An Archbishop Who Inspires the Faithful: Courageous Charles Chaput Helps Lead the Catholic Resistance
The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn - now
"Despite all of its public apprehension about "culture warriors" on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war. At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion's moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders' thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement." (Archbishop Charles Chaput)
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia presiding
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He calls all Catholics to live with what Pope Benedict XVI refers to as "moral coherence". This is not easy under the oppressive boot of what the same Pope properly called "the Dictatorship of Relativism."
The Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput has long challenged all of us who bear the name Catholic to avoid what the Second Vatican Council called the "greatest error of our age...the separation between faith and life". His book "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by living our Catholic beliefs in Political Life" is already a classic.
The book addresses the duty of integrating our Catholic faith into our obligations of citizenship. It should be read by every Catholic as we enter into the most important Presidential election of our lifetime. It should also be read by all Christians, all people of faith and all people of good will who value the American experiment in ordered liberty and want to see it continue.
The Archbishop is a prophetic voice for our time. On Tuesday, August 24, 2010 he addressed the first session of the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia. The address, entitled "Living within the Truth: Religious Liberty and Catholic Mission in the new order of the world" is of the stature of historic addresses such as those given by people like the late Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, whose "Men Have Forgotten God", was given upon his receipt of the Templeton Award and still inspires.
His call to "Live within the Truth" and to form a "Catholic Resistance" must be heard loud and clear in the aftermath of the Obama Administrations unconstitutional effort to coerce and compel the Catholic Church to violate deeply held religious convictions or face the punitive boot of an increasingly hostile and secularist Federal government.
In that speech he proclaimed, "The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it's very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God."
"We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th century. And it's a lesson that I hope we have learned. . We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance."
Over the last two weeks Catholics have heard letters read at Holy Mass which were written by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. We have been asked to rise up in prayer, fasting, and concerted Catholic Action in response to an unjust Edict issued by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, on January 20, 2012.
The unconstitutional mandate seeks to compel all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception in their health care plans. The "exemption" provided for religious employers does not cover hospitals, universities, soup kitchens, outreaches to the poor and many other vital expressions of our Catholic faith and mission. The later "compromise", offered in the face of the extraordinary outcry, was a fraud.
Catholics insist that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.
This HHS Edict is a violation of the Free Exercise of Religion protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is an unjust law which cannot be obeyed. The Federal Government of the United States is trying to force the Catholic Church to act against its deeply held religious convictions and to violate conscience.
The alleged "compromise" or "accomodation" offered by the Obama Administration pours salt in the wound. Among the voices rising to decry its sophistry is Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. He recently wrote this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer Feb 12, 2012 entitled "HHS mandate insulting and dangerous." It is set forth in its entirety below:
HHS mandate insulting and dangerous
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services refused on Jan. 20 to ...
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