Cardinal George of Chicago asks whether or not the Church will be forced to sacrifice her charitable institutions in the next few years. I believe that this is the ultimate goal of the B.O. administration. Mammon doesn't like competition. . .and right now, the Church is the only force standing in the way of Mammon's near total control of our lives.
Why does a governmental administrative decision now mean the end of institutions that have been built up over several generations from small donations, often from immigrants, and through the services of religious women and men and others who wanted to be part of the church’s mission in healing and education? Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.
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What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.
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Practically, we’re told that the majority of Catholics use artificial contraception. There are properly medical reasons, in some circumstances, for the use of contraceptive pills, as everyone knows. But even if contraceptives were used by a majority of couples only and exclusively to suppress a possible pregnancy, behavior doesn’t determine morality. If it can be shown that a majority of Catholic students cheat on their exams, it is still wrong to cheat on exams. Trimming morality to how we behave guts the Gospel call to conversion of life and rejection of sin.
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The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.
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Kudos to the Good Cardinal for this article!
The most distressing part of this scandal is speed and eagerness with which some Catholics--including whole institutions and religious orders--have raced to the emperor's temples to toss their handful of incense on the altars' braziers.
In the name of serving the poor (with tax dollars), these Catholics have sacrificed (quite literally) the lives of the children they claim to serve. In their utilitarian moral calculus, the loss of our religious liberty and the funding of mortal sin are acceptable prices for us to pay for universal health care (assuming that's what ObamaCare is giving us).
This will be a long Lent, folks.___________________
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