Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Catholic Church Sues the Obama Administration for "Religious Liberty"


BREAKING: Cardinal Dolan of NY, Cardinal Wuerl of D.C., Notre Dame--And 40 Other Catholic Dioceses and Organizations--Sue Obama Administration
By Terence P. Jeffrey
May 21, 2012

(CNSNews.com) - The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country. 
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website--preservereligiousfreedom.org--to explain its lawsuit and present news and developments concerning it.  

The suits filed by the Catholic organizations focus on the regulation that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last August and finalized in January that requires virtually all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that can cause abortions.  [And this is what the lawsuit should be about - religious freedom.  But the bishops have to talk to the public about much more than their constitutional rights.] 
The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong and that Catholics should not be involved in them. Thus, the regulation would require faithful Catholics and Catholic organizations to act against their consciences and violate the teachings of their faith.  [Wouldn't it be nice to hear the bishops say this?] 
Earlier, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had called the regulation an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty" and asked the Obama administration to rescind it. [Why not also mention that the Obama administration is promoting evil?  I guess that is just too politically incorrect.  Some people would probably be offended by such a statement, and we wouldn't want to offend anyone, would we?]
“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress--and we’ll keep at it--but there's still no fix," Cardinal Dolan, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement released by the conference this morning.  [When are the bishops going to learn that you can't negotiate with the devil?  You need to just stand up to him and state the truth.]
"Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now," the cardinal said. "Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty. [But let's not say anything about contraception being evil] It's also a great show of the diversity of the Church's ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate--ministries to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated, to people of any faith or no faith at all.”  [What about stating that contraception is inherently evil and that is why we oppose it?  Is it at all possible for the bishops to say this?] 
Cardinal Dolan's New York Archdiocese filed suit today in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York. Joining the archdiocese as plaintiffs in the suit are the Catholic Health Care System, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre, and Catholic Health Services of Long Island. 
In their suit, these groups name HHS Secretary Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and their departments as defendants.
The archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is being joined in its lawsuit by Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese, the Consortium of Catholic Academies of the Archdiocese of Washington (which includes four parochial schools), Archbishop Carroll High School, and the Catholic University of America. 
"This morning, the Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit to challenge the mandate, recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, that fundamentally redefines the nation’s long-standing definition of religious ministry and requires our religious organizations to provide their employees with coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs," Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington said in an open letter posted online this morning. "Just as our faith compels us to uphold the liberty and dignity of others, so too, we must defend our own."  [Here comes the statement by Cardinal Wuerl] 
The Bishops Are Not Even Teaching Catholics
About the Evils of Birth Conrol 
"The lawsuit in no way challenges either women’s established legal right to obtain and use contraception or the right of employers to provide coverage for it if they so choose," said Cardinal Wuerl. "This lawsuit is about religious freedom."  [Yes, the lawsuit is about religious freedom, but how about telling people at the same time about the evils of contraception?  When are we going to hear that?]
"The First Amendment enshrines in our nation’s Constitution the principle that religious organizations must be able to practice their faith free from government interference," Cardinal Wuerl said. 
Cardinal Wuerl, doesn't practicing your faith mean actually being unafraid to preach the doctrines of the Catholic Church? What good is religious freedom if you don't use it to actually practice your religion?
 
Poll showing that 77% of Catholic women
support employers supplying birth control
I can only reiterate what I have said in the past. In many ways, the bishops have only themselves to blame that they are being threatened with the loss of their religious liberty.   The Bishops in the last 50 years have almost never preached the Catholic teaching regarding the inherently evil nature of contraception.  It has been shown that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control.  That shows an utter failure on the part of the church to even teach her own members, much less the public at large.  And now we are seeing the consequences of this failure in our government trying to force the Church to go against her own teachings. 

Even now, the bishops still are not telling the public about the evils of birth control.  They are making this entire fight about "religious liberty."  Is this what our Lord would do?  Somehow, sadly, I don't think so.  The bishops say they will not compromise with Obama, but they have already compromised by making this issue solely about religious liberty and not also about the inherent evils of birth control.  If the bishops cannot find the courage to teach about the evils of birth control, then they have already lost this fight, and who knows how many millions of souls with it.



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