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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Kentucky Clerk jailed for refusal to marry same-sex couples Watch

Image of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis refused to marry same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis has been sent to jail following her refusal to marry same-sex couples. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - As reported by NBC, Davis was found in contempt of court Thursday morning because she claimed marriage licenses for gay and ... continue reading


Hispanics hope Pope Francis addresses immigration with Obama Watch

Image of Hispanics hope Pope Francis will address immigration policies in his upcoming visit to America.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 30 million Hispanic Catholics in the country are hoping that Pope Francis' visit this month will change the tone of the United States' debatable immigration policies and discourse. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The Pope will have high-profile ... continue reading


Hillary Clinton is a FELON - New email dump contains 150 CLASSIFIED emails Watch

Image of Hillary's emails reveal she is surrounded by sycophants and that the State Department techs had no idea she was using a private server, which is against the law.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State Department released a large batch of Clinton emails on Monday, with another 7,000 pages released to the media. Classified information has been redacted. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The State Department released 7,000 new Hillary Clinton emails to the ... continue reading


Are the Clintons mass murders? Death of British spy who hacked them raises old questions about the Clinton thuggery machine Watch

Image of They may be the most evil family in modern American politics.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clinton death toll is simply astounding. Approximately 100 people, directly associated with the Clinton family, have died under unnatural and mysterious circumstances since the early 1990s. It is considered possible that the Clinton family chooses to deal with ... continue reading


Obama's Clean Water Act blocked hours before taking effect Watch

Image of Obama's water pollution rule was blocked by a federal judge a few hours before its execution.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota federal judge blocked the Obama Administration's controversial water pollution rule just hours before taking effect. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota discovered ... continue reading


Clinton compares Republicans to terrorists: Receives unsurprising backlash Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton compares conservative views on abortion and reproductive rights to terrorist groups. Republicans demand an apology while Republican and Democrat candidates agree Clinton's campaign is failing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Hillary Clinton gave a ... continue reading


'The whole Bible is incredible': Donald trump ridiculed for not naming favorite Bible verse Watch

Image of Donald Trump claims the Bible is his favorite book.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During an interview with Bloomberg's Mark Halerin and John Heilemann, presidential candidate, Donald Trump was asked to name his favorite Bible verse but refused to name one. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Seven minutes into the interview, Halerin told Trump, "You ... continue reading


EVERY 93 SECONDS: Foreign children born on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls. It is estimated that a child of illegal immigrants is born every 93 seconds in the U.S. According to a 2011 Rasmussen Poll, only 28 percent of likely ... continue reading


Univision anchor Jorge Ramos EJECTED from Donald Trump press conference Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Go back to Univision," GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference. Well regarded by his peers, there was no gravitas afforded Ramos at the event, as a security guard escorted him away. The occasion ... continue reading


The do-nothing Boehner is not only stupid, he's pro-Planned Parenthood - revealed by his incestuous political relationship with an abortion-affiliated adviser Watch

Image of Boehner makes a lot of money off Obamacare and other investments in the medical industry, thanks to his privileged position in Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Charlotte Ivancic, Health Policy Advisor to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is leaving his office to work for a lobbying firm. Ivancic is the older sister of Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress. Dyer was caught discussing the sale of aborted children on video by the ... 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, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... 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