Archbp. Dolan issues a warning to Pres. Obama: Stop attacking marriage and religious liberty!

I found this to be pretty interesting.  I urge you to read the whole thing.  It is perhaps the best presentation of the issues I have seen in a brief form.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York City has sent, in his capacity of President of the USCCB, sent a letter to Pres. Obama asking him to back off on his campaign against true marriage and religious liberty.  A pdf of the letter is HERE.

( – Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written a letter to President Barack Obama warning him that his administration will “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions” if it does not “end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.”

The letter follows up on two previous letters that Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the former president of the USCCB, and Archbishop Dolan sent to Obama privately on the matter. Cardinal George sent his private letter in 2010, according to the USCCB, and Archbishop Dolan sent his earlier this year.

In the latest letter–written Sept. 20, publicly posted on the USCCB website Sept. 22, and linked to Archbishop Dolan’s personal blog on Sept. 23–the archbishop sent the president a USCCB staff analysis on “recent federal threats to marriage” that reiterated the warning the archbishop delivered directly to president in the text of his letter.

“Thus, the comprehensive efforts of the federal government—using its formidable moral, economic, and coercive power—to enforce its new legal definition of ‘marriage’ against a resistant Church would, if not reversed, precipitate a systemic national conflict between Church and State, harming both institutions, as well as our Nation as a whole,” says the USCCB analysis.

[NB] The archbishop’s letter and USCCB analysis revealed a second front in an escalating conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration. [Remember Pres. Obama’s blather about finding common ground?  Remember how L’Osservatore Romano nearly quivered over him?] The other front is over regulations the Department of Health and Human Services proposed on Aug. 1 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the Obamacare law—that would compel all private health plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all-FDA approved contraceptives including those that cause abortions[In other words they are not contraceptives.  They are abortifacients.]


At issue in the conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration are efforts by the administration to force Catholics, and other Americans who share the church’s moral convictions, to act against their consciences.The Obamacare sterilization-and-contraception mandate not only applies to individual Americans but also includes a “religious exemption” that is so narrowly drawn it does not include Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations or colleges and universities, and, thus, if finalized, would force these Catholic institutions to choose between acting against the teachings of their own church or dropping all health-care coverage for their employees[And this has to be the purposeful intention of this White House.]

On August 31, the USCCB submitted comments on the proposed sterilization-and-contraception mandate to HHS. In these comments, the bishops flatly declared that the administration was launching an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.”

“Indeed, such nationwide government coercion of religious people and groups to sell, broker, or purchase ‘services’ to which they have a moral or religious objection represents an unprecedented attack on religious liberty,” said the comments.

The bishops’ comments also said that even Jesus would not qualify for the “religious” exemption the administration proposed for its sterilization-and-contraceptives mandate.

[NB] In his letter last week to the president about the marriage issue, Archbishop Dolan indicated that the only “response” he and Cardinal George had received from their previous communications was a stepped up attack on marriage by the administration.

“This past spring the Justice Department announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, a decision strongly opposed by the Catholic Bishops of the United States and many others,” the archbishop told the president.

“Now the Justice Department has shifted from not defending DOMA—which is problem enough, given the duty of the executive branch to enforce even laws it disfavors—to actively attacking DOMA’s constitutionality,” the archbishop said. [But they do handle the sale of guns to drug dealers.  I guess they are in favor of the 2nd Amendment, if not the 1st.]

“My predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, and I have expressed to you in the past our strong disappointment about the direction your Administration has been moving regarding DOMA,” the archbishop told the president. “Unfortunately the only response to date has been the intensification of efforts to undermine DOMA and the institution of marriage.”

The archbishop said he especially objected to the administration falsely equating those who defend traditional marriage to racists. [!?!?  Ohhh… right.  That’s because they want to make this into a civil rights issue.]

“That is why it is particularly upsetting, Mr. President, when your Administration, through the various court documents, pronouncements and policies identified in the attached analysis, attributes to those who support DOMA a motivation rooted in prejudice and bias,” said the archbishop. “It is especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your Administration insists on doing.”

The archbishop said that if the federal courts adopt the position the administration is urging on them, then defending traditional marriage will be essentially criminalized in the United States. [! But let’s watch to see what happens to priests who defend true marriage.  Will they be slapped down?  We they be threatened?  Will they be moved, say, to some parish on the edge of a diocese or put in, say, nursing home chaplaincy?]

“Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman,” said the archbishop. “Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense—but this will happen if the Justice Department’s latest constitutional theory prevails in court.”

The USCCB analysis the archbishop sent to Obama specifically addresses the arguments the Justice Department made in a brief filed in July in the case of Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. This brief argues that the federal courts should mandate that treating a same-sex couple differently from a married heterosexual couple should be deemed the same as racial discrimination.

“The Justice Department’s argument in Golinski compares DOMA in effect to racially discriminatory laws,” says the USCCB analysis.

“According to the government’s view,” says the analysis, “support for a definition of marriage that recognizes that sexual difference is a defining and valuable feature of marriage now constitutes a forbidden intent to harm a vulnerable class of people. [Hate crime?  Will defense of Catholic teaching on marriage be treated by the Obama Administration as “hate speech”?] The false claim that animus is at work ignores the intrinsic goods of complementarity and fruitfulness found only in the union of man and woman as husband and wife. DoJ’s contention thus transforms a moral disagreement into a constitutional violation, with grave practical consequences.”

The USCCB analysis pointed to three other areas where the administration is seeking to advance same-sex marriage by regulation. These include [1] a White House spokesperson’s statement that Obama wants a federal mandate to ensure “adopotion rights” for same-sex couples; [2] an Agriculture Department “sensitivity training” program on “heterosexism,” and [3] a directive issued then rescinded by the Office of Navy Chaplains that required Navy chapels to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The analysis concluded that if the administration’s policy of treating the defense of marriage as if it were equal to racial discrimination prevailed, the likely result would be legal sanctions and lawsuits against Catholics, Catholic institutions and those who share their moral vision in defense of marriage.  [That, folks, is the bottom line.  Do NOT forget this issue during the election campaign cycle.  Watch and listen for MSM coverage and discussion of this issue.]

“In particular, the Administration’s efforts to change the law—in all three branches of the federal government—so that support for authentic marriage is treated as an instance of ‘sexual orientation discrimination,’ will threaten to spawn a wide range of legal sanctions against individuals and institutions within the Catholic community, and in many others as well,” says the USCCB analysis.

“Based on the experience of religious entities under some state and local governments already, we would expect that, if the Administration succeeds, we would face lawsuits for supposed ‘discrimination’ in all the areas where the Church operates in service to the common good, and where civil rights laws apply—such as employment, housing, education, and adoption services, to name just a few,” says the analysis.

Archbishop Dolan concluded his letter sending this analysis to Obama with a warning from him and fellow Catholic bishops.

The Administration’s failure to change course on this matter will, as the attached analysis indicates, precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions,” the archbishop told the president.

“Thus, on behalf of my brother Bishops,” he said, “I urge yet again that your Administration end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.”

WDTPRS kudos to Archbp. Dolan.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Nicole says:

    I’m personally confused as to why Archbishop Dolan believes he has any pull with Pres. Obama…or any president for that matter…? The US government (as laid out in the US Constitution) is based upon the supposed “fact” that we cannot possibly know God, whether He has spoken to man, or what He may have bound upon our obedience. That being said…the secularism manifest in this Constitution does not bind nor point the citizens/subjects of this country to the true and living God.

    Why, then, would the voice of a Catholic Bishop have any pull on the ear of President Obama? By what is implicit in the Constitution, one religion is as good as the next because no man can know what is true about God. Pres. Obama does not bind himself privately to Catholic morality…so why would he do so publicly? I don’t understand what the Archbishop is trying to accomplish here…

    Homosexual contractual unions of unchastity, adoption of children by those in these contractual unions, contractual murder of the unborn, and provision of devices, chemicals and hormones to frustrate the nature of human fruitfulness are certainly VERY sad institutions. They transgress the very law written on man’s heart. Why not talk about that?

  2. CarpeNoctem says:

    You know, I have always supported the idea that “the Church” should not endorse or show favoritism towards political candidates in an election cycle, but this administration is absolutely indefensible; I cannot see any possible way that a Catholic in good conscience could ever give the president or his enablers another run in office.

    I guess my question is, ‘Is there a point of no return when “the Church” (whether that be priests, parishes, diocese, USCCB, or Rome) needs to act and, if not support a candidate, at least declare when one of them is completely incompatible with the needs and interests of a just and good society?’

    Dear God, I hope that a reasonable, viable opponent–from either party or an independent–rises up to be an instrument of deliverance for our nation.

  3. Scott W. says:

    I’m personally confused as to why Archbishop Dolan believes he has any pull with Pres. Obama…or any president for that matter…?

    The confusion may lie in thinking that the Bishop should only speak if he has “pull” with the person he is addressing. Rather, the point is to publically witness to the Truth and exort people to get in line with it. I may not have any pull with a guy about to step over a cliff, but I still have a duty to try and stop him. To digress a bit, here is a document on this issue that every Catholic should study hard considering the continuing onslaught of state-sanctioned perversity:

  4. Gail F says:

    Nicole, are you a real person? If so, then I suppose it has escaped your attention that religious groups (not just Catholics) constantly write to and meet with EVERY administration — and always have — to make sure their rights are maintained? Perhaps you are unaware that churches and organizations made up of people who belong to the same religion have influenced laws and policies in this nation since its founding? Sometimes this has been good, such as when churches banded together to fight slavery and segragation. Sometimes this has been bad, such as when Christian nativists formed groups such as the Know Nothings and the Ku Klux Klan, or when progressive Protestants devised and imposed Prohibition. I find it hard to believe that you don’t know these things, but if you don’t I urge you to study some American history, as well as some honest sociology. There is a lot of fad thinking in sociology, psychology, and other “soft” sciences; but a decent grasp of how people work would prevent you from endorsing a massive social experiment on the poorest and most vulnerable of us (children without parents) to further the selfish desires of adults, in the name of compassion!

    Fr. Z, thanks for posting this. It is a massive assault on religion and if the Catholic church caves, what hope do any Americans have? The state will roll over everyone and the American experiment will be over. I am so glad to hear the USCCB take this on, but I have not heard word one from my bishop on these or any other matters. They’d better hop to it and start talking, and they’d better figure out a way to deal with Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius and the other high profile Catholics who have sold their souls for power. Just as the party currently in charge of the country has been glad to sacrifice industry and medicine to its goals and saddle us with an immense debt it would like to continue to let grow, I believe it is quite willing to let hospitals, social service agencies, schools, and all manner of organizations that don’t agree with its goals shut down for good. Sure, people will suffer until government-run agencies get big enough to take up the slack, but then everything will be uniform and correct. The ends justify the means…

  5. Gail F says:

    Nicole, I’m sorry, I read your post again and see that you didn’t endorse those things. Sorry for mischaracterizing your post.

  6. Archbishop Dolan had a great line in that statement, so great that it will probably be buried by the secular media. He advised President Obama: “push the reset button on your Administration’s approach to DOMA.” That, I think sums it up– like a computer that has gone hopelessly off-course and is more or less frozen and useless, I really do wish that someone could push Obama’s “reset” button.

    Obama really scares me sometimes– 2013 can’t come early enough for me. Today’s headlines are cause for grave concern.

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    Father Z,
    You opened the rabbit hole, so I’ll comment — but only to point out how it is impossible to overestimate the wickedness and devious machinations of this administration.
    The whole purpose of “Project Gunwalker” was to attack the Second Amendment, because the USSC Heller decision and related lower court cases changed the gun control landscape. If you look at the coordinated media stories at the time the project was instituted, complete with quotes from administration officials such as Holder and Clinton, the take-away message was that evil American gun dealers were selling scads of firearms, including automatic weapons, to Mexican drug dealers and smuggling them across the border. Since no such thing was happening, Project Gunwalker was instituted to “walk” the guns to the druglords to make it true. This was intended to provide an excuse to enact more gun control legislation and gut the Second Amendment.
    This administration cannot be trusted. They will betray their friends and allies (Mexico never was informed of this project) and make vast promises with no intention of ever keeping their word.
    I hope the bishops have learned the lesson that you cannot get in bed with a snake, no matter what promises it makes in order to get you into its bed.

  8. Nicole says:

    Hi, Scott,

    Thanks for addressing my confusion. I was not, in fact, confused as to the duties of a Bishop as a “watchdog” of the Faith. He is bound by his office to “bark” whenever such a transgression occurs (within the measure of his prudential judgment). I’m not trying to be argumentative in the least…I think I am going through a real stage of feeling frustrated in regard to the treatment of the US government as if it is a good and valid institution when numerous unborn children are murdered each year. I think this article caused those “feelings” to rise when I saw that the Archbishop did not denounce the institutional government of the US, but rather tried to work with it as if it were still “working” to protect the weak. Now, that is his prudential judgment how he chooses to act…and I am not judging his prudential judgment, as I have no means to do so. I was trying to deal as tactfully as possible with these “feelings” and see if perhaps others shared the same. Thank you for your attention, however, to my confusion.

    Hi, Gail, thanks also for your reply. I understand the tendency to rash judgment present in your first post, I fight with it myself. I agree with most of what you’ve written. However, the good that has been done in this nation, in my belief, is done in spite of the evil of the foundation of the US government; just as God can bring good out of any evil. I appreciate your retraction of what you call mischaracterizing my post… I did not intend to upset you or anyone, but was rather looking for some empathy.

    I will clarify what I thought was implicit in my original post: I do not judge the Archbishop wrong for enacting his prudential judgment as he did, I merely do not understand it. I do not need to understand it, but I do wish I could see the goal he is driving at so as to understand his method. Like I said, I do not need to understand it, but would like to understand it… :)

  9. chantgirl says:

    I think we need only look to Europe and Canada to see where we are headed on this issue. We love our freedom of speech and religion here, but over there you can be taken to court and fined if you say something that is considered to be intolerant, whether about a minority, Islam, homosexuals etc. I am in my early thirties and knowing my peers and how we were not formed with any sort of logic in the “Jesus loves everyone, and so we should accept everyone the way they are, and no one needs to strive for salvation anymore because there’s no way to lose it and no hell”, I do not see this country holding out too much longer on this issue of gay marriage. Once my grandparents’ generation is gone, there will not be too many people with a traditional view of marriage left. Most of us have seen the baby boomer generation so totally disregard the marriage bond with contraception and divorce, that we are left with an altered view of marriage. We may be too far down the path of moral relativism to turn this around quickly, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I could forsee, especially as our country’s debt woes become heavier, that non-profits like Churches could be eyed with envy for their material wealth. If pastors preach hate-speech, what is to stop government from suing the Church for money, denying them tax-exempt status, and fining or jailing pastors and Bishops who speak out against homosexual behavior? This feels like a losing battle to me, but even if if is, I hope Catholics go out with a bang instead of a whimper. I pray that we stand our ground even if we do not have a good chance of success.

  10. chcrix says:

    Two items:

    It is actually the duty of the executive branch to refuse to enforce unconstitutional law. Thomas Jefferson did this with the Alien and Sedition acts. Andrew Johnson fired Stanton in defiance of Congress – and was eventually vindicated. More recently Ed Meese provoked a firestorm of liberal wrath when he made the same observation during the Reagan administration. N.B.: I am not giving an opinion that the DOM act is unconstitutional, just that the Executive has a duty to refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws. (Congress also has a duty not to pass unconstitutional legislation – a duty honored more in the breach than the observance.)

    Second, the USCCB to a degree has reaped what they have sewn. For years they have been numbered among those who supported ‘health care reform’ – in reality the (further) Federalization of health care. Now they are being bitten by provisions they don’t like. If one sues for the favor of the omnipotent state one must be prepared to do its bidding.

  11. Texana says:

    Do you think the American Bishops are re-thinking their vague advice to Catholic voters to vote “with an informed conscience”? Those priests who advised that abortion would always exist no matter who you vote for, so remember to vote for the poor should have to explain their social justice concerns to their parishioners who now fund abortion with their tax dollars around the world. All Catholics must be firm in our defense of life and must proclaim the Church’s teaching against intrinsic evil–even if that goes against the Democrat Party or Republican Party line! I am sick of Bishops, Priests, and lay Catholics who rationalize putting their party allegiance above the Faith! Speak out BEFORE the next election!

  12. James Joseph says:

    It sounds a little tripe [I just can’t stomach this sort of typo! o{];¬) ] but it’s well worth repeating. NAZI Germany didn’t start overnight.

  13. mrose says:


    I sympathize with your confusion, concern, and views about the US of A. The whole “project” of the US of A is a joke, is anti-Catholic, and anti-the One True God. The Bishops and the faithful, all of us, would do well to recognize that we cannot presume this vague and general “good-faith,” we-are-all-out-for-the-Common Good-garbage. How will we be able to fight for the real Truth if we delude ourselves about this much longer?

    The very essence of the US of A is contrary to God and the Catholic religion, not indifferent to it.

  14. Peggy R says:

    Are the bishops really ready to fight this evil? We all must get ready. As some others have said, I have no idea how a remotely believing Catholic can find a way to support this evil administration. Sadly, some will. Look how many work for this evil administration.

    Nicole, our bishops must speak up. It is quite likely true that our Church and bishops have no sway with this evil administration. All the more reason why we must fight for our religious liberty. We don’t only speak up when we have a chance at success. We must speak even louder when we see our views being disregarded. This isn’t something we can just concede. We also can’t wait until a new administration is elected. First, it’s possible O could be re-elected; second, a new admin will have its hands full trying to undo all the awful stuff O has done. And it may decide to leave some things in place, however, bad those policies are.

    St. Thomas More, pray for us!

  15. Nicole says:

    Hi, mrose,

    Thank you for your thoughts and your reply.

  16. Nicole says:

    Hi, Peggy,

    Thanks for the reply…I do not doubt that the bishops must speak up :)

  17. digdigby says:

    “The very essence of the US of A is contrary to God and the Catholic religion, not indifferent to it.”

    And the ‘very essence of united Italy’ is contrary to God and the Catholic religion. Don Bosco and others seemed to roll with the punches and make their peace with it. And don’t even get me started on the ‘essence of Secular France’… I am loyal to my native land and know that this is required of me as a true Catholic.

  18. puma19 says:

    I am not an American citizen so I cannot vote in elections there. But I am a Catholic who believes in the institution of marriage and its sacramentality. Over the past 36 months americans and the world have seen two Obama’s. One is the candidate giving electrifying speeches with impassioned rhetoric and then storming to the ballot victory. The first for a balck man, but actually he is not black – his mum was white, so he is mixed race, not fully black or white. So let’s get off that bandwagon.
    Two, there is the presidency of the last 32 months where we have seen an american economy collapse and flounder.Oh and osama bin laden killed by US military. And then we have the Obama of this period who has shown he supports women who want abortion and who also leans towards gay marriage (I’m sure he will move there if he could). So we have a national leader of the free world supporting the abortion, the murder of an innocent baby in the womb.
    The flood, the surge, the tsunami of the abortion rate across the planet is probably the hidden massacre of the history of mankind’s evolution. And that the president could agree with this, as he does, is just totally immoral.
    So the Archbishop of New York has taken to the pen to write and asks that the DOMA stop attacking the institution of marriage. Quite right and within his right to do as a citizen but more so as a bishop who must speak out on the value of marriage between a man and woman.
    Every bishop acrosss the world should be speaking out and in no fear of what the world thinks. That the president mat not agree, just shows that his moral compass has cracked. The true Barack Obama is coming out. The man with the big smile and shiny teeth, is now shown to be on a moral course that will affect the whole of America’s future.
    Bravo to Arch Dolan and all those bishops who spek out on marriage, the nature of it and the value of it. America is supposed to be a christian country – then may the bishops speak out fearlessly and let the president ponder his own moral turpitude and moral laxity on this very matter.
    He was elected to govern, not to assert or impose a morality he has not right to change.
    Every elected politician needs to remember that and bishops should be fearless, even to the point of shedding blood. The early Church lost thousands of men and women, bishops and popes for speaking out – they lost their heads for the faith. Peter and Paul did – should bishops fear to speak out for the truth and thr rights of the unborn, then they would do best to re-consider their postions.
    Keep speaking out Arch Dolan,

  19. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Nicole, whatever else the U. S. Constitution may contain, it contains freedom of religion. And while what is religion may be obscure to a degree (my own country thinks Scientology isn’t), the Catholic Church certainly is, any other interpretation breachs common sense and, what is more, the Constitution Fathers’ mind. And there is a very clear distinction between freedom and coercion, and between aims the government pursues as directing its day-to-day actions vs. aims it pursues by enforcement.

    Dear @Carpe Noctem, I don’t think favoritism is bad, or I don’t think it is favoritism (choose one) if the Bishop lays down in an official shepherd’s letter his thoughts on which decision is better in an election, and, if existant, also a conclusion and maybe a direction to act accordingly. Why not?

    Dear @James Joseph, Nazi Germany as such took three months to start at highest (from Chancellor Schleicher’s problematic stand to the Enabling Act). I’d count that as pretty much overnight. Nevertheless you’re right on what you mean.

    Dear @chantgirl, it is a losing battle only if not at one point, the Church claims unjust unlawful persecution without, supersedes judgments unchallengable in higher instances by its own decision, and refuses to pay what she is made to pay, as back in the days St. Laurence did. As Ven. Pius XII said to the German Ambassador, “if there is to be a fight between Church and State, State will lose out”.

    Mind you I don’t want this fight to break out. I only like the feeling that while we entirely depend on God’s grace, we do not rely on the State’s grace.

  20. Mdepie says:

    Its a good thing that Archbishop Dolan sent this letter, but the real proof of the pudding will come later: The Democrat party lead by President Obama has now unequivocally done everything in its power to advance the abortion license, is mandating funding of abortifacients and contraceptives and as Fr. Z has noted is determined to force the Church to choose between closing its institutions or retreating into a kind of religious ghetto. It seems to be obvious that if you vote for the Democrats you bear some responsibility for these evils. One wonders if the Bishops will make this clear to the Catholics in the pews this election cycle.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae by St. Leo XIII clarifies that there is no separation of Church and State in that the Church has a right to communicate moral principles to the State and the State is supposed to protect the Church from persecution. Wow! We have come very far from this, partly because of two Modernist heresies, one being Americanism, the other being, what the Masons believe and push, that the Church or any religion, have no say in the public square. Two hundred years of Masonry and one-hundred-and-fifty years of Americanism as a heresy, have finally come to fruition in this complete misunderstanding and, indeed, hatred of the Church in the market place.

    Bishop Dolan has every right, and in fact, necessity, to express what he has. That American Catholics may or may not respond will be the result of the hatred of the Church in politics.

  22. Gabriel Austin says:

    May one presume that Abp. Dolan was speaking for himself and his archdiocese? [No, one may not]. Would it not be more useful and effective were Abp. Dolan were to push ALL the U.S. bishops [and their flocks] to write individually?

    Unfortunately the USCCB tries to give the impression that it is a kind of synod and speaks for the Church in the U.S. It is not, and does not. Each bishop is personally responsible. And, if I may add, personally responsible for the ineffectiveness of the various bureaucratic pamphlets which the USCCB bureaucracy devises.

  23. MarkJ says:

    Get ready for real persecution. Speak the Truth to all. Stand your ground. Pray to St. Michael. Pray to St. Joan of Arc. Pray the Rosary AT LEAST once per day. Go to confession weekly. Go to Traditional Masses. Stay in God’s grace. Pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. Pray the Angelus. In this way we can do our part in holding back the evil that has come upon us. The Battle is real, and we are all called to be loyal and courageous soldiers of the King. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

  24. pm125 says:

    I am relieved that Bishop Dolan sent the letter, I am appalled by the response by the one to whom it was sent.
    Communication to the faithful via church bulletin inserts of a copy of Bishop Dolan’s letter is an absolute, immediate necessity. It seems to me that the insert would be a way to form understanding thoughts of right and wrong in a people so confused by rhetoric. Communication in all diosceses to be read at home, discussed and considered at home. With its appearance, the list of announcements at Mass could include a caution to separate worship at Mass from reading and thoughtful consideration after Mass.

  25. bookworm says:

    “The very essence of the US of A is contrary to God and the Catholic religion, not indifferent to it.”

    Recently I stumbled across a blog post, dating back several years, by a Catholic disgruntled over the way the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had embraced and promoted same-sex “marriage”, and the way in which its (allegedly) Catholic politicians had gone along with it. (Sorry I can’t find the link to it ).

    The post was in the form of a hypothetical letter from a fictional/future pope imposing an interdict on the entire state, forbidding the Sacrifice of the Mass from being offered ANYWHERE inside the state borders, and forbidding administration of the sacraments to ANY elected official or even employee of the state unless they publicly repented and quit their jobs. The whole gist of the post was “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if some future pope/bishop had the you-know-what to do this like popes did back in the Middle Ages?”

    While I understand his concern I’m not so sure I care for the blanket interdict idea, which would, after all, withhold the Sacraments from a lot of innocent people who had nothing to do with the offensive policies and in fact may have opposed them vigorously.

    Still, is it possible it might take something like this — excommunicating not only the pro-abort politicians but withholding the Sacraments from anyone who works for them or lives in their jurisdictions — to get things to change? I hope not.

  26. benedetta says:

    The administration is signaling hostility towards Catholics. And when steps of that sort are taken focus groups can’t be far behind with slurs and hatred. The legislation proposed is irrational. Even a cursory glance into free establishment case law will reflect that what is proposed is way, way, out there, something thought up with no reference to the law of the land but a fantasy based on stereotype and bigotry…”Wouldn’t it be great if we could…etc etc”. A law student could come up with case law on it in seconds. If your average law student can do that…

  27. Peggy R says:

    For the first time, real meaty topics have been filling our diocesan paper (Belleville, IL). 1. IL state’s termination of contracts with Catholic Charities agencies, including our diocese, and 2. The IL bishops’ and US bishops’ statements to the US HHS agency on the new rules which require contraception and sterilization coverage.

  28. revueltos67 says:

    Archbishop Dolan was asleep at the switch during the recent New York SSM fight. He bears a lot of responsibility for that debacle. Maybe he and the rest of our bishops are finally starting to get the picture. Same sex marriage is the tip of the tip of the lance that the secular world is driving into the heart of the Church.

    The bishops must clearly state Catholic teaching and call the faithful to their Catholic duty. Instead we have the case of Fr. Rodriguez in El Paso, a courageous priest who did his duty and was silenced and exiled by his bishop.

  29. moon1234 says:

    What you are looking for does not exist anymore outside of a handful of the modern Bishops. Defending Catholic teaching in the public square is foreign to them. It is not until it is too late, and will do little good, do they grow a backbone (if they grow one at all).

    While Archbishop Dolan is welcome to write a letter, I doubt the Obama administration cares what he thinks. If you believe the polls, most Catholic don’t even believe it. THIS is what emboldens Obama. There is NO consequence for following Obama. No charitable punishment from ANY Bishop ANYWHERE (excommunication) for flagrant, public scandal committed by those in high office.

    If a thief knew he would NOT be punished for stealing, what motive would he have to stop? A letter from the bank asking him to stop stealing or else? Unless there is an ELSE, the thief will continue to steal.

    As to the comment about Nazi Germany forming in a little over three months. If you count the time from when Hitler became chancellor, maybe. Nazi-ism started 20 years earlier. It was a slow creeping incrementalism.

    I applaud the archbishop for sending a letter, but I think it is a little like the jews sending a letter to Hitler to stop arresting them or it will go badly for him. Hitler had a plan. He cared little about what anyone thought of him and those that said something usually were swiftly silenced. Obama is quite the same.

    All of us who saw through this charade before he was even elected were looked down on, shunned, etc. I am telling you it will get much worse before it gets better. Electing a republican in 2013 is not going to matter unless this man is not part of the establishment. The ONLY person I see even remotely possible is Ron Paul. All others will continue the status quo until we live in an orwellian state where expressing gender of any sort will be considered a thought crime.

    How can we expect a politician, who calls himself Catholic, to vote his beliefs if he can do what he wants and nothing happens?

    The USCCB brought this upon themselves, I have to agree with this statement made previously. You can’t lie down with the lions and not expect them to consume you at some point.

  30. puma19 says:

    I have an extra note in light of what has been announced for the BBC in Britain.
    They have decided to drop the BC and AD from their date lines on programmes.

    It will now be the Common Era!!!!
    So, that is where the leftists in the BBC are moving the whole institution,and to take a phrase from Fr Z, it is all happening ‘brick by brick’ – the removal of anything Christian in the public eye or public bodies in Britain. AND, guess what, the BBC chairman is a Catholic, and the head, the CEO, the Director General is a Catholic – yes indeed and it still happens. The head of the religion department at the BBC is a Muslim.

    BUT, have we heard a word from any Catholic bishop, the archbishop fo Westminster? NO, NOT a word. But today in The Mail on Sunday (easy to access on the net) a former anglican archbishop of Canterbury attacks the decision to drop AD and BC. So it takes a former anglican bishop and not a Catholic of the longest tradition to Christ to speak up.

    Is it any wonde these things are being done away with, that no bishop will speak up? What is the matter with them? Why are they afraid of speaking out and condemning such things, in this case some leftists at the BBC whose argument is that AD and BC OFFEND PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS!! So there we have it – loads of other faiths are offended in a Christian country of AD and BC.

    What rubbish. If they were offended they would be raising it with the members of parliament or holding protests. They are not ad thw whole matter is a smokescreen.

    Bravo again to +Dolan and all those bishops who speak out : a sign of contradiction to the world.

  31. whitehusky says:

    I grew up Catholic, pretty much my entire family is. Went to Catholic school my entire life from pre-K to college. I registered to say a few things… First, despite teachings/thoughts to the contrary, the teachings if the Church are not always infallible. For example, see Galileo. [You had better do more reading about both infallibility and Galileo.] Second, the US separates Church and Stare for a reason. [Please point to that in the Constitution.] Not all religious institutions believe that marriage between two individuals of the same sex is wrong. [So what?] Just one example (of many) is the Episcopal Church which performs such marriages. There are many others as well. Why should their tights be infringed [I love typos like that!] because the Catholic Chirch believes its wrong? In a free, equal society no group should have their rights infringed as long as they’re nOt hurting anyone else. [They are indeed hurting people. First, they are hurting themselves. They are also undermining the bonds of society.] Which brings me to my third point… I completely fail to see how the marriage of two same-sex individuals in any way hurts or lessens the marriage of two opposite-sex individuals. They opposite sex people aren’t suddenly less in love, divorced, or spontaneously gay because of it. It just doesn’t make sense to me, and never will. [Indeed? Never?] I’ve heard the procreation arguments (what about old or infertile people?), the “ick” factor (ugh, get over it), the Bible verses (all old testament and very picky, [?!?] and everyone ignores the other ones, plus Jesus and the NT preach love anyway, [He didn’t preach what you are suggesting is “love”.] not to mention there was no concept of what modern society views as “gay” then). [Oh?] Lastly, there’s no “redefinition” of marriage here. Back before the Church even existed, marriage existed and included multiple spouses, etc. If you know ancient history, you’re know that marriage had evolved over thousands of years anyway. (I apologize for any typos, wrote this on my phone.) [I think you are confused about quite a few things. However, I will post this from the moderation queue anyway.]

  32. Kerry says:

    White Huskie, if you confuse the public purpose of marriage with the numerous private reasons people get married, of course you will ask ‘How will that effect me?’ But the public purpose of marriage is to connect children to their biological parents. If a private reason becomes the official, state sponsored reason, in order to allow particular groups to also say, “Yes, see, we’re married”, then by definition anyone or any group opposing said reason will be heretics in the eyes of the state. The word the state uses instead of heretic? Bigot. The enforcers for the state? The EEOC, the justice department, perhaps the IRS. Hades, they’d get the EPA and the DOE involved if they could find a way.

  33. Tom T says:

    moon 1234, I agree with everything you stated in your post. Maybe they should even invite Obama back to Notre Dame and give him another award. This one for motivating bishops to finally stand up and defend Catholic teachings and to take a stand politically. After having been the honored recipient of a prestigious award from a Catholic University, his administration turns around and goes after them in more ways than one and Fr. Jenkins the Jesuit who runs Notre Dame, also wrote a letter to the administration. As has been said, you can`t lie down in bed with a snake without getting bit. Pax

  34. AnAmericanMother says:

    Tom T,

    I thought of another possibility. Fr. Jenkins cannot possibly be so blind as not to see what we all saw ahead of time. He certainly got enough letters warning him of the danger.

    What if the awarding of a degree to Obama was an attempt to buy time or to curry favor with the administration to avoid being forced into these HHS directives? While it was obvious to everybody with two brain cells to rub together that Obama’s entire background was not just doctrinaire Marxist but classic Stalinist, it was a little harder to see exactly how ruthless he was going to be (though anybody looking at his conduct during his campaigns for State and U.S. senator would have seen that), or how swiftly he would move to radicalize Washington.

    Fr. Jenkins at least then would not be completely naive and stupid — just vainly hoping that he could cut a deal for his school, not realizing that he was dealing with completely immoral and shameless people. Sort of a Neville Chamberlain syndrome.

  35. AnAmericanMother says:


    I’m going to take a stab at this, although I’m not sure we’re even speaking the same language here.

    This is not about what you like, what I like, or even what the absolute moral law may be.

    This is about the government — those guys with the money and guns — forcing free Americans to do something against which they have the strongest religious objections.

    No matter what your religion or even if you have no religion, you should be profoundly disturbed by this administration threatening citizens in order to force them to act in a particular way. All the talk about ‘hate crimes’ and ‘discrimination’ has no basis in law or fact — it is just rhetoric designed to influence the general public to think of other citizens as “Lebensunwerte” – not worthy of the protection of the laws, not worthy of freedom, and ultimately not worthy of life, non-persons.

    You should recognize this because this road has been taken before – and it did not end well for anybody involved.

  36. Nicole says:

    Hi, AnAmericanMother –

    To my knowledge, no men armed with guns have been marched into the Catholic hospitals or other institutions yet to “force” (I think coerce is the correct word) the administrations to take their employees’ wages at gunpoint to pay for abortions of others through the provision of a communal health insurance. Also, I don’t know of any abortions, provision of abortafacients and contraceptives being issued at gunpoint, either.

    That being said, no one, to my knowledge, is forcing the Catholic hospitals and institutions to provide these communal insurance plans or fecundity frustrating services. They may be seriously being coerced, but forcing makes an act which is against the will of the one being forced…while acts performed under coersion are willful acts of the one being coerced. These Catholic organizations would probably be much better off changing their policies so that they do not have to take any of their employees wages for insurance plans. It seems more fitting with subsidiarity anyway for a company to allow a person to purchase an insurance plan privately if he wishes to have one at all. Perhaps they should close their doors on any sort of federal funding (if they get any already) so that the feds have nothing to say about the services provided behind the doors of the Catholic organizations.

    Most people think that this would cause these organizations to close their doors for good, and it might for some of them, but, in fact, with sound business management, they could still thrive and prosper. The problem is that most people managing “business” ventures or anything to do with “money” are inept… They depend upon a pyramid scheme of federal funding and other loans to keep doors open, creating an illusion of cash flow. If solid business principles (not the usurious business principles which are most common) are applied to Catholic institutions, however, there is no reason that I can see that they should have to close their doors across the board. They may have to tighten up their belts to a degree that no one will relish, but when it’s time to rip off the band-aid (the illusionary and deceptive appearance of wealth and prosperity) it’s best not to worry about the hairs that may get pulled in the process.

  37. AnAmericanMother says:

    Government is force. Disguised, made palatable, threatened rather than actual, but force nonetheless.
    If you don’t pay your taxes (or don’t include contraception and abortion in your employee benefits), first the government files a bureaucratic complaint or a civil action against you. But then they get a judgment, and if you refuse to pay the judgment, then there is a levy on your property, then if you refuse to turn it over, the guys with guns come and make you turn it over. Ultimately, it’s about force.
    While your advice to purchase ones own policy is sound, all other things being equal, all other things are NOT equal. Because of the asymmetry that’s developed in the markets due to all the coverage mandates, you can NOT purchase your own health insurance at any reasonable rate. A look at the COBRA rates is all you need to know that. It will take major readjustments to make that feasible — and Obamacare isn’t helping: average premiums went up this year over $1500 due to the various mandates imposed, and they aren’t even all in effect yet. 2014 is when it’s really going to bite, and most employers will probably drop insurance coverage as a benefit at that time. So really all HHS is doing is hitting the Catholic institutions a couple of years early, probably just out of hatefulness and spite.
    That is the reason that we have in this country a Constitution which is supposed to protect citizens from overweening government interference . . . because government action always carries the implication or promise of force if you refuse to obey.
    This administration is trashing the Constitution.

  38. AnAmericanMother says:

    Oh – I forgot.
    This mandate has NOTHING to do with federal funding. It has to do with the Commerce Clause. Taking or not taking federal dollars makes no difference, every employer over a certain number of employees (I think it’s 50) has to toe the line. Or else.

  39. Nicole says:

    Well, AnAmericanMother,

    My personal belief is that purchasing health insurance is most unnecessary and even detrimental to society. I don’t have health insurance. If I have some health issue, I have to scrape together the cash to pay for it, which I think is most fair and just. It seems to me that if more people were to stop buying insurance (which is really more akin to gambling) and actually pay for their medical visits, the cost of what is called “health care” would come down drastically AND a lot of the gratis “health care” provided to women under the guise of “family planning” would likely be diminished to practically nil.

    It doesn’t really make sense also to me how the Commerce Clause can be used against diocesan institutions, unless they cross state borders, but that’s just me.

    Also, your notion of government being force screams to my ears of “congregationalism,” that is, the anarchic religion upon which the New England colonies were founded (re: the Puritan religion). Government is not force; when it is true, it is an establishment of authority which protects the weak from the mighty. All authority comes from God, hence government comes from God. There is no reason to speak of government as if it were a despicable institution. A particular failed government can be despicable, but government in general is not.

    Referring to government as if it is force and thereby despicable is very akin in my mind to the notion that we obey God merely because he’s the biggest bully on the block, when in reality it is that He is all good and worthy of all our love.

    The Constitution was trashed long ago…by Abraham Lincoln, in fact. It’s not a document founded upon solid rock anyway, but rather on agnostic and congregationalist principles. I find it very comical how most people seem to hold the US Constitution as infallible :)…when it is far from it, as evidenced by the amendments to it and the suspension of it.

  40. AnAmericanMother says:

    Believe me I am in complete sympathy with your views — and all other things being equal I would probably subscribe to them. Unfortunately, I’m on the front line with reality here.
    If you own nothing, have no children, and have no wages to be garnished, you can “go bare” and not carry health insurance. That is how so many illegals and indigents are able to use hospital emergency rooms for free — the hospital just writes the costs off because you can’t get blood from a turnip.
    But if you have any assets at all — a small business, say, or a house in which you have equity, or a regular paycheck, if you have no health insurance and get a serious illness you will lose them all. Your assets will be seized and your paycheck garnished. There are limits, of course, but they are pretty theoretical given the cost of things these days (the exemptions haven’t kept up).
    My husband was recently diagnosed with leukemia. If we did not have health insurance through my job, his chemotherapy would have absorbed every asset we have, leaving us without a home or income. One bad automobile accident will do the same thing.
    That is why insurance was created in the first place (long ago, under a monarchy, by one Nicholas Barbon). The risk is pooled and spread over many so that one person doesn’t take the fatal hit. It is wagering only in the vaguest sense, since unless it’s a catastrophic policy everybody winds up filing a few claims.
    The cost of medical care has been badly distorted, by various mandates and paperwork requirements set by state insurance commissioners as well as federal authorities, by insurers trying to game the system, and by those who do not pay but simply show up at the emergency room and drive up the price for everyone else.
    As a result, going bare is not the answer, unfortunately. At least until there’s systemic reform.
    My views on government are similarly formed by the reality on the ground. The Congregationalists had less input than you would suppose at the Constitutional Convention. The Puritans’ “city on the hill” was long gone by that time, and the old Mass Bay Colony theocrats were looked on as curiosities.
    If monarchy was such a great thing, why Magna Carta? (Bad King John, that’s why, although Kipling had an alternative explanation). Unfortunately, humans being fallible creatures, government as instituted by man is filtered through Original Sin as much as any other work of man. Therefore government must itself have checks on the power of government and guarantees of the individual rights of the citizens.
    I wrestle with the law on a daily basis. I certainly don’t worship the Constitution or think it’s infallible, but while it’s battered about by the courts and special interests, as a practical matter it remains about the best balance between government power and individual rights that we have going.

  41. AnAmericanMother says:

    . . . and don’t get me started on Lincoln! He’s been in bad odor around here for years.

  42. Nicole says:

    Hi, AnAmericanMother –

    I hear what you’re saying… I hope the best for your family on the path to perfection in Christ.

    However, I do know a friend who owns a small business and has done for approximately 22 years now. He does not have any sort of health insurance. He got into a bad accident on his motorcycle seven years ago, but paid all expenses out of pocket. He also had to stop production in his shop until he recovered. Due to frugal living and sound business practices he was able to do this.

    I know not everyone knows how to do this, but I don’t buy that the answer is insurance. I know it’s what is given as an answer to us right now in the USA…hopefully that will change.

    As a matter of history, I wasn’t talking about congregationalist presence at the Constitutional Convention. I was talking about the original arrival of them in the New England area, where they were colonizers. Their beliefs are still rampant around Eastern and Midwestern USA, even among those who claim the name “catholic.”

    The Magna Carta is no good reason to deem monarchy (or government for that matter) bad. :) The imposition of the Magna Carta upon the King for him to sign, whether he was bad or not, was an evil act (unless the Pope bade the clergy and barons to do so…which he didn’t). It’s like saying that as soon as we’re dissatisfied with the way that Jesus Christ is reigning as King, we can impose a charter upon Him to sign to limit His freedom to live His office by our discretion. That’s pretty much usurpation and insanity….authority reigns and rains from the top down, from above to below, from God to us…not from the bottom up, or from the people to their rulers.

    Nice to see that someone else doesn’t hold Abraham Lincoln as a beatus…

  43. Tom T says:

    Nicole, I am not going to thrust myself in the middle of this discussion, it`s pointless and serves no purpose. Allow me to just with regard to your reference about force; in Illinois Catholic adoption services have already closed down due to the laws that conflict with their beliefs of not allowing same sex couples to adopt children. To me, that is force. Manipulated force by law, nevertheless, it is force. American Mother I know that Fr. Jenkins saw this coming however, the mind set in liberal Catholic universities is political correctness and diversity welcomed. There is a Domican college in Northern Calif. that invited Kennedy a pro-choice, pro gay marriage advocate to head a summer lecture seires. There has been a liberal left wing often disguised push by Catholic universities and organizations such as JPIC and others including the Theological Union in Chicago Ill. to push election of pro-choice Democratic politicians under the misguided belief that they will change things for poor woman thereby reducing the need for abortions. I know because I`ve gotten into some serious discussions with some theologians, priests, from CTU.and with some priests that were supporting JPIC and other UN objectives all this while a good many liberal bent bishops were looking the other way which is the reason why I`ve seen Obama stickers on the bumpers of cars at Mass. Now my view on your take of the Constitution is easy to pin point.
    There are two views to the constitution one being the fluid changing with society, such as the liberal progressive view that Justice Breyer suscribes to as he basis his decisions on the results of settled cases from world courts. Then there is the conservative view such as Anthony Scalia that believes it is what it is, amendments and all and dosen`t change with the fads or popular opinion.
    All this can be summed up ratherly easily although not simply by reducing the thought to basic common denomenators. There is the liberal, progressive, modern view and the traditional conservative view and not surprisingly it is a world wide struggle. A struggle that in fact actually starts in Rome and filters down even to parishes. There are, without running the risk of over simplification the same struggles going on throughout the world in one country or another and in some, say Great Britian, the liberals have already succeded in accomplishing much of what they wanted.
    Anyway, just my thoughts for in the what it`s worth department. Pax

  44. schmenz says:

    The Bishops (and that includes the Head Bishop, in Rome) have no idea of the power they possess because, to tell the truth, they have rarely if ever used it. I assure you that if backbones were grown and thunderous language came from the pulpits again the US Administration would be very afraid. Let us face up to the facts. It is no longer possible not to smell the foul breath of the Evil One behind all this; our government has reeked of this stench for at least a century and is now emboldend because it senses (correctly) a weakness in the Church. That weakness exploded into public view forty years ago and the Enemy was not slow to take advantage of it. But the evil forces cower in the face of C atholic truth.

    Too many Catholics today, fed banalities and platitudes and rubbish every Sunday, have lost their “sensus Catholicus” in droves. But even despite this, despite everything, the sleeping giant will awaken if the authorities, the leaders, start to have courage and speak out and act. They must get their own houses in order at the same time: dismissal of immoral and/or heretical clerics, the ending of homo “ministries” and homo “masses”, ceasing the use of the word “gay” to describe this most unspeakable perversion, the restoration of dignity and holiness in their trite novus ordo, etc.

    When a Catholic lion at last starts to roar things will change. Yes, a bloody persecution could follow. But isn’t the blood of martyrs the seed of the Church? Archbishop Dolan used to be our Ordinary here in Milwaukee and he was, at best, a mere politician. And he has, alas, in New York, tolerated displays of homo “masses” in his diocese. But if he is at last waking up to the imminent danger then I applaud him and will pray for him and will join him in his fight.

  45. AnAmericanMother says:

    I hear you. I’m somewhat pragmatic, but basically a strict constructionist/originalist myself.
    I think you’re right about the mindset at ND and other schools. I think it’s a function of being in a cushy position with other academics for whom nothing is ever quite real, plus the pernicious liberal belief that humans are ‘really’ good at heart. You wish some of these priests had done time in a tough parish before heading to the ivory tower.
    When they meet real, ruthless Stalinists they are like so many helpless sheep before the wolves. I’m reminded of an old ‘Ding’ Darling cartoon where the usual totty-headed American “parlor pinks” are regarding with shock and horror bloody footprints and a large sign: “To the Leninist-Stalinist mass slaughter pens”. They’ re always so surprised.

  46. Tom T says:

    schmenz, Right on. I have been pretty critical of Archbishop Dolan in several of my posts and on his blog and so have many others who see what is going on in New York. I have also been critical of Bishop Hubbard who allows the pro-choice, pro-gay, divorced with a live in girl friend, Gov.Cuomo of New York, to recieve Holy Communion to the delight of the liberal press in the Cathedral in Albany, and no one says a word. I`ve been scolded by a certain Msgr. who has his own blog and I may be wrong in saying what I believe has to be said however, when you have an aricle sent out to diocesan newspapers across the country by the Catholic News Service an independent arm of USCCB praising Secretary H. Solis, as reported in Catholic Culture (Sept. 2), as a model Catholic politician while ignoring her 100% voting record and rating on the sanctity of life from (NARAL Pro-Choice America) for her uncompromising support of legalized abortion while serving as a congresswoman in Calif. where she even opposed restrictions on partial birth abortions, someone has to speak out. I`ve been defending birth and opposing abortion for a very long time and when you have mixed messages as these, political in nature, coming from the one group of bishops we should count on to have our backs when it comes to abortion, it gets very discouraging.
    I am with you though, if the good Archbishop has finally seen the light, I am with him all the way
    with prayers and support. I do get weary. Pax

  47. benedetta says:

    Nicole, I am confused as to your statements that on the one hand this government is evil but then you say also that it is from God. Further you make numerous derisive statements about the United States Constitution and say that people regard it as “infallible”.

    I think that while authority is from God, and like all is sustained in God, government and particularly US government, the theoretical structure is neutral. If you would like to argue about the hypothetical merits of monarchy you certainly are free to do so. But what would be the point in that exercise compared with the realities that are at work and which we must face and address, Bishops and laity. We can pretend that it is not happening or say numerous descriptive things about the Constitution I supposed but why is that better use of time in your estimation than the USCCB sending a letter to President Obama.

    The Constitution is what we have to work with. Understanding how it works is certainly not to enshrine it as in worship. It is a document. There are laws. Laws are proposed and the electorate participates in discussion.

    I really can’t support derision of Bishops at this point at all on this or much else. It has become apparent to me that all Bishops, every one, is under attack. Each may respond differently to finding themselves in that situation, knowing themselves, their limitations, their abilities, and their flocks.

    We can discuss how what has happened in liturgy and catechesis has led quite firmly and consistently to the day we find ourselves in. Some of the things done even the denounced liberal Bishops I am sure do not personally support but find themselves in a frightening and threatening situation and permit certain things. But all of that, as far as I am concerned is water under the bridge, gone and in the past. Today is a new day and what must be faced does not mean well for liberalism or for whatever you wish to label your beliefs, whatever category (probably big damage has been done just in the divisive labeling of each other to begin with). But much of what is currently cloaked as liberalism means well for no Catholic of whatever stripe even if they want this health care with the sterilization and the free pill. It isn’t about the pill anymore just like the proposal in Ireland isn’t about the confessional entirely. We need to support our Bishops and priests in this time in whatever way we are able. We need to support the Church. And yes, legal precedent and the Constitution is relevant to what is faced.

    I also think it is a rabbit hole to talk about how God is or is not in the Constitution and the framers intent and all the rest. All of that is obiter dicta to the issues at hand at this point. It might be fun to read up on history and consider it all yet when it comes to a legal challenge none of that is necessary to make a good case against these governmental actions.

  48. Tom T says:

    Benedetta, Your point about derision is well taken. There are some excellent bishops in the Church whom I love, pray for and support. Two come to mind who say what they mean, mean what they say and defend Catholic teaching even if it means criticizing popular politicians, and they are Archbishop Chaput and Archbishop Gomez. The days of the sheep following the shephards blindly are quite frankly over, ended. People have woke up to the realities of the differances between them and as a perfect exaample I might refer if you will, to the bishop in Canada who suspended the elderly and devout Fr. Gionet for a homily condemning the acts of abortion and homosexuality because, are you ready for this; the mayor of the town is homosexual.
    And further, I am sorry for the labels but if you look around honestly with eyes open, I believe you will find more often than not it is the traditional, conservative Catholics and bishops who being, in your word derided, and with such a hatred and vengenance that I have never seen in the Church before. Now you can ignore all this and go your merry submissive way, but you do so at your own risk and that of course is probably what has brought us to the state we now find ourselves in. One final point, liberalism, and again I am sorry for the labels, I did`nt create them, they are what they are, can pretty much adopt to anything that comes along from the Govt. or elsewhere because the basic idea is that everything is acceptable ie; if you want to have dancing girls in ballet outfits dancing on the alter, that`s ok as long as you have a liberal minded bishop and the pastor is fine with it. Where as a traditionalist or conservative if you will, won`t accept that which they believe goes against Church norms and approved traditions but of course if you don`t believe in labels or really don`t know what the differance is, it won`t really matter. Oh, and by the way, when I post my criticizism about the USCCB or certain bishops, I don`t make this stuff up, the information comes from reliable sources that I post when I make my comments. Pax.

  49. benedetta says:

    Tom T, I don’t regard liberalism or modernism for that matter a mere label. But to corral the majority of believers into one group or another, recognizing that there are polls, surveys and a great deal of anecdotal experience that shouldn’t be denied, doesn’t necessarily, to me, convey the full picture of what is going on.

    It is true that people must choose between political party and then sometimes holding one’s nose and sometimes with much jingoism register with one or another and then vote for one party or one party’s candidate, or the other.

    However to say that the Church is a spinoff of those is reductionist (but totally understandable) and I think ultimately the labels are utilized in the first case by those who, albeit may attend church from time to time, do not respect or mean well for the unity of the Church. Both “sides” do it although in my experience one side does it much more commonly in bad faith when it comes to souls and their salvation and it points to a lack of profession of faith by those who employ it, regardless of their affiliations.

    I certainly don’t think that we should ignore or pretend, deny or repress the facts. What you say has happened cannot be denied. But given my experience I am not so certain that even the Bishops who have permitted all that you describe and then target others have done so freely and without certain aspects of coercion. It is not necessarily freely chosen, whether from the average believer or in the case of a Bishop who lets it happen or even appears to support. I think that there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to all of this. But the ones taking the fullest advantage of the divisions these have called are not going to be the liberals. Many do not necessarily even know it yet and I pray that they are unharmed. Let’s put it this way, the easiest targets in the Church were picked off by this current a long time ago. And we have the Holy Fathers we have for important and significant reasons, even with all that is going on and what may or may not be to our preferences.

    We can all talk about the Constitution and the framers, and we can discuss the electorate. Then we can discuss legislation and governmental action. But it has come to this: is there widespread and chosen (meaning, freely with all the facts apparent and known and the opportunity to make a free choice) support in this country for laws to be proposed from the starting point that God does not exist and that people who believe in God are rightly disrespected. Are liberals (and whatever the voter registration or variety) ready to sign off on proceeding towards everything as if there is consensus among the people that there is no God and legislate and make policy according to that value and belief and faith system (and it is a belief system). We should have an opportunity to discuss it openly and consider what the people truly want. I am not saying that laws need to assume any religion. The government is and should be secular. This democracy exists in the context of religious pluralism, people are free to choose belief or no belief. Just as we are not interested in the state adopting religion, most of us are not interested in the state adopting atheism for all.

    Can anyone point to a republic or other sort of nation in which the laws proceed from state atheism which is working well. Not just the cash although that is an aspect. How about others, did they succeed, either, in, promoting and finally establishing atheism, for one, or, for providing in excellent way for the people their propaganda said they were serving. Most of the nations that are still proceeding on that basis admit that they cannot finally stamp out God or faith from the daily lives of their citizens. At the same time energized with that power and viewpoint, governmental action has real consequences which are not kind to the virtue of tolerance over time. We should hold these events to the light and look at them carefully and discern what is best going forward, for all.

  50. Imrahil says:

    But how can a religiously neutral state even evade the fate of descending down to state atheism? Only if the people are religious enough.

    The religiously and ideologically neutral state needs religion to remain religiously and ideologically neutral. Reinhard Cardinal Marx

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