Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/30/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There was overwhelming support for everything Father Reese had to say, almost every time he mocked the bishops the majority of those in attendance laughed loudly

More alarming was Father Reese's support for Obama's policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception. The Bishops, Reese said, have ignored economic studies that insurance companies would actually save money by providing contraception. "Contraception is a lot cheaper than live births, especially if the live births are problematic."

Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., former editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University where he focuses on religion and public policy.

Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., former editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University where he focuses on religion and public policy.

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/30/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Holy Trinity catholic Church, Fr Thomas Reese, Faithful Citizenship, Georgetown, Obamacare, HHS Mandate, Affordable care Act, Contraception mandate, abortion, Obama, Biden, Romney, Ryan, Catholic Vote, Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Last week, as we reported, Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in Washington, D.C. printed an article about the upcoming US Presidential election election in its parish bulletin dissenting from settled Church teaching on the priority of moral issues in politics.  A number of parishioners communicated with Pastor Mark Horak, S.J., their concerns about the article, written by Dean Vincent Rougeau of the Boston College School of Law. 

This past weekend at Holy Trinity, as part of their Sunday Speaker Series, Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J.
gave some remarks on the election, now only a week away. Father Reese's remarks certainly kept the attention of the 250 or so people in attendance.

About Republicans, Father Reese imagined them saying to themselves, "Maybe we can pick up some Catholic votes if we oppose Obama's original contraception mandate."

Such charity is rarely met in political speech in the nation's capital - much less among the Catholic clergy who dare to discuss politics.

Father Reese seems to know a great deal about the Republican mind: He claimed that initial Republican opposition to the HHS mandate was driven by polls, but once Republicans found out that women like the contraception mandate, they "ran away" from their opposition.

Perhaps Father Reese has missed the steady drumbeat of references to the HHS mandate made by both Gov. Mitt Romney and Cong. Paul Ryan during the campaign?

Given that the GOP was not alone in opposing the HHS mandate, that the Catholic Bishops made even more noise about it with their "Fortnight for Freedom," what did Father Reese have to say about them?

"Bishops may be unhappy about the contraception mandate, but they have only 200 votes in this election," was the view expressed by Father Reese.

Father Reese evidently takes not only a quantitative view of the issues but a quantitative view of the Bishops' authority, as least in regard to the upcoming election. A Bishop is just one more vote, nothing more.

Father Reese argues the Bishops should support what he euphemistically calls "accommodation" with the Obama mandate. What it should be called is "selling out," at the very least. Reese thinks the Bishops just keep making different "excuses" so they can oppose the mandate.
 
More alarming was Father Reese's support for Obama's policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception. The Bishops, Reese said, have ignored economic studies that insurance companies would actually save money by providing contraception. "Contraception is a lot cheaper than live births, especially if the live births are problematic."

There were no gasps or grimaces at these remarks.  There was overwhelming support for everything Father Reese had to say, almost every time he mocked the bishops the majority of those in attendance laughed loudly.

The Bishops, Father Reese added, "are on a political campaign" to have the contraception mandate regulations changed. In fact, some of the Bishops use language saying religious liberty is a moral absolute, but it is "not."

Father Reese, evidently, is not too concerned about the Bishops' role in this election: "What the Bishops say would be important if Catholics actually followed them."

At the same time, Father Reese cited the Bishops' own document, "Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship," in order to summarize, and add authority to, his own view of how a Catholic can vote for a pro-choice candidate, "if they are voting for that candidate out of other moral concerns."

We know that Father Reese has read and understands the bishops' New Introduction to Faithful Citizenship, so it must be the case that he has chosen to ignore its explicit rejection of the position he stated.

Unfortunately, it's Father Reese's one-liner on "Faithful Citizenship" that is the dominant message being communicated to most Catholics across the nation, a message corroborated by the alphabetical voter guides being distributed by state Catholic conferences. 

Father Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University where he focuses on religion and public policy.

Few Catholic churches in our nation are as venerable as Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in Washington, D.C.  Founded in 1794, Holy Trinity's first pastor was Francis Neale, S.J.; the second pastor of Holy Trinity, Benedict J. Fenwick, S.J., became the second Bishop of Boston and founded Holy Cross College; the third, John McElroy, S.J., founded Boston College.

Today, Holy Trinity serves over 3,500 families, 10,000 people, and is still administered by the Society of Jesus. Holy Trinity, in our opinion, is a shining example of the institutionalized dissent that has characterized the Catholic Church in this country for the past forty years. 

This type of dissent is rarely ever addressed by anyone of authority in the Church and, as a result, is considered as representative of what the Church stands for by the media and other observers.

Both the message delivered by Father Reese at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and its enthusiastic reception this past weekend is a paradigm of the vacuous and bitter mentality that still pervades the majority of our most prestigious Catholic institutions. We are fortunate that so few of the younger clergy embrace it -- our academics, however, that's another matter, and another story.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

OUT OF CONTROL: During Harry Reid's time in Congress, national debt up an astonishing 15-Fold Watch

Image of During the 32 years that current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has served in the United States Congress, the debt of the federal government has grown $16,955,289,814,977.42.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During the 32 years that current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has served in the United States Congress, the debt of the federal government has grown $16,955,289,814,977.42, roughly equaling an increase of about $145,131 for every household in the ... continue reading


Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security exposed as favoring wealthy 'White House allies,' including Hillary Clinton's brother Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Department of Homeland Security's latest watchdog report reveals the agency's second man in charge, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, repeatedly "played favorites" when it came to well-connected participants in an investor-visa program. LOS ... continue reading


IT BEGINS NOW: Conservative rebel, Sen. Ted Cruz becomes first Republican to announce presidential bid Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Ted Cruz, from Texas, has become the first Republican to announce a campaign for presidency in the 2016 election. Taking to Twitter, Cruz announced his candidacy with a 30-second video message posted shortly after midnight on March 23. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


What is going on here? U.S. threatens sanctions against Israel while making excuses for Iran Watch

Image of Even more trying to Israel would be any lessening of Obama's opposition to Palestinian efforts to join the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority will formally join the court this coming April 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What is going on here? Israel, the United States' only clear ally in the Middle East is now facing tough new sanctions from the Obama White House. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Politico's Michael Crowley, "Obama officials must now decide ... continue reading


Large study reveals startling media bias toward Democrats and Obama during presidential elections Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and international press show signs of strictly favoring the Democratic party. According to the Washington Examiner, a study of 130,213 news articles during the 2012 presidential election shows just how pro-Democratic the news sources were. LOS ... continue reading


Did the Obama administration give a massive amount of money to an anti-Israeli group to keep Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu out? Watch

Image of Is President Obama attempting to overthrow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Declining to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while he was in the United States earlier this month is one thing, but President Obama may have crossed a line by illegally financing an American nonprofit group that was attempting to keep ... continue reading


Iranian president finds diplomacy with U.S. to be active 'jihad' Watch

Image of Describing his country's diplomacy with the United States as an active

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Describing his country's diplomacy with the United States as an active "jihad," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the diplomatic front is just as significant in advancing Tehran's nuclear ambitions. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rouhani praised the ... continue reading


Match made in Heaven: Hillary Clinton as secretive as Bill Clinton; deletes over 30,000 emails Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the upcoming Presidential election approaches, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton continues to be pressed on the issue of her private email account and private servers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Finally breaking her silence, Clinton has admitted ... continue reading


Playing hardball: Senate Republicans warn Iran that nuclear weapons are off the table Watch

Image of President Obama is not happy with Senate Republicans, after they wrote a letter to Iran, warning the nation that they will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senate Republicans are wholly committed to preventing Iran from gaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons, weapons with which the Islamic Republic has routinely said that it will use to destroy long-time U.S. ally Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


TERRORISTS BACK IN ACTION: More than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees released back into terrorist activities Watch

Image of The United States has confirmed that 116 detainees have been

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It appears that for dozens of suspects, Guantanamo Bay proved to be a failure in terms of national security. The United States has confirmed that 116 detainees have been "transferred" out of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These terrorist suspects are now ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 12:1-11
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Regulatus
March 30: Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at ... 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