Skip to comments.Pope hits out at 'radical secularism'
Posted on 01/30/2012 10:09:56 AM PST by EBH
Pope Benedict XVI says Roman Catholics in the United States need to understand the "grave threats" to their faith posed by what he calls radical secularism in the political and cultural arenas.
He addressed visiting US bishops Thursday and used the same language in warning that attempts are being made to erode their religious freedom.
Benedict did not explicitly mention it, but the bishops have complained their religious freedom is eroding in the face of growing acceptance of gay marriage and attempts to marginalize faith. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has recently formed a committee on protecting religious liberty and hired attorneys and a lobbyist to work on the issue.
The Pope said many of the bishops have complained about attempts to deny conscientious objection with regard to cooperation in "intrinsically evil practices." US church leaders have been pressing for a broader religious exception to part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that mandates private insurers pay for contraception. The Obama administration has not yet made a decision on the policy and the timing is uncertain.
Bishops also are pressing for broader religious exemptions in US states that have legalized same-gender civil unions or marriage. The vast network of Catholic social services in the United States includes adoption and foster-care placement. Bishops in some states have either shut down adoption programs or have lost their government contracts after refusing to place children with same-gender couples.
Benedict also expressed appreciation that bishops have been more outspoken about American Catholic politicians who don't follow church teaching on abortion and other issues.
(Excerpt) Read more at mb.com.ph ...
Not so secular now is it?
Taking on the Catholic Church during an election year?
Color me cynical but even though I’m a practicing Catholic, I’m pretty sure that the US Church is going to figure out a way to transfer the corporations to some one who can go ahead and do the despicable practices and the church still gets the money. They will then continue to vote dem.
We have a great pope, thank God.
If that is really the way you feel about how the Catholic Church operates, why are you still a “practicing Catholic”? Essentially you are saying that the Catholic Church is not following its beliefs. Maybe if you would stand up and speak out to your Bishop and parish pastor and get others in your parish to do so, our governmental leaders, especially those who claim to be Catholic like Kathleen Sibelius, will get the message.
It is my belief that finally Obama and company have pushed the Bishops too far and things are going to get rather nasty for Obama with the US Catholic Church. For the past two Sundays, I have heard priests speaking out at Masses against the anti-Catholic actions taken by the Obama government. I believe they are just getting warmed up.
Exactly, the communists in the church helped trash the constitution to go after the rich.
Now they find themselves without any protection.
Too bad, so sad.
ObamaCare and Religious Freedom
ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY M. DOLAN
Religious freedom is the lifeblood of the American people, the cornerstone of American government. When the Founding Fathers determined that the innate rights of men and women should be enshrined in our Constitution, they so esteemed religious liberty that they made it the first freedom in the Bill of Rights.
In particular, the Founding Fathers fiercely defended the right of conscience. George Washington himself declared: “The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them.” James Madison, a key defender of religious freedom and author of the First Amendment, said: “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”
Scarcely two weeks ago, in its Hosanna-Tabor decision upholding the right of churches to make ministerial hiring decisions, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically reaffirmed these longstanding and foundational principles of religious freedom. The court made clear that they include the right of religious institutions to control their internal affairs.
Yet the Obama administration has veered in the opposite direction. It has refused to exempt religious institutions that serve the common good including Catholic schools, charities and hospitals from its sweeping new health-care mandate that requires employers to purchase contraception, including abortion-producing drugs, and sterilization coverage for their employees.
Last August, when the administration first proposed this nationwide mandate for contraception and sterilization coverage, it also proposed a “religious employer” exemption. But this was so narrow that it would apply only to religious organizations engaged primarily in serving people of the same religion. As Catholic Charities USA’s president, the Rev. Larry Snyder, notes, even Jesus and His disciples would not qualify for the exemption in that case, because they were committed to serve those of other faiths.
Since then, hundreds of religious institutions, and hundreds of thousands of individual citizens, have raised their voices in principled opposition to this requirement that religious institutions and individuals violate their own basic moral teaching in their health plans. Certainly many of these good people and groups were Catholic, but many were Americans of other faiths, or no faith at all, who recognize that their beliefs could be next on the block. They also recognize that the cleverest way for the government to erode the broader principle of religious freedom is to target unpopular beliefs first.
Coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that violate their teaching is an unprecedented incursion into freedom of conscience.
Now we have learned that those loud and strong appeals were ignored. On Friday, the administration reaffirmed the mandate, and offered only a one-year delay in enforcement in some cases as if we might suddenly be more willing to violate our consciences 12 months from now. As a result, all but a few employers will be forced to purchase coverage for contraception, abortion drugs and sterilization services even when they seriously object to them. All who share the cost of health plans that include such services will be forced to pay for them as well. Surely it violates freedom of religion to force religious ministries and citizens to buy health coverage to which they object as a matter of conscience and religious principle.
The rule forces insurance companies to provide these services without a co-pay, suggesting they are “free” but it is naÃ¯ve to believe that. There is no free lunch, and you can be sure there’s no free abortion, sterilization or contraception. There will be a source of funding: you.
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.
The Catholic Church defends religious liberty, including freedom of conscience, for everyone. The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors. By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease.
This latest erosion of our first freedom should make all Americans pause. When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead.
Really are you really that obtuse to not see what is at stake here? Too bad, so sad?
They are coming for you too!
If they can take down the Catholic Church...I don’t think you are going to stop them from infringing on ALL religions.
This isn’t about just the Catholics FRiend, this is about one of our Rights! This is about religious freedom. Yours, mine, his and the other guys.
Whatever happened to the idea of defending the Rights of fellow citizens?
I hope you’re right. As to why I’m a Catholic, the short answer is the same as Peter’s was when Jesus asked him whether he was also going to leave. “Lord, where would I go?”
I know that, but there is really nothing that can be done.
I think there is maybe 5% of the population that really cares about freedom and limited government.
The other 95% have constantly made excuses for growing the government and they are going to have to feel the full pain of their folly before they change.
The coming persecution of the various Christian churches will be a hard lesson about the consequences rationalizing theft and envy for the sake of the "poor."
Is there any regular secularism or is it all radical?
I think that you should be encouraged that, in this case, even Cardinal Mahony is speaking out strongly against the Obama regime.
I believe you are correct as they are not just talking about this from a “sin” point of view. They, at least where I go, are full bore pointing out this is a violation of our Right to freedom of religion.
Thank God that the Catholic Church is weighing in on this issue. Christians need to stand up and fight for their faith.
Funny and oddly enough, I do not believe that is what God calls us to do in times of persecution.
What does one do when the churches constantly support the socialists?
At some point you either have to just shrug and worry about yourself or go mad.
Here’s something you need to understand. If the U.S. Bishops had opposed Obamacare from the git-go, we wouldn’t be in this predicament would we? Just ask Judie Brown of the American Life League, she’ll tell you the same thing. When Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI, was released in 1968, many wicked clergy in Church were working against it. That document alienated many Bishops and priests, and lay people alike all over the U.S. And that was a generation ago wasn’t it?
Not to mention Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV reports that 98% of Catholics contracept and are using some form of birth control. Is it any wonder that we’re in the mess we are in right now? The heirarchy are largely to blame for this big mess that we are in right now. Now the heirarchy can’t be soley blamed, but they bare the majority of the responsibility. I forget which Church father said this, but the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops and priests. Something along those I think.
The question remains to we have the will to fight? Now that remains to be seen. Personally, I don’t think we do. But that’s just my opinion. But the facts speak for themselves.
I don't know, but Chaucer wrote (paraprase) that if you go to hell you won't see any bishops or priests because they're in a special place. To find them you have to lift up the devil's tail and shine a light up his arse, and there you'll find them. I kid you not.
John Chrystostom is the man you are looking for.
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