CORTMAN: Abortion pill mandate, Hobby Lobby and why the Supreme Court should honor faith

supremecourt

Why can’t family business owners — Conestoga Wood Specialties and Hobby Lobby in these cases — have the same freedom from government coercion as other exempt parties? Because the government says they can’t.

Not only is the government arbitrarily selective in how it doles out exemptions, it’s also arbitrary in its argument that business owners can’t exercise religious freedom.

Read more

Serious misinterpretation of the Vatican II teaching on conscience

…the most destructive mistaken interpretation of the Second Vatican Council (one that we’ve lived with for 50 years) is the misinterpretation of the teaching on conscience. Certain forces in the Church took the occasion of the newly stated teaching on conscience, in the Declaration on Religious Liberty, to mislead people.

lEnfer

Now why they did that and what that’s all about is between them and the Lord . . . as the quote that has become so famous says, “Who am I to judge?” (which itself has been so outrageously misinterpreted by the mass media, and so-called Catholic elected officials).

But it was done; the Church’s teaching on conscience was misinterpreted, and the people were led astray on a very, very important matter — a matter that is destroying lives, leading to tremendous unhappiness, tremendous “un-blessedness.”

The current of philosophical thought that is at the root of all this confusion about conscience in the world and in the Church is that existence depends on the mind: “I think therefore I am.” Knowing, in fact, begins with reality, which exists and which is to be known by the knower.

The knower doesn’t make up what he or she claims to know; the knower needs to know reality. The knower needs to know the Truth, which is presented to the knower as a choice, as it said in the first reading of this past Sunday (Sir 15:15-20).

God presents what is good and bad to the knower, just as it says. And the knower, with his or her conscience, is to choose the good. The knower is not to choose what he or she would like; the knower is to choose the good.

And conscience is that truth-seeking radar that scans the horizon of reality, looking for Truth so that it can lock on to it, be changed by it, and be made heroic.

Read more from Bishop Robert Morlino

Editor’s note: Perhaps we should ask, “Precisely which part of Vatican II’s teachings has not suffered similar, ‘serious misinterpretations’?”

In every dictatorship, the past must be censored. Hence, religious freedom for all – except traditional Catholics!

masstrad

No one must know how it once was before the dictatorship, which always claims to give new life to the world. And the dictatorships of the “liberals” are the worst and have always been the worst.

When the schema of a dictatorship enters the Church, the censorship of the past is almost a dogma: “Today the Church has a new consciousness, you can not go back to the things of the past, even if they were sacred, but today they are no longer there, because the Church’s consciousness determines the truth in today.”

Something like that is thought by almost all today, and that is terrible. It is the fastest way to destroy the Church, as we see. The representatives of this thinking have access to almost all means of communication, because they are useful to “entertain” the people, they do not argue with the New Paganism, they do not startle, do not challenge them when they criticize, then only the Church, most of the time, but they just talk, they palaver and palaver and say this mostly nothing.

But it is enough that a child says in his innocence, see, the king is naked, and already breaks the spell of censorship that the past is hidden, it falls into place in a single moment. That’s why it will take more work from the traditional side and less “whining”, to help build the kingdom of God, according to the responsibility that God has entrusted to each of us objectively.

There is no time to lose: Do all that stands in your way, so that the Catholic Church and the world is Christian.

Read more

Shades of Obamacare in the Catholic Church: The mass rejection by liberal Catholics of Vatican II’s core principles.

keeprightwrong

The left’s revolt arose from partisan politics. Since 2008 liberal Catholics have wedded themselves to the Obama campaign. But in January the president used Obamacare to coerce religious objectors to provide early-abortion inducing drugs and contraception.

Faced with a choice between their Council and their candidate, liberal Catholics chose the latter. After the president’s February 10 press conference attempting to quell public protest, “Catholics for Obama” have not missed a beat. Vice President Biden proudly defended the mandate entirely in last week’s debate. Pundits at venues like Commonweal magazine and theNational Catholic Reporter have followed suit, especially in endorsing the requirement that lay Catholics provide abortifacients and contraception.

This stands in stark contrast to Vatican II. The Council not only reiterated the Church’s teaching on sexuality, it also insisted on two principles irreconcilable with the Obamacare HHS Mandate: religious freedom, and the laity’s identity as “the Church.”

Read more

Editor’s note: The liberals hate it and the conservatives hate it. How’s that for Catholic unity?

Homosexual activists: We demand your complete approval and cooperation – or we’ll ruin your life and your business!

…as of this writing, there have been at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination—threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities—because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith.

Read more

Oh, Canada! Government Minister of Education claims that a Catholic school must be ‘open’ to teach for a few hours during class that Jesus could very well be just another mythical figure.

Loyola High School will appeal a decision by Quebec’s Court of Appeal that forces the Jesuit-run school for boys to cease teaching its Catholic course on religion and morality and switch to the “secular” and “neutral” Ethics and Religious Culture course (ERC) provided by the province’s government.

Read more

We can restore religious freedom on Tuesday by electing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan!

This short video explains how and why

Afraid of religion? The God kind … or the secular, human kind?

Archbishop Charles Chaput explains the difference … and why Catholics are always obligated to speak up for their beliefs and practices, in the public square.

Watch the short video

Catholics seeing Barack Obama through “new eyes”: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Barack Obama and his pals yucking things up
at the allegedly Catholic University of Notre Dame.

Among white Catholics, Romney has jumped to a 14-point lead (54-40) after being tied with Obama in September in the poll.

To understand just how significant that is, consider that in 2008, Obama won Catholics by 9 percent (54 to 45) and lost white Catholics by just 5 percent (47 to 52). In 2004, the Catholic vote went narrowly to Bush overall (more widely among white Catholics), and in 2000 it went narrowly to Gore (and narrowly to Bush among white Catholics).

The 14-point lead Romney currently enjoys among white Catholics is almost without precedent.

Catholic voters are abandoning Obama for the same reason many other voters are: the sluggish economy, Romney’s strong performance in the presidential debates, Obama’s dishonesty and failure in Benghazi.

Yet Catholic voters have reason to feel particularly aggrieved, given the Obama administration’s battle with the Catholic church over the mandate in Obamacare that employers cover abortion drugs and contraceptives.

Those grievances came to the fore particularly sharply in mid-October, after the Vice Presidential debate between incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan (both Catholics). Ryan brought up the conflict between the administration and the church over Obamacare: “They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals.”

Read more

No religious freedom – No social justice. Watch the powerful, short video.

Visit the Catholic Vote site

The war on religious freedom

In a world where the government believes that the First Amendment’s religious freedoms don’t apply to churches, religious organizations, non-profit and for-profit businesses, health-care providers, and anyone outside the four walls of a church building, we are all at risk.

In many more ways than you might think…

Pope Benedict XVI prepares to embark on high-risk trip to Lebanon

“My apostolic voyage in Lebanon, and by extension in the Middle East in its entirety, comes under the sign of peace,” Benedict said Sunday during the Angelus prayer at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Despite the “dramatic situation” of a region torn by “incessant conflict,” people “shouldn’t resign themselves to violence or worsening tensions,” he added.

Read more

Common sense suggestions for a reform of the reform … from a priest

Is the Second Vatican Council some kind of sacred cow that can’t be reformed? I ask this in all seriousness. The reason why I ask this is that we all have been taught since the Second Vatican Council that the Church is always in need of reform. Since a council, specifically the Second Vatican Council is but a small part of the Church, should not that old adage also apply to the Second Vatican Council?

There are FIVE areas where the Second Vatican Council could use some reform…

Read more

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #14: Religious Liberty FAQs

What do we mean by religious liberty?

Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans.

What is the First Amendment?

The First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What does “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” mean?

This phrase, known as the “Establishment Clause,” started out as a prohibition on Congress’ either establishing a national religion or interfering with the established religions of the states. It has since been interpreted to forbid state establishments of religion, to forbid governmental preference (at any level) of one religion over another, and to forbid direct government funding of religion.

What does “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” mean?

This phrase, known as the “Free Exercise Clause,” generally protects citizens and institutions from government interference with the exercise of their religious beliefs. It sometimes mandates the accommodation of religious practices when such practices conflict with federal, state, or local laws.

What did our early American leaders say about religious freedom?

Read more (with PDF’s)

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #13: Catholics walk in Des Moines, Iowa for religious freedom.

The Catholic Diocese of Des Moines sponsored the Independence Celebration Walk and Picnic. Organizers estimated 2,500 people participated.

The crowd gathered at noon at the St. Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines and walked to the Iowa Capitol. The Most Rev. Richard Pates, bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines, led the group, along with Gov. Terry Branstad, who said he attended the event on his own accord.

The event was a show of solidarity with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom,” which began June 21 and will conclude on Independence Day. The two-week national campaign is intended to draw attention to what they say is the government infringement on their religious freedoms.

One of the key issues is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ directive that nearly all employer health care plans – including Catholic universities and hospitals – must provide birth control and certain other medical services. The church says this requirement would include sterilizations and drugs that could cause abortions. A narrow exemption for churches exists, but moral and religious First Amendment objections continue to be issued by Catholic dioceses, universities, hospitals and charitable institutions now suing the federal government over the matter, as well as other Christian and Jewish groups.

Read more

Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #11: Recent speech shows the First Lady has already adopted the Catholic position against the HHS Mandate. Will her husband?

In a speech today to a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the First Lady explained her concept of citizenship by likening it to the ministry of Jesus.  Her explanation corroborates the same point that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have been making for months about the intrusive nature of the HHS contraception mandate, emphasis mine:

“It’s kind of like church,” Obama said. “Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well, especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight’s not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives.

“We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church,” she said. “He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives.”

Obama, who is not a regular churchgoer, said citizenship like the practice of faith is “not a once-a-week kind of deal.”

“Democracy is also an everyday activity,” she said. “And being an engaged citizen should once again be a daily part of our lives.”

Yes, indeed He was.  So do churches to this day, ministering to the sick and the poor, “the least, the last and the lost” that Mrs. Obama references here.  Furthermore, Jesus did not limit His ministry to just those disciples who followed Him, but ministered to many, including Romans, in the course of His evangelization.

Read more

Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom

“We serve others not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic.”

Washington rally brings 2,000 together in support of religious freedom

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #8: Praying for saintly intercession.

St. Thomas More
Patron of Religious Freedom
Pray for Us

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: USCCB website

Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #4: New video smartly addresses Religious Liberty for Catholics.

Watch the short, inspiring, informative video

Visit the site

Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom

Fortnight for Freedom Issue #3: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput speaks about religious freedom.

First, religious freedom is a cornerstone of the American experience. This is so obvious that once upon a time, nobody needed to say it. But times have changed. So it’s worth recalling that Madison, Adams, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Jefferson–in fact, nearly all the American founders–saw religious faith as vital to the life of a free people. Liberty and happiness grow organically out of virtue. And virtue needs grounding in religious faith.

Gertrude Himmelfarb, the historian, put it this way: The founders knew that in a republic, “virtue is intimately related to religion. However skeptical or deistic they may have been in their own beliefs, however determined they were to avoid anything like an established Church, they had no doubt that religion is an essential part of the social order because it is a vital part of the moral order.”

Here’s my second point: Freedom of religion is more than freedom of worship. The right to worship is a necessary but not sufficient part of religious liberty. Christian faith requires community. It begins in worship, but it also demands preaching, teaching, and service. It’s always personal but never private. And it involves more than prayer at home and Mass on Sunday–though these things are vitally important. Real faith always bears fruit in public witness and public action. Otherwise it’s just empty words.

The founders saw the value of publicly engaged religious faith because they experienced its influence themselves. They created a nation designed in advance to depend on the moral convictions of religious believers, and to welcome their active role in public life.

Here’s my third point…

Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom