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By Deacon Keith Fournier

8/20/2009 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

All of the talk about a two track program, options, different funds.... in National Health Care Reform? Pray for Belmont Abbey College and pray for the United States of America.


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

8/20/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

BELMONT, NC (Catholic Online) – Many readers of Catholic Online know I am a fan of Belmont Abbey College and its authentically Catholic vision and mission. They also know I have deep admiration for their President, Dr. Bill Thierfelder. The College’s necessary stand against the encroachment of the Federal Government on Religious Freedom is being recognized by Christians, other people of faith and many people of good will around the world, as both an ominous sign and a call to heroic witness.

Today, I attended the first Steering Committee of the “Freedom Federation”. I am the only Catholic in the midst of many sincere Christians on the committee. We are joining together out of our shared concern for our Nation. Toward the end of the teleconference, I received an E-Mail from Dr. Thierfelder in response to my notes of support and the article I wrote (published below) concerning Belmont Abbey College and its recent EEOC struggles. It again underscored the reason I have such respect for the man and I share it with you.

However, it also gave me the opportunity to tell this group of Christian leaders from other communities what is happening at Belmont Abbey College, the dangerous implications of the EEOC’s actions, and, I thought, to explain its’ implications on the entire Christian community. Once they heard, I did not have to explain anything. Belmont Abbey College has a set of new supporters, committed to prayer and willing to help. The leaders of other Christian communities understand what is at stake. Do we?

Here is the letter I received from Belmont Abbey’s fine President:

“Dear Deacon Keith,

“Thank you very much for your recent note in support of Belmont Abbey College.

“On behalf of all of us at the College, I am grateful for your kind comments, your words of encouragement, and, most of all, for your prayers. As you can imagine, Abbot Placid Solari, the members of the Board of Trustees of the College, the school’s leadership team, and I were very taken aback by the EEOC’s reversal of its earlier position, and were amazed that it found the College guilty of discriminating against some of our employees because we refuse to offer or subsidize abortion, elective sterilization, and contraception in our health care plan. We believe that to offer or to subsidize such coverage would be contrary to the clear teaching of the Catholic Church. We are convinced that it would also make it impossible for us to present ourselves—or to be—a Catholic college with all that that should entail.

“We have requested that the EEOC reconsider its decision. In the meanwhile, we ask you to pray that this agency will recognize our right as Americans and Catholics to the free exercise of our religion. As you know, if the EEOC does not reverse its most recent position, their ruling could have a baleful effect not only on Belmont Abbey College, but on all religiously-affiliated institutions nationwide.

“Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!”


This is a private Catholic College being singled out by the Federal Government for being faithful to Catholic teaching. The constitutional issues are clear and I know that there are many lawyers ready to help.I do not know how far it will go but I know that this fine College and its leaders are not going to compromise.

However, as I again ask our readers to pray for Dr. Thielfelder and the College, I point out an ominous implication as we consider the proposals for National “Health Care Reform.”

Belmont Abbey College provided private health insurance to its faculty which excluded abortion, contraception and voluntary sterilization. The Federal Government is claiming that since such “services” are used by women, their exclusion constituted discrimination based upon gender. In short, they are accusing the College of violating Federal and State Law! They are not only considering sanctions against the College but seeking to force them to include such “services” against their deeply held religious convictions.

Now, fast forward, to the current debate concerning the provision of these services in the versions of National Health Care Reform under consideration.

Does anyone reading this article not see the danger? Under the current positive law of the United States, the taking of the life of a child in the womb by intentional abortion is currently protected by the Police Power of the State and actually called a Constitutional “right”. That is the case even though it is a flagrant violation of a fundamental human right, the right to life, as well as contrary to the Natural Law.

All of the talk about a two track program, options, different funds.... in National Health Care Reform?

Pray for Belmont Abbey College and pray for the United States of America.


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