Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/12/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I have never had much tolerance for big bullies. Especially big bullies like a Federal Administration which has exceeded its constitutional authority and decided to take on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Little Sisters correctly insist that sterilizations, abortifacient chemical birth control and artificial contraception are all immoral. They are not only against the teaching of the scripture and Christian tradition but, as Catholics, the Sisters also maintain that they violate the Natural Moral Law.The Obama administration has asked the Court to compel these Little Sisters of the Poor to do indirectly what they refuse to do directly. They asked the Court to force Catholic nuns to sin, to act against conscience, to pursue an immoral course of action.  The nuns are placed in a situation reminiscent of other times in the history of the Church when unjust rulers sought to compel the Church to bend the knee to Caesar.

The Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/12/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: HHS Mandate, Obamacare, Little Sisters of the Poor, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, Pro-Life, contraceptive mandate, Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor, Becket Fund, religious liberty, St. Jospeh home, Richmond, Virginia, bullies, Keith Fournier, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - I love the Little Sisters of the Poor. Anyone with a heart who has ever had any contact with them feels the same way. The epitomize everything beautiful about the Gospel, the Catholic Church, Christian faith, and humanity itself.

These women put legs on love. Their smile dispels the darkness of the hour. They offer their hands to the Jesus who still loves the poor so much that he comes to serve them. He reveals the depth of His love in a most beautiful way through these Little Sisters of the Poor. They care for Jesus himself, in the face of the sick and the dying. (See, Matthew 25) 

My last personal contact with them was during the years I served St Benedict Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia  while I was engaged in doctoral studies in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America.

Visiting St Joseph Home in Henrico, Virginia  always moved me deeply inside. It drew me to my knees after I left. It showed me what I was studying, Moral Theology, in a way that all the books, lectures and research could never fully communicate. Those Little Sisters of the Poor reveal the Gospel without a need for words.

St Joseph Home is only one of many outreaches of this Catholic religious community. These faithful, humble, beautiful women of God provide Love to thousands around the world. They are beloved wherever they are.

My friend, the pastor of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Fr James Kauffmann, provided some pastoral care to them. His mother, of blessed memory, spent the last season of her beautiful life with the Little Sisters. They not only helped to care for her, but became a profound influence in her already saintly life.

On January 1, 2014, the Little sisters celebrated 175 years of caring for the elderly poor. The Lord, who loves them with such a special love, gave them a great gift to affirm them in their work of charity. They expressed their gratitude in a simple, non-confrontational Press release:

Supreme Court issues favorable decision on HHS Mandate: January 1, 2014, Baltimore: 2014 marks 175 years that the Little Sisters of the Poor have been caring for the elderly poor. We are grateful for the decision of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granting us a temporary injunction protecting us from the HHS contraceptive mandate. We hope and pray that we will receive a favorable outcome in order to continue to serve the elderly of all faiths with the same community support and religious freedom that we have always appreciated.

These women are peacemakers, healers and missionaries of love. They are genuinely humble. They are also now the focal point in a major constitutional case before the US Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor handles what are called emergency applications from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Little Sisters in Denver, Colorado filed a motion for an emergency stay.

They asked the Highest Court in the United States of America to prevent the Obama Administration from compelling them - under threat of fines which would literally shut some facilities down and force them to violate their faith (which they will never do) - to pay for condoms, sterilizations, and chemical abortions under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

The Justice granted the stay in an order which can be read here. She  gave the Obama Administration until Friday, January 10, 2014, to file a responsive brief. The Obama Administration filed the brief. In effect, they argued that since the nuns can - as they wrote in their argument "with the stroke of a pen" - sign a form which allows them to shift the distribution to a third party, their case should be dismissed. 

These simple, faithful, humble Catholic nuns who spend every waking hour caring for the poor, will not do indirectly what they cannot do directly. They are faithful Catholic Christians, with the courage borne of living faith. In other words, the Obama Administration is telling these nuns do what we say or you will be subjected to punitive fines which will threaten your work with the poor.

The Little Sisters correctly insist that sterilizations, abortifacient chemical birth control and artificial contraception are all immoral. They are not only against the teaching of the scripture and Christian tradition but, as Catholics, the Sisters also maintain that they violate the Natural Moral Law.  

The Obama administration has asked the Court to compel these Little Sisters of the Poor to do indirectly what they refuse to do directly. They asked the Court to force Catholic nuns to sin, to act against conscience, to pursue an immoral course of action. 

The nuns are placed in a situation reminiscent of other times in the history of the Church when unjust rulers sought to compel the Church to bend the knee to Caesar. This administration, led by a man who claims to admire Catholic Social Teaching and understand the concept of giving a love of preference to the poor, is seeking to compel the Little Sisters of the Poor to bend the knee.

In effect, the Little Sisters of the Poor are being bullied by the Obama Administration. There, I said it. They are being bullied and they need our support, in prayer, public outcry and support.

I know these self effacing, humble nuns women will not say it. They are being bullied by a regime which is violating the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. A regime which gives lip service to caring for the poor while now seeking to compel nuns who serve the poor to violate their deeply held religious beliefs and violate the Natural Moral Law.

Fortunately these Little Sisters of the poor have a legal champion in their corner. They are being represented in this David v Goliath lawsuit by some of the best constitutional lawyers in the Nation, the lawyers at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Fund is working in tandem with Locke Lord, a national law firm and Kevin Walsh, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

The Little Sisters are  joined in the lawsuit by religious health benefit providers, Christian Brothers Services, Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust. 

For the most accurate explanation of the issues, as well as the most accurate news coverage on this historic case, go right to the source, the Becket Fund.  Remember, much of what is often called the main stream media has become a propaganda arm for the current Federal administration and does not report the news.

I know that my blunt assertions in this article will be met with some negative reaction. First from those who seek to use sophistry to argue that it is somehow OK for this Administration to compel faithful Catholic nuns to do indirectly what they cannot do directly. I contend with these folks regularly.

However, I will also be met with negative responses from some who, thinking that we now need a kinder, gentler tone, will object to the manner in which I state my position.

Frankly, I do not care. I write as a Constitutional lawyer, a Catholic Deacon and someone who has experienced the beauty of the acts of love in which the Little Sisters of the Poor are engaged. What is being done to them is not only unconstitutional, it is immoral and wrong.

I have never had much tolerance for big bullies. Especially big bullies like a Federal Administration which has exceeded its constitutional authority and decided to take on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... continue reading


Are terrorists invading the US through the open border with Mexico? Watch

Image of The Islamic State nay already have sympathizers and cells within the USA. The porous border does nothing to aid the situation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans are worried that the Islamic State will soon conduct terror attacks within the U.S., inserting agents via the porous border between the states and Mexico. At least one sheriff has told the media he received an official alert while the federal government is ... continue reading


'We'll send them to hell!' Texas sheriff declares war on Islamic State Watch

Image of Texas sheriff Gary Painter reveals that he believes the Islamic State has already infiltrated the U.S. through the porous southern border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agencies along the U.S.-Mexico border have received alerts to be on the lookout for terrorists from Islamic State attempting to cross into the United States, a sheriff from the region has said. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Midland County ... continue reading


And you thought you had bad traffic! Tropical storm strands thousands in Nevada Watch

Image of Heavy rain washed out numerous portions of Nevada's critical I-15, leaving many drivers stranded or forced to take roundabout backways.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what may be the area's worst storm in decades, a 2-mile-long stretch of highway in Moapa Nevada was destroyed by four inches of rain that occurred in just an hour, part of the end of Tropical Storm Norbert. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rain caused ... continue reading


What do you do when a man takes off with millions in sunken treasure? Watch

Image of Gold coins recovered from the SS Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the past two years, U.S. marshals have been on the hunt for Tommy Thompson, the man who made the greatest lost treasure discovery in American history back in 1988. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson has been on the run as a fugitive after he skipped a ... continue reading


Wore out his welcome: Obama advocates withdrawing their support Watch

Image of A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll has yielded some most striking findings. The degree to which the president's approval has slipped among key parts of the Obama coalition, such as women, youth and Latino voters who put in him back in charge two years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama's support has been rapidly dwindling stateside. The president, in particular has alienated women voters, especially those who re-elected him in 2012. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "He's been faced with a lot of challenges, and ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter