“Now is the time for all good Catholics to come to the aid of providers…”

“Now is the time for all good Catholics to come to the aid of providers—the schools, hospitals, charities, and soup kitchens who serve communities in need without asking affiliations. And, in coming together, perhaps now is the time to ponder their long-held presumptions, each about the other, and broaden our own outreach as well.

If nothing else, in declaring war against our consciences, the Obama administration has given American Catholics a great gift of clarification; a fractious family we may be, but—as the saying goes—we are church. And we have the right to be who we are.”

– Elizabeth Scalia, in a stemwinder of a column at First Things.


  1. Henry Karlson says:

    It’s not just the Obama Administration. It’s the GOP as well. Of course, if people point to to the GOP trying to do things such as arrest priests who give aid to illegal immigrants, that’s not important? Really? Please, as long as this is seen as a partisan thing and not really a universal bi-partisan problem, it is mere political hackery.

  2. Mark LaVergne says:

    Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a. “The Anchoress”) is correct that the Obama administration’s decision has provided unarguable clarity for all Catholics in the November elections. More than ironic that when the decision was announced on January 20, Obama’s HHS Secretary said that Church institutions had a full year to comply. A year from 20 January 2012 happens to be Inauguration day next January. By then, however, a new President will be in a position on that very day (20-Jan-2013) to rescind the Obama administration’s wrong turn that was announced 11 days ago.

  3. This is such an important message. Anyone who thinks this kind of thing can’t or won’t happen with Republicans in power is deluding themselves. As Cardinal-Designate Dolan learned from his “conversations” with the President, any candidate or politician will tell you what they think you want to hear until they’re in a position to ignore you. And I speak as someone who supported this President, and is deeply disappointed at his betrayal of fundamental constitutional values not only on this issue, but on torture and detention and a whole host of other issues. As long as we are kept divided against each other as Catholics along political lines, we all lose, and so does the country we love. Please look at this as a way to advocate for freedom, conscience, and the common good, not any one party or candidate.

  4. Sorry, but my guess is that 95% of Catholics 1) don’t know about this order, 2) don’t understand its implications if they do know, 3) can’t see how it affects them if they do understand and 4) don’t care anyway. And, unless the Republicans can come up with a really great candidate who can run a truly great campaign, the next President of the United States will have the initials BHO (I hesitate to just say BO as that might be considered an insult to the incumbent).

  5. Oh, and that’s not to mention 95% of the rest of the population who belong to religions and/or denominations that will also be affected by this. The bottom line is that the majority of people in the US don’t know and don’t care. They’re too busy trying to stay afloat and keep up with their soap operas, reality shows, crime dramas, whatever…. I suspect that’s how it was in Germany in the late 20s and early 30s. When people finally realized what had happened it was too late to do much about it for the majority. People just lowered their profile and kept their mouths shut.

  6. The conservative Catholics are just a little too excitable for me. As Henry suggests, they don’t get too outraged when one of their own gets a little uppity with religious conscience. So it’s really hard to take them too seriously on this one. The courts will deep-six this, too, and it will be a phantom, just like FOCA and Notre Dame.

    I’m okay with watching the adolescents get their anti-authority buzz, and then come back to earth with a little more cynicism about life, and a little less naivete as good little girls and boys.

  7. Mark LaVergne says:

    Obama has essentially shoved Catholics into a corner with this action. He and his HHS Secretary have left us with nothing to discuss and no room for maneuver: we have 12 months to comply — “take it or leave it.”

    This President has pitted Catholics against Catholics and lied and lied and broken promise after promise. His time is up.

  8. Just hope the Catholics who voted for BHO are happy. Hope and Change. Now we have lost hope and the change was for the worse.

  9. Mark LaVergne says:

    Todd, I appreciate your confidence in the courts, but who do you suppose recommends those Federal judges for Senate approval? The President. Elections have consequences and I would take note that five recent US Ambassadors to the Vatican (including a Democrat) have issued a joint statement of endorsement for the likely GOP nominee (Romney).

    The rest of your comments (“adolescents,” “uppity,” “adolescents,” “good little girls and boys,” etc.) are insulting and unworthy of consideration.

  10. “The rest of your comments (“adolescents,” “uppity,” “adolescents,” “good little girls and boys,” etc.) are insulting and unworthy of consideration.”

    Mark, it’s just a mirror to what I see the Anchoress (and her perpetual adolescents/adolescence) and others pedaling. If you want to dial down the rhetoric and get to common ground, I can certainly get on board with that. But I’m going to continue to hold conservatives to the same standard you expect of me.

  11. Mark LaVergne says:

    Todd, if you don’t like what Elizabeth does, write her a letter of complaint or start you own blog. However, nothing in what Deacon Greg excerpted of her post is justified by your language.

  12. Point taken.

    Elizabeth and I do correspond outside of her blog, and I do have one of my own, thanks.

  13. Mitt Romney has promised to veto the Dream Act if it ever gets to his desk. So why are Catholic Republicans so certain Mr. Romney will listen to the Catholic position on anything?

  14. In all actuality the time is now but it is late.
    I just talked to one of my deacon brothers who is assigned to Catholic Charities here in town. We talked a little about what is going on and he mentioned that no-one is allowed to speak – AT ALL – about the Catholic faith, let alone Jesus or God. Because they get Federal money, the federal government will pull their funding if this is violated. Deacons and priests have been called in and reprimanded for not obeying – this has been going on for years and only now because of Obama’s decision we are acting?
    Slightly off topic but not really…..
    …And people want government vouchers for their childrens schools.
    If the government gives you money for your childs education, THE GOVERNMENT WILL SET THE CARRICULUM IN PAROCHIAL(CATHOLIC) SCHOOLS.

  15. Do Catholic employers fill out what I believe is referred to as “I 9″ forms for employees that establish a person’s citizenship or legal residence in this country? Wouldn’t denying someone work based on their immigration status be a violation of Catholic conscience? If Catholic institutions are subject to this requirement, why haven’t the Bishops asked to be relieved of this legal obligation? I think this is what is meant by being an “authentic witness.”

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