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The Church and the Mandate
The National Review Online ^ | 12/19/12 | George Weigel

Posted on 12/26/2012 7:59:21 AM PST by marshmallow

The strategic situation after a year, and the terrain ahead

As the Catholic Church and the Obama administration approach the first anniversary of what has become the most serious confrontation between the Church and the federal government in U.S. history — a confrontation caused by a regulatory mandate implementing Obamacare — a review of the strategic situation is in order, with an eye to the terrain ahead. But given the confusions about this struggle that were sown in many minds during the presidential campaign (not least by the vice president of the United States), it is important to begin by remembering just what is being contested here.


Early in 2012, the Obama administration first announced, and then finalized, a regulation implementing the “preventive services” requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, the regulation generally requires that health-insurance plans, including plans sponsored by employers, provide contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations without any cost (or “co-pay”) to the insured. While the mandate exempted certain religious employers, its definition of a “religious employer” was absurdly narrow and would not exempt the vast majority of Catholic educational, social-service, and health-care institutions, because they employ non-Catholics and serve non-Catholics.

The HHS mandate thus requires most Catholic institutions and employers to provide “reproductive-health services” or “preventive services” that the Catholic Church judges to be gravely immoral. In doing so, the mandate seriously burdens Catholics in the free exercise of their religious convictions. Those convictions are not abstractions. Religiously informed Catholic moral convictions are culture-building and institution-forming: They shape the ethos and activities of Catholic educational, charitable, and social-service agencies, and they shape the professional lives as well as the personal lives of conscientious Catholics.

Thus, in contesting the HHS mandate, the....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics; Theology

1 posted on 12/26/2012 7:59:27 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

This is not a new battle. The Catholic Church has been at the forefront in the war between good and evil for two thousand years. The only new thing is that (for the first time since Rome tossed Christians into the arena - I hope the Church has a good memory for how they defeated evil back then) the most powerful nation in the world is taking to the battlefield against the forces of good. While I am an American, and I am not a Roman Catholic, I still pray that God will use His power on the side of the Church, and against those who have led my country astray.

2 posted on 12/26/2012 8:12:42 AM PST by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Pollster1

Actually, The government has tried to wipe out Catholic schools, in the past, and the government has done many things, deliberately, to harm Catholics.

My point is that many Catholics wrongly believe government to be their friend, and do not understand the antagonism that has always existed between Church and State and the Government and the Catholic Church.

3 posted on 12/26/2012 8:40:08 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: Kansas58
The leadership of the Catholic Church has been one of the biggest culprits in this problem. The Catholic bishops here in the U.S. have been unapologetic advocates of government-run health care for decades, and in the process they've destroyed a lot of the credibility they may have had in the past.

If it weren't for the HHS mandate described here in this article, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops would have been 100% behind the other mandates of ObamaCare even though there isn't a single shred of evidence in Scripture or in Catholic tradition to support such a stand.

A lot of people -- including allegedly educated "Catholic" leadership -- seem to forget that the Good Samaritan didn't call 911 and have an ambulance take the waylaid traveler to the Caesar Augustus Medical Center. He put him on his own donkey, carried him to the inn, and paid for the cost of the man's care himself.

4 posted on 12/26/2012 9:25:53 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Alberta's Child


5 posted on 12/26/2012 10:57:31 AM PST by Kansas58
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To: Alberta's Child


6 posted on 12/26/2012 3:39:42 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Christ lui-meme est descendu et m'a prise.)
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