Friday, February 17, 2012

Fr. Z: Sickening example of what is happening in the USA at the highest levels of government


I felt a bit physically sick as I read this whole thing. I give only a part of it, below.

Part of what makes me sick is the manifest death of reason together with ethics. It seems that liberal politicians today are wicked and, in many cases, fools. They they are foolish for because they “reason” that the number of people or institutions which do X or Y provides the justification for X or Y. And they are wicked because they have no interest in anything objective. They are interested only in their agenda.

From the Cardinal Newman Society:

I Hold in My Hand the Names of 20 Catholic Colleges that Cover Contraception

In a scene reminiscent of anti-communist Congressman Joseph McCarthy holding in his hands a fraudulent list of names of communist spies in an effort to silence his political opposition, Rep. Elijah Cummings [D-MD, a Baptist] submitted a list of Catholic colleges in twenty states that already provide contraceptive coverage during a hearing on religious liberty yesterday. [Even if the list is correct, that doesn't change the basis issue: this is the Obama Administration telling the Church what to do.]

In closing out his question and answer with The Catholic University of America President John Garvey, who said that Catholic colleges couldn’t violate their conscience by providing contraceptive coverage, Rep. Cummings countered by submitting into the record his list.

After repeated calls to Cummings’ office and the Committee of Government Oversight and Reform, The Cardinal Newman Society learned that Rep. Cummings obtained the list from the pro-abortion National Women’s Law Center.

The Cardinal Newman Society has obtained that list and looked into it to see whether it stood up to scrutiny.

It seems that many of the colleges on that list provide contraceptive coverage in states that mandate they do so. So, in short, the politicians in those states forced colleges to provide contraceptive coverage, and then the politicians on the federal level use the fact that they’re providing it as evidence that it’s okay for others to do the same.

It’s worth noting as well that many of the colleges on the list provide contraceptive coverage but not for reasons of birth control and only when medically necessary, like the Franciscan University of Steubenville, the University of Dallas and the University of Notre Dame, among others.


It seems some Catholic institutions have been given a lot of leeway by the bishops in recent decades. That leeway is now being used as a weapon against the bishops to curb religious liberty.

The President of The Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly was quoted in an interview with Reuters talking about exactly this:

“This really highlights the elephant in the room,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, which works with colleges to strengthen their Catholic identities. “It is absolutely a wake up call.”

That wake up call may begin what Reuters called a “crackdown” on wayward Catholic institutions. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport acknowledged to reporters that, “I’m sure there’s going to be some discussion about that.”

But for Rep. Cummings to use that list as a cudgel to discredit the testimony of CUA President John Garvey is simply disingenuous.

Now, to be fair, the list must also make some Catholics wonder why this admirable fight for religious liberty didn’t take place years ago, when states began mandating contraceptive coverage. Shouldn’t many of these Catholic schools have battled against their state legislatures in the same way many colleges are battling the federal mandate now?

There’s the analogy of the frog in boiling water, and it seems that Catholics are wading in some pretty hot water right now as they prepare a strong defense of religious liberty. Let’s just hope it isn’t too late.

What do we do?

The immediate thing we can do is to call the offices of our representatives and senators and tell them what we think about issues.

We can inform ourselves and vote intelligently.

We must pray and fast and even give alms for the sake of the country, in preparation for the sufferings to come, and even for the removal of those in office who endanger our religious liberty.

Lent is coming.

We need to join our spiritual disciplines and physical mortifications to prayers.

Our problems must be tackled with grace and elbow grease.