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What the Holy Father and others are saying about conscience protections…

1-26-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 3 Comments
POPE MEETS ARCHBISHOP DOLAN DURING MEETING WITH BISHOPS FROM NEW YORK ON 'AD LIMINA' VISITS

Here are four powerful statements on the importance of conscience protections. One by the Holy Father the day before the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued their final rule mandating health insurance plans cover sterilization, abortifacient, and birth control and then three in response.

We at Catholic Advocate particularly appreciate the call to action by Cardinal-designate Dolan and Archbishop Gomez. You can click here to visit our action center to answer their call and join your voice with others upset about this attack on our Church.

Pope Benedict XVI

Address to the Bishops of the United States of America no their “Ad Limina” Visit

Thursday, January 19, 2012 (note this is the day before the HHS rule was announced)

“…it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

“Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society…”

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

USCCB website, Friday, January 20, 2012

“Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.

“Let your elected leaders know that you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you want the administration’s contraceptive mandate rescinded.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities

Addressing the National Prayer Vigil for Life opening Mass, January 22, 2012

Bishops Decry HHS Rule, Urge Catholics to Stand Up for Religious Liberty and Conscience Rights in Homilies at Vigil for Life

“Never before in our US History has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs. At issue here as our President of the Conference stated it this past Friday, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty.”

Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California

Friday, January 27, 2012 column for The Tidings A time for Catholic action and Catholic voices

“…It is hard not to see this new mandate as a direct attack on Catholic consciences and the freedom of our Catholic institutions. The mandate does not promote any civil liberties and it does not advance any significant public health goals…

“…Now is a time for Catholic action and for Catholic voices. We need lay leaders to step up to their responsibilities for the Church’s mission. Not only to defend our faith and our rights as Catholics, but to be leaders for moral and civic renewal, leaders in helping to shape the values and moral foundations of America’s future.”

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3 Responses to What the Holy Father and others are saying about conscience protections…

  1. Maegarett RBC Zavodny says:

    Bottom line–in order to remain Catholic in good standing, will we have to give up insurance? We need some declaration from the Magisterium and Bishops on this!

  2. Owen L. Gallagher says:

    I applaud the Church finally giving voice to “radical secularism” within “political and cultural spheres.” What I cannot applaud is the Council of Bishops’ failure to implement serious educational reform within the Church to combat all secular attacks. Instead, the Council actively seeks governmental action in the name of social justice, equality, fairness, and the general welfare, without any conception of the larger goal of that same government to eventually eliminate religious authority in this country. For example, note Archbishop Gomez’ response: “The mandate does not promote any civil liberties and does not advance any significant public health goals.” So, if a government mandate incidently also advances a civil liberty or some other significant health goal, the Church won’t complain? Does the Church not see the very traps it sets for itself? He is right, however, when he says that lay leaders need to step up, particularly when ordained leaders are incapable of decerning true governmental intent.

    • Toni Krehel says:

      Thank you Mr. Gallagher for pointing out the inconsistency of the Church and it’s failure to combat all secular attacks … including failure to support its members in conscientiously objecting to government mandated public health initiatives regards vaccines and protecting their religious objection to a morally-objectionable practice and policy. This is a clear example of a government mandate which advances a health goal (based on questionable science and theory) that is inconsistent with the fundamental Church doctrine of the sacredness of the dignity of the human person. When the Church decides that it is acceptable to deny religious exemption to its members (dutiful Catholics), on the grounds that the government mandate advances a common good health goal – trumping moral conscience and the dignity of the human person … indeed, they are not only setting a trap for themselves but giving up their moral authority on matters of life and death and ethical medicine.

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