There has been extensive commentary, outside the mainstream media, about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to feature clergy or official prayer at the memorial service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The event will also dedicate the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan. This writer fully concurs with those who find this decision an affront to the survivors of the thousands of victims who were and are religious. (more…)
Yearly Archives: 2011
Today, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are celebrating the installation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. The question thus arises why Nicholas P. Cafardi, Dean Emeritus of the Duquesne Law School, would publish an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer both maligning and accusing Archbishop Chaput of propagating a “one-issue” Catholic Church. That issue, of course, is abortion, a practice that Archbishop Chaput has consistently reminded all Catholics, including Catholic politicians, should be opposed rather than supported.
To imply that Archbishop Chaput does not care about the “broad spectrum of values,” such as caring for the poor and immigrants, is simply silly. This accusation will gain no traction among those who know the archbishop and his 23 years of revitalizing the dioceses of Rapid City, South Dakota and Denver, Colorado. It’s the predictable accusation of Catholics, like Carfardi, who have publicly supported political candidates, such as Barack Obama, with indisputable records of support for abortion. (more…)
It is well known the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) forces health care plans to provide coverage of abortion and use our tax dollars to pay for abortion. In addition, PPACA does not protect the conscience rights of health care insurers, providers, and personnel who decline to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
In response, H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, was introduced by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R, NE-01) on March 17, 2011. The Senate companion legislation is S. 1467 by the same name.
The legislation amends PPACA “to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary (in the case of individual coverage) without penalty.”
It also applies similar guidance to the state health insurance exchange programs and becomes retroactive to when PPACA was signed into law by President Obama as if the language was included.
President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sabelius, a Catholic, are rushing to ensure the people are not heard and this critical piece of legislation never reaches the President’s desk. On February 18, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services used its regulatory power to remove what was left of conscience rights for health care professionals. On August 1, 2011, they also issued orders requiring health plans to cover contraception and sterilization and on January 20, 2012 that rule became official.
We must speak out and protect our conscience rights!
Click here to contact Congress today.
It was long in coming: An August 26 open letter signed by many of the Catholics who have cheered on President Obama and his administration have asked that the health care policy be changed to allow conscience protection for religious institutions.
Among the signatories are Professors Fr. Thomas Reese of Georgetown, Lisa Sowie Cahill of Boston College, Margaret Steinfels of Fordham, and Nicholas Cafardi of Duquesne. All are Obama supporters, and all signed a 2009 letter circulated by Professor Stephen Schneck of the Catholic University of America in defense of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius when, because of her support for abortion, she was not to receive communion.
Now, ironically, these same Catholic, Obama supporters are asking Secretary Sebelius to change a policy that would force Catholic institutions to offer contraception and abortion in the name of “health care.” Their 2009 letter described Sebelius as “a woman of deep faith” but obviously not deep enough to care about using the power of the government to close down Catholic hospitals that would not abide by HHS policy. (more…)
Vice President Joseph Biden is, by all accounts, an amiable man. He’s also a Catholic, a fact he alludes to fairly often, especially on the campaign trail. Both his amiability and Catholicism lead one to believe he would respond appropriately to the most basic form of cruelty and injustice.
That’s not the case, however. Biden spoke yesterday at Sichuan University in Chengdu, Sichuan China on our nation’s growing debt. In comparing China to the U.S. Biden made the following comment on China’s monstrous “one child policy”:
“What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.” (more…)
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, rightly observes a “Catch-22″ in the Obama administration’s decision to mandate that all health care plans offer free contraceptive and sterilization services to women.
Donohue points out that the exception made for religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals, is a sham. That exception applies only to religious institutions “that primarily employs, and serves, persons who share its religious tenets.” (more…)
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the pro-abortion, “Catholic” former Governor of Kansas, announced today that birth control will be provided as part of all insurance plans at no cost to women. This comes less than two weeks after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report recommending that the “full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity” be provided at no cost and without co-pays. This is part of a series of recommendations that the IOM provided HHS with regard to the no-cost preventive services for women. Pro-life organizations condemned the findings both during the IOM hearings and after they were published because pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented. While the announcement itself had been expected, the timing was unusual. Even though Sebelius informally promised a judgment by August 1st, what is surprising is that she took very little time to review the IOM report prior to making a decision. In this case, it appears that the decision was already made; the IOM recommendation was a mere formality. (more…)
On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report they are marketing as “Greater use of preventive care could have a profound impact on the nation’s health. The IOM identifies which services are important to women’s health and well-being and should be covered under the Affordable Care Act.”
The pro-abortion/pro-birth control community is toasting this report and it will likely be used repeatedly as justification for their cause.
We at Catholic Advocate thought it was important to share the thoughts of the Catholic Medical Association on the report. At the end of their articulate assessment of the report, they call on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reject this report. Unfortunately, past decisions by Kathleen Sabelius, the former Governor of Kansas and a Catholic, lead us to believe she will embrace this report. (more…)
Catholic Advocate’s Deal Hudson & Matt Smith today released the following statement regarding the quadrennial Faithful Citizenship document:
Every four years the Catholic bishops publish a document entitled “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” If tradition holds, a new version of “Faithful Citizenship” is due to be approved at the bishops’ annual Baltimore meeting in November.
We’re told that no substantial edits are being made to the 2008 version of the document, so that we can expect the 2012 version to be roughly the same as its predecessor.
If so, this is a problem and needs to be remedied. The 2008 version of “Faithful Citizenship” contains several passages (Sections 34-37) that are capable of overly broad interpretation. Groups like Catholics United and Catholic Democrats cherry-picked the following passage from Section 35 for prominent display on their web sites and in their printed materials.
“There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.” [emphasis added]. (more…)