The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement today clarifying points made by Vice President Biden during last night’s debate. The USCCB should be commended for setting the record straight. Statement follows:
October 12, 2012
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
We’d like to share this special prayer with you today with the hopes that you’ll bring it to mass with you this weekend and share it with your friends, family and fellow parishioners. Please follow this link to print copies today.
AN ELECTION YEAR PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL WITNESS OF CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES
By His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke,
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
O Lord Jesus Christ,
You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
In Your Church You show us the Way,
You teach us the Truth, and You give us Your Life.
Grant, we humbly beg You,
that, always and in all things, we may
be faithful to You in Your Holy Church,
and to Your Vicar on Earth, the Supreme Pontiff,
Pope Benedict XVI.
Grant also, we beg You,
that, in these times of decision,
all who profess to be Catholic
and who are entrusted with the sacred duty
to participate in public life,
may, by the strength of Your grace,
unwaveringly follow Your Way and
faithfully adhere to Your Truth,
living in You with all their mind and heart,
for Your greater glory, the salvation of souls,
and the good of our nation. Amen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America,
Pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Patron of Religious Freedom,
Pray for us.
Many have expressed concern about Cardinal Dolan closing the Democratic National Committee Convention in prayer. The Diocese of Charlotte has posted the C-SPAN footage of his closing benediction. Watch as one of the first things he does is pray for the unborn and then he transitions to our most cherished liberties.
The full text of the prayer appears below [certain sections highlighted in bold]:
With a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love:
Let us Pray.
Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.
We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.
We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.
We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.
We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.
And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.
And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.
For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”
So dear God, bless America. You who live and reign forever and ever.
Last night at the Democratic National Convention, activist Sandra Fluke was given a prime time, network slot to continue her campaign to rewrite history. In case you have forgotten, Ms. Fluke gained fame when pro-abortion supporters in Congress attempted to have her testify at a hearing about the Obama administration’s infringements on our religious liberties. Plain and simple, Ms. Fluke is an abortion activist – period. But that is not the worst part…
In her speech last night, Ms. Fluke looked straight into the camera and called people who believe in the Sanctity of Life “extreme” and “bigoted voices”.
This convention could be renamed the Abortion Convention, and I don’t think a single participant would blink an eye! The platform that was ratified at the beginning of the week reads, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.” And last night alone we heard from Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood who praised the president for all he has done for the abortion movement, and get this—the ring leader of the George Soros funded “Nuns on the Bus” who insists that the laws protecting the unborn are “beyond my paygrade.” Didn’t we hear that once before from a certain candidate?
Don’t be fooled by the president’s posturing to return “God” to the faith section of the platform after backlash from Catholic Advocate and numerous other groups. This very moment, the Department of Health and Human Services is working to finalize the rules for implementing tax-payer funded abortions under Obamacare.Weren’t we told the Executive Order prevented the abortion funding?
The new Introductory Note to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility reads, “The moral and human challenges outlined in the second half of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship remain pressing national issues. In particular, our Conference is focused on several current and fundamental problems, some involving opposition to intrinsic evils and others raising serious moral questions: Continuing destruction of unborn children through abortion and other threats to the lives and dignity of others who are vulnerable, sick, or unwanted;”
It is a sad and disappointing day when one of our political parties so aggressively embraces a culture of death.
We need to remember—life comes first. To care about life is to care about everything.
At the conclusion of the Prayer Vigil for the Unborn held on November 27, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI composed a prayer asking God to bless families and to inspire society to embrace each and every life. Please join us today and take a moment to say this prayer.
You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless you.
Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg you.
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.
Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
and no one endures suppression or injustice.
Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
so that young families can serenely embrace
the birth of new children.
Console the married couples who suffer
because they are unable to have children
and in Your goodness provide for them.
Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
the consolation of your divine Heart.
Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
in whose womb you took on our human nature,
we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior,
the strength to love and serve life,
in anticipation of living forever in You,
in communion with the Blessed Trinity.
Catholic Advocate President Matt Smith issued the following statement in response to President Obama “affirming” he believes same-sex marriage should be legal during an interview with ABC News today:
“Once again, the President is spending time advancing an anti-Catholic agenda. Marriage was created long before any government came into existence. It is a settled issue in the eyes of the Catholic Church and should not be redefined.
“First, the Obama administration takes away grant money helping victims of sex-trafficking over the Church refusing to refer the victims for abortions. Then the Obama administration violates our religious liberties by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as the President’s health care law is being implemented. And now, should his advocacy for same-sex marriage succeed, Catholic institutions could be forced once again to violate our beliefs.
“Many faithful Catholics were fooled by clever political rhetoric in 2008. This year, the anti-Catholic record of the Obama administration should inform their vote.”
There is news in Washington this morning that NARAL Pro-Choice America will endorse 22 House Democrats, two of which are running for the United States Senate this year, and two of which are Catholic. (NARAL stands for National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws)
The announcement this morning begins the NARAL political action committee’s 2012 activity with an event to honor supporters of abortion rights and to hand out $51,000 in donations to their campaign committees.
“The day after the March for Life the abortion lobby once again proves they don’t take a break,” said Catholic Advocate President Matt Smith. “Pro-life constituents for these Members of Congress need to remember on Election Day the fact they have been endorsed by a leading pro-abortion group.” (more…)
Catholic Advocate felt come November, the Republican party nominee must be more than an alternative to President Obama. They must be a trusted conservative leader who has never wavered on the core issues most important to people of faith.
This year, we’ll be forced to defend our pro-life, pro-family beliefs.
Catholic Advocate is ready to lead the charge and make this the year we stop the destructive, secular agenda that has been gaining ground in recent years.
Pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage politicians will try desperately to convince voters that their anti-faith policies are best for America.
That’s why Deal Hudson and Matt Smith put together a list of ten ways progressives will try to mislead voters. We urgently need your help to sound the alarm about these issues. Please print this off to share or email to your friends and family and ask them to do the same.