Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/12/2014 (10 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 (10 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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... 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, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... 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