From Cardinal Dolan: “We have to be realistic and prepare for tough times…”

From his blog today:

The President invited us to “work out the wrinkles,” and we have been taking him seriously.  Unfortunately, this seems to be going nowhere: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is simply scurrilous and insulting). The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry “without change.” The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets,” which doesn’t bode well for a truly acceptable “accommodation.”  And a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff ended with the President’s people informing us that the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table.  Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent hardly-surprising but terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people, and with those whom the White House now has nominated as official Catholic teachers.

So, I don’t know if we’ll get anywhere with the executive branch.

Congress offers more hope, with thoughtful elected officials proposing promising legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom.  As is clear from the current debate in the senate, our opponents are marketing this as a “woman’s health issue.”  Of course, it cannot be reduced to that.  It’s about religious freedom. (By the way, the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women.  Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country.  Here in New York State, Fidelis, the Medicare/Medicaid insurance provider, owned by the Church, consistently receives top ratings for its quality of service to women and children.)

And the courts offer the most light.  In the recent Hosanna-Tabor ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically defended the right of a Church to define its own ministry and services, a dramatic rebuff to the administration, but one apparently unheeded by the White House.  Thus, our bishops’ conference and many individual religious entities are working with some top-notch law firms who have told us they feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro-bono.

So, we have to be realistic and prepare for tough times.  Some, like America magazine,  want us to cave-in and stop fighting, saying this is simply a policy issue; some want us to close everything down rather than comply (In an excellent article, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the administration apparently wants us to “give up for Lent” our schools, hospitals, and charitable ministries); some want us to engage in civil disobedience and be fined; some worry that we’ll have to face a decision between two ethically repugnant choices: subsidizing immoral services or no longer offering insurance coverage, a road none of us wants to travel.

Read it all.

Comments

  1. Uh… with all due respect “The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people.” It’s not just the White House that thinks this is so. And as long as he mentioned it, the editorial in America was spot on. What’s unfortunate is that the bishops can’t see it.

  2. Susan, “most of the laity disregard the teaching of the Church” (which may well be true with regard to contraception) is not the same as the bishops being “out of touch.”

  3. Like most NY-area Catholics, I knew very little about Cardinal Dolan when he was appointed Archbishop 2 or 3 years ago. But the more I watch him, the more I like.

    Case in point is the blog post which Deacon Greg has shared. The first thing that struck me was the Cardinal’s language: straight-forward, honest, factual … and unadorned with the kind of “Church-speak” that you sometimes read/hear from others in the Church. This is a leader that people can respect because he “says what he means, and means what he says.”

    It’s interesting that his PhD is in Church history. So many of the others in the hierarchy earn theirs in theology. I suspect that had Cardinal Dolan been called to another vocation (other than the priesthood) he would have made a terrific journalist (perhaps as an opinion journalist or commentator) or public intellectual.

    The WH made a huge mistake in not taking Cardinal Dolan seriously or working with him in an honest manner when they had a chance.

  4. In the recent Hosanna-Tabor ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically defended the right of a Church to define its own ministry and services, a dramatic rebuff to the administration, but one apparently unheeded by the White House.

    This is a nitpick, but it is evidence of something larger. The first problem is that the statement is predicated on this action being under President Obama. Federal involvement in fact began under the Bush administration. Then there is the unsupported assertion of malicious intent. We do not in fact know that the White House (or administration) was involved at all in an EEOC lawsuit. As for being rebuffed, I couldn’t find a statement at the White House press office site in regard to the lawsuit or ruling.

    Now this was probably ghost written, like a lot of things from bishops. But it is signed under the bishop’s name. Looking at it, can one honestly believe this was written under a neutral hand?

  5. oldestof9 says:

    My dear susan,
    I must repeat for the “thousandth and one” time…
    Catholicism is not about giving in to what the people want but is about giving in to what Jesus wants through the Holy Catholic Church which He instituted; the Church inspired and enlivened by the Holy Spirit.
    I respectfully submit that while this blog is setup to receive your opinion, most of the followers here do not share your opinion nor care.
    Have a nice day.

  6. Why question the authorship of the blog post? Those of us in the NY area who have come to know this man would say that the post bears all the characteristics of his communications style. If this had been ghost-written by a chancery official, it would have sounded like it was :-).

    You mention that “we do not in fact know that the White House …” Yes, that is true, but it just as likely that Dolan “does know,” since he has been a participant in these matters. The Church and its leaders are not always as able to “get their story out” as fast as those who have contrary interests. We see that in the Barbara Johnson case in Maryland (the woman and her allies have been quite aggressive in sharing her side of the story with the media, while we’ve heard nothing from the priest) and I think we have seen it in this issue in the back-and-forth between the WH/Sebelius and the USCCB

  7. I’m sorry, but I continue to be dismayed by the fact that the Bishops (in this case Cardinal Dolan) have chosen this to be THE issue of the day. If it were so “clearly” about religious liberty, many more people (including the unfortunate liberal tools like the magazine America) would be protesting, as they did at the original mandate. Instead, I find this be a convenient excuse to do what many Bishops have tried so hard to do in recent years…turn the Catholic vote away from the Obama administration….perhaps for Pro-Life reasons, I’m not sure. Some of the more inflamatory comments in this blog post by Cardinal Dolan:

    “embarrassingly for him” (referring to the Press Secretary)
    “dreaded mandates”
    “straight-jacketing mandates” and “maligned exemption”
    “dramatic rebuff to the administration” (referencing the Hossana-Tabor decision)
    “administration wants us to give up hospitals, etc. for Lent” (quoting Cardinal George’s excellent article)
    “Congress (read: Republicans) are thoughtful elected officials”

    It’s no wonder the Administration believes that it’s pointless to speak to the Bishops.

  8. Thanks for that dear oldestof9

  9. M.Z.,

    I think the Cardinal’s statement was correct. You can see the federal brief in favor of the respondents here: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/previewbriefs/Other_Brief_Updates/10-553_federalrespondents.authcheckdam.pdf. It was submitted not only by EEOC staff but several attorneys from both the Solicitor General’s office and the Department of Justice. That’s the Obama Administration, directly.

  10. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    You guys aren’t addressing the larger point made by those that are upset with the Catholic leadership regarding “Catholic” hospitals, “Catholic” universities, and Catholic “charities”.

    1) Many, if not all, “Catholic” hospitals were built with both direct taxpayer funding and indirect taxpayer subsidies (in the form of the tax free debt they are allowed to issue). Furthermore, many of these “Catholic” hospitals enjoy government imposed monopoly protection through the Certificate of Need Program (which prevents competing hospitals from being built nearby). An argument can be made is that they are really no more than state agencies. I’m not aware of ANY “Catholic” hospital that can be defined as a ‘charity’ hospital. These hospitals are run the same way as private, for-profit, hospitals, through corporations like Christus, Ascencion Health, Seton, etc. I’m not aware of any “Catholic” hospital that participates in lower pricing or greater charity than for profit hospitals. The taxpayer subsidies of these hospitals (even before Federal payments for services – e.g., Medicare) easily runs into the tens of Billions of dollars. What are the taxpayers, especially those that aren’t Catholic, receive in return for their tax dollars that would justify discrimination against minorities in employment and pay/benefits as well as their refusal to participate in full medical coverage? So long as the USCCB or the “Catholic” hospitals refuse to answer that question in terms of non-religious terms, they will continue to lose that argument.

    2) Catholic Universities enjoy direct and indirect taxpayer support as well. Catholic Universities can issue tax-free debt and in the case of Catholic Medical Schools, enjoy taxpayer funding. This is in addition to student loan subsidies and tax free donation eligibility. These schools are generally MORE expensive than state run schools. And they DO discriiminate on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, in their non-seminarial employment, benefits, and policies. So long as they cannot justify that subsidy, expect that increasing numbers of persons will demand that the receipients of their tax dollars not discriminate in services rendered. The taxpayer subsidy runs into the Billions of dollars, even before tax deductibility of donations is included.

    3) It can be argued that Catholic ‘charities’ are really not private relgiious agencies, but rather agents of the secular state. Catholic ‘charities’ receives 70 percent of its’ funding from the state. I think a real question should be asked to determine if Catholic ‘charities’ is really a charity. Last year, the subsidy was over 4 Billion dollars. Exactly what does society receive for this subsidy that could not be received by allocating that funding through secular or governmental agencies that justifies employment and service provision discrimination?

    All told, the value of the taxpayer subsidy (prior to tax deductions, medicare payments, and student loan subsidies) runs as high as 10 Billion dollars per year. And the present value of the tax free debt subsidy is even greater. Valuing the subsidy using CF analysis, the present value of this subsidy is perhaps greater than 50 BILLION dollars. That’s a lot of money. And in no case, has the USCCB made any coherent argument that the services provided by the “Catholic” agencies creates any better outcomes than state-run, secular, or for-profit entities.

    5) The USCCB advocates ‘freedom of conscience’ bills that would allow taxpayer supported hospitals, universities, and charities to deny health care and other critical services based upon religious dictates. Until they answer that question, they’re going to have a credibility issue.

    The state isn’t telling religions what they must do. They are telling taxpayer subsidized entities what they must do. There’s a difference.

  11. It is not extraordinary for the DOJ and SG to offer briefs in a Supreme Court case involving a government agency. This is unremarkable, not evidence of malicious intent.

  12. When did Dolan participate in the Hosanna-Tabor matter?

  13. oldestof9 oh yawn. if you have to repeat yourself more than a thousand times maybe you need to realize no one is listening. I respectfully submit that I do not often hear the bishops speaking about what Jesus wants through the Holy Catholic Church in regards to other matters, just this one. Furthermore I hate to break it to you, but Jesus said he came to save the lost, I cannot find in scripture where he said I have come to institute the Catholic Church.

    And, finally what is the point of allowing opinions on a blog if everyone is in agreement? you may like the sound of your own voice repeating the same thing a thousand times, but its a snoozefest for the rest of us.

    You also have a nice day!

  14. Irish Spectre says:

    “…inflamatory comments”??!! …a tad sensitive there, aren’t we? Are you actually a Girlscout?

  15. M.Z., I didn’t say it was evidence of malicious intent. I meant it to say only that it was evidence of intent, period. The DOJ is under no obligation to file such a brief. There are scores of such cases which administrations far and wide have chosen not to push all the way to SCOTUS.

  16. My wife works for Catholic Charities Foster Care–but her salary is no where close to that made by state employed Foster Care Workers. A lot of money is given to provide salaries for non-unionized religious charity workers, but it would be significantly more expensive to pay unionized, public employees to provide the same labor. Caseworkers at Catholic Charities make about $29,000 per year. Caseworkers at DCFS make over $60,000 per year. HALF THE COST!

    True, a lot of money is poured into religious hospitals–but I bet that they more likely to serve low-income patients, accept Medicaid and write off unpaid balances than for profit hospitals.

    If we destroy the existing network of Church run schools, charities and hospitals, is the government really ready to step in and pay the higher salaries for government employees to staff replacement schools, charities and hospitals? The government enjoys significant cost savings by contracting with religous based organizations. A fair contract will serve the interests of the government AND the conscience of a non-profit agency/hospital.

  17. There is some information regarding concerns about whether outcomes for Catholic Charities are more positive than for secular or profit organizations. Not long ago, a Catholic organization was denied funding to provide services to women who were victims of sex-slavery. The Church’s outcomes were far better than the outcomes of other agencies applying for funding. Despite the excellent outcomes and glowing recommendations by the RFP readers, the Church did not get the funding. In my State, Catholic Charities is recognized for having the highest permanancy rate among all foster care agencies–including the State. Highest permanancy rate with a low cost of providing services. Catholic schools are recognized for providing an excellent education for a low cost.

  18. I am opposed to the HHS mandate and I do not consider it a question of contraceptive but rather a disregard of religious freedom. I don’t care (although I at my core I really do) who, Catholic or otherwise, opposes contraceptive services and who do not. But the question I don’t hear much about is this: will there be any provision in the mandate to cover natural means of family planning? That is, such as natural fertility monitors (http://www.lady-comp.com) or fertility test strips (http://www.wondfousa.com/t02.asp) that don’t mess with a women’s hormones and cause breast cancer and strokes, to name only a couple of the terrible side effects (my wife is a neurology nurse and have cared for stroke patients who are VERY young women some who have had mini-strokes and some who are now paralyzed, unable to speak, and needs a feeding tube and their ONLY risk factor was their birth control). I have to think there is no provision for natural means of family planning and will not be covered given the course this injustice as taken.

  19. And before you all rip my face off I’d like to point out that the tough times that lie ahead for the Institution are probably going to be related more its dwindling numbers. Your club might be hanging tough but pumping your righteous fists does nothing to bring anyone closer to God. The Holy Catholic Church continues to push sincere practicing Catholics out of its doors, Catholics who leave in good conscience and who desire a relationship with their maker rather than the Magisterium. Yes, they will be off sharing their time, talent and treasures elsewhere in order to bring about the Reign of God in the real world. And if that isn’t the work of the Holy Spirit I don’t know what is.

  20. Rick, thanks for sharing all of this. The rest of us can offer opinions, but you bring competence and direct knowledge of the situation “from the inside.” I learned a lot from your two posts that I didn’t know. Keep sharing!

  21. “I cannot find in scripture where he said I have come to institute the Catholic Church.”

    Maybe you need to reread the Gospel of Matthew–you know “upon this rock——”. Have a nice day in your new church.

  22. RomCath The passage to which you refer Matt 16:18 reads: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

    Do you see the word Catholic? I don’t. Jesus was referring to his church made up of the people who follow his way. Since you are a scholar I’m sure you noticed the translation capitalizes the m in My.

    Jesus’ church is huge and includes everyone, including you and including me. I hope I count myself among the lost Jesus came to save. I hope you are humble enough to want the same. If not, good luck in your tiny world.

  23. Let’s see…”Girl Scout” comment: rude, sexist, degrading to women in general….as far as the “inflamatory comments” of Cardinal Dolan, I just would have expected more from him than a blog designed to rile the masses/rally the troops. In today’s media culture, it’s par for the course, but, as an honorary Girl Scout, it bothers me

  24. Thank you, Rich, but a couple of comments:
    1. I’ll bet Tom would agree with you that Catholic institutions do great jobs. He wasn’t saying they didn’t…just that many of them use government funds.
    2. As a Catholic school teacher myself, being paid one of those “lower” salaries while hopefully providing the “excellent education,” I’m not sure we should be patting the Church on the back for paying its workers lower wages and, as a result, keeping costs down. I’d like to give credit where credit is due…to the mostly lay workers who give of themselves and sacrifice financial security because of love of God and neighbor, not just because we’re “Catholic”…and trust me, the Church is very much a business in the way it deals with us lower paid, lay workers.

  25. michigancatholic says:

    If the mandate isn’t rescinded, you may not even have a job. Then you’ll have something to complain about.

  26. michigancatholic says:

    I’m listening. There are a lot of us out here who agree that Catholicism isn’t about giving people what they want. Catholicism is a religion with truth statements, and one of them is that abortion is immoral. If you have a problem with that, then you have a problem with the Church, not with Oldster or me.
    Oh, and about Jesus coming to save the “lost,” don’t proof text me. There is a thing called the “analogy of faith.” It’s in the Catechism. If you knew enough of your faith to speak about saving the lost, you’d know that abortion runs straight into the face of the “analogy of faith.” Look it up. Paragraph 114 in the CCC.

  27. michigancatholic says:

    This IS the issue of the day. We didn’t choose it; it was forced upon us by this administration.

    I’m not sure why this administration hasn’t spoken to the bishops directly. Maybe they are afraid to. Maybe it’s harder to talk TO someone than ABOUT them. Or perhaps, Obama thinks he’s so much better than they are that he doesn’t have to talk to anyone.

    Nevertheless, it IS the issue of the day. It might not be the one you’d like to argue about, but hey, that’s the breaks.

  28. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    You didn’t compare a Catholic state supported charity with a secular charity. I think that state supported entities that don’t discriminate with tax dollars should be allowed a chance to provide those services. If not, the state should step up. I fail to see how discriminating against social workers who are Gay or not Catholic or are liberal somehow provides better quality help. If you effectively ban or discriminate against 50%+ (secular men, women, and Gay persons) of the population from working there, you’re going to have to scrimp on employee quality. I say, let secular charities take care of it.

    If a religious organization wishes to be a charity, then BE A REAL CHARITY. Or be like religious organizations in Europe (including the Catholic Church) and abide by non-discrimination rules when taking public funds. To be clear, the Catholic Church is not the worst offender. Albert Einstein (as he was not a fundamentalist) would not be able to hold a teaching or research job at many Baptist, Adventist, or Evangelical taxpayer subsidized universities.

    Look at where the Catholic “charity hospital” system is closing and building hospitals. They’ve been hightailing out of the inner cities for years. Not because there isn’t a need in the inner cities, but because they can make more money and provide less charity if they do so. Who cares about the large number of Catholics they leave behind? Its really irrelevant, because I’m not aware of ANY charity at those hospitals. Those Catholics are left largely to public hospitals. Which brings up the larger point. Someone will build a hospital in White Plains or in Reston. Let me know the next time you hear of an expansion of an emergency room Catholic hospital in a poor area of the inner city.

    If the Catholic Church is acting as an agent of the state, then it must abide by the state rules. If they want to be separate from the state, then give up the funding (and pay back the state for the subsidized loans). You can’t have it both ways.

    By the way, the parochial schools are not funded by the state. They can do as they please. Scout, you are right about the church paying their teachers chump change but you could get a teachers certificate and move to the public school system (in theory – if they weren’t laying off teachers like crazy now anyway).

    If you funded your hospitals, your charities, and your universities privately, and there was no ban on competition, I’d feel much differently.

  29. oldestof9 says:

    You win……………………..

  30. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    So if the taxpayer supported employees of the relgious “charity” were transferred to a non-discriminatory ‘charity’, would that mean that they services would be less effective? What is about denying health care to women or discriminating against Gays that made the charity have better outcomes (which is the issue here)? If you can answer that without establishing state-sponsored religion or mandating state employment preferences to persons who hold bias against women or Gays, you’re on your way to making an argument. I’ve never seen it done though.

    There are many reasons why a certain agency might have better outcomes in individual cases, such as self-selection and where the charity chooses to operate. But I think that one reason may be that the state has to take everyone.

    With regard to the denied RFP, what was the reason given? Was it employment discrimination?

    Charity is a great thing. Don’t get me wrong. But the Catholic Church is not engaging in ‘charity’ here.

  31. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Foster Care is a really tricky issue for religious service providers. What protocols are in place for wards of the state that have identified as LGBT? What protocols are in place for wards of the state that are not Catholic? I think having the practice of the state giving children to the care of a church is fraught with many problems. And I say that to liberal religious groups as well, such as the Episcopal Church, which runs foster care ‘charities’.

    Remember, they are wards of the state, not wards of the church. There is a MUCH higher duty of care required than for an adult.

  32. oldestof9 says:

    Susan,
    NEVER my intent to “rip anyones face off”.
    If you are Catholic then see michigancatholic’s post below. If you are not Catholic and you would like to learn something, then by all means come and learn. But don’t come here to bash the magesterium or as you call it, “my club” because you are uneducated or are need to tell us something like the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon, ’cause most of us have heard it before and have delt with it.

    I’m done with you…..see my other post.

    Peace to all

  33. There are Social Workers at Catholic Charities who are not Catholic, who are gay, and who are liberal. They don’t discriminate in hiring, they hire the best qualified Social Worker. At my daughter’s high school there are teachers who are not Catholic, many are known Democrats, and I’d bet you some are gay.

    My point about Catholic schools wasn’t that the State pays for them; rather, what would the public school system do if they were flooded by Catholic school students because Catholic schools closed down? In my city there are 500 students at the Catholic High School, about 1000 in the Middle School, and a lot in the elementary system. Our public schools would not be able to accomodate the increased number of students (the buildings are already over-crowded), the increased need for teachers with a union salary, or the facilities to house those students. The public schools in my area are talking about laying off teachers and eliminating school counselors, sports and music programs. If 2500 Catholic school students were added to the public schools, the community would be in deep s**t. It relatively easy to argue that Catholic institutions help to keep costs and taxes down by providing necessary services at a lower rate than public or secular institutions.

    There is a social cost to getting rid of Catholic schools, charities and hospitals. Are you ready to pay that cost with your taxes?

  34. I’m not sure why it is THE issue of the day, other than the Bishops have chosen to make it so.

    One thing that concerns me….28 states have had this as part of the law for years (including California, where I’m from), and NOW it’s suddenly an issue of national importance, more important than abortion, immigration, poverty? NOW our religious liberty is at stake, whereas it wasn’t before?

    The statement that “Obama thinks he’s so much better than they are that he doesn’t have to talk to anyone” demonstrates a bias against the President, regardless of the issue. Also, the President spoke to then Archbishop Dolan to tell him of the original decision, than the later adjustment. I find this indicative that the President respects us and would like to work with us…I doubt he spends a great deal of time (nor should he) speaking to other religious organizations about his decisions (ie to Quakers about Afghanistan, etc.)

  35. I’ll have a job, I just won’t have health insurance. Lovely.

  36. I do have a teaching credential. I teach in Catholic schools because I’m a good Catholic who wants to spread the faith. I’m not complaining. But it also doesn’t mean I celebrate the idea that I’m paid, as you say, “chump change.”

  37. What is the problem with inflammatory comments? Like Obama has never made them or his former “spiritual guide” Rev Wright?Grow a thicker skin, you will need it in the days to come.

  38. Susan, no it doesn’t say Catholic but how many churches did he establish–the 30000 denominations that we have today. If you read the early Fathers you know if you are a scholar that it was not called Catholic at the beginning. Jesus founded ONE and the Catholic church is the only ONE that can trace itself back to Peter. No other one can. So please read up on the history of the Church and don’t rely on the fundamentalist baloney.

  39. Tom, a foster child’s religion or sexual orientation is not an issue for church based organizations. Birth parents retain residual rights in most states–among those rights is the right for a child to attend the Church of a parent’s choice or no Church at all. No one is forced to go to a Catholic, Lutheran or Methodist Church. It’s not tricky at all for Catholic foster care agencies: employees, foster parents and foster chidlren do not have to be Catholic. It simply is not an issue for anyone.

    There are gay foster children–again it’s not an issue. At my daughter’s Catholic school there are students who openly identify to staff and other students that they are gay. No harrassment, no discrimination. Teachers do explain the Church’s stance, but if the student rejects it, it’s no big deal. The hope is that MAYBE years from now it will make sense to them and they will live it.

  40. I don’t think it’s chump change and I didn’t say it is. My wife works for Catholic Charities and I work for a secular non-profit. Neither of us makes much, we’re in our mid 50s and chances are we won’t be able to retire, but we’re very happy to work where we work and to do what we do. Thanks for working in a Catholic school–I sincerely wish you were making more than you do. You deserve it.
    Rick

  41. Jeff Stevens says:

    Have the bishops stopped speaking about abortion, immigration, and poverty? Can they only speak on one issue at once? They’ve been speaking about those issues for decades, can they not focus on another one for a while?

    It is a serious assault on religious freedom, that’s reality. Rising up to oppose it is only reasonable.

  42. You guys are funny. One thinks the other is smarter than the next. You certainly want to throw under the bus anyone who takes a different view than you. My initial comment was based on the remark that the WH thinks the bishops are out of touch, and I say it is not only the WH that thinks so. I furthered my comment with why the church will be facing more difficult times (as if it could get worse). Because I do not agree you tell me there must be something lacking in my education. And somehow someone now thinks I’m pro-abortion, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Not sure where you got that one from what I said.

    Now, put on your reading glasses and pay attention. My problem is with many of the leadership of the church pushing Catholics away because they appear to be out of touch, they also do not seem to be concerned with the outcome of their actions as affects the future church. I am not against upholding moral teaching at all. I also do not think the church needs to or should necessarily bend to give people what they want. But I do say there are better ways to teach than the methods currently in use. And the methods currently in use are causing more harm to the body than good. Case in point, Catholics fighting with Catholics over…being Catholic.

    I’m the last thing from fundamental, if anything, the study of church and sacramental history makes me question everything that comes out of Rome. Yes, I do have a problem as you say, not with the church, of which I am a member, but with the Institution. I don’t doubt the magisterium’s sincerity or think they are evil or anything like that, but I do think some of them think shepherding is done with a sharp stick.

    And unless you also have an advanced theology degree or are working on one, I probably know a little bit on the topic of biblical scholarship, or at least can stand toe to toe with you. I admit I’m not versed in canon law, you can’t do it all, and do it well. But let’s not all start waving our degrees and letters around. Now, put your knives away.

  43. DeaconRob says:

    To Tom in Lazybrook and anyone else sharing those thoughts…
    You mention that “catholic” charities, hospitals, universities that receive federal funding, need to (essentially) follow the rules of the government that is supplying their funding. I know I am shortening and summarizing a bit, however that seems to be he heart of your arguement. There is not a single case of the government proving ALL of the funding for ANY of those institutions. Therefore, I throw it back at you this way…the church and its charitable arms have existed for many years. In fact, catholic hospitals have been in the hospital/doctor business much longer than the government has been providing funds for it. Also, we can all thank the church for the educational system that we have around the world.
    With all that in mind, as soon as the government got in business with the church, the government then realizes that IT gives up some of its rights in doing business with the church. I think we can all agree that in every instance of giving out govt funding to catholic organizations that the govt knew EXACTLY who they were giving money to – and knew their values and teachings. The church is not new on the block and our charitable organizations are quite old as well.
    Specifically in the case of catholic charities, in many instances (like Chicago for example), catholic charities was asked by the state to provide their services – because of their excellent service, organization, and treatment of clients. For just 2 examples – foster care and adoption services. We would all agree that catholic orphanages were around way before the government even got concerned with the business.
    The premise that the church has to adapt because SOME of its funding comes from the government is absurd. In many cases, no one else would even provide the services we do. And the government is happy to write a check to us so they don’t have to do it in the government’s normal inefficient ways.
    We are all forgetting in this argument that its is not about “health care” but about health insurance for everyone. Why is it radical to think that people have to pay for birth control? Or abortifacients? We have to pay a portion for heart medication or O2 pumps for asthma. Not one Bishop is saying that we will not cover care for anyone. Birth control and clearly abortifacients violate our teachings. But the Bishops did NOT say that we will not allow them to be a part of our insurance plans – just that we will not PAY for them.
    Seems very ligitamate to me.
    God bless!

  44. Dcn Rob
    I think you may be missing Rich’s point. i guess it might be the old ‘chicken and egg’ question, but one can say the church has a big mess when it started taking so much government money that its program cannot survive without it as they are.
    there are two other dynamics here, one is that maybe 50 or 60 years ago there was more social consensus on these issues, so thing we smoother. And the catholic church has been suffering a real closure of programs and institutions these past 50 years (think of all the schools, parishes etc that have closed). All this makes it a complicated mess.

    But i am curious if any one has heard how the Salvation Army is responding to this and how they come down on it? I think the Salvation Army and the Catholic church receive the most money from the government for their programs. In the past the Army stood close to the Catholic Church when the church was fighting NYC over funding and social issues, it would be interesting to see where they stand now.

  45. Susan, with regard to your string of posts, you seem to have checked out of the Catholic Church if you were ever in it. I often wonder why someone with as much hatred and venom showing in your posts toward the Catholic Church feels it is so essential to them to a clearly Catholic Blog to vent? Could it be that you know you have made a horrible mistake and are trying to suck as many along with you as possible? You do not have just a problem with this post by Deacon, but you venom stretchs back to questions if Christ giving the keys to Peter had anything to do with starting the Catholic Church. We get it. You do not believe anything at all about Catholic teaching. You seem like a person who like meat whose mission in life is to go to every vegetarian resturant so you can vomit your hatred all over those who are vegetarians. I have never in my life felt compelled to go to an atheist site. What I feel for you is pity which could be what you are after. If Catholic, you might know deep down you have placed your soul at great risk and can’t control your actions. Something must have hurt you in the Church personally. If true, again, you have my sympathy. You are a very troubled person who has just about everything about the Catholic Church wrong. If the Church were close to what you see, it would not still be here after 2000 years. By coming here, you are screaming to all who do come here and to the deacon that we are fools and only you have the truth. Sorry, but I think it is the other way around.

  46. MZ. most litigation takes years to find its way to the court. That is why the court was set up as an independent branch of government. So what might have started under Bush could end up under the next president. So what. If the president chooses to support and continue that fight, it then takes on his name when the decision is handed down. As I am sure you know, the president has choosen not to support those actions which he disagrees and his justice department has complied. But Obama team did support this battle and lost big time. It reflects from this choice that Obama and his team was in favor of the EEOC having power over religious liberty. In fact, one member of the Bush administration said they allowed the initial case to go up the line with their support because there were things in the EEOC that this lose would reign in which is why Obama probably did not want to see this loss.

    I think what Cardinal Dolan is doing here is laying out the bigger issue around Religious Liberty which many more on the left would be fighting for if it was not tied to their guy Obama.

    What made the country work so well for so long was an independent court that ruled according to the actual text of the Constitution they took an oath to preserve and protect. When the court decided it would start legislating from the bench and distorting what was in the Constitution, few would have dreamed they would fing things not there and then use them to enact laws on the entire country ignoring the 10th amendment, distorting the 14th, lying about the 1st, and in general saying the actual wording does not matter.

    What has “finally” united the entire USCCB is the attack has grown so blatant that even those who have carried water for years curing earlier attacks on our freedom, have been awakened with a blatant slap on the face. What you see here is a very reasonable Cardinal Dolan showing his rightous outrage at this blatant act against the Church he has given his life to serve. He was lied to right to his face and as seen here, even the so called “accomodation” was not put in the federal register, but the first lie. He has realized that this person in the white house has no regard for the truth or essential things to our country like religious liberty. I think he might become the Bonhoeffer of our country and our age. Like Bonhoeffer, we are faced with fighting grave evil and have been for a while. I urge everyone to read “Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas and you will see amazing similarities to what we see today.

  47. Scout, if we lose all religious liberty, we lose all chance for this country to survive. The founders said that they built a country and that religious freedom protected from government was essential to its survival. They said very plainly if one has read all the founding documents and writings of the time, that the government they established could not survive and would falter if religious freedom were not protected from that same government.

    When the Baptist Church wrote to Jefferson concerned about rumors the Anglican Church was going to become the state religion, he wrote telling them not to worry that we had erected a separation that the government could not establish a specific denomination. Little did he know, some judge would later pick out words and distort them in the first major attack on actual religious liberty by the government. If there is any battle for the USCCB and all people who care about faith and care about this country to fight it is for religious liberty FROM the government. It is time when many of us learn the truth about this big lie that has been attacking our freedom and trying to make the central government the god of the land determining our rights rather than our Creator.
    Anyone who examines the growth of power and reduction of liberties since that horrilbe 1947 Everson ruling can see the damage already done. Wonder why so many sense this country is moving in the wrong direction and that having the government as our god is not working? Why is every measurable evaluation of the issues that matter to most people in this country going the wrong way? Poverty in the USA was actuall creeping down before this ruling and has exploded up under the government godless solutuions. Same is true of single moms despite the advent and wide use of the pill and it all started about this time. School scores have been in steady decline as God was taken out of the schools. It is not some simple prayer that went out, it was every mention of God which required massive rewrite of everything since our country was founded with religous liberty and protection. If you even see Washington farewell address taught today, something probably important since he was founding father, it is massively edited because of its heavy use of religion and the fact our country could not survive without strong religious liberty protected from government. Every early reading textbook was completely filled with references to the Bible and there was one in every classroom. That was true up through WWII. We haven’t done very well with this athiest state religion.

  48. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Yes. Remember, the parochial schools are not going to close as they are PRIVATELY FUNDED. Some Universities would refinance their tax free debt and pay the government back. And live without research grants. Some who couldn’t pay back their government grants would be sold (most likely to public or secular educational institutions). The hospitals would simply change ownership in most cases. I’m not seeing much of a problem here.

    With state agencies (e.g. Catholic ‘charities’), there would likely be a transition period as secular charities would step in. Remember 70 percent of their funding comes from the government anyway. And the state might have to step up a little bit. We’re talking about 4 or 5 billion for the transition period (which would be repaid by the influx of funds from the taxpayer debt repayment from the universities going truly private).

    And the Catholic Church would be free to do as it pleases. I’m not seeing this as being as expensive as you think.

  49. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Not under Chaput when he was in the Denver Archdiocese. Remember when he kicked that 5 year old girl out of school because momma was a Lesbian?

  50. Tom, you are simply wrong. Religious rights of every kind were to be protected from any government action against them by what the founders put into the first amendment. We are living with a distortion of the text by the supreme court that took hundreds of precedents and threw them out the window. The turned the protection of religious FROM government to the Separation protection of Government FROM religion.

    Why do our courts have people place their hand on the Bible and take an oath to tell the truth? Why does every session of congress start with prayers from a minister paid by congress. Why does every president taking the oath of office do so on a Bible and end the oath as George Washington did with “so help me God.” Why does our money say in “God we Trust”. Why would a president take very opportunity to proclaim they are Christian? We almost had a Jewish VP which to many who see us as a Judeo Christian country if acceptable. Why did all this change after 1947 and why has almost everything gone down hill since that time. We thought congress was bad back before then, but nothing like we see today. The fact that the government has tried to control religious liberty in every way possible using the big lie of separation of church and state does not make it true. Our country would be far more united and far ahead in almost every way if the supreme court had kept its oath and not started to promote lies to legislate from the bench.

  51. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Name one currently operating Catholic Hospital that was not financed with tax-free debt or direct government funding. Name one Catholic Medical School that exists today where its’ physical plant was not paid for by taxpayers. And I’m not talking about a 10 percent share. Its much, much, higher than that.

    We’re not talking about trivial sums here. We’re talking in excess of 50 BILLION dollars.

    I really don’t think what the Catholic Church did 100 or 200 years ago is relevant to funding decisions today. Give the government their money back or obey the government rules. You got the money in the past, but that doesn’t give you the right to get any more in the future. And it isn’t discrimination to say taxpayer funded entities cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or womens health benefits.

  52. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    After they were burned spending millions of ‘charitable’ contributions on lobbying for more discriminatory contracts from the government, they’ve been quiet.

  53. In reality, if the government collected a given amount of money to pay for the education of all the kids and then allowed free choice of schools, public, Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Islam, or private business in full competition, we would have a better system. Of course we could debate what gave the federal government the right to get in the education business best handled by the state in the first place but that is another discussion. We certainly would have a whole lot better education for the kids. I find it interesting that the democrats fight every attempt to give the kids in DC a chance to escape one of the worst school systems in the country to protect the teachers union while they send their kids to prestigious private schools like Obama. he found an extra 2500 in his new budget to help government motors volt sales rising it to 10,000 per car but took what little money was providing a few kids to escape away in total in his new budget. who profits from this budget move? GE agreed to buy 12,500 volts for a nice check from the government of $125,000,000 dollars but nothing for the poor kids in DC. GE made a profit of $41 billion dollars last year and paid zero taxes actually getting a green energy rebate and now they are getting this windfall. But lets gripe about funding going through Catholic insitutions that in most cases are caring for the poor by the millions every day based on driving God out of government and making government our god. Not working out to good folks. wake up.

  54. Rick, how about sharing the sources of this informaton. It does not match anything I have ever seen.

  55. This would have to be run past planned parenthod before it would be supported by this administration. Answer you question?

  56. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    And so do single people and people less likely to have children….like Gay people. Should they get a massive subsidy from the state in return for their lower burden on the state? Why do Catholics get a benefit and Gays/single persons nothing? Some Catholic ‘charities’ do pay their Gay employees fairly. However, others do not. Not all dioceses allow for plus 1 health coverage (such as Washington DC) by Catholic ‘charities’, which amounts to pay discrimination by a taxpayer subsidized employer. In DC, the opposition to fair pay practices by taxpayer supported entities was so great that the diocese ended all health care coverage for straight and Gay spouses. Which ended the discrimination, but at a severe cost to the employees. I think it would be better for everyone if they just existed taxpayer funded services. Futhermore, there is a witchhunt going on right now. In Charlotte and St Louis in the last week alone, Gay employees have been FIRED for simply living openly. Granted, those were not at taxpayer supported entities, but its not hard to see which direction the hard core politicals in the Church is going with this.

  57. Anthony, as detailed, most of the hospitals and universities that existed in this country were religious. When government decided it was now to be god and dictate their secular atheist religion as the new state mandated religion, they also decided this gave them the power to tax and regulate everything. Thus when this new government god determined they would control the healthcare business, they changed the entire structure around the movement of money and funding within the entire system. they created the first problems in healthcare when they tried to put federal controls on prices and wages after WWII. The people and unions with no way to get more money went for benefits like healthcare insurance. Most business went along because it was dirt cheap. Medicare and its companion Medicaid (both added as part of social security as this one got through the courts under FDR (which was the first violation of the constittuion) in essence changed the entire game for everyone. Healthcare prices have been going up at a massive rate since the government god entered the arena. You cannot serve the poor and elderly without accpeting this funding. So to say they should fund themselves is impossible and the left knows it. The same is true of universites that have to accept all the various money their customers now have tied to government or not exist.

    If we want to stop the government from taxing and determining as the new god who determines all our rights and liberties rather than the Creator, then everything we do is covered by their money (which is really ours or printed and borrowed for our grandkids to pay) and nothing should be allowed. How about the $10,000 Obama wants to provide to everyone that buys a volt but none to cars that actually are justified in the market by value?

    This is a lying distraction from the attack on religious liberties. Cardinal Dolan is wise to see through the lies and to right off this white house from one that cares about freedom. I hope his shot over the bow of that supposedly Catholic magazine of the Jesuits wakes them up as well.

  58. name and hospital or school that does not get federal money. Name almost anything that does not get money or regulation controls. Name a toilet in a home in this country not controlled by the federal government or soon a light bulb. Name a green company controlled by those who finance Obama that does not get federal money which will be funneled back in donations. By singling our relilious hospital and universites, you are showing your belief that they should be defunded and put our of existence. In other words, you do not care about the first amendment and make the point for Cardinal Dolan that because they are religious, they have no rights.

  59. What? That Catholic Charities has among the highest permanency rates in Illinois and has an excellent history of providing long term placements for children in fostercare?

  60. Tom–one incident in one diocese is not proof that it is the general policy in all Catholic dioceses, hospitals, schools or charities. If I remember correctly, it was the pastor not the bishop who removed the child from the school although the bishop supported the pastors decision. If it only takes one incident to prove your point; then, I can disprove your point personally introduce you to a gay social worker who works at Catholic Charities, gay students at an orthodox Catholic high school, and very orthodox sisters who know they teach gay students and treat them with respect and love (but still clearly teach Catholic morality). I could, if it were legal, introduce you to gay foster children served by Catholic Charities. The children have never been mocked or mistreated by their fosterparents, caseworkers or Catholic Charities therapists. I have a bunch of examples to put up against your one student in Denver. I am not convinced that a large percentage of Catholic institutions mistreat gay clients, employees or students. There are some–but that happens in secular institutions too.

  61. Oh Susan, if you think the number of Catholics are more important than the Magisterium, then you have stopped being Catholic.

  62. “Dismayed?” Could it be that you have a political vested interest in Obama? If you can’t see how this issue strikes at the heart of religious freedom, then your bias is blinding you.

  63. I said the following over at Anchoress’s blog on the same subject.

    This is very sad. Congress will not save us. The Democratic led Senate just rejected taking this up. Our only hope is in the courts or making Obama pay in November. I cannot imagine how any Catholic can vote Democrat. It’s amazed me how a sizable number of Jews continuously vote Democrat, despite their anti-Israeli bias. We are reaching a point with tha similar split for Catholics. How can Catholics continue to support Democrats, and especially this administration, when they are repeatedly anti religion? I guess people buy cheap rhetorical B.S. I can’t believe how dejected I am over this issue.

    This administration has consciously decided to deploy a strategy of divide and conquer, diving Catholics beteen their different factions. How dispicable is that. Unfortunately as I read through the comments here, it has worked.

  64. Yes, this issue WAS forced upon the church. The WH chose to execute an “end-run” around the USCCB and gave Cardinal Dolan, head of the USCCB, the political equivalent of the “Dalai Lama shoved-out-the-WH-back-door-next-to-the-trash-bags” treatment.

    The WH could have avoided this kerfuffle but chose to reward its pals in the pro-abortion and radical feminist wings of the Democratic party.

    We shouldn’t have been surprised by the WH move. Don’t forget that it was THIS PRESIDENT who notoriously pushed for a pro-infanticide bill as an Illinois State Senator … and stated during the 2008 campaign that he wouldn’t want his daughters to “be punished with a baby … and who contemptously referred to “traditional values” voters as people who “cling to religion and guns.”

  65. Since Constantine, the Church has been as much about secular political power as spirituality, often much more so. From that time, bishops and popes made themselves Caesar’s partner, to grab the ring of power under the seduction that they would use it only to serve spiritual ends. But power corrupts, and Caesar is no one’s junior partner. So long as you make your ministries dependent on government money, they will always be compromised by its agenda.

  66. I detect venom on both sides.

  67. Dave Linn says:

    The Church, Bishops and laity fighting the government and political process on the issues of right to life and contraception is both the easy and wrong fight. We might feel good because we are doing “something important” but IT IS THE WRONG FIGHT!

    The right fight is for the informed conscience and faith of the individual, catholic, other Christian and larger society. If we attempt to control individuals by governmental law but fail to change conscience and faith we have failed. If we change the conscience and faith of more individuals, politicians, in a democracy, will come to us and support us because we are the vote.

    Evangelize, speak to others of your belief, understand the power of your faith at the one to one level and act on your faith. Don’t fight for political power. Fight for faith and we will win.

  68. oldestof9 says:

    Manny,
    I know you know this but perservere in your trust in the Holy Spirit.
    No matter how bad this looks, as long as we discern God’s will and act accordingly, all will be well.

    Peace

  69. Susan, unfortunately I don’t find anything funny about your posts. You claim to be Catholic and yet deny that Jesus founded the Church. If you question everything that comes from Rome then I think you, not the hierarchy, has a problem.

  70. michigancatholic says:

    Well, Susan, since you asked, yes I am working on an advanced Theology degree. And I do know more about Ecclesiology than you do. I bring this up because ignorance about Ecclesiology is exactly your problem as you’ve made more than clear in these comments. Please look up the word and then read a basic text on the subject so that you will be able stop embarrassing yourself on this topic in public. It’s painful to watch.

  71. michigancatholic says:

    Scout,
    Obama has come after us tooth and nail and you expect me to have no bias? I will never believe anything that man says ever again.

  72. michigancatholic says:

    Then get another job if you don’t like it and stop whining.

  73. you believe in the bible, don’t you? The word bible is not in the bible. I take i for granted that you believe in the Trinity.. the word Trinity is not in the bible,my point is, just because it is not in the bible does not mean its not truth. The word catholic which means universal was given to the christian early church because the church was expanding all over the the nation and soon all over the world..thus a universal church which we are today.

  74. I hate to break it to you dear and it is not pleasant for me to write, but you are not Catholic.

  75. DeaconRob says:

    To Dave Linn….AMEN!

  76. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Jason, I’ll ask you to please refrain from making such judgments here. It’s not yours to make. Thank you. Dcn. G.

  77. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    You don’t have a right to taxpayer subsidies. What you are arguing is that the Roman Catholic Church has no accountability for its’ funding and that it is an entitlement of the USCCB.

  78. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Sounds like you’ve been listening to too much David Barton dominionist falsehoods. The US government didn’t celebrate Christmas (the founding fathers met on Christmas by the way) until the 1870′s. The “One nation under God” in the pledge was inserted during the red scare in the 1950s. The no establishment clause is clear. And having the government fund certain religions over others (say the UCC or MCC) is establishment.

  79. I did not deny Jesus founded the Christian church. I object when people say Jesus founded the Catholic church as it is today. I know catholic means universal and should include all Christians, but while Catholics can say they are Christian, it is not true when said the other way around. So I think we need to be careful about that statement. The Church includes all Christians.

    I also think what I am saying is being unfairly misrepresented here, probably because of my unfortunate use of sarcasm and for that I apologize. The truth is that it is because I love being Catholic that I take offense with many of the polarizing statements and actions coming from the hierarchy. Look, I know our history and it is not pretty, but I also know that this church continues despite that, and this is because the Spirit dwells here and motivates us to want to be Christ to the world. I want to shout from the rooftops how beautiful our faith is, how holy our Sacraments, how marvelous the Liturgy, how rich our intellectual tradition is, how profound our spiritualism, and how deeply we care for the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and walk the walk. We strive to live up to Matt 5:43-48. This is true and we all know it is. I want everyone to come in and see what we see. Unfortunately, the experience is frequently shut down by poor pastoral leadership. I’m sorry, but its true.

    I stand by my statement about the bishops needing alternate, better ways to teach our moral code in a way that draws people in rather than pushing them away. It is painful to see so many spiritual hungry people leaving our table. It is not helpful when our Bishops use hyperbolic language either. It is alienating and increases the separation of those who are on the fence, the very ones who need the church and whom the church needs. There is a better way.

    I’m sorry if my comments offended so many. Ad hominem attacks occurred on both sides.

  80. The “AmChurch” crowd have chosen their new bishops. The Obama administration has annointed them as leaders of this “new” “up-to-date” church which will conform to all the government’s mandates.

    Since the Church Christ founded will not submit, they have created an alternative version and have declared it to be the “true” church, and it will be the only one which they will “consult”. The anti-catholic media accept this new church and it’s newly “annointed” magisterium as the true one and will forever make the claim that the catholic church approves of all that the government wants it to approve.

    I will remain “out-of-date” and stick to the Church Christ founded. Don’t care what anyone thinks of that really. I just feel sorry for all the people who believe the fantasy that these ungodly people have created.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua
    Barb

  81. The fact that these things are happening is no surprise and can be attributed in no small part to years of accommodating the evil designs of “progressives” in order to protect precious social projects. It’s time Bishops exercise their seldom used authority and excommunicate all “Catholic in name only” politicians under their jurisdiction. In addition sever all ties with “catholic” colleges and universities that continue to flaunt Church teachings while operating under the Bishop’s imprimatur. Past inaction has only emboldened liberal politicians in their attempt to further erode our God given rights.

  82. MaryGreene says:

    Vote them all out. WOe to us if we re-elect these people.

  83. Recently presented in2-24-12 Ca Legislature SB1500 -Kehoe Dem
    Will take away the illegality of administering the ‘Day-After-Pill
    by – Clinicians, Nurses, attendants – Whomever HHS/Planned Parenthood
    assigns the Pharmacy tasks there-in — Let your daughters and sons
    become the new abortionists — Join a Nursing Program — !!

  84. Tom,

    Catholic Hospital and Charities provide SERVICES that are sometimes paid for by taxpayer dollars. They aren’t receiving SUBSIDIES. They are receiving PAYMENT for SERVICES render.

    Its sad that in this day in age so many self appointed popes don’t believe that facts are actually an integral part of making moral decisions. All you need to do identify the protected group and ascribe discriminatory motives onto anyone who disagrees.

  85. Susan , people have been leaving the Catholic Church in droves since so many progressives took advantage of being able to ‘misinterpret’ Vatican 2. Watered-down dumbed-down versions of the TRUTH have failed miserably. But hey, at least I built some really neato collages in my religious ed classes–don’t forget to glue the glitter on Jesus’ robe! Evangelicals are growing primarily because of their focus on orthodox Christianity. All the older now unfortunately more liberal protestant groups are rapidly declining much faster than Catholics. Anyone ‘standing behind’ the Church losing members because it’s not liberal enough is dead wrong–it’s the main reason why so many have left. The Catholic Church tried liberalism and it failed just like it does everywhere else. I’m sorry but it’s true.

    Let’s be clear: the polarizing statements and evil actions are coming from our intolerant government. I’ve followed Cardinal Dolan’s statements for months and he’s been very charitable throughout and has sincerely tried to voice his concerns and work things out.

    Socialism/Marxism never works–how’s that hope & change working out for everyone besides bankruptcy lawyers and environmentalist attorneys?

  86. This has nothing to do with what the bishops ‘people’ want. The Catholic Church is only about what Jesus wants. They follow what he wants, that’s it. So all these numbers of how many Catholic women want this is totally irrelevant.

  87. Susan you are so clueless about the Catholic Church. Many, many Americans are. The church has last 2000 years with people leaving. It is the first church, the only church Jesus created and will survive always. It says so in the bible. Try reading one sometime.

  88. If pastoral leadership has been lacking, it from those who refusal to consider seriously the warnings of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae. My guess is that you learned about the Church from teachers or clerics was rejected his teachings as though it were some scholastic tome rather than a reminder that the Catholic Church –the Christian Church whose existence can be traced through history –has always taught that contraception is wrong. Of course, not until modern times when such devises became readily available, and when children came to regarded as burdens to our free enjoyment of life, and marriage a mere convention, did the consequences of all this become so clear. Read it. All that the pope predicted has come true, including the apostacy of so many Catholics.

  89. The Cardinal did talked with the President and was left with the impression that the Administration would except Church institutions from the mandate. After all, he has made exceptions for many institutions friendly to the President. The President, however, has a habit of misleading statements. Thus Dolan was blind-sided. Of course, the bishops should have known that the feminists around him have far more sway with the President than moderates such as Joe Biden and Bill Daley. They saw the iceberg coming. Sec, Sebelius just saw it as an icefield asnd thinks she commands not an oceanliner but an ice-breaker.

  90. I don’t accept the principle that any private body that accepts a government subsidy became a defacto government agency. That would means that Boeing is a government agency. That aside, a religious establishment is a specially privileged entity under -American Law. That is the reason for the religion clauses of the First Amendment: to guard the rights of the churches established in some of the states and to prevent Congress from laws that required individuals to subscribe to any such Establishmernt.

  91. “If you funded your hospitals, your charities, and your universities privately, and there was no ban on competition, I’d feel much differently.”

    The distinction between public and private is somewhat specious. Were it not for heavy taxation by federal, state and local governments, the members of the several churches probably could support such institutions. The public schools enjoy a monopoly of public funding, and their ever increasing costs have put all private institutions at a disadvantage. Evidentally, Mr.Obama wishes to establish something comparable in the health industry. he is tired of debating the issues of birth control and abortion with the Catholic Church, and by granting the Secretary of HHS plenary authority to define what is medical care he finds himself in the positions to turn all Catholic hospitals into “St Elsewheres” –secular institutions which abide by the moral code of the AMA.

  92. Back in the day, most teachers were nuns, and they did what they did as a vocation. You think of it as a job. After Vatican II, most of the teaching nuns lost this sense of vocation or mission. Rather they adopted a more “Protestant” view of vocation. Certainly they had lost their trust in the bishops and the charisms of their orders. IAC, the consequence was that the bishops did have to make the schools into “busineses,”in order to keep the school open. The problem was they had to hire people for whom teaching was a job or if a calling, it was a much more worldly calling, say like saving the whales or women’s rights or teaching children their own brand of Catholicism.

  93. “Government money,” is simply public funding. The money comes from private parties. Public health is a much broader term than what is provided by the government. Government agencies are simply the means by which services are delivered. I am seeing here the acceptance of the idea that the “State” is the sole agent of the public, that the public ought not to be able to choose any means not allowed by the State.

  94. And you are arguing that the Church is completely subject to the will of the government because it has accepted public funds.

  95. The government is doing its best to prevent us from evangelizing. We cannot apply Catholic teachings to those we minister to. St. Francis once said: Preach the Gospel, use words if you have to. We are being asked to provide spiritual poison to those whom we ought to serve. Or perhaps we are being asked to provide booze to alcoholics, in the name of charity.

  96. It may come to that. Sadly the worst enemies of the Church have been ex-Catholics,

  97. David P. Hahn says:

    I think what we lose site of is this is a spiritual war. We are literally fighting the devil. The Blessed Mother is the one who will triumph in this battle against the evil one. She has many times told us how we can aid her in winning this battle. With prayer fasting and sacrifice. We need to turn to God in this battle against the devil. I believe things will continue to get worse until we finally realize that we better start doing what our Mother has said to do. At some point it will get so bad that the only thing we have left is prayer. And God will say why did you let it get to this point. Why didn’t you pray more when it wasn’t your only option.

    JP II asked that every parish have 24/7 adoration. If we would have done that when he asked we wouldn’t be having these problems. But we think we need to be doing something more than just adoration so we don’t spend our time there we spend it using OUR abilities to fight the devil. Well I’m sorry but human abilities to fight an Angelic creature is a losing battle. He tricks us into thinking we have to do it this way or we are just being passivists or something. If every parish had 24/7 adoration for example God would empower us with his divine nature and we would defeat this evil no problem.

    Don’t get me wrong We still have to act but the tiniest amount of action stemming from 24/7 adoration would be like a nuclear bomb. All our action without this prayer is like a tiny fire cracker. Yet many people will dismiss what I say. They’ll say we can’t just sit in front of the Eucharist and do nothing. To which I say now, I didn’t say that. I said increase our adoration and the smallest amount of action will merit great things. The Victor is Christ. Christ will work through us to defeat the devil. The more we spend time with our Bridegroom the more he can convert and defeat the devil when we go into the world.

    I have heard that the JP II had the ability to walk out on a stage where there where thousands of people in the crowd. Just him walking onto the stage would convert people or make people feel on fire for the faith when they were just “so so” about the faith. Perhaps everyone reading this blog goes to adoration daily and prays the rosary daily. Than great. I’m preaching to the choir. If not than we need to do this. If we are we need to redouble our efforts and do everything we can to get more people in front of Jesus and he will work on them in the silence of Adoration.

  98. Most of the laity commit mortal sin in all sorts of ways: ignoring their Sunday obligation, ignoring their Friday fast obligation, cussing, participating in the general filth of our culture, etc.
    Why should the popularity of sin mean that the Church’s teaching should be changed?
    What about those of us laity who LOVE the Church, LOVE the Natural Law, and REFUSE to pay for the abomination that is artificial contraception?

  99. HOW CAN CATHOLICS SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM?

    There is NOTHING Barack Obama supports that’s in accordance with Papal teaching, including socialized medicine (yes, I know some of the US Bishops support socialized medicine, but how can any form of socialism be reconciled with papal teaching that workers have a right to own their own labor?)
    And, yes, this IS the issue of the day. Every Pope from Bl. John XXIII to Benedict XVI has said that contraception is the #1 crisis in the world today.
    It is a fundamental attack on the very fabric of society. John XXIII said contraception is the worst form of economic injustice.

    [Comment edited to remove offensive content. -- Ed.]

  100. Banning contraception isn’t discrimination. Using contraception is eugenics.

    [Comment edited to remove offensive content. -- Ed.]

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