Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is Obamacare the American Catholic's Wake Up Call?

By now, I'm sure you have heard of Obama Administration’s war on religious liberty: and we have one year to comply!  If you haven't been watching this play out, in essence the Obama Administration has decided to REQUIRE religious institutions to cover FREE contraception and sterilization for all of their employees. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, said this plans states, "that sterilization and contraception — including controversial abortifacients — be included among 'preventive services' coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans."

The news came in just one day after Pope Benedict XVI's address to US Catholic Bishops... knowing the Pope, this was no coincidence. But folks this attack on moral conscienceless and religious liberty should not be a shock to us.

If you ask me, the snow ball has been rolling down the hill for some time now...I mean when I posted a news article on my Facebook wall regarding Cardinal-designate Dolan's response to the White House, I was antagonistically met by Catholic friends who were real quick to reminded me of some of the Catholic institutions that already do this (well there is only a dozen).  {On a side note, remember all of the institutions that were being stripped of the Catholic name/seal because of this very reason, these twelve must be next on that list}. A lot of these people don't understand the problem that this poses.  One friend stated that it wasn't forcing Catholics to use contraceptives but that the institutions had a moral right to offer this to all their employees.  So my question is this, if you are going to work for a Catholic institution, why would you EXPECT this?

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, promptly denounced the decision. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," the cardinal-designate said. "To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty."  So much for freedom of conscience, separation of Church and State AND Religious Liberty! WOW, a three for one special, thanks Mr. President!  But wait, there's more, not only did this come as an announcement to the USCCB but Mr. President took it upon himself to CALL ARCHBISHOP DOLAN, yep you heard it right.  While all of this may seem depressing and sad, which it is.  Here is the response of the Archbishop of New York/USCCB President to "Final Rule" of the Department of Health and Human Services; 20 January 2012:

With the November 2012 elections soon approaching, this worries me even further.  The dissenting and indifferent Catholics in the voting booth have significantly contributed to putting the most anti-life president ever to occupy the Oval Office into power.  Oddly enough, he has surrounded himself with quasi-catholics like Pelosi and worse yet because of this most recent attack on the Catholic Church, Sebellius. My husband reminds me that Lenin used to refer to the Liberals in Western Europe and the United States, "useful fools!"  {Side note: The pejorative term "useful fools" or the harsher term "useful idiots" was attributed to Vladimir Lenin by American anti-communists to describe liberals during the Cold War whose policies...}- Oh, nothing has changed has it?

In all the darkness, can we see the light at the end of the tunnel? I can!  Yesterday I read Father Z's blog post, Fr. Z applauds Card. Mahony (yes, you read that right), where he is congratulating Cardinal Mahony for speaking out regarding the most recent attack on the Catholic Church and our rights for religious liberty.  This got me thinking, could it be God's hand in all of this?  Hear me out: I think that these current attack on religious liberty is God's way to get the Bishops' attention and shake them up a bit. This is the time for them to UNITE and stop all those with liberal agendas, those that allow the falling away from Church teaching, and the laissez-faire attitude about so much within the Church! In addition, I think it's time to start excommunicating, or at the very minimum withholding Communion, from all those quasi-Catholics in politics who have helped Obama get to this point...God have mercy on their souls!

This week in my inbox I saw the newest from Michael Voris, WOW, I WAS right on the money did you see RealCatholicTV today?

Some good news now, {and I can't believe I'm about to type these words}here is the FIRST National Catholic Reporter (whom Father Z tenderly refers to the "FishWrap") that I like: J'ACCUSE! Why Obama is wrong on the HHS conscience regulations written by long-time Obama supporter, Michael Sean Winters.  In this article, Mr. Winters states, 
"President Barack Obama lost my vote yesterday when he declined to expand the exceedingly narrow conscience exemptions proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The issue of conscience protections is so foundational, I do not see how I ever could, in good conscience, vote for this man again."
NOW you realize that?  {facepalm}  But as the forever optimist that I am, I see this and smile...thank you JESUS!  For waking these Catholics up to smell the coffee.

I'm so not a lover of politics, but since this if the first election I am voting in since becoming a US Citizen, and there is SO MUCH to wage here, I felt compelled to write this to remind you {and me} that our focus should be more on our interior life rather than the exterior on-goings of the world. Not that we should fall into complacency and not make our opinions known {heck, that's what I'm doing right now}, but to truly conform our wills to a sanctuary of holiness, in prayer, in the interior life.  Even the harshest reprimand I've given to my children comes padded with love and charity towards him/her.

As Catholics we need to remember that the will of God prevails over mankind's.  This does not mean we don't have free will, but that His holy will is what moves the world.  Sometimes good comes from evil things that happen in the world, the focus must stay on the Cross at all times.  I have to keep reminding myself that our task here on Earth is to truly conform our wills to a sanctuary of holiness, in prayer, in the interior life.  After all, isn't this what really matters?

Have you prayed for our country today?  Have you prayed for the elections?  Our next president? Friends in this battle for life and morality, our Rosaries and prayers are our BEST weapons!  I leave you with this, one of my most favorite prayers, even more so now, than ever!  Pray with me:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

'"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church...I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."' ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II

Can. 227 The lay Christian faithful have the right to have recognized that freedom which all citizens have in the affairs of the earthly city. When using that same freedom, however, they are to take care that their actions are imbued with the spirit of the gospel and are to heed the doctrine set forth by the magisterium of the Church. In matters of opinion, moreover, they are to avoid setting forth their own opinion as the doctrine of the Church.

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