Archbishop Thomas Wenski points out that pro-Obama Catholics were played as chumps by President Obama in an essay which appeared on December 2 in the Miami Herald. Here is his essay interspersed with my comments:
In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.
To say the least. That event demonstrated the de facto schism that exists in the Church between those who follow the teaching of the Church in regard to abortion and those who do not.
Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the president promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” stating that his administration would provide “sensible” protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include healthcare providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their healthcare plans for other people’s abortions.
Actually I do not think this is really correct. Catholics who thought that Obama getting a degree from a university dedicated to Our Lady was peachy could care less about the conscience rights of pro-lifers. I do agree that the powers that be at Notre Dame did point to this in their ceaseless effort to defend giving an honorary degree to the most pro-abort president in our nation’s history.
Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”
And more fools they if they believed a syllable of it.
Fast forward to late 2011, and the record shows that the president’s promises are not being kept. In fact, it seems that pro-life Catholics such as Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak and the Catholic Health Association’s Sister Carol Keenan — who trusted the administration’s position that abortion was not part of the healthcare bill — along with Notre Dame’s leadership have been played by the president.
Granting the title of pro-life to Stupak and Keenan seems a stretch to me. Unless they are stupid beyond belief they knew precisely what they were doing when they helped get Obamacare passed, and hang the unborn. As for the powers that be at Notre Dame…..actually since this is a family blog I will refrain from stating what I think of them.
His administration is running roughshod over conscience protection provisions long part of the law that find their justification in the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion, a foundational human right. It is one thing for an administration to support and promote an agenda; it is quite another to force those who disagree with it to violate their moral and religious principles.
Any sentient person, based upon Obama’s record, knew precisely that he would do this. The Catholics who supported Obama in 2008, leaving aside the invincibly ignorant, either could care less or are actively cheering him on.
The long line of evidence is disturbing. As a first step, the administration reversed earlier regulations enforcing federal conscience laws, stating instead that it would pursue the same goals by educational outreach on rights of conscience.
Typical of the mendacity which is the hallmark of the Obama administration.
In the final healthcare bill passed in March 2010, traditional protections for conscience rights were omitted; instead, a provision was included that would subjugate conscience rights to federal and state “emergency” service laws. In other words, any abortion declared an “emergency” (broadly defined) by a government requires a health-care provider’s full cooperation, regardless of his or her views on the matter.
As pointed out by opponents of Obamacare at the time.
Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a rule which will require almost all health plans to include coverage for sterilization and contraception — including abortifacient drugs. This will force almost all employers — including Catholic organizations — to pay for such procedures, regardless of any moral objections. HHS seemingly wants to regard fertility as a disease — and elective abortion subsidized by the taxpayer as healthcare.
What this administration intends is to make every institution of the Catholic Church in this country complicit in supporting intrinsic evil. Tolerance of differing opinions is not in the lexicon of Obama and his merry band of would be thought police.
The most recent frontal assault on conscience rights has come in the form of federal contracts and grant announcements, which have begun to require grantees to help provide all legally permissible family planning and obstetric/gynecological services, regardless of the provider. A large number of grants under the State Department’s AIDS program, for example, now require “integration” with family planning and “reproductive health” services, ignoring the conscience clause the program’s authorizing statute passed by Congress.
In short, a return to the days of Catholics Need Not Apply.
When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently said it could not meet a similar requirement inserted into an HHS grant announcement for services to human trafficking victims, and pointed out that the requirement violates existing federal conscience laws, its funding was discontinued — hurting victims of human trafficking since few if any other entities have the track record and nationwide capacity to serve them.
Nothing is more important to these folks than the sacred right, or should I say rite, of abortion.
Catholic social and healthcare providers — the largest private network in the nation — are at risk of being left out of all federal programs, despite their well-earned reputation for providing superlative service to the American public. In effect, the Obama administration is telling these Catholic providers to surrender their conscience rights and their Catholic ethos or shut their doors.
To the Obama administration the only good Catholic is an unfaithful one.
Regardless of one’s position on the morality of abortion, we — and elected officials on both sides of the aisle — should be concerned with these developments. If religious and conscience rights of some Americans can be violated by the government, everyone else’s rights are also in jeopardy.
Catholics and other pro-lifers are being treated as second class citizens by a bunch of Leftist bigots and we should not tolerate this for an instant.
This is unacceptable, for it undermines our nation’s promise of “freedom and justice for all.” The president should honor his pledges to U.S. Catholics — and other Americans — and instruct his agencies to reverse course and protect conscience rights.
When pigs fly Archbishop, unless he believes that his current stance hurts him politically.
This a good column by the Archbishop but it fails to hit hard enough the key problem. Without Catholic votes Obama would not be in office. Too many Catholics are not only CINOs, but they rejoice in opposing the Church in regard to abortion. We are seeing the bitter fruit of bad catechesis for almost two generations, and too many ecclesiastics, unlike the Archbishop, who have failed to stand up. Ignorance and cowardice are a bad combination, and unfortunately the Church in America has had far too much of both over the past four and a half decades.