Skip to comments.Archbishop Chaput: It’s not a ‘compromise,’ and it needs to be rescinded
Posted on 02/19/2012 7:00:20 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
February 16th, 2012
Creighton Abrams, arguably Americas best general in recent history, was an uncommon man. A biographer said that he touched those who came to know him in a way they valued and would never forget. Its easy to see why. He led by example. He embodied the virtues of courage, honesty, dedication to mission, personal humility and unfailing fidelity to his wife and six children over a marriage of 38 years.
Abrams never degraded his opponents. He never demeaned himself by demeaning others. He lived by the highest ethical standards, and he demanded the same from the people around him. One of his favorite sayings was Never wrestle with pigs: You get dirty, and the pigs love it.
Those words came back to me this past week. The trigger was the fierce public debate over the Obama administrations misleading February 10 compromise on a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. The original HHS mandate, announced on January 20, would have forced nearly all Catholic institutions, organizations and private employers to provide contraception and abortifacients as part of their health coverage.
As many Catholic legal scholars have observed: The February 10 compromise does not solve the problem. It continues, in its practical effect, to force faithful Catholic employers to violate their religious beliefs. In short, the HHS mandate is coercive and deeply troubling in its implications for the rights of conscience. Nor is this accidental. The administration, despite the good will it has enjoyed from many Catholics, has taken a path that it knows to be unnecessary and knows to be hostile to Catholic belief.
The contempt dumped on Catholic teaching in our mass media over the past few days of debate tells us quite a lot about our critics. It also underlines the need for fighting respectfully but vigorously for what we believe. When a columnist in a major news daily claims, for example, that The Catholic Church basically endorses one form of birth control, the rhythm method, which is contraception for stupid people, we can learn two things: Neither accuracy nor civility matters when it comes to demeaning how faithful Catholics try to live their lives. In the task of pushing birth control, sneering is fully licensed.
Of course, people are free to join or leave the Catholic community. Theyre free to criticize Catholic belief in any way they choose. But theyre not free to force Catholic institutions, organizations and individual employers into violating their religious convictions. Theyre not free to mislead the public about a flawed and dangerous HHS mandate. And theyre not free to ignore the concerns of Catholic citizens who are rightly angry about the current administrations indifference to religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
A friend of Creighton Abrams once said that, despite his humility and mastery of self, when it came to matters of principle, he could inspire aggressiveness in a begonia. Its an interesting line. The Christian life does not need aggression. It doesnt return hatred with more hatred. Living the Gospel depends on virtues like justice, charity and mercy. But it also depends on courage. It does require fortitude. And that means a great many Catholics need to wake up and take a hard look at whats happening to our country. They may not like what they see. They shouldnt like what they see. And if they dont, they need to fight without apologies to turn things toward the good.
The current HHS mandate is not a real compromise. Its bad law with very dangerous implications. It needs to be rescinded, and it doesnt matter how ugly or deceptive our critics choose to be. I ask every Catholic who reads these words and takes his or her faith seriously, to please contact your U.S. senators and representative. Do it today. Press them to rescind this destructive HHS mandate.
I know: We all have so many issues that compete for our daily attention. Were often tempted to ignore the whole lot.
But this one is urgent. This one really matters.
Please visit the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference website at http://www.pacatholic.org to learn how to contact your federal Representative and Senators.
It has survived the myriad of heresies and it will survive today's heresy: relative morality.
Obama's fight to force contraception and abortion on Catholic hospitals will only galvanize Catholics. Complaceny is the worst enemy of Catholics and Obummer has given Catholics a cause: the destruction of religious freedom.
I hope Obummer gets it through so the Supreme Court will finally have to come down HARD on the Obummer party of the godless.
“Obama’s fight to force contraception and abortion on Catholic hospitals will only galvanize Catholics.”
It certainly is galvanizing some; the scales are fallen from their eyes, and now they have no doubt as to what Obama is. Some won’t mind, but more will than he bargained for. It is nice to see our Pastor keeping this issue front & center, with updates after each Mass (each week).
Well said Archbishop Chaput!
The Overton Window only works if the victim doesn’t realize what is happening.
It looks like Philly has a good Archbishop
Thank you for this. It should be read at every Mass everywhere in this country once a month until the mandate’s rescinded.
GOD BLESS YOU Archbishop Chaput
Denver’s great loss - Philly’s great gain.
God Bless Archbishop Chaput!
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