The Attacks on the Catholic Church for its Defense of Life and I ts Protections of People’s Right of Conscience

The Attacks on the Catholic Church for its Defense of Life and Its Protections of People’s Right of Conscience is the Subject of this Big B File.

On January 20th, 2012, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius (a CINO) issued a statement which said, “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.”

All this despite over 1/3 of a million people, organizations and the Catholic Bishops themselves have told the HHS that the HHS Edict violates the first amendment and a number of federal laws . . . including one that has been in every HHS Appropriations bill since 2004. This was just the latest attack on the Catholic Church since Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attacked the Catholic Church and Catholics like myself, specifically its teaching on Abortion along with its support of bills like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, introduced recently by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. For those who don’t know what the church teaching is on the issue of abortion, the Catechism of the Catholic Churchis as follows:

Abortion

2270

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. 72

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. 73

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. 74

2271

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. 75

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. 76

2272

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” 77 “by the very commission of the offense,” 78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. 79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273

The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.” 80

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.” 81

2274

Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safeguarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.” 82

2275

“One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.” 83

“It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.” 84

“Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity” 85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

Catechism of the Catholic Church on the USCCB Website

Like I said before in the Big B File “The Big B Files’ Response to Nancy Pelosi’s Attack on the Catholic Church for its Defense of Life” on Thursday, November 24, 2011, Kathleen Sibelius and others like her are what the Big B Files refers to as CINOs (Catholics in Name Only). CINOs claim to be devout Catholics, but outright reject church teaching especially on the moral teaching of the church. By taking the positions she has on the issue of abortion and other issues of life, Kathleen Sibelius has effectively excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church, in accordance to the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church number 1398 which says ”A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication (automatic excommunication).” Furthermore, Kathleen Sibelius cannot receive Holy Communion (The Body and Blood of Christ himself) in accordance to the following Code of Canon Laws of the Catholic Church . . .

Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church (Vatican Website)

If she were really a devout Roman Catholic, Kathleen Sibelius would not only renounce her support and advocacy of Abortion and other positions she has taken against the Church’s teachings on the life issues along with ending the attacks she has done to the Church on the life issues, but fully embrace and promote the Church teachings when it comes to the issues of life . . . including Abortion. You might want also read the Illinois Statute – HEALTH CARE RIGHT OF CONSCIENCE ACT as well.

This is just the latest in a long line of open and hostile attacks on the Catholic Church by the Obama Administration that the Big B Files submits has shown an utter hatred of the Roman Catholic Church because of its long held teachings on abortion (referenced above). As Columnist and Blogger Michelle Malkin illustrates . . .

“How did we get here? The first salvo came in December 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union pushed HHS and its Planned Parenthood-championing secretary, Kathleen Sibelius, to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in violation of their core moral commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn.

The ACLU called for a litigious fishing expedition against Catholic hospitals nationwide that refuse to provide “emergency” contraception and abortions to women. In their sights: Devout Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who revoked the Catholic status of a rogue hospital that performed several direct abortions, provided birth control pills and presided over sterilizations against the church’s ethical and religious directives for health care.

The ACLU and the feminists have joined with Obama to threaten and sabotage the First Amendment rights of religious-based health care entities. The agenda is not increased “access” to health care services. The ultimate goal is to shut down health care providers — Catholic health care institutions employ about 540,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-time workers — whose religious views cannot be tolerated by secular zealots and radical social engineers.

Is it any surprise their counterparts in the “Occupy” movement have moved from protesting “Wall Street” to harassing pro-life marchers in Washington, D.C., and hurling condoms at Catholic school girls in Rhode Island? Birds of a lawless, bigoted feather bully together.”

After the HHS Edict came out, VERY Strong reaction came from Catholics everywhere including the Catholic Bishops. As Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan points out in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Article, “Scarcely two weeks ago, in its Hosanna-Tabor decision upholding the right of churches to make ministerial hiring decisions, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically reaffirmed these longstanding and foundational principles of religious freedom. The court made clear that they include the right of religious institutions to control their internal affairs.” St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson goes even further when he says the following . . .

“In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And, as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees (and bring about the consequences for all in doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give nonprofit employers, like hospitals and universities, which do not currently provide such coverage, one year in which to comply.

We believe this new requirement signals a direct attack on our religious freedom. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God-given rights. In generations past, the Church has always counted on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And, therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith, we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting, that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.”

– “Archbishop Carlson implores Catholics to stand up for religious freedom” from February 1, 2012

In the interests of full disclosure, Archbishop Carlson is my Bishop (which I am proud to say). The latest assault by the Obama Administration is only a week old and is already bolstering the case for the plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the HHS Edict in federal court, which is Belmont Abbey College v. Sibelius and Colorado Christian University v. Sibelius . . both being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The following is what Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said about the two cases . . .

“Essentially the administration is saying, ‘We take your religious principles very seriously–so we’re giving you an extra year to get over them. . . . A monk at Belmont Abbey may preach on Sunday that pre-marital sex, contraception, and abortions are immoral, but on Monday, the government forces him to pay for students to receive the very drugs and procedures he denounced. . . . The Government refuses to give the same accommodations to groups exercising their fundamental First Amendment freedoms as they do to corporations such as McDonald’s and teachers’ unions. . . . No employer, particularly in this economy, should be forced to make the choice between violating its deeply held religious beliefs or terminating its health insurance plans for employees and paying a heavy fine. . . . The mandate is un-American, unprecedented, and flagrantly unconstitutional. . . . Freedom of conscience is a ‘first freedom.’ If government can force monks to pay for abortion drugs, what can’t government do?”

The Big B Files challenges the CINO Representatives like Russ Carnahan, Lacy Clay and others along with CINO Senators like McCaskill, Durbin, Nelson, and others to stand up with the other Catholic Senators and Representatives and support and vote for the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 and to override an expected veto by President Obama. As Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., who chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty summed it up . . . .

“In order to continue their ministry without violating the tenets of their faith, these Catholic organizations and other across the country may be forced “not to feed or clothe, heal or educate practically anyone of another faith or creed,” he said.

To force this decision would be detrimental to the common good and particularly to the poor and needy of society, he warned.

Bishop Lori finished by saying that forcing Catholic organizations to choose between following Obama’s mandate and Jesus’ mandate “strikes at the very heart of the right to religious liberty on which our country was founded.”

And the Obama Administration’s War on the Catholic Church still continues to this day! And that is the Big B Files. Click on the comments link below and let me know what you think . . . . I’m Bryan Hewing.

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