it appear the mandate is not going to be changed in any way to protect religious freedom.

Dolan said, “The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry ‘without change.’ He added that “The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, ‘Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.’ That doesn’t bode well for their getting a truly acceptable “accommodation.”

Cardinal Dolan also said “We will continue to accept invitations to meet with and to voice our concerns to anyone of any party, for this is hardly partisan, who is willing to correct the infringements on religious freedom that we are now under. But as we do so, we cannot rely on off the record promises of fixes without deadlines and without assurances of proposals that will concretely address the concerns in a manner that does not conflict with our principles and teaching.”

He added that “Congress might provide more hope, since thoughtful elected officials [catholic HHS Sec. Sebelius, who cannot receive Holy Communion, is not an elected official. ] have proposed legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom. Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a ‘woman’s health issue.’ We will not let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.”

“Perhaps the courts offer the most light,” he said about the many lawsuits that have been filed against the mandate. [And remember the 9-0 SCOTUS Hosanna-Tabor decision.]

Dolan warned the bishops that “given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times. Some, like America magazine, [In case the editors wondered if their betrayal of the bishops would go unnoticed.] want us to cave-in and stop fighting, saying this is simply a policy issue; some want us to close everything down rather than comply (in an excellent article, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the administration apparently wants us to ‘give up for Lent’ our schools, hospitals, and charitable ministries); some, like Bishop Robert Lynch wisely noted, wonder whether we might have to engage in civil disobedience and risk steep fines; some worry that we’ll have to face a decision between two ethically repugnant choices: subsidizing immoral services or no longer offering insurance coverage, a road none of us wants to travel.”  [It sounds as if closing down is on the table.]

Cardinal Dolan added that “we know so very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans. There have been many threats to religious freedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without. This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom.”

Notre Shame

Card. Dolan’s letter to the bishops of the USCCB.  HERE

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89 Responses to Obama Admin lectures Card. Dolan and USCCB. Dolan responds.

  1. Jim Ryon says:

    The Magisterium of Obama. O Bah Ma… O Bah Ma…O Bah Ma… O Bah Ma…

  2. Maltese says:

    For the love of God don’t conflate that heretical, modernistic yellow. mag, “America” with being “catholic” in any sense of the word!!

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

  4. pm125 says:

    Mitt Romney’s speech on now from Boston:
    “I will repeal Obamacare…”
    and good plans for the debt and taxes…
    and a plan to save Social Security and Medicare… and on
    Card. Dolan sees hope from thoughtful elected in Congress through bills and light in the Courts.
    I hope that there will be a new Exec. Branch elected on Nov. 6th.
    Congress voted against the Blunt Amendment and the Supreme Court needs a definintion of life as beginning at conception in order to deal with the nightmare of variations of aborting.

  5. Mrs. O says:

    The only thing I ask while they continue to fight this, even in court: PLEASE REMOVE THE CATHOLIC FROM THE NAMES OF PAPERS, SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, ETC THAT HAVE BEEN FIGHTING AGAINST US. Then at least we can record in history, the correct number of Catholic institutions that had to close. That is all I ask.

  6. Denis says:

    Obama needs a hated group to rile up his base and there is no group more hated by Obama’s base than the Catholic Church. These developments are neither unforseen nor unintended.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    It’s 9:44 CT here and watching the Ohio numbers. A Santorum win there would significantly destabilize the republican field. By 10 we should have the answer. Or, we could have another Florida.

    My understanding was that subsequent to the 2/10 concession by the Administration the conference nitpicked details of the Affordable Healthcare Act including extending to all employers, not just church-related institutions, the ability to exempt themselves from any aspect of health care that they saw fit. For example, a business owner who happened to be a Jehovah’s Witness could decide he/she would not cover blood transfusions, and an employee could die for lack of necessary treatment (one example).

    I think the point of the America article was that after the 2/10 concession, the bishops overstepped and moved from a religious liberty stance to a public policy stance.

    I don’t think Dolan helps himself at all by demeaning a highly respected, venerable Catholic magazine. Frankly, his comment about America diminishes the moral authority upon which his statement is purportedly based. [I strongly disagree. It is time for our bishops to name names.]

  8. Mrs. O says:

    Can we get the names of who he hand picked?

  9. pm125 says:

    frjim4321: I think Cardinal Dolan was entirely in keeping with moral authority by the mention of the magazine promoting a cave-in of the Church to a policy. His words were kind and clear. America seemed to diminish the Church in favor of politics.

  10. frjim4321 says:

    pm124, I agree it was his right to say whatever he wanted to say, but I personally don’t agree that he helped his cause in the long run. I don’t agree that “hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial” was a kind or even necessary statement. He could have just said that he respectfully disagreed. [“Respectfully disagree”? When Amerika took a stand against the bishops on an issue that is so important? No.]

  11. filioque says:

    The problem with threatening to close down institutions is that the mandaters would be perfectly happy with that. The institutions that closed would be the real Catholics, so good riddance to them. We don’t really have a threat that is a threat, therefore there is no hope of negotiation and the Obama Administration indicated that it knew that by changing not a single comma and promising sometime in the future to do nothing that solves the problem.

  12. jdscotus says:

    The idiotic stance of John Murray, to which Dolan appeals, is exactly why we’re in this spot right now. Engaging with secularism at any level is a losing proposition.

  13. Bill Donohue made a good point. I had seen +Dolan’s letter to his brother bishops soon after it was posted on the USCCB’s website. Donohue makes an important observation:

    Catholic News Service never commented on, or posted, Cardinal Dolan’s letter in its “News Stories” section; instead, it relegated it to its blog postings, never highlighting the USCCB-America dispute. The liberal Catholic media—America, Commonweal and the dissident National Catholic Reporter—have gone mute. Dolan’s challenge deserves a response.

  14. Charivari Rob says:

    If it were summer, I suppose the Bishops might have been invited to a beer summit on the South Lawn. I guess the picnic table is still in the shed or the basement or someplace.

    Cardinal Dolan’s experience reminds me of Governor Brewer’s account of her visit to the White House. I wonder if a reliable list could be compiled of how many other parties have been invited to the Executive Mansion and go in good faith to attempt to find common ground and only find themselves on the receiving end of a finger-wagging declaration.

  15. Johnno says:

    Ooooh! Looks like the Obamers are stepping up their ante and sticking to their convictions! You’ve gotta hand it to them! They know how to run things and be effective and consistent!

    How will the Church respond? Will it engage in more fruitful ecumenism? More pleading for the government to give them some scraps from their bounty of mercy?

    Obama has sent a message. He’s not willing to talk to you. He doesn’t care about you. So take the hint! Stop talking to him! Start by SEVERELY disciplining those public Catholics who support him and advance other immorality! You can start by ordering parish priests to preach about nothing but the evils of contraception, abortion and homosexuality at every mass from now until the election. Ratchet up the rhetoric! Accusations of hate speech be damned! Those are going to come no matter how nicely you word things! Haven’t you realized? You’re at war! Does Obama need to paint himself red and wear horns and a tail before you finally wake up? He’s out for total domination! And the American bishops are out to work out compromises and concessions and going along to get along! What are you doing???

    “Tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom????” How about also DEFENDING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE EVILS OF ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTION AND HOMOSEXUALITY AND OUR MORAL OBLIGATION TO SEEK OUT AND FOLLOW THE TRUE RELIGION???

    If the current bishops of the Church in America were in power during the time of the crusades I shudder to imagine what would’ve happened… God is not going to help the U.S. Bishops on this one. They just want to go back to the way things were… a nice secular society. God on the other hand wants nothing less than to SAVE EVERY SOUL AND BAPTIZE ALL MEN AND ALL NATIONS AND CONVERT THEM!!! How I wish that our bishops had half the spine and ability to stay on target that Obama does… even God laments that the children of darkness are more wise and cunning and strategic than the children of light…

    You won’t get anywhere by arguing for religious freedom alone… There are tons of nuts out there who want to legalize all sorts of things in the name of their false religions… And the current American society as a whole see the Catholic beliefs of contraception as being as nutty as the Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs to abstain from blood transfusions or the Mormon’s beliefs in polygamy (for the time being anyway…), or the KKK’s beliefs that all colored people should be eliminated (now it’s just the poor, lame, and old who must be eliminated; the first category just so happens to have a lot of colored people). Some folks are denied their religious freedoms based on what the state currently has defined as necessary for the common good. Wake up! They feel that Catholic beliefs about contraception and abortion fall under those same nutty categories and are going to claim that it is in the interest of public safety and law and order and human rights to prevent Catholics from having their dangerous ‘religious freedom.’ The bishops are fighting a losing battle if they do not also take pains to justify WHY contraception and abortion etc. are evil and wrong!

    The time of armistice has ended!

    The time to go out and conquer totally has come!

    God is allowing all this to happen to the Church for it to wake up and realize that the belief in the peace of an infallible democratic secular society is a failure and dangerous! Unless you want what God wants: that every knee shall bend and every mouth confess that Christ is Lord, you are not following God’s will! And when you are not following God’s will, then you are going to fail. Period! And God has never been in the mood to negotiate with evil. He does allow the faithful to enter negotiations with Him to humor us and teach us a lesson: Abraham pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah, or the Israelites pleading for a human king like the other nations around them instead of God, for example… And we all know how those episodes ended…

  16. filioque says:

    I just made an interesting discovery. A friend asked me for Cardinal Wuerl’s email address. In looking through the directory for the Archdiocese of Washington, I came across the Finance Council. Guess who is on it. Sr. Carol Keehan, DC! Do you think she uses her pen from The One at meetings?

  17. mrose says:

    The only thing “terribly unfortunate” with respect to America Magazine is the local Bishop’s lack of initiative to censor it. They (America, National Catholic Reporter, et. al.) “speak” for the Church because the Bishops have allowed heretics and destroyers to “speak for the Church” for decades, with no serious attempt at counteracting their heresies and other misdeeds.

    This is not about “religious liberty” anyways. If the Bishops had serious courage, I think they would be speaking out not about the injustice toward Catholics based on the lack of exemption in a mandate concerning contraception and abortion, but how contraception and abortion are intrinsically evil, contrary to nature, and mortally sinful. Using or cooperating with contraception, etc., is objectively intrinsically evil, whether one is Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, Protestant – whatever. So stop pandering to President Hitler Obama and begging for an “exemption,” and start talking about how the mandate shouldn’t exist for anyone because these activities are evil always, for everyone, everywhere, no matter what.

  18. Uncledan says:

    Too much complaining! Use the weapons you were given! Prayer, fasting, bible, confession, mass. How about a prayer rally tomorrow 3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific? Can I get ten people to participate? Our intention will be for the Church against this attack. Take thirty minutes and pray a rosary, chaplet of Divine Mercy, or anything you want. You don’t have to go online and you don’t have to even mention you are participating. But if I can get ten here, that would be great. I’ll go first. Nine to go!
    Remember – tomorrow. Noon Pacific/3PM Eastern. Thirty minutes. Pray for the Church.

  19. DisturbedMary says:

    Pray and vote the Democrats out!

  20. brotherdance says:

    “This one sadly comes from within.”
    Not only from within America, but from within the Church herself. How poignant to show Obama being crowned in glory by the very Catholics he seems bent on suppressing.

    You nailed it Kathleen10, lie down with dogs…..

  21. EXCHIEF says:

    It is not just the Bishops and Catholic institutions that are threatened. It is not just the Clergy who may have to engage in civil disobedience. EVERY orthodox Catholic is at risk under the Obama regime. Not just because of the HHS mandate, not just because of Obamacare, but because of the overall agenda this administration has based upon a philosophical outlook completely devoid of any belief and trust in God. St. Michael, gird us ALL for battle.

  22. LadyMarchmain says:

    Uncledan, I will happily join you in prayer and fasting at noon tomorrow for this intention.

  23. K_Suzanne says:

    Has anyone here read the Michael D. O’Brien novel Father Elijah? This is starting to sound like that situation, if you know what I mean . . . And for those of you who haven’t read it, you should.

  24. Why are we still trying to sit down and negotiate with the Obama administration? Why do we still try to play ball with these guys? It’s just rope-a-dope on their part. We cannot negotiate with evil.

  25. Uncledan,

    I totally agree with you. I will spend the time in prayer for the healing of the nation, the church and those dissenters from the ongoing teachings from Apostolic times, for the the clergy and religious who are leading others astray along with those who are faithful, and for our national repentance.
    PARCE DOMINE. PARCE POPULO TUO. NE IN AETERNUM, IRISCARIS NOBIS!

  26. MaryW says:

    Whenever I see a photo of Obama receiving that award from Notre Dame my blood pressure shoots through the roof. He needs to be stripped of that honor.

  27. Norah says:

    The problem with threatening to close down institutions is that the mandaters would be perfectly happy with that. The institutions that closed would be the real Catholics, so good riddance to them. We don’t really have a threat that is a threat…

    Filoque, I am afraid that you are correct.

    When Henry VIII closed the monasteries and convents people starved and had no one to care for them when they were ill. It took the state a long time to set up services to replace the ones carried out by the Church but they did it and who today remembers that all charity and hospitals used to be run by the Church? In the USA at first it will be hard to do without Catholic hospitals etc but in time they will be replaced and in a while no one will remember that there used to be Catholic institutions.

  28. Kerry says:

    None of us commenting here is in the position of the Bishops, or those who make decisions about the hospitals, adoption services and the rest. (I, for one, hope the Bishops will say, “We will not sign, and we will not tell you why we will not sign.”) But until such choices arrive at our own front doors, we are just Catholic grunts in the fighting holes. So by God, fight!!! Speak the Truth, the Truth “that is a person, Jesus Christ” (quoting Benedict XVI). There is no defense to the Truth. Opportunities to speak appear in our lives daily, and we must take them. (Two links with which to bolster up: ‘God is not Dead. He is not even tired’-http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2010/print2010/rice_commencement_may2010.html
    And an Interview with Fr. Thomas Euteneuer in Rome-http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jan/10010605 Thank you. )

  29. Traductora says:

    @Norah,
    I think it will be much more efficient this time around, but overall the takeover of the Catholic Church by the US Government will be very similar to Henry VIII’s actions. Essentially, they are going to peel off enough Catholics (and yes, I hate to say it, but bishops as well) to simply declare that the “real” Catholic Church is the one that accepts the civil authority (either individually or in a collective sense) as its head. Naturally, this “American Catholic Church” or whatever they call it will get to keep the property and continue running its hospitals and schools, but essentially at the service of the State.

    That said, the bishops should look to their own house first, because the only reason Obama thinks he can get away with this is because the bishops have tolerated so much defiance of their authority and Church teachings over the years that now, when they suddenly need their authority, they find that it has evaporated. Obama feels perfectly free to ignore them and consult with the Magisterium of Nuns.

  30. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    I think that dissent has been bubbling just below the water level in our Church for many, many years, and I think that some time back this dissent reached the boiling point, and has been moving farther and farther into schism territory. There has been schism for some time, and I think the USCCB has tried to be very pastoral about it, patiently waiting and hoping and trying to just keep the boat steady. I’m not saying that trying to keep the boat steady is a bad idea, but if the waters have been as roiled up as these are, for as long as these have been, then it may be time to take the boat to calmer waters – which are often deeper waters; much deeper.

    I think our Catholic ministries to the sick and needy have been vital and wonderful. I’m not sure I can say the same for our catechizing and evangelizing work. Some of this has been excellent; however, so often, in recent years, much of the catechizing of our young has amounted to “be nice and maintain justice attitudes toward the poor.” So often, our attitude toward evangelizing has been, “as long as he / she is a good person, that’s what counts.” This is dismal, abysmal.

    Who knows but the Good Lord in His merciful Providence may be, as it were, “closing one door and opening another.” Not that suffering under a totalitarian government is a good thing; it’s not; it’s a terrible thing. Neither was the Jewish people suffering under the Babylonian Captivity exactly “a good thing”. However, sometimes when we go off track, lose our way, get distracted, God may use disasters like this to get us back to where He wants us to be.

    In this case, perhaps God is calling the Church in the United States to get the message off of “let’s all just be nice and get along and work together for justice and peace” instead to “God made us to know Him, love Him, and to serve Him in this life and the next. This is the Bottom Line for Catholics: Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment. All the rest is commentary.” Maybe this is the door God is opening for us, the door He would like for the Church in the U.S. to enter.

    (Meanwhile, when I see Obama bumper stickers on cars parked in our church parking lot during Mass, I immediately spit on the asphalt. Not on their car. On the ground, on the asphalt.)

  31. rfox2 says:

    @Traductora: “That said, the bishops should look to their own house first, because the only reason Obama thinks he can get away with this is because the bishops have tolerated so much defiance of their authority and Church teachings over the years that now, when they suddenly need their authority, they find that it has evaporated. Obama feels perfectly free to ignore them and consult with the Magisterium of Nuns.”

    Agreed. If the word “enlightened” was really used during this conversation, it’s infuriating. I hope they had a portrait of Voltaire on the wall hanging behind them when they said that. I’ve heard that one of the reasons the bishops have not been resolute in their defense of the faith for the past 40 or so years is because from the Holy Father on down, they fear schism. To use a military analogy, there’s are good reasons why deserters are executed on the spot. In our case, public excommunication, possibly with ecclesiastical tribunals, need to take place. The Obama administration’s reliance on a supposed counter-magisterium is a farce, and it needs to be shown to be so. It may not seem so, but public excommunications are an act of charity for the faithful, the heretic, and those outside the Church. It would be sorrowful, but what other course of action do we have?

  32. FloridaJoan says:

    Uncledan: Will be there at 3 PM ET with rosary in hand .

    pax et bonum
    Joan

  33. SKAY says:

    We have the beginning of the “state catholic” church. Obama is pointing to who he intends to put in power (so to speak) for the Church and it is not the true Cardinals and Bishops– it will be those Catholics who agree with or will acquiesce to his idiology. Sebelius(who seems to dispise the Church), Pelosi Biden, Kerry, etc. will be among his Cardinals and Bishops. We see the publications that he believes to be friendly to his point of view and therefore will receive special recogniition and favors(and money-that’s how Soros works). Think Propaganda. The unions and community organizers will be his foot soldiers. It would be interesting to know what other pro abortion, pro ssm,pro socialist Catholics are advising him behind the scenes. They have obviously told him that the “contraception issue” as a “woman’s healtcare issue” will send a majority of Catholic women over to the state church to vote for him. The people behind Obama and the Democrat Party at this time have an idiology and an agenda and the true Catholic Church and the Constitution as written stand in their way- They have to destroy both to achieve victory.
    Interestingly, as we have seen–Obama does seem to favor another religion that does not favor freedom of religion in countries where it is the clear majority by choice or force.
    What would a second term bring?

  34. Uncledan,

    So far i have 15 Orthodox Christians praying with you at 3 PM today. Like our bishops we stand in solidarity with our fervent Catholic brothers and sisters. As Ben Franklin once quipped: “Gentlemen. we either hang together or most assuredly we will hang separately.”

  35. pm125 says:

    3 PM with your prayer plan in mind. If only people could have a Bulletin Insert from USCCB for a keeper – an apolitical one that is a list format that has what the Religious Educators gloss over. An example would be the back page of the St. Gregory Society calendar. There is a wealth of basics of the Roman Catholic faith to build upon to strengthen understanding. Dire need for these dismissed basics. Justice and peace grow from adherence to these because following Truth leads to nothing else.

  36. PA mom says:

    Uncledan, Kids are home by then, but will try to send up prayers with you during that time. I have been increasing prayer on all of these primary/caucus days, that God gives us the candidate who will beat Obama. Whomever that is, as He knows the hearts and minds of all. It is very encouraging to have Archbp Dolan out in front though. Regardless of what he is saying (even though he says so many things very well), it is clear that he gets what is at stake for us all, and will not merely exchange pleasantries and go home. Thank you, Lord.

  37. RebelPaw says:

    Uncledan, I’m in – fasting at lunch and rosary at 3:00pm. Spiritual warfare – powerful indeed.

  38. HyacinthClare says:

    Prayer, 1:00 MST. I’m in.

  39. Bill Russell says:

    The Church’s second-string bureaucrats have long be allowed by the bishops to take the public dole, becoming largely dependent on federal and state monies, such as Catholic Charities, The bishops have also allowed the national church bureaucracy to become in many way like a mouthpiece of the Democrat Party For all his strong words, Cardinal Dolan’s own staff at the Archdiocese of New York probably voted overwhelmingly for Obama and will do so again. This is certainly true of many of the clergy and Religious. And they seem to be remaining in place. The bishops, alas, are closing the barn door after the horse has left, and they have themselves to blame.

  40. frjim4321 says:

    @Traductora: “That said, the bishops should look to their own house first, because the only reason Obama thinks he can get away with this is because the bishops have tolerated so much defiance of their authority and Church teachings over the years that now, when they suddenly need their authority, they find that it has evaporated. Obama feels perfectly free to ignore them and consult with the Magisterium of Nuns.”

    I think there is truth to that, at least to the first part. Respectfully, I would suggest that Dolan’s comment about America, “…hardly surprising…editorial…” simply underscores the impotence of leadership at this particular juncture.

    Honestly, the leadership did go beyond the religious freedom issue in the post-2/10 critique of the Affordable Healthcare Act. They got involved in details of policy – which I would agree is their right. But they kept insisting that it was under the rubric of religious freedom which was disingenuous. I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing so.

  41. wmeyer says:

    As Fr. Z says, it is time (and in my view, past time) to name names.

    I know that Sebelius should not receive, but Father, you said she cannot. Is that true? Is Abp. Wuerl going to deny her, if she presents herself to receive? This is one of the great failings of the bishops, in my view? When a public figure is in grave sin, and should not receive, but insists on doing so, and no priest or bishop denies them, the message to the laity is that despite Church teaching, these things are not important.

    We’ve had decades of defective catechesis, and that must be corrected. We have also had decades of spineless leadership, with grave sins being apparently rewarded in public–this too must change.

    I pray they have indeed awakened the sleeping giant, and that our bishops will not doze off again. But I know that in my own parish, it will take weekly sermons–yes sermons, not gentle homilies–to effect change.

  42. Mom2301 says:

    I just finished reading Bonhoeffer. In it the reader can see how the Lutheran church morphed into the Reichskirch. It looks like that is where we are headed. A catholic church with the State as its head. Those who do not join become part of a small remnant, dismissed as silly papists and divested of their rights in the public square. Scary indeed.

  43. LisaP. says:

    I’m very glad the bishops are continuing to stand firm on this.

    The problem I have is that this is not a new problem. Erickson vs. Bartell Drugs was 2001. It’s just a new problem for diocesan offices and hospitals and universities.

    http://stmaryvalleybloom.org/bartell.html

    My fear is that the worst case scenario here is the Henry/China scenario, but that the best case scenario is a concession for Catholic institutions and a return to the status quo, and that’s not much of a best case.

    I’d like to see not only a firm stand on this, but some changes in other areas. Bishops should support parents who choose not to immunize with vaccines produced from embryonic cell lines — some states require a parent to “prove” they have a religious reason to exempt, it would be nice if the bishops would give the parents that “proof” with a statement. Better yet, if the bishops encouraged every Catholic in this country to refuse to use those vaccines, maybe ones developed without fetal tissue would become available.

    I’d like to see Catholic hospitals no longer offer tubal ligation to moms going in for C-Sections — even if that means seeing state and federal dollars filter to the nonCatholic hospitals instead.

    I’d love to see some discussion of state tax money going to buy condoms and BCPs, particularly for students — my state health department is funded with state income and sales taxes, I believe — I’m already paying for someone else’s contraception, and standing alone the only option I have is civil disobedience. It would be nice if the Church took up that banner.

    I don’t want to be like the guy who beats the dog for running away the minute it returns (then is confused about why the dog doesn’t get the message not to run). This fight could well be a Rubicon for American bishops, it really could. But if it’s not, if they get their concession and go home willing to turn a blind eye again, we’ll be in a worse place than we were before, not a better one.

  44. Springkeeper says:

    @K Suzanne- I was thinking the same thing. Father Elijah was a really good book and seems to be sadly prescient.

    For years, I refused to even entertain the notion that Catholics knew anything of value about the Bible because they were always in the news with their “social justice” obsession (with social justice being code for anti-nuke, anti-capitalism, anti-death penalty, pro-communist/socialist). Thankfully I have come to find out that isn’t always the case and that there are many devout and orthodox priests and more devout and orthodox bishops are being put in place. Yes, there was a time of apostasy promulgated by too many but that time is coming to an end. The Church may end up smaller and leaner but that may be a necessary thing; she will survive to the bitter end. There are several parishes in my diocese that have strong and devout priests even though we had a liberal bishop who was “politely asked to retire” over a year ago and we are currently bishop-less. I absolutely LOVE Christ’s Church and I thank God for her and her holy priests, brothers, sisters, bishops and Pope.

  45. Springkeeper says:

    @Wmeyer see: <>

  46. wmeyer says:

    Springkeeper: Excellent news! It’s a beginning…. Let us pray that hers will not be an isolated case.

  47. LisaP. says:

    Thanks for asking, wmyer, and for the link, Springkeeper — I was wondering about that myself. I’m actually very surprised to see this.

  48. tcreek says:

    If Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB seriously intend to preach the message of Jesus Christ they would send a letter to all Catholics with only one sentence — “It is a grave sin to vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of intrinsic evils such as abortion, euthanasia and homosexual marriage.”

    Instead Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB give cover to Catholics who vote for politicians supporting these evils by an ambiguous letter loaded with “other important moral issues” as welfare policies, immigration policies, global warming policies, monetary policies, minimum wage policies, environmental policies, gun control, war and capital punishment.

    See paragraph 34, Part 1, “Making Moral Choices” in the latest publication of their letter, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”. It says:

    “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position.”

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-title.cfm

    So is it OK if you are personally opposed to these practices? Seems so.
    And why connect “racism” with “abortions”.

    Unfaithful leadership from our bishops and their staffs is a serious problem with our Faith. Loopholes have been opened for duplicitous Catholics, especially politicians, that have allowed them to be unprincipled about life issues.

  49. wmeyer says:

    tcreek: That’s quite a loophole. Pretty much negates the declaration, for probably the majority of voters. I must assume that this is not written by the bishops, who most certainly have a better grasp of language and logic than that.

  50. NoTambourines says:

    Tcreek– if you’re hip to the origins of Planned Parenthood, it has been connected to racism and eugenics through its foundress, Margaret Sanger, from the very beginning. Her The Pivot of Civilization can be found in its entirety online.

  51. NoTambourines says:

    As for the Obama admin, it doesn’t surprise me that they’re lecturing Catholics on Catholicism. For one thing, there is the parallel anti-Magisterium set up by the likes of Drinan & Co. in the ’60s, and continued by shrinking, aging orders of women religious.

    For that matter, the Obama admin (as well as his predecessor’s, to be fair) has styled itself an authority on what religions “really” teach in the area of Islam, so it is not surprising to see this tendency applied toward another faith.

    Lastly, there is also a strain of Alinsky-style tactics here: attack people with their own principles, albeit twisted and taken out of context. A list of familiar tactics from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:

    http://vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook/rules.html

  52. bernadette says:

    Count me in for a Rosary at noon, Pacific Time.

  53. Jenny says:

    I keep hearing that the two options on the table are to pay for the coverage or close down the institutions. How about the third option? Keep the institutions open, offer self-insured plans without contraception, and refuse to pay the fines. It may mean jail time (which is easy for me to offer others as I sit at my comfortable computer), but it seems to be a better alternative than paying or closing down.

  54. wmeyer says:

    Jenny, the c0ncern I have is that I believe what Obama wants is for the Church to close the facilities. Then the FedGuv will take them, either for pennies on the dollar, or in confiscation, and operate them as government hospitals. not unlike what happened to Catholic orphanages in MA.

  55. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, I think you are right on the money! I think Obama knows exactly what he is doing, and he would consider the closing of Catholic hospitals to be a feature, not a bug.

  56. Jenny says:

    Right, wmeyer. So why not refuse to shut down? Make them send in the swat team. It would look awful on the news.

    Obviously the best alternative is to pressure the government into changing (eliminating) the mandate, but if that does not happen, I don’t think voluntarily shutting down is the way to go.

  57. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, that’s exactly my thought. With the Church out of medical care, the Church is silenced in that sector.

    Jenny, I agree, but as you said before, it’s easy to suggest someone else incur jail time. Still, can you imagine the news stories, when nuns are dragged off to jail? Or an Abp.?

  58. Jenny says:

    Agreed that it is easy for me to suggest but much different for someone else to carry out.

  59. Peggy R says:

    I hate to pile on, but the one thing in frjim…’s first post about a “2/10 concession” is incorrect, as he probably knows. The “concession” was merely an accounting trick that didn’t solve any problem. Further, the regulations as adopted on August 2011 were published in the Federal Register that very afternoon that O made his public “concession”. Meaningless. Utterly meaningless. The man is evil and cold-hearted.

    As for Card. Dolan’s letter, it was excellent, though one point jumped out to me. The sad truth is that the Church in the US has NOT “consistently taught” the evil of contraception or abortion, and many other evils for the past 40 years. I don’t blame any pope, but those bishops and priests who’ve avoided these tough topics or deliberately mistaught them bear this responsibility.

  60. tcreek says:

    If we resolve the legal issues, vote out of office Obama and all the duplicitous catholic politicians, so what?

    Pope Benedict XVI wants a leaner, smaller purer Church but how do we manage that?

    Housecleaning must begin on the inside but many duplicitous Catholics are in residence there, employed by bishops, pastors, catholic schools, religious publications and organizations etc …

  61. wmeyer says:

    tcreek, if politicians who violate Church teaching are denied the Eucharist on a regular basis, and this (inevitably) receives public coverage, then leaner, smaller, and purer will follow.

  62. Centristian says:

    frjim4321 writes:

    “My understanding was that subsequent to the 2/10 concession by the Administration the conference nitpicked details of the Affordable Healthcare Act including extending to all employers, not just church-related institutions, the ability to exempt themselves from any aspect of health care that they saw fit.”

    “Honestly, the leadership did go beyond the religious freedom issue in the post-2/10 critique of the Affordable Healthcare Act. They got involved in details of policy – which I would agree is their right. But they kept insisting that it was under the rubric of religious freedom which was disingenuous. I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing so.”

    And the article from “America” says:

    “By stretching the religious liberty strategy to cover the fine points of health care coverage, the campaign devalues the coinage of religious liberty. The fight the bishop’s conference won against the initial mandate was indeed a fight for religious liberty and for that reason won widespread support. The latest phase of the campaign, however, seems intended to bar health care funding for contraception. Catholics legitimately oppose such a policy on moral grounds. But that opposition entails a difference over policy, not an infringement of religious liberty. ”

    I wonder if both “America” Magazine and frjim4321 don’t have a point, actually. Neither frjim4321 nor “America” are actually saying that the administration’s policy is any good or that the bishops shouldn’t oppose it or work to unravel it (or that individual Catholics like me shouldn’t speak out against it and vote against politicians who support it), they merely seem to suggest that we’re now going beyond the territory of religious liberty, here, strictly speaking.

    Are we? If not, why not? And if not, why are Cardinal Dolan and the hierarchy claiming the opposite? This is a battle for religious liberty only if there is a threat against religious liberty, otherwise it’s a battle for something else (something just as worthy but, still, something else). Did the administration’s concession remove the threat to religious liberty? The cardinal and the bishops seem to think not. Why not? Why is frjim4321 wrong? I ask in all honesty of anyone who can answer this because, I’ll admit, I find myself becoming confused over the finer points of this issue.

    frjim4321: could you expand upon it from your perspective?

  63. tcreek says:

    Premonition or prophecy?
    Pope Benedict XVI as Joseph Ratzinger in his book Faith and the Future, 1969

    The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….

    It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

    And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

  64. LisaP. says:

    wmeyer and Sissy,

    Nationalizing medicine would definitely cut out a huge percentage of the jobs that are not government-dependent, that’s got to be a major milestone on the way to a centralized economy.

    Hate to bring in a name that so many groan about, but months ago I heard Glenn Beck suggest that the bishops won’t give in and eventually the national guard would be called out to turn over the hospitals. He also said it was an American duty (regardless of religion) to circle the hospitals if that day came.

  65. Brian2 says:

    I don’t think the bishops are going about this the right way. It is all carrot and no stick. I’m not talking about bell, book and candle either (although that might help). They need to make it clear to Obama and the US at large that they will close the schools, the charities and other institutions if the changes are not made. +Dolan should remind Bloomberg that he will have to find seats for all the students flooding into NYC’s school system, and likewise across the country. Moreover, they need to make it clear — in the media — that this is is not a threat, but simply the logical consequences of Obama’s HHS mandate. Make the case that the Church does a lot of heavy social lifting and won’t be able to do it anymore under this dispensation. Americans are too stupid and shortsighted (I am one) to understand abstract arguments about religious liberty and natural law; but they will understand ‘over-crowded schools’ and ‘no more charity work.’ But the Bishops have to have the stones to do this, and the media savy to make it clear that this is not a choice on their part, but the logical consquence of Obama’s mandate: it was a Catholic teaching that motivated these charitable works, and since doing them under the HHS mandate would violate said teachings, they must desist from those works

  66. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    If a Catholic-run institution is in arrears for payment of fines to the federal government for even a few days, think the IRS. Think bank accounts seized, think other assets frozen. The long arm of Uncle Sam just makes a few phone calls, sends out a few faxes, and suddenly, the hospital can’t make payroll, can’t pay for the meals, can’t pay for lights, heat, tests, medicines, laundry, equipment, supplies, for anything. Can’t operate just as surely as if every door to the premises were bolted and welded shut. The feds can do that. That arch-demon in the White House will make sure it’s done and quickly, so fast it’ll make the hospital’s and the church’s and our collective heads spin.

    There won’t be any SWAT teams. (By the way, does anyone here seriously think that the Elian Gonzalez disgrace did Billy Jeff Clinton any harm in the eyes of his loyal followers?) There won’t be any publicity. Those hospitals will simply be Catholic one day, and the next, “re-opening under new management”. And that new management, Arch-Demon will see to it, will target infants for annihilation (i.e, commit abortions on the premises.)

    Very neatly done. Gets just what he wants. Gotta hand it to him.

  67. wmeyer says:

    LisaP, Glenn Beck is a very perceptive commentator. I suspect that many (perhaps most) who rant about him never listen to what he has to say.

    Tyranny is under way; at some point, it will be entirely unmasked, and yes, I expect uniforms in the streets.

  68. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “I don’t think the bishops are going about this the right way. It is all carrot and no stick . . . They need to make it clear to Obama and the US at large that they will close the schools, the charities and other institutions if the changes are not made. +Dolan should remind Bloomberg that he will have to find seats for all the students flooding into NYC’s school system, and likewise across the country”

    Arch-demon Obama and his fellow tools of the Forces of Darkness couldn’t give two hoots about closed schools, charities, and the poor going without? Did you really think they cared a fig about the needy or the underserved. Don’t make me laugh. That “caring” is about securing votes, nothing else. What Obama and his fellows care about is (1) power, and (2) money. Now they’ve got both, and they’re using them to leverage more. The Church stands in their way? Damn the torpedoes and steam-roller right over the Church. Do it while they can, while the political climate is friendly to their way of thinking.

    It’s all very calculated; they know exactly what they’re doing.

    A lot of this is about “access” to abortion. Certain entitled, highly-placed families insist that their wives, daughters, mistresses want to obtain a surgical abortion in a hospital setting only. Much more private and anonymous: a woman entering an abortion clinic is going for one reason only. A woman entering a hospital may be going in to have her tonsils out, or to visit a sick friend. Also they don’t want to go to a clinic with all the filthy rabble, and those nasty doctors, and those awful protestors outside. But in recent years, more and more regional hospitals have been merging with Catholic ones, and ceasing offering abortions. Planned Parenthood and women who want abortions in hospitals and don’t want to travel hate that and have been loudly objecting for years. The fact that the mood of the country is turning more and more in sympathy to the pro-life side may seem to the forces of Darkness to be putting access to surgical abortion more at-risk than ever. The recalcitrance of Catholic hospitals may spread to more and more facilities. It might become a trend. And then, where will it all end? It coulc end with the “Sex and The City” girls having perhaps to travel to Illinois or Michigan to have a surgical abortion in a hospital, as they would prefer. Can’t have that. The key to preventing that eventuality is to seize and shut down the Catholics. Problem solved. Now girls can look forward to having an abortion in any hospital in the country, no problem, no questions asked. Nice, clean, private, anonymous. Catholics out of the picture.

  69. LisaP. says:

    I find both the national guard and the “re-opening under new management” scenarios plausible. I suspect it will depend on what role those in uniform will be willing to play. I come from a military background and appreciate the role of discipline — but I like to think every soldier out there would have a long think about it if asked to turn against American citizens in the name of federal control. Hopefully the Supreme Court will make it clear that there are no legit laws here to enforce.

    I think the quiet turnover might very well work. People are weird about schools and hospitals, they look upon the Catholic predominance here as being just another way the Pope is trying to take over the world. I’ve seen a lot of resentment about those Catholics running the hospital or schools, particularly by people using both. I think Indira Gandhi once said that India was the only country that ever forgave the United States for helping it. If bishops and nuns barricade themselves behind hospital doors (hopefully not the sliding ones) I can see the country rallying. But a quiet takeover, a la IRS? I can definitely see that working.

  70. robtbrown says:

    It myopic and silly to say that America is a “venerable, highly respected magazine”. I’m sure that it is among clerics who are pastoral failures and think that Scripture and Catholic teaching are not all that relevant, having no objection to its articles opposed to such Catholic teaching. It is published by an order that is dying in the US.

    I don’t know the specifics about the bishops’ strategy, but I wonder whether legal counsel has advised uniting the question of religious freedom with whether the federal govt has the authority to mandate that employers provide health insurance–this seems very smart. As it stands now, an employer is no more obligated to provide health insurance than car insurance.

    In fact, Obamacare was sold with lies, first, by saying that the govt would provide the same quality of medical care as, say, Fed Blue Cross, at much less the cost. Further, businesses were told that if govt would provide health insurance, it would take a financial burden off them. I have thought for some time that one of the strategies of Obamacare was that business decline to provide care, pay a penalty, then drive those employees into the federal system.

  71. wmeyer says:

    robtbrown:
    In circles which venerate Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter, Have little doubt that America is similarly venerated. All are fishwrap.

    If businesses believed that FedGuv insurance would reduce their costs, shame on them. Businessmen, more than the average citizen, have good reason to know that there is no free lunch.

    I believe that the essential issue in all this, from the position of O’s administration, is whether they pass muster on the force applied to citizens (forcing them to buy insurance) and to religious employers. Apart from the fact that government health care is a traditional step on the way to state ownership of citizens, these violations of the 1st amendment raise the bar in bypassing fundamental limits on government power. If the legislature and Supremes stand for this, then it’s pretty much over. There are then no limits, and nothing to prevent a dictatorship.

  72. Uncledan says:

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the rosary rally today!

  73. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “I come from a military background and appreciate the role of discipline — but I like to think every soldier out there would have a long think about it if asked to turn against American citizens in the name of federal control. “

    Our men and women in uniform who are persons of integrity and decency will be in the same position that such persons in uniform were under the Nazi regime.

    This is not your grandfather’s USA. This is not your father’s USA. We are in a whole new ballgame, folks. My Dad fought in WWII; Granddad in WWI; some greats on back in the Civil War. I am proud of their service and of what my country once was, but I would no more encourage a young relative or friend to enter our country’s military today, than I would encourage him to play handball in the northbound lanes of I-95.

    Think of it: at a stroke, this President might order that it is now lawful for U.S. forces to summarily shoot non-combatants or to mistreat prisoners. And if it is lawful to do so, and your young son / brother / nephew is so ordered to do so by his commanding officer in Today’s Army, he must do so, or face court martial.

    Follow orders. Conscience is no excuse. Religion is no excuse. How dare you impose your personal, private morality on the U.S. Army?

    See, we are in big trouble here, folks, and I mean trouble with a capital T.

  74. wmeyer says:

    Marion Ancilla Mariae:
    “Our men and women in uniform who are persons of integrity and decency will be in the same position that such persons in uniform were under the Nazi regime.”

    Essentially correct, except that our soldiers may be less inclined to accept that the orders are lawful, on their face. But in the end, the UCMJ will trump personal responsibility.

    “Follow orders. Conscience is no excuse. Religion is no excuse.”

    Ironic, given that following orders got German soldiers executed at Nuremberg.

    Yes, we are in big trouble. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a talk radio commentator talking about what would happen if Obama got a second term. He was not discussing the risks we consider here; he was talking about what the election of 2016 would be like. I found myself thinking what election of 2016? In the face of this administration’s actions so far, assuming that a second term would end in an election, at least a real one, seems to me to be altogether unwarranted.

  75. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    ” . . . our soldiers may be less inclined to accept that the orders are lawful, on their face.”

    Right. And such soldiers and sailors will be given ample opportunity to reconsider their inclinations while serving time in the stockade or in the brig.

  76. wmeyer says:

    “while serving time in the stockade or in the brig.”

    As I said, the UCMJ will trump personal responsibility. Just as few of us are truly ready to be martyrs, when the time comes. We may do it, when it is truly inevitable, but will we make ourselves highly visible in our faith, or skulk in the shadows, hoping to escape a martyr’s death?

  77. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “We may do it (undergo martyrdom), when it is truly inevitable, but will we make ourselves highly visible in our faith, or skulk in the shadows, hoping to escape a martyr’s death?”

    Excellent question. I think it’s necessary first of all to do precisely what it is that God is calling me to do at this particular moment, and that’s true whether we’re talking about an Age of Faith or an Age of Martyrs. I think it’s necessary to put oneself, if at all possible, under the direction of a wise and holy spiritual director, especially my pastor, if he seems the right choice, and to run these questions past him as they come up. I think it’s important and necessary for faithful Catholics loyal to the Magesterium and to the Holy Father to try to act in solidarity and to act as a team. At times hiding may become necessary, and may be the correct action to take in the circumstances, as a small detachment out on patrol hides from the enemy, not only to save their lives, but also to be able to report back to their own commander on the enemy’s movements.

    During Roman times, there were Christian show-offs, believe it or not, who would take it upon themselves to make a big show of loudly turning themselves in to the Romans just to be martyred. Sort of a bravado kind of thing. These fellows were considered mischief-makers and nuisances by the Church. We don’t want that sort of thing going on. We also don’t want the Christian people hiding when they should be speaking, eating when they should be preaching, or sleeping when they should be praying. There’s a proper time and a place for everything.

    Neither loose cannons nor cowardliness, but prudent and manful godliness in all things.

  78. jonh303 says:

    It really is interesting how much this situation is beginning to parallel that of China’s. The underground Church in China I think we can say has become very hardened and strong and they know what they believe because to be loyal to Rome requires more than just coincidence or mediocrity. To belong to the Patriotic Church is much more comfortable. It seems that the Vatican is handling the parallel Church in China in nearly the same way the Bishops in the United States are handling Obama’s puppet magisterium. The approach is that to let polarization take place rather than taking a hard and fast stand and condemn those who go against legitimate authority. I’m sure the right approach is indiscriminate condemnation of those who are wrong, but I am sure that the leaders of an organization must condemn to some degree.

    If every time a friend slapped you and you merely say, “I believe slapping is wrong”, you aren’t going to get very far. You have to say “DONT DO THAT OR ELSE X.”

    Interestingly there are not only parellels between the United States and China but also parallels of the parallels in German speaking countries as I am sure you have read. For me, as I wrote here goo.gl/tV17o, this is what happens when dissent goes unchecked. I am a visual person and use the analogy of a raft. When you build a raft, you use a bunch of logs and lash them together. As the raft floats down the stream and the lashing becomes looser the logs drift apart. Unity requires a sort of self maintenance in the same way you maintain anything man-made. Of course the Church is not man-made but its members’ decisions are. We need decisions made by those in authority to tighten the lashings.

  79. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    If every time a friend slapped you and you merely say, “I believe slapping is wrong,” you aren’t going to get very far. You have to say “DONT DO THAT OR ELSE X.”

    As Josef Stalin famously asked, “how many military divisions does the Pope have?”

    Or the bishops?

    Or else, what? You’re going to cry? Run home to your mama? Throw up? Hit me back? Or exactly what?

    Unless the bad guys know precisely what will happen to them if they mistreat you, they will continue to mistreat you. Unless you have what it takes to stop them.

    The bishops don’t have that. When Catholics were loyal, the bishops had more clout because of public opinion and so on. Now there aren’t that many loyal Catholics any longer. We think the bishops are powerful because of the power they hold within the Church, but when it comes to enforcing they have only us . . . the laity, who operate in the temporal sphere. We’re supposed to be the ones running and influencing politics and government and secular academia the secular media to take care of this kind of nonsense. We let this happen.

    Politicians and government leaders have jails and guns. Bishops don’t.

    Drug dealers and gangsters have more clout in that sense than our bishops have.

    Bad actors have now come along and taken over politics and government and academia and the media. Bad actors who don’t like Catholics in general or the bishops in particular.

    All bets are off. For all of us – laity and bishops and clergy.

  80. wmeyer says:

    “Now there aren’t that many loyal Catholics any longer.”

    The other side of that is that for those of us who are deeply committed, there appear to be few priests and bishops. How do you give your loyalty to a bishop who probably voted for Obama?

  81. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “How do you give your loyalty to a bishop who probably voted for Obama?”

    The virtue of humility is among the first of the virtues; this virtue helps us to decide quickly to thrust from us the temptation to act decisively upon knowledge that we wish we had, but which it is not in our power to possess.

    After that, it’s a case of the old saying, “my country, right or wrong; when wrong to be put right; when right to be kept right, but right or wrong, my country.” Or bishop, or President. Only the various procedures for “putting right” and “keeping right” vary considerably, depending on which entities/individuals we are talking about. And depending on what positions we ourselves occupy.

  82. Elizabeth M says:

    We are also running into an issue of proper language in each bill or amendment. For example, if you write “all abortion is forbidden” a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy and is dying will die since no one is allowed to help her. Also, miscarriages are labelled “spontaneous abortions” by the medical profession and insurance companies. While miscarriages are not always life threatening to the mother there can be complications after the fact that require her to seek medical attention. Having personally gone through these procedures, if these things were not covered by my insurance my family would be out on the street trying to pay enormous medical bills. Murder is murder, but we cannot forget to include double effect in our legislation. I know our Bishops understand this but do those writing the laws? I cannot assume they do. We must stand up for life and the only way to do this is to write the Law as Mother Church has written and taught.

  83. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Also, miscarriages are labelled “spontaneous abortions” by the medical profession and insurance companies.

    Spontaneous abortion is a respectable and legitimate medical term of long-standing; it is the scientific term for what laypersons call a miscarriage. Before it became legal for medical professionals to target the infant in the womb for reasons other than medical emergency, the other kind of abortion was called criminal abortion, and no reputable or self-respecting physician would have anything to do with it.

  84. LisaP. says:

    Elizabeth M., I’m sorry for your loss.
    Please remember that legislation is not necessary for including coverage in an insurance policy. If a diocese wants to make sure ectopic pregnancy treatment is covered, it only needs to buy a policy that covers ectopic pregnancy, it doesn’t need a law to say the insurance company must cover it.
    Right now, any diocese, university, hospital, or school that wants to buy insurance that covers abortion and contraception can do so. Any d, u, h, or school that wants to buy insurance that doesn’t cover abortion and contraception can do so. The law would only take away options, not add any.

  85. LisaP. says:

    Marion,

    I fished a book out of the shed years ago, it was a 1980s edition of “The Harvard Book of Women’s Health”. It defined pregnancy — and clearly defined it as beginning at fertilization, not at implantation.

  86. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Lisa,

    That The Harvard Book of Women’s Health published in the 80s defined pregnancy as beginning at fertilization not implantation is interesting.

    Also interesting would be the information that back in the 1980s the folks at Harvard would have defined two- and three-year-old toddlers as fully human lives, worthy of every moral and legal protection available.

    Now? Not so much.

    For the secular culture, these kind of definitions are nothing more than moving targets. And guess who is moving them? They are. And repositioning them with reference to what? Whatever the heck they want to reposition them with reference to . . . or with reference to nothing at all. It just all depends upon little else but their whim.

    The shrieks that we Christians were trying (were trying) to impose our values on them amounts to little more, it turns out, than the fact that Christians alone were insisting upon a system of law and ethics based on something more than the whim of whatever party happens to be in power. How dastardly of us, yes?

  87. robtbrown says:

    The only question now is who is the bigger fool–Doug Kmiec or the Fr John Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame?

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