Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vegetarian shop owners; and, the Catholic bishops' beef with Obama

This post has been edited and updated. See a growing list of bishop statements below this thought-provoker intended to help non-Catholics understand the issue.  For the record: I'm not a vegetarian. =)  I also understand that my spoof below is not identical to the threat posed to Catholics for a number of reasons (see combox discussion on that ).





Shock! Utter shock!!! The Obama Administration has mandated that all food stores in the United States selling refrigerated goods, MUST sell beef!

There is an exemption for vegetarians who only employ, and sell their goods to, vegetarians; and, for vegans who only employ, and sell their goods to, vegans.

What are the vegetarian and vegan store business owners to do?


How long will it take for these businesses to go bankrupt if the owners refuse to violate their conscience by carrying beef in their stores? How many people from the area, meat eaters included, frequent and buy some of the excellent products sold at vegetarian/vegan owned shops? Are people forced to shop and work at these places, or is it a choice?

If the food shop owner happens to be a Jain, then this mandate would not only be expecting him to violate his conscience, but also would be an assault on his religious liberty.

Get it? Get it?

OK, so it's a satire - an example of what you might find in a place like, The Onion.   Well, that has some similarities to what the Obama Administration wants to do to Catholic institutions with the HHS mandate (see combox discussion on this point). But, it doesn't just force Catholics and other people of faith with similar convictions to violate their conscience, it's a violation of religious liberty.


What about the Catholic business owners and other people of faith who don't want to violate their conscience over the HHS mandate?   People are not forced to purchase products or services, or to work for any particular business. Why should those business owners be forced to offer something that is contrary to their religious beliefs?


Just think of the people - those who are currently defending this mandate, or who are taking a back seat to the assault on liberty of Catholics.  Want to bet that they would fight with vigor if this was about vegetarian and vegan store owners being forced to sell beef!


Some of the Catholic bishops quoted below



And now, a word from our bishops

NOTE: Feel free to drop additional and new statements, interviews, videos, etc. in the combox, but I prefer to have statements from original sources. So, if you see a news item, go to the diocese or the diocesan paper to see if there is something there before providing a news article.

I don't think any other issue in recent years has galvanized the U.S. Bishops more than the reality of this particular threat.  This threat has many tentacles and we've only scratched the surface.  Look past the excerpts by bishops and read some of their full statements and interviews.

Where we often see one set of bishops speaking more forcefully about pro-life issues and others about social justice issues, the HHS mandate has unified bishops from one end of that spectrum to the other.  Reading through the names and statements below, you will see what I mean. 

In most cases I am linking directly to diocesan resources, or the original sources of interviews so you can see full text and not excerpts.  This is just a sampling of what is out there (in no particular order).


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has an entire page dedicated to this, including information on what you can do!  Along with tools to help you contact Congress, you will find these things:






USCCB President, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who earlier stated that Obama gave Catholics one year to figure out how to violate their conscience with the mandate has a new article which is being carried by the Wall Street JournalObamaCare and Religious Freedom.  In it he states: "Coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that violate their teaching is an unprecedented incursion into freedom of conscience. Organizations fear that this unjust rule will force them to take one horn or the other of an unacceptable dilemma: Stop serving people of all faiths in their ministries—so that they will fall under the narrow exemption—or stop providing health-care coverage to their own employees."




Bishop David A. Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh gets the award for the most eye-catching headline: "To Hell with You" (in reference to what the Obama administration is telling Catholics with this action.)  Excerpts have been flying around the internet, but here is the full text, along with some resources.




Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, who serves as the ad hoc Chair of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty said: It is true that the HHS rule includes a religious exemption. This exemption, however, actually constitutes a very narrow governmental definition of the Church’s mission. It applies only to religious organizations that that exist solely to teach doctrine and to serve their own members. This is not how the Catholic Church understands its mission. The Church proclaims the Gospel to all and serves people of all faiths and none with an array of educational, charitable, and social services. Its contributions to the common good of society are immense.  Bishop Lori also had an interview on Fox News.




Bishop Daniel Jenky brought back an old tradition in the Diocese of Peoria.  Quoting The Catholic Post:  "I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance,” and until "the 'grave issues' are favorably resolved, he asked all Sunday Masses in the diocese include the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America."




Detroit's Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said the HHS mandate tramples religious freedom. He had a short video interview on a local ABC affiliate, and a longer interview with WJR radio show host, Frank Beckman (all found in this post).




In Arlington, Bishop Paul S. Loverde said, "a dangerous line has been crossed"




Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services in the United States said, "We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law".  (Note: The letter here is based on a form letter sent out by the USCCB, so similar letters will be seen at other dioceses.  It is rather strongly worded and the bishops sending it out are  basically saying, "it speaks for me."  In some dioceses I'm reading that the bishop wanted it stuffed into bulletins or shared at Masses.  Those using variations of this form letter include Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinatti, and Bishop McFadden of Harrisburg, and Bishop Sample of Marquette and probably many more.)




Cardinal Wuerl of Washington D.C. offered a video response and in an interview with CNA he said, “This is all new, in the sense that never before in our history has any government simply issued a decree emptying the religious convictions and conscience protections of all the institutions that serve the poor.”


At the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop Joseph Bambera says, "the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."




In his column in The Tidings, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles said, "this is a time for Catholic action and Catholic voices.




At his blog, Archbishop-Emeritus of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony called the ruling, "a direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience" and, "any candidate refuses to acknowledge and to promote those rights, then that candidate will not receive my vote."




Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, commenting from Rome during his ad limina visit, said, "As bishops, we can't stand back and let this go unnoticed."



Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston expresses, "deep disappointment at this unprecedented infringement on religious liberty in our country."




In the Diocese of Peoria, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky called it a, "bigoted and blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of every Catholic believer."




Bishop Leonard Blair, urged everyone in the Diocese of Toledo, beginning with the clergy, to address this issue squarely, to inform people what is at stake, to prepare them to make sacrifices for their faith, to keep our country in their prayers, and to work to overturn what we Bishops have called a ‘literally unconscionable’ decision by the Obama Administration."


In the Catholic Spirit of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Archbishop John Nienstedt said, this is the logical result of a seismic change in this administration’s approach to religious groups involved in providing social services to, among others, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the immigrant



Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison asks Catholics to pray and offer sacrifices like fasting, and to contact members of Congress.




Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said: HHS's mandate includes an incredibly narrow exemption for "religious employers" that protects almost no one. Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families, their employees or those most in need.




Bishop Farrel (Diocese of Dallas) and Bishop Vann (Diocese of Forth Worth) co-authored a guest column in the Star-Telegram in which they said: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." But in recent days the latest salvo in the attack on religious freedom was fired by the Obama administration and, sadly, by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic.


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/01/26/3691131/vann-and-farrell-obama-administration.html#storylink=cpy


Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Diocese of Amarillo has an interview and a video response.  He points out:  First of all, it’s much broader than just contraceptives, the Order also includes pills that can act as abortifacients. So it is a very serious threat to our Catholic moral tradition and belief; and, The Right of Conscience, or Freedom of Conscience, is supreme in our Catholic tradition. St. Thomas Aquinas was very clear on that point. The Second Vatican Council even refined this more. The Second Vatican Council teaches that “Conscience is that inner sanctum within each individual human being where the individual meets God.”




Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami said, "To force all of us to buy coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortion, is a radical incursion into freedom of conscience."



Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis point out: "Even Jesus and the apostles would not be 'religious enough' under such a test, as they served and healed people of different religions."


Additional statements by bishops will be added above this note (see what I have noted next to Archbishop Broglio's statement about a form letter being used.  Some bishops feel it speaks for them and are using it; others are adding in a few words of their own.  I'd like to collect unique statements here, whether they accompany the form letter, or do not use the form letter).

Several blogs have quoted something by Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB communications.  She may have coined something new here (empahsis mine in bold):

Some months ago HHS refused to award an anti-trafficking grant to the U.S. Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (MRS). It did so despite MRS’s scoring higher on an objective scale (according to the government’s independent advisors evaluating grant applications) than two of the three organizations that were awarded grants. (And two of those scored so low that they were deemed unqualified.) I suggested then that HHS had an ABC rule, “Anybody But Catholics.” Now I wonder if ABC isn’t also the answer to who gets freedom of religion.


Additional links:

The Anchoress talks about having shared my example with a friend:

Reading this to a vegetarian friend of mine — she’s not a Vegan; she eats dairy — I was not surprised at her expression of outrage for the sake of the Vegan shop owners. She wondered if there was any sort of petition being offered or a demonstration being planned, because she’d participate: “I may not be a full Vegan, but that’s not right! You can’t force a Vegan to sell beef! That would be like telling them they have to actually slaughter the cow — it would repulse them! They wouldn’t be able to do it!”

Nota Bene: There is a Facebook page for standing with the US Bishops against the HHS mandate

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34 comments:

Gigi said...

You can add Bp. Gerald Kicanas to your list. Even thought he is considered by many as extremely "liberal," this is what he said in his Monday Memo this week:
http://www.diocesetucson.org/mondaymemo.html

7. Religious Liberty

I was saddened to learn last week that the Obama Administration did not expand the religious exemption to the Health and Human Services mandate that all institutions with the exception of parishes but including our Catholic hospitals, social services, colleges and universities will be compelled to provide insurance coverage for contraception including drugs that induce abortion as well as sterilization procedures.

This is a radical incursion into freedom of conscience and religious liberty as assured in our Constitution. While the Obama Administration said it would allow such institutions to seek a delay until 2013 to implement this new directive, as Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Conference, said, "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences."

Our Catholic institutions serve people according to need, not creed. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and our Catholic identity compels us to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life. To forgo this would be to deny our very essence. For more information, visit: www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1200263.htm

The Church and our Diocese will continue to oppose this decision and if necessary call upon the Congress to act to rescind this violation of the First Amendment.

Nick said...

The HHS has stated that the exemption is federal law. It isn't new. The HHS has also said that you can write to your congressman to get the exemption changed.

Howard said...

Well, no, that is not quite so good a parallel with what the Obama administration wants to do.

The difference is that contraception, sterilization, and abortion are all contrary to the Natural Law. They are not just a part of revealed religion, like the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, nor are they a mere personal preference, like my distaste for liver. A better analogy would be if shop owners were required to carry Soylent Green, since cannibalism is also contrary to the Natural Law. (And, hey, the movie was only set 10 more years into the future.)

We really can't afford to take the defensive position here. We can't say, "Well, just remember that we Catholics have a distaste for contraception, sterilization, and abortion, so we should be left to our own weird way, like the way the Amish are allowed to drive their buggies on roads designed for cars. Of course the rest of society is not bound to do likewise." If we just circle the wagons, we will fail to proclaim the truth, and we will fail to proclaim the Truth (yes, you know Whom I mean), too. We will also be vulnerable to the following objection.

Consider a surgeon who was also a Jehovah's Witness. As such, it is contrary to his conscience to either give a blood transfusion to a patient, keep blood on hand "just in case" the patient's loss of blood during surgery made a transfusion necessary, or refer the patient to another surgeon who he knew to use transfusions. Would the state be justified in denying this Jehovah's Witness a license to perform surgery? I think most people, and the courts, would say yes; the Jehovah's Witness has a right to choose between his religion and his profession, but they are in conflict, and he cannot keep both.

The only way to win this argument is not to press for a First Amendment exception, it is to convince people that no health professionals of any faith should be providing contraception, sterilization, or abortion.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Howard,

Point well taken, but it was not intended to be precise. It was intended to help other people get an idea of why Catholics are so upset.

I will go back an edit out the word, "exactly" since it can be misleading. I really wanted to illustrate a mere similarity, not something identical.

One thing I'm certain of is that if vegetarian shop owners were forced to carry beef, a good many non-vegetarians would be in an uproar. There would be a much bigger stink.

Since this pertains to sexual morality, even Catholics will sweep this one under the rug. We really need our bishops to start teaching about contraception and sterilization from the pulpit, and urge their priests to do the same. The resistance to Humanae Vitae (or silence) has come home to roost.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Oh, for those too young to know what "Soylent Green" is in Howard's excellent example, click the link.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Just added a note at the end of the blogpost after reading a post by The Anchoress. It seems she shared example I used with a non-meat eating friend. Go there to read her reaction.

Susan said...

Michael Voris commented that it's very good that the bishops are in an uproar over the federal government's trampling of conscience rights over this HHS mandate. But he also points out that 90% or more of Catholics use artificial contraception and have for over 40 years. His point was that NOW all of a sudden the bishops are concerned about contraception? Why weren't ALL the bishops over the past 40 years TEACHING clearly and unequivocallly that its use is a mortal sin? Voris did not say this, but it seems to me that the elephant in the living room is that the bishops' motivation NOW is that of the higher cost for contraceptive coverage. Could that be the reason for their current unified outrage at the HHS mandate?

Father John Boyle said...

Susan: I do believe that the episcopate has woken up to the evil of contraception and that the bishops preaching about it out of a genuine conviction that it is bad. Thankfully, the Church's Papal Magisterium has not wavered on this matter and the younger generation (of bishops too) accept it. After all, contraception is an act against the next generation, and the younger generation of today are survivors both of abortion and contraception. The dissent of so many Catholics does, of course, embolden government to act against the Church. It is a real problem!

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Susan:

I think it is fine to look back at history, even recent history, to get an understanding of why we are experiencing certain problems today.

However, I would rather focus on what the bishops are doing today, than to dwell in what they didn't do yesterday. It's just not productive to stay there, and dwell.

Further, because the US bishops have been silent for decades on contraception, with some making life difficult for priests who have tried to teach the truth, isn't really a sound reason for them to be silent now. Do you agree?

Let's take it a step further. The bishop "blame game" only addresses one part of a complex equation. I'm not dismissing reticence on the part of bishops. Rather, I would like to point out that it does not factor in cultural changes.

For example: I have had women tell me stories from the early 70's, after Humanae Vitae (HV), where names of priests were passed around who would uphold HV and those who were dismissive. Some women freely chose to go to Confessors who would dismiss their use of contraceptives. I've often wondered, even if there had been full unity among the bishops, if even then people couples would have looked to go around it.

Why do I say this? There is evidence that even couples being educated on contraception through Theology of the Body seminars are all coming away shunning the practice. I wish I could find the statistics, but a significant number of Catholics, even after voluntarily attending ToB seminars are still contracepting.

Ponder this for a moment: In the Old Testament, the Jews were made to wander for 40 years in the desert because of their sinfulness. They chose to go against the 10 Commandments, despite witnessing all God did to lead them out of Egypt. We also see in the Old Testament that sinful people were "rewarded" with sinful leaders.

My suggestion is, let's not spend precious time pointing fingers at bishops of yesterday as opposed to rejoicing over the good the bishops of today are trying to do, even when it is not as forceful or direct as we may like. Let's spend our time on our knees in prayer and fasting for them, and savoring the actions they do take. Write them letters to encourage them, rather than voicing anger and pointing to past "sins".

What I'm saying is let's not push the bishops down; but, help hold up their arms the way Aaron and Her held up the arms of Moses when they got weak (Ex 17:12).

We know there is blame on the shoulders of bishops. Let God take care of that. We need to be busy thinking about what God might have to say to us for not having prayed fervently for them over these past 40 years.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

With regards to it being more complex than simply blaming bishops, I also want to point to the awful effects of relativism, proporionalism, and consequentialism.

Until Blessed John Paul II penned Veritatis Splendor these things were affecting the thought processes of clerics of various ranks. That came out in 1993. We see, especially in younger clergy and bishops the impact teachings like this have had. The internet has helped get past the filtering system that once plagued seminary book shelves. What the Pope says today, is read by priest and seminarians as soon as it is uploaded.

Anonymous said...

Portland, OR Archbishop Vlazny has posted a letter at http://www.archdpdx.org/
Scroll about 3/4 of the way down the page - it's a .pdf.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Pardon my many comment typos; and I meant to say, "priests and bishops" (I know clergy pertains to both).

Susan said...

It would be a beautiful thing for the US Church to preach this doctrine clearly now that the bishops are taking a stand in favor of it.

Anonymous said...

How about this example:

Forcing Jewish and Muslim children to be vaccinated with a pork-containing vaccine. Imagine it's for such a serious new virus that a vaccination for everyone has been mandated.

Anonymous said...

amend my prior suggestion about the vaccine to say for Jewish and Muslim children to be allowed to attend public school. That makes it more like the religious exception in the HHS law.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Susan: Bingo!

I really don't think they have a choice. The bishops really have to tackle this on many fronts, and here are just a few:

1) Prayer and fasting

2) Continued public statements and getting themselves into the public square through secular news sources where many Catholics are "taught" their faith.

3) Teaching why the Church says things like contraception and sterilizaton are wrong.

4) Priests who uphold Church teachings on sexual morality need to know they have the full backing of their bishop and will not be shipped off on "special assignment" by the priest assignment board. There needs to be a way for priests to get word to the bishop that they are being hindered by a pastor or member of the chancery. Bishops need to get tuned in to this kind of thing, as well.

They need to also start talking about cohabitation from the pulpit and encouraging their priests to do the same. It's pretty sad when you can go Sunday after Sunday and never hear a priest speak about the many ways we can commit offenses against the 10 Commandments. In fact, many Catholics believe Vatican II did away with them.

It really has to start with the throne in each diocese and the pulpit in each parish. That is why I say to write to bishops and encourage them. Ask them to talk about these things. It's better a handful of pride-filled people walk out in a huff than to withhold the truth from the majority of Catholics willing to sit and listen.

Anonymous said...

Diane, I will tell you one reason some Catholics ignore teaching on contraception is because of the way NFP is being taught. It's barely distinguishable in intent from artificial contraception among some teachers and practitioners.

I think NFP when approved by the Church was intended to be a smarter 'rhythm' method. Instead, for some, it has become an expensive, intrusive high-tech discernment process that involves plotting data points and cramming as much sexual activity as possible between computer calculated points on a calendar. For some, intercourse has become a science project instead of a loving act.

JoAnna said...

Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix diocese: http://www.diocesephoenix.org/uploads/docs/RELIGOUS-LIBERTY-INSURANCE-LETTER-012512.pdf

JoAnna said...

Anonymous, as opposed to cancer-causing chemicals that cause weight gain and low libido, not to mention blood clots; intrusive bits of latex that are awkward and messy; or devices that carry a risk of perforating the uterus and/or disappearing in the uterus or coming out at random intervals without one's knowledge?

I'd much rather do NFP.

Susan said...

I am "another Susan"

I had a terrifying thought today about this after reading Cardinal Mahoney's statement that this will be the most important issue in the election. (!)

Obama is playing the Bishops for fools. Remember his Executive Order that earned the Catholic support by the Stupak Stupid and Sr. Carol? He swooped in to save us from taxpayer paid abortions.

Be prepared for him to swoop in again, after this has been made such an important issue, say maybe Oct 11 (50th anniversary of Vatican II) to be our knight in shining armor and reclaim the Catholic Vote that elected him in 2008 by saving the conscience clause.

God have mercy on us.

Elisa said...

Anonymous, there is nothing in NFP that says you have to "cram as much intercourse in between two data points". Anyone who does that is in danger of losing sight of the true self donative love that the marital embrace should communicate. NFP is simply a method of gaining medical knowledge of the current state of the wife's fertility from day to day. It is up to the couple to prayerfully discern what God wants them to do with that knowledge, either to avoid or achieve a pregnancy. And there is nothing intrinsically wrong about plotting data through a computer instead of on a calendar (though I know very few couples who actually use a computer, most of us use pen and paper to keep records of what we observe.

JC said...

Bishop Paul Etienne of the Diocese of Wyoming posted on his blog:
http://bishopsblog.dioceseofcheyenne.org/?p=1870

Anonymous said...

The bigotry and stupidity of NY Times readers. The comments are evidence that NY Times readers have lost the ability to actually think or digest written matter.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/opinion/sunday/douthat-government-and-its-rivals.html

Anonymous said...

A prayer for the bishops by Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ:

"Lord Jesus, you ordained your Apostles as Bishops at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday night. We beg You to give our bishops the wisdom to see that contraception is fatal to Catholic Christians. Above all, give them the courage of Thomas a Becket and John Fisher, to stand firm against the demonic pressure to destroy the human family by contraception. Amen."

-MDM

Anonymous said...

From Richmond, VA, Bishop DiLorenzo (link to PDF letter on this page): http://www.richmonddiocese.org/2012/1/headlines/us-department-health-and-human-services-announcement

Anita Moore said...

Bishop Michael Driscoll of the Diocese of Boise (i.e., the whole state of Idaho) wrote a letter denouncing the birth control mandate. It was read during the homily at my parish (the cathedral). Unfortunately, I can't find this excellent letter online, and copies were not distributed in the bulletin.

Titus said...

per Nick: "The HHS has stated that the exemption is federal law. It isn't new. The HHS has also said that you can write to your congressman to get the exemption changed."

Well, 1) the "exemption" is not really "federal law," because the rule itself is not really "federal law." Both are provisions in a regulation promulgated by a federal agency, not a statute adopted by the Congress. They are "laws" in a broad sense, of course. But the exemption is new, because the regulation from which it is an exception is new. Saying otherwise is so illogical I cannot articulate a sensible analogy.

Of course I can "write to my Congressman." Heck, I can write to my Congressman to ask that the Eighth Amendment be repealed. That doesn't mean it will happen.

Deacon Steve said...

“A Christianity which keeps a grip on itself, refuses every compromise with the world, takes the commands of God and the Church seriously, preserves its love of God and of men in all its freshness, such a Christianity can be, and will be, a model and a guide to a world which is sick to death and clamors for directions, unless it be condemned to a catastrophe that would baffle the imagination.”
-Pope Pius XI, MIT BRENNENDER SORGE, ENCYCLICAL ON THE CHURCH AND THE GERMAN REICH
I believe we are refighting an old fight with our ancient foe who seeks to set us on a course of catastrophe that seemed so improbable to us a half a generation ago. We have allowed compromise with the world through the mistaken notion that tolerance of all things done with good intention is in fact good; we have lost our ability to discern what is really good because we have used the reasoning of the secular world to be our guide. As Christians we lost a grip on ourselves perhaps because we thought ourselves immune to the dangers which Pope Pius XI had warned the people of Germany in 1937; we after all are modern persons who can rely on a democracy and a constitution to protect us from tyranny unlike the uneducated folk falling for the platitudes of a dictator in the Germany of the 1930’s. We do not need to suffer the same decline, but we need to square up our relationship Christ and our Church, and then we can be faithful citizens bringing morality and good reason back to the public square. This is what our bishops are now appealing to us to do; Christian action starts with us. We may be alarmed at these recent events but we need to join our bishops in the fight. Just my humble reflection on the situation.
-Deacon Steve G.

Susan said...

Our bishops need us to contact our congressmen and senators to ask them to sponsor H.R.1179 (in the house), and S.1467 (in the senate).

On the USCCB (U S Conference of Catholic Bishops) website there is a legislative action alert
with important information on how we can all help in the fight in defense of the right to act according to our conscience:
http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm

THEN from there is a link to the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) website which details how we can help stop this evil  HHS mandate from being enforced on Catholic institutions. Here's the link:

http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=292

Why should we bother with this? The 4th Commandment entails our duty to love our country and to do all we can to ensure that its laws are just. The right we as Catholics have to act according to our consciences (formed in keeping with Church doctrine) is inalienable. If we as individuals fail to do everything in our power to stop this mandate, we can only expect further attacks on us and all Christians for acting according to our beliefs.  It's part of our duty as Christians to take a stand for just laws and regulations from our government.

God bless everyone!
Susan

Nicole Stallworth said...

I don't yet see a link to the statement made by our new Bishop Hartmayer of the Diocese of Savannah. Here's the link.
http://www.diosav.org/news-HHS-2012

Anonymous said...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then plead for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

_____________


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: http://veganvideo.org & http://tryveg.com

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

As Christians, we see nothing in Scripture to support not eating meat. In fact, quite the opposite.

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/was-jesus-a-vegetarian-as-peta-claims

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Nicole, and others...

I am going to defer to the excellent list put together by Tom Peters at Catholic Vote.

As of this moment, he is now up to 115 bishops in his list, and it is growing.

Nick said...

Bishop clarifies his position on HHS mandate

To me, numbers don't matter. As long as Donal, the USCCB President, speaks out, that means the Church in America has spoken out.

But even if he doesn't speak out, Christ speaks out in the Word, in the Eucharist, in the poor, and in the Church of Heaven and of Earth.