Bishops to ‘Bam: “Nice first step…” -UPDATED

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has it:

BISHOPS STUDYING INITIAL WHITE HOUSE MOVEMENT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

*New opportunity to dialogue with executive branch, obtain details :::

*Too soon to tell whether and how much improvement on core concerns:::

*Commitment to religious liberty for all means legislation still necessary:::

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President Obama’s announcement today. But the Conference continues to express concerns. “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The past three weeks have witnessed a remarkable unity of Americans from all religions or none at all worried about the erosion of religious freedom and governmental intrusion into issues of faith and morals,” he said.

“Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said. “We hope to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations.”

Emphasis mine. The USCCB is signaling that it is not backing down and that while the Obama administration spends the next months (up to and perhaps past the election) finalizing the language of this new “accommodation” the bishops expect to have input. This is a game of chess and they’re studying their next move.

Essentially Dolan has said, “yes, we see you have made a move; we acknowledge that you have engaged. That is a good first step.” Now, it’s going to get interesting. Right after Dolan gets back from Rome! :-)

And scholars and the universities are not fooled.

And so the story is not over, and no matter how much time and effort the mainstream media, the democrats and some of your own Catholic friends tries to tell you otherwise — it is not over. It is just going to recede to the backburners in the minds of many, while pressure is applied here and squeezes are put there.

We need to pray for our bishops in this time. And for the president, too, that his heart will be turned. They’re all certainly under pressure.

In particular, pray for Archbishop Dolan who is the head of the USCCB, and in the midst of all this is heading to Rome, for his elevation to Cardinal.

UPDATE Having had time to study the President’s move, the Bishops have issued a second statement: USCCB to Obama: Rescission of mandate only complete solution.

Too bad it’s a Friday night:

*Regulatory changes limited and unclear:::
*Rescission of mandate only complete solution:::
*Continue urging passage of Respect for Rights of Conscience Act:::

[...]
[The President] has decided to retain HHS’s nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients. This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern. We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty. . .

These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance. . .But stepping away from the particulars, we note that today’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services. [Emphasis mine]

We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.

Te-Deum blog has lots more including excerpts from what appears to be a leaked internal memo

But I’ll let you go find out what it says, for yourselves.

UPDATE II: “We were getting killed” – the inside story of the “accommodation”

For more check out The Shell Game and the Magical Thinking!

More Catholic reactions to today’s drama: in a roundup, here.

At Bad Catholic: A coolness that will be short-lived

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Phil

    Why weren’t the Bishops prepared with a trenchant response to the Hawaii compromise? After all, it was only leaked several days ago. We Catholics always seem to look clueless, and caught off guard. If we somehow manage to win this one, surely the credit will go to God.

  • kevin

    Maybe a little too nicely worded but the message is clear; this isn’t over. Some commenter made the good point of whether this compromise is actually worse and restricts religious freedom more, i.e., by requiring every policy that can be purchased to provide contraceptives. So even St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for example, will have to contract with a carrier that is mandated to provide contraceptives.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    This comprimise does nothing to satisfy religious liberty. They shouldn’t back down and they should demand the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius. If the Bishops accept the comprimise, I will lose respect for them. We know what this administration is trying to do: destroy religious liberty so they can finalize the implementation a left wing secular culture. Socialism won’t work if there is religious liberty. Marx realized that way back when. That’s there goal, they realize they’re not going to get it completely, so one step at a time. This administration wants this country to be godless, just like 80% of western Europe. We know what this administration’s core values are: the full blosoming of the sexual revolution, with contraception, gay marriage, and abortion. Mind you, gay marriage will undoubtly be on the agenda given another term for Obama. You’ve got to be a fool not to believe that.

  • Debbie

    When Obamacare goes into effect in 2014, how is this not using my tax money to fund abortions?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I think the Bishops are fools if they back down now, or settle for any “agreement”.

    Yes, I think calling for the resignation of Sibelius would be a very good idea, and would let the Obama administration know the Bishops are serious about this.

  • archangel

    Phil… Cardinal Wuerl did have a response and he gave it on MSNBC. Again, go to “whispers” and watch the interview. He specifically responded to the “Hawaii compromise”.

    The bishops will not take this stand BUT what I would like to see is some excommunications. Sibelius, Boxer, and Biden would be the top of my list. Daley may also be there, depending on his involvement. Politico has an interesting timeline for his actions. He’s doing a lot of disavowing.

    The bottomline is this. There are more responsible parties than Obama. The Constitutional arguments aside, he doesn’t give a crap about the moral or theological implications. He’s not Catholic. On that score, I hold him to a lower standard. Constitutionally… that’s a different story. BUT, the other 3 or 4 I mentioned; I personally think its way past time for the bishops to open up a can of cannonical whoop arse on them. It’ll never happen though.

  • Michael Gorman

    Don’t miss this response:

    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=26523

    Michael Gorman

  • kevin

    I tend to agree archangel. At least Sebelius, who appears to be motivated at least partly out of spite to the bishops for having previously disciplined her.

    The bishops in the United States are not operating within the walls of Vatican City where “Romanita” diplomatic vagueness is the rule of communications. They are in a full scale conflict now with the the most powerful secular government in the world. They need to be as direct as possible and to roll out some new artillery at this point for the greater good of the Church.

  • Jasper

    this ‘compromise’ is worst than the original. This is not a good frist step.

    [You're always a negativist, Jasper; it's a process; the bishops just told Obama, "you're kidding, right?" it's not over. I thought you said you were going to try to stop with all the negativity all the time! :-) -admin]

  • Michael Murphy

    The “compromise” offered by Obama is nothing of the kind. It is the identical deal with a different label. Clearly he takes the public, and the Bishops, for fools.

    The Bishops were taken in by ObamaCare at the outset. Why they thought any of this would be otherwise is a topic for another day.

    [They ain't being taken in any longer. -admin]

  • kevin

    Read the link provided by Michael Gorman to the Glendon et al. statement. Now THAT is how the USCCB should have responded. Excellent.

  • Montjoie

    Obama is no fool. The “compromise” can be pulled back after the election. And, worse, it leaves in place the presumption that the government is within its rights to do this kind of thing.

  • Gerry

    Just when you thought the Stupidest Woman in Congress couldn’t sink any lower : She did

  • kevin

    Oh Lord. Excommunicate her, please.

  • Holly in Nebraska

    Since when can the government force a company (in this case an insurance company) to give out free product? If religious employers aren’t paying for it, is the insurance company going into its profits and paying for it? Can the government force other companies to give out free goodies? Now it’s not even just about religion but the state telling businesses to give out stuff instead of selling it. Huh? Did I miss something?

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com Diane K

    The “right direction” statement made by Dolan has to be read carefully. I don’t think he is saying that Obama’s plan is in the right direction; I think he is saying that his recognition that there is a need to make changes is a step in the right direction.

    In the meanwhile, Bishop Slattery of Tulsa has just issued a strong statement. I suspect we will be hearing from more bishops soon.

    http://www.dioceseoftulsa.org/article.asp?nID=4484#.TzWNmFfHZKA.twitter

    [exactly right, Diane. Dolan is not being conciliatory. People need to take a breath.-admin]

  • Bender Returns

    A “first step in the right direction”???

    This is a step in the wrong direction, this is a step backward. This is a step from violating religious liberty in the light to violating it in the dark. This is a step from honest despotism to deceitful despotism.

    This is a step in the direction of obfuscation and scandal — scandal — designed to mislead people into thinking that things have changed so as to get them to agree. Which apparently is mission accomplished with Sister Carol.

    At the end of the day — nothing is changed. Nothing, except truth.

  • Manny

    @Dianne K
    Thank you for Bishop’s statement. That was really strong. If that’s the position the Bishops take then they will have raised the ante and putting the screws into the administration. That really gives me hope.

  • Jasper

    Diane K,
    You are a good example of whats wrong with the church today.

    “Bishops to ‘Bam: “Nice first step…””

    Elizabeth, do you get paid by the church like Mark Shea does?

    [I WISH the church paid me...I bet Shea does, too!]

  • rte

    This new policy is sex discrimination!
    Where are the condoms, date money and free child support for men?

  • http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/ Mister H

    The Church absolutely has been right on the issue of birth control.

    For those who wish to learn why the Church is correct on this issue, an excellent commentary and further resource links can be found here:
    http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-catholic-church-opposes.html

  • Mark

    Obama and his pal at HHS looked like dear in the headlights at this announcement. She looked as if someone took away her favorite toy or maybe like she thought she was god and now found out she wasn’t.

    Nothing is settled as long as ObamaCare stays in place. HHS has more power than congress and she can come up with an endless stream of things which take away our rights.

    I saw a speech by Margaret Thatcher on leaving office talking about regrets. She said her greatest regret was not having power before the country had socialized healthcare because when it is existence, the government has enormous power over every aspect of the people rights. It also becomes a ever growing major drain on resoucres limiting what government can do on many other issues while providing ever poorer care. This little fray is one of many that will continually be fought if we do not get Obama out of office and repeal ObamaCare now. The HHS czar will continue to push for every more government control. Ronald Reagan also had a tape over 50 years ago talking about how socialist gained control of a country and gaining total control of the people using healthcare is a major part of that plan. We need to fix healthcare which means getting government separated from it in every way possible and fixing what is truly broken. That should not require us to surrender our rights or freedoms.

  • JayDee

    New statement from USCCB, pretty good: http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-026.cfm End of next to last graf: “The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.”

  • Joseph

    Thank you, O Benevelent One, for hearing the cry of the Catholic people and granting us these rights- whatever they are!

  • JRT

    Praying (and trying to fast – not easy)for each other and our Bishops. Thank you Anchoress, for keeping us informed up to the minute.
    RJT
    from Philadelphia

  • Over50

    I repeat what I said yesterday – the Catholic Church with the strong support of the bishops has been supporting lefty ideas for decades. Getting this shoved down their throats is exactly what they deserve. Any surprise on the part of the bishops just reveals what fools they are. The bishops will eventually accept some sop and next year they’ll again be supporting income redistribution schemes.

    [Read the update and the very strong second statement (and more) in my post. I think some ppl are just in such a habit of grumbling that they don't know anymore, when they should cheer! _admin]

  • ahem

    When Obama states the the “insurance companies will pay” he is taking advantage of most peoples’ total ignorance of, and indifference to, basic economics. How anyone can believe that an organization exists as an entity separate from its constituents is beyond me. Unfortunately, such ignorance is all–pervasive.

  • Mark

    Sent letters of support on the second release by the USCCB and to my local Bishop as well. Also sending congress strong message to get this situation resolved in a legal way that prevents this type of action ever again. Thanks Anchoress for not only the information and roundup, but also for your unwavering support and honesty to life and liberty. Some Catholic sites post the info and do not back the bishops as if simply throwing out both sides is the right thing to do without using it as a teaching moment. This is really irritating if it comes from someone who is part of the Church ordained such as a Deacon. You have an amazing talent and I am blessed to have this site to go time for information and for your insight. Keep up the good work and continue to build a strong group of dedicated Catholics to help the Church get the true Catholic teaching out to the people.

    Also, thanks for your prayers and post on my wife. Tonight, Greta made the first positive strides since entering the hospital. I have kept her up to date on everything going on and she often asks what Elizabeth had to say about it. Not sure you know how much you mean to folks. I am sure many come here to read even if they do not comment. We send into out to our email lists from your site with links to it so friends and family can discover what we have learned from you first hand. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  • Jasper

    Elizabeth,

    do you realize that pro-choice groups are fine with this compromise? Can’t you when you’re being taken for?

  • Pingback: WH “Accommodation” Trustworthy? UPDATED « The Anchoress

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I agree with Holly; how can Obama force the insurance companies to pay for this?

    Obama can’t be trusted. The Bishops shouldn’t allow themselves to be suckered by this.

    Mark, that’s wonderful news about Greta!

  • doc

    There is a great deal of puzzlement on how Obama and the Democrats can think we’re stupid enough to fall for something like this (well EJ Dionne likely aided that perception). Thomas Sowell’s Visions of the Annointed really explains why the Left does what they do. Leftists not only are certain that they are smarter than those of us who lack their level of enlightenment, but that they are more moral as well. It’s quite disturbing to see it play out when they hold power.

  • Oregon Catholic

    I signed the White House petition to rescind the HHS order. Tonight I got this incredible e-mail from the White House trying to propagandize me and tell me everything is hunky dory now:

    Protecting the Health of Women While Accommodating Religious Liberty
    By Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council

    Thank you for using We the People to make your voice heard about the Obama Administration’s decision to ensure that women have access to free preventive care with no co-pays, including contraceptive services, no matter where they work.
    As background, the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover preventive services, including preventive care for women, without charging a co-pay, starting on August 1, 2012. These preventive services include well women visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception, and all were recommended to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by the independent Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

    The policies we have proposed exempt churches, other houses of worship, and similar organizations from covering contraception on the basis of their religious objections. But some religious organizations have raised religious liberty concerns about providing contraception in particular in recent weeks.
    Today, President Obama has announced that his Administration will implement this policy in a manner that fully accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. As the President said:

    Nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives –- 99 percent. And yet, more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it. So for all these reasons, we decided to follow the judgment of the nation’s leading medical experts and make sure that free preventive care includes access to free contraceptive care. Whether you’re a teacher, or a small businesswoman, or a nurse, or a janitor, no woman’s health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes. Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health. Period. This basic principle is already the law in 28 states across the country.
    Now, as we move to implement this rule, however, we’ve been mindful that there’s another principle at stake here –- and that’s the principle of religious liberty, an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution. As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right. In fact, my first job in Chicago was working with Catholic parishes in poor neighborhoods, and my salary was funded by a grant from an arm of the Catholic Church. And I saw that local churches often did more good for a community than a government program ever could, so I know how important the work that faith-based organizations do and how much impact they can have in their communities.

    Video of his entire statement is available here. Here are a few basic facts:
    Under the policy, women have access to preventive care with no co-pay that includes contraceptive services.
    All churches and houses of worship are exempt from the requirement to provide coverage for contraception or refer for contraception.
    If a woman’s employer is a religious non-profit organization, such as a charity hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, her insurance company — not the hospital or charity — will be required to reach out and provide her contraceptive care free of charge if she chooses to use it.

    There are tremendous health benefits for women that come from using contraception. Contraception is a safe and effective way of preventing unintended pregnancies which can be associated with increased health risks, and doctors also prescribe contraception for medical and health reasons, including helping to reduce the risk of some cancers, serious infections and cysts. Yet many women skip contraceptive care because of cost.
    President Obama is also committed to preserving religious liberty and he listened to the concerns raised by certain religious organizations and took them seriously.
    You can learn more about the policy here.
    This is an issue where people of good will on both sides of the debate have been grappling to find a solution that works for everyone, and the policy announced today has done that. The right to religious liberty will be fully protected, and a law that requires preventive care without co-pays will not discriminate against any woman, anywhere. Here are a few statements from groups involved in the issue:

    Catholics United:
    President Obama has shown us that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic institutions.

    Catholic Health Association:
    We are pleased and grateful that the religious liberty and conscience protection needs of so many ministries that serve our country were appreciated enough that an early resolution of this issue was accomplished.

    Planned Parenthood:
    The Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.

    NARAL:
    Today’s announcement makes it clear that President Obama is firmly committed to protecting women’s health.

    Thank you again for participating in the We the People platform to make your voice heard on this important issue.
    Check out this response on We the People.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    They’ll tell us what they think we want to hear, until after the election.

    If Obama gets a second term, then the gloves will come off.

  • Bill Russell

    We are paying the price for mediocrity in the episcopate. As Mark Steyn, probably the one real genius among political commentators, says in his most recent column:

    “Will the Church muster the will to resist? Or (as Archbishop Dolan’s pitifully naïve remarks suggest) will this merely be one more faint bleat lost in what Matthew Arnold called the “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” of the Sea of Faith? “

  • Bender Returns

    Getting this shoved down their throats is exactly what they deserve

    For some, yes it is. But perhaps sometimes being “persecuted for the sake of righteousness” and having persecutors “insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of [Jesus]” is necessary to be “blessed,” to be woken up to the dangers and evils before you in order to fight against them.

    As for Steyn, I like him a lot, but he is not one that has been paying very close attention here. Guest hosting on Rush on Monday, he kept saying that none of the bishops had spoken out, when in fact over 150 had issued very strong written statements against it, many if not most of which were read at the respective Masses on Sunday (as was one here in Arlington).

  • doc

    Bender, I may be mistaken, but I think Steyn was saying the bishops need to understand that all of this legislation must be repealed for this assault to stop. Since the bishops supported Obamacare, conceptually, if not in all the final details, will they have to swallow their pride before they demand that the whole thing be reversed? Will they admit that this piece of legislation has no chance of being repealed unless a Republican replaces Obama? These are the questions which cause some of us to fear an eventual cave-in. I pray that they understand the gravity of the threat.

  • Mark LaVergne

    Dear Anchoress (a.k.a. Elizabeth Scalia): Thanks for the great job you are doing! You are making it easy for lay people like myself — who struggle to be faithful and to “think with the Church” — to understand these issues and to distinguish truth from b.s.

    Before I sleep I will email my bishop and the USCCB office that handles this issue (Sr. Walsh, I think) urging them to “hold fast.” I believe that Cardinal-elect Dolan and his brethren are good and sincere people whose trusting natures have been taken advantage of by the wolves in the Administration. They need our prayers now …. and the voiced encouragement of the laity.

  • http://DachsiesWithMoxie.blogspot.com Agnes B. Bullock

    The USCCB will cave as usual- this is just a paper tiger front, all they know how to do. If they actually stood for something, like what Holy Mother Church teaches, and showed some backbone (for once) as in edxcommunicating all Catholic politicians who voted for Obamacare and Sebelius to boot, THEN they might have some credibility with the faithful who are still in the pews.

    This situation is of their own making- they obstinately refuse to defend the teachings of the Faith, willingly turn blind eyes towards contraception (average family size of 2 children is due to contraception), refuse to discipline over abortion and sodomite marriage.

    These bishops should be taken out and publicly horsewhipped for the role they played in this- they have been complicit in this evil for over forty years and now they get to pay the piper.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, all this legislation needs to be repealed.

    I hope the bishops realize this.

  • Kevin

    Read the second statement. Better, but it sounds choppy and written by the proverbial committee. They need to hire Glendon as their spokesman.

  • Mike R

    This is absolutely not a compromise or a change in administration policy no matter how badly the MSM or (unfortunately) other Catholics try to position it. The mandate for the provision of birth control and other abortion inducing services is still firmly in place. It is a mandate that still violates the 1st Amedndment rights of Catholics and others who object to these services based upon their religious and moral beliefs. Shifting the coverage for these services to insurance carriers is a farce. Insurance carriers in the normal course of business will shift the payment for these services back to employers and individuals via insurance premiums. It also opens up an entirely new Pandora’s box in that now not only is the Federal government intruding into the commercial activities of its citizens by forcing them to buy a product (health insurance) but now is saying what needs to be covered. Where does this potentially lead us to? If this is allowed, what is next? What would prevent the government from mandating that at a certain age or with a certain disease, only certain care be provided. I mean you hear supporters of this coverage say its cheaper to prevent a birth than to care for a baby. Will these same people now say the same thing about the aged, feeble or evn those with mental handicaps? It’s a slippery slope that this President has now pushed us to the brink of. I recall now the words and sentiments of John Paul II, the Great about fighting against the culture of death-it is truly upon our national doorstep with this mandate.

  • Kevin

    I don’t think Barry even gets it at this point. His post-Christian brain is hardwired to think contraception and abortion are good things. Still waiting to hear from any students of his when he ‘taught’ constitutional law for a month or so.

  • Over50

    I repeat what I said yesterday – the Catholic Church with the strong support of the bishops has been supporting lefty ideas for decades. Getting this shoved down their throats is exactly what they deserve. Any surprise on the part of the bishops just reveals what fools they are. The bishops will eventually accept some sop and next year they’ll again be supporting income redistribution schemes.

    [Read the update and the very strong second statement (and more) in my post. I think some ppl are just in such a habit of grumbling that they don't know anymore, when they should cheer! _admin]

    I see nothing in the second statement that makes me think the Catholic clergy is learning that support of lefty principles by the Catholic clergy is part of what encouraged the Democrats to think they could get away with this. Give me ten years of sermons by the clergy that capitalism, minimal government and respect for private property and rights is more moral than using government power to take from individuals and give to others, and I’ll believe they may have learned something. They may get this to be temporarily retracted, but then the bishops will go right back to encouraging big government programs that require use of government power to take from individuals.

  • kevin

    Interesting article here. I hope the prediction here is accurate.

    http://www.impeachobamacampaign.com/obamas-anti-religious-implosion/

  • Kalashnikat

    It’s not even a good first step.
    ….I’ve studied accounting…. Money is a fungible thing,…look it up if you don’t know that word… and whether it’s stated on the invoice the employer receives or not, the insurers have to get the money for bloody birthcontrol and any service that is paid for from somewhere…it becomes a small, but not ignorable component of their overhead pool on that policy and everything the insurance company does…and the overhead is part of the invoice, less visible but still real… so it’s really still in there, just diluted a bit, concealed, and broadened so that everyone who pays into that insuror is participating in a small way in each and every service provided…just as surely as every taxpayer participates in the government’s share of funds going to NPR, Planned Parenthood, Acorn, or the War in Aghanistan…you own a piece of everything the Gov does, and the customers of that insuror, including the church, will own a piece of every service they pay for…
    There is no free service provided…it’s paid for by all of us.
    Which only makes it worse, in my book.

  • Mark

    Just wanted to pass on that my wife Greta passed away today. She died while I was reading here the Gospel of John which was her favorite and mine. Her last words to me were to keep fighting for the babies and against the party of death. What many do not know is that Greta’s sister died in the Nazi death camps. She was not a Jew, but a Catholic who happened to offend a Nazi about their policies on Jews. Great taught me and others that this holocaust in the US and what was done in Nazi Germany has many of the same components. The Nazi made everything they did legal and the taught that the jews were not really people, more like rodents. Sound familiar. They set up death camps and tried to hide what they did because it was so evil. Abortion mills try to use words like pro choice and planned parenthood as they kill 4,000 babies a day. They hate the term pro abortion. Or how about womens reproductive rights. what are they reproducing? The boldly list Obama as their Partner in the white house on their website and yet Catholics continue to support this party of death in the same way that FDR and the party of death looked the other way while blacks were being beaten and lynched and churches burned with children inside. when you bring this up your are attacked or banned from blog sites but it is all fact no matter how much people want to hide the facts.
    I have posted this on a few of Greta’s favority sites (even at Deacon Gregs where she was banned).
    while reading to Greta this afternoon, in the commentary on the Gospel of John, they had a quote quote from Thomas Aquinas. It went something like this. When I looked out into the sunlight, I could see. When I closed my eyes, the sunlight went away and I could no longer see the light. When we choose to close our eyes to evil, we lose our sight and become blind to the light of Christ and soon find ourselves justifying evil. I have one wish as I close off this sad day. I wish that everyone would take a moment to open their eyes to the light and see the evil that they are fighting to defend and think about stopping their support of the evil so that babies can have life denied by this party of death. If we stop giving them life, they will change or die and that is a good thing. Catholic support keeps the party of death alive and well and thus each vote provide direct material support to evil we know they are partner to. By giving them your vote and support, you are also a partner to the abortion mills.

    good night and maybe goodby. Pray for Greta and for the family. And pray for those who are blind that they might soon see that babies might live. Those who are fighting, keep up the fight. I will fight until I am gone to join my beloved because it was her last request of me, her last words. Do it not for political reasons, do it for the babies.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I will pray for Greta, and you, Mark.

  • newton

    I am so sorry for your loss, Mark. Your wife must indeed be a huge inspiration.

    She’s now in a much nicer place. Take comfort in that.

  • Mike R

    The more and more I read the details about this “compromise”, the more I realize it is just a political ploy by Obama in an election year to appeal to two bases- woman in general and liberal Catholics who are very very important to him in swing states. I wonder if this whole thing was a set-up by this Adminstration. He may have tried to slip the first mandate by, but always had this as his fall back- knowing it would appeal to woman- protetcting THEIR rights and at same time solidify the support of liberal Catholics. The major miscalculation he may have made and that depends on how the bishops and I hope mainstream (in the pew) Catholcs respond. Please do not get sucked into the issue as these folks want it to be one about woman rights and abortion. That is not the issue. It still remains because it actually still is a fundamental issue of religious freedom and the government’s attempt to impose itself upon that freedom. In my mind they and this I think is part of the miscalculation- have actually created even less room for conscience now. We now have a mandate where the government is telling another private entity (insurance company) what it must provide in terms of coverage. This leaves even less room for a Catholic institution to provide mandated healthcare insurance since now insurance HAVE to include these sevices. Am I missing something here? Further, if the government can mandate this as coverage, what does it mandate next for coverage? Slippery slope folks.


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