Skip Navigation Links
Free News via Email
Subscribe for a Friend
Send News Tip
Contact Us
About Us
Is California Catholic Daily important to you?
You can help keep us online!
See All Help Wanted Ads
Submit Help Wanted Ad
See Position Wanted Ads
Submit Position Wanted Ad
Churches Worth Driving To
* Submit Your Church *

News from the Trenches
Grow a uterus!...
Advertise with us
Currently more than 150,000 visitors read
Servant of God! Father John Hardon, S.J.
Refuse to Choose! Women deserve better!
Changing Times! Holistic approach in education.
See All Classified Ads
Submit Classified Ad
See All Calendar Items
Submit Calendar Item
German prelate to head Vatican doctrinal congregation KENNETH M. FISHER there you go again, using the word 'hereti... [max - 7/6/2012 6:45:51 PM]
Same-sex attractions in youth Retaction Gene, you are correct in what you are saying. I h... [Mark from PA - 7/6/2012 6:31:16 PM]
Will she be removed? Archbishop Jose Gomez is a wonderful bishop. Shame on whoev... [Shirley J. Schultz - 7/6/2012 5:59:07 PM]
A Constitutional wreck Constitutional validity depends entirely on an educated, pro... [JLS - 7/6/2012 4:55:28 PM]
Parents should not block vocations "Why does he call so few?" by Bob One: I cannot fathom how ... [JLS - 7/6/2012 4:46:36 PM]

Links to Other Sites
Prior Site Archives
Article Archives

On religious liberty

And a confused media

The following comes from a June 8 Catholic San Francisco piece written by George Wesolek, communications director of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Is it that the media doesn’t understand the issue of religious liberty and the Catholic Church, or do they refuse to report it for reasons of their own?

When the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate was promulgated by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius early this year, it forced Catholic institutions – in social services, health care and education – to offer all employees, free of charge, contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

These services are considered immoral by the church and so, naturally, the U.S. bishops objected and asked for a conscience exemption. Conscience objections have been given over the years in the interplay between state and church over a variety of issues and were considered commonplace.

But this case was different. Hidden away in the multitude of regulations accompanying the mandate was a new definition of what was to be considered “religious activity.” This new definition limited “religious activity” to houses of worship and its congregants.

An exemption, therefore, would be given only to a religious entity that serves and teaches its own faithful. Serving others not of our faith, as do our social services, health care and education, does not qualify as a “religious activity.”

In essence, this new definition redefines what it is to be Catholic.

All Catholics and many non-Catholics realize and know full well that central to the Catholic faith (and many other faiths as well) is loving and serving all people who are poor, vulnerable, in prison, alone, sick, homeless and hungry. Our faith mandate does not allow us to determine if they are Catholic or not. We serve them because Christ commanded us to love them. Staying inside the walls of our churches praying for these people does not cut it. We must go out to them; otherwise our faith is a travesty of Jesus’ words and intent and 2,000 years of church history.

But now we are told by our government, by regulation in a health care mandate, that Catholics cannot practice their faith in this way.

You wonder why the bishops and other Catholics are upset? News release after news release, statement after statement has pointed out this egregious and unprecedented attack on our ability to practice our faith, and yet we see in the media, “Bishops denounce birth control mandate.” This quickly spins into the bishops’ “war on women.” Very little or nothing is said about the attack on our freedom of religion.

It is obvious that the media wants this to be about contraception and not religious liberty. Groups like NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood continue to pressure the administration to continue this course. With this new definition, other “reproductive rights” can be mandated to Catholic institutions. They are most eager to have abortion provided in Catholic hospitals and our social service and educational institutions referring for abortions. The new definition in the regulations opens a very wide door for them.

It is also clear that the media will not report the facts and the truth of this story: another reason to look to your Catholic media.

Catholics of all political parties need to take this very seriously. If Catholics do not object strenuously, especially Catholic members of President Obama’s party, then we will be looking at a very different Catholic Church in the future – one that may well lose most of its institutions to a secular model and one that is eviscerated of its moral voice in the public square.

To read original story, Click here.


Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 12:27 AM By Dan
The visting priest this past Sunday praised the Obamacare mandate and said it just had to be tweaked to conform to Catholic standards. I got the impression, maybe incorrectly, that the priest is confident that all will be well in a short time. The congregation was tense and so were we, the musicians. Don't know what to make of all this; just reporting what happened. Somewhow, and I could be off base, I think Catholic support for Obama will increase if such preaching becomes the norm.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 4:21 AM By MIKE
This 4th of July read the Constitution of the US, and discuss it at the dinner table. Public schools do not teach the Constitution accurately so that those in power can control people and do their own thing. "Congress shall make no law repecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:". We must get US citizens to know the content of the Constitution, just as we must get all Catholics to know the contenct of the CCC.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:18 AM By JMJ
Every Cardinal, Bishop, Priest and Catholic laymen should read the Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII, especially Humane Genus (Freemasonry), Immortale Dei (The Christian Constitution of States) and Libertas Praestantissimum (Human Liberty) for starters. Even though these are over 100 years ago, they are even fresher than the morning newspaper. It is almost as if he had pictures of Hillary and Obama on his desk as he wrote these. He tells us about the false notion of separation of Church and State, Liberalism and the "new" idea" of the freedom to worship against the virtue of religion, that this reign of terror (OBAMANISM) is shoving down our throats. He also tells us to obey our rulers, but, not to obey when they force laws that are against God and humanity, and as St. Peter and John said, We will obey God, not man. Obama has declared war, and now with the help of John (benedict arnold) Roberts giving Obama a blank check to destroy our Constitution, our nation, God's world and to put the Catholic Church out of business, we need to stand firmly with our Church and say NO!!! The media is just a tool for satan and they are in the dark. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:55 AM By Nan Wagner
Oh, and no one saw this coming, especially the men in black robes. Honestly, where were they in 2009 when millions of Americans were protesting the forced passage of this Act? We've been and still are protesting, but these "leaders" of our faith are still blinded by their belief in utopia, refusing to recognize the Biblical prohibitions to the creation of utopia by man here on earth.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 6:00 AM By Canisius
I want to be honest here, I have very little sympathy for most of the Bishops. For decades they have been in bed with the democrat party based on the democrats funding of the Bishops pet "social justice' initiatives. Now these very same Bishops are shocked the politicians have turned on them??? Our Lord said not to put our trust in princes, ,...I will tell you how to fight this mandate... Do not pay fines, ignore the law and make these Bolsheviks shut down every Catholic School and Hospital with via the forces of the Police State...Will see how that plays out....

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 7:50 AM By Nightingale
The Catholic church needs to start pushing back by first disciplining its flock. I still remember having dinner with a practicing Roman Catholic who said that if her daughter had gotten pregnant as a teenager, she would have "dragged" her daughter to the nearest abortion clinic. I almost fell off my chair. Until the church authorities reign in this kind of wrong thinking, Catholics (and other Christian denominations that do the same) will cease to have a proper influence on the world around them.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:20 AM By JLS
"Our faith mandate does not allow us to determine if they are Catholic or not." -- Strike one. "now we are told by our government" -- Strike two. "It is obvious" -- Strike three. "Catholic members of President Obama’s party" -- Oxymoron, game over.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:44 AM By Don Guillermo
Mr. Wesolek has made this issue clearer to me than anyone else. Yet, it is not a battle that our enemies are likely to win unless, of course, we let them win. If push came to shove, we would still have the numbers to exert irresistible pressure on the government through acts of civil disobedience. So, let us carry on all of our ministries as before, and force Nero's hand.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:19 AM By Bud
While I detest abortion in any form, I can understand the mind set of a young pregnant woman in a state of panic for hundreds of reasons important to her. What I don't understand is when this condition happens there is little public information or positive actions for those to contact for help from our churches. Quit preaching evil and start reiterating how, when where and why to get help to preserve a human life and what is the best for the child! The bigger cities are more available but even that doesn't seem sufficient or "out there" where she can't miss it!

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:49 AM By Rick DeLano
It seems the medicine of mercy has had unforeseen side effects.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:22 AM By pete
Very good communication; now can he get his communication published as a guest column editorial in the Chronical? or read on PBS?? Clearly we are dealing with something that needs IN ADDITION TO CIVIC RESPONSE,supernatural means: A MASSIVE PUBLIC EPISCOPAL LED ROSARY CAMPAIGN TO SAVE OUR NATION.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 4:23 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Anyone who viewed the movie "For the Greater Glory" knows that the Mexican people tried the economic boycott only to be faced with the fury of Calles with firing squads, hangings, etc. etc. It is common knowledge that the Obamanation has been preparing for Martial Law. The big question is will the American rank and file G.I. follow his orders. Their Oath says that they do not have to. Where can we find another General Enrique Gorostieta? Even the Marine Corps. Commandant, Jones, is now sodomite friendly! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 1:55 AM By Carolyn
If the goverment is corrupt and evil, what does God want us too do? Stay involved and fight with this immoral monster, especially if it gets 4 more years! Or does God want the "faithful church" to extricate itself from the "jaws of death." Martyrs there may be, but God is on the side of His people, who fight for LIFE and true LIBERTY. We are at the crossroad, I believe that the OHC presents with an opportunity to free the unborn, this may be the way Divine Providence is leading us out of bondage. Sometimes, Jesus calls us to come away from the evil, maybe as in the days of Lot it is now time. The poor and the downtrodden, the sick and the babes in arms will be following the triumphant church, it will not have to worry about serving, for there will be many to serve. Judge Roberts, is he a true catholic? Did the struggle of religious freedom ever enter his mind? Did the notion that catholic institutions may be heavily fined if they do not capitulate to the mandates of OC, ever enter his mind? Wasn't the evil of abortion on his mind? Did he know more than we the people, of even worse horror if the bill was completely overturned? Why did he seemingly change his stance? So many questions. God's justice is near, he does call his faithful people the catholic church being called?

Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 8:10 AM By JLS
What Bud posts would have saved me decades of grief. Young women need the support both informative and of course emotional and this support needs to be immediately available to them ... especially because the dark deeds of moral betrayal are well hidden and do not want "meddling" by the forces of morality. The devil being in the details makes it difficult for the voice of reason and compassion to be there, and it is in the details that the bad decisions are made.

Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 8:13 AM By JLS
If the faithful had significant numbers, then there would be no need for civil disobedience, because the overwhelming vote would carry the day easily. The bishops seem to be threatening a futile move rather than simply telling their dioceses to vote against the obama-esque programs. The bishops, thus, are defeating themselves. They will never win until they decide to get down to what the Pope told them to do, get holy.

Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 2:47 PM By JLS
Carolyn's "that the OHC presents with an opportunity to free the unborn, this may be the way Divine Providence is leading us out of bondage" is one more definition of total insanity: Maguire and Kmiec kept telling us the same thing, namely that more abortion will lead to less abortion. Those who believe this deserve Hell in their own handbasket.

Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 11:15 PM By Carolyn
JLS, The dirty deed is done, the increase of abortions is certain. It was not my doing that the Supreme Court gave the go ahead. I never indicated that more abortion would lead to less. I said,now this evil presents the church with an opportunity. We have been very patient for a very long time...marching to the Capital every January for 39 years. It will be 40 years, in the desert of bondage. What is the opportunity? What the church is now stating, finally, we will not serve! You evil goverment will not control us, or demand that we, the church, engage in the destruction of innocent life. JLS what do you think the church should do? Lay down and say, sure we will go along with your requests, so all can be calm and financially wonderful? Oh yes, the enemy presents in its evil stupidity, opportunities for good to triumph. This is not a "definition" it is a happening, there is still the raging battle JLS. Get on board, the unborn are still seeking their right to freedom to be born. There are moments in Gods is in the churchs hands, may it not falter.....we are fighting the devil.

Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 4:23 AM By OSCAR
Part of the confusion in the media regarding Catholic teaching is that many US Bishops do not publically handle the Mortal Sin of SCANDAL in a timely manner if at all. Nor do many require their Priests to read the CCC or advertise it prominently for everyone over age 16 in their Diocese. Many "Catholics" have no clue on some issues that are teachings of the Church. If 'we' don't know, we can't blame the secular media. If the Bishops ignore the Scandal of politicians and others, and not calling a heretic or schismatic by his/her correct terminolgy - confusion will continue with Souls being lost.

Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 9:47 AM By Don Guillermo
The obama-esque programs have already been ratified and now ruled constitutional. Thus, to vote against them would mean, almost always, voting Republican or, at least, for a third party. Yet, if bishops told Catholics explicitly for whom to vote, the Church would lose its tax-exempt status. They could, however, construe their statements so narrowly that it would be virtually impossible for a Catholic to vote for a Democrat and remain in good standing. Civil disobedience can be holy and does not need a democratic majority to be effective.

Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 12:06 PM By JLS
carolyn, now I see your point, after you worded it more clearly. You may not have been aware that the leader of Catholic Obama voters said that more abortion would lead to fewer. This site has gone through extensive debate and clarification of this sort of hype. So, what you're saying is that the situation is so bad that even the bishops can organize against it, right? But this is more polyanna dreamland: Why? Because the "we will not serve an evil govt" is a hype job in itself; for, the means the bishops have put forth to support this non servam is civil disobedience. This will not happen; the bishops know this, and their motive is not what it seems to be. If the bishops really wanted to stop the thing, then they would draw the line in the sand in their dioceses by informing the laity and clergy that voting for Obama is a mortal sin because it is voting for the heinous act of massive abortion. The solution is so simple, carolyn; but, the reason it is not being done is because the bishops do not want it to be done. They want the money, power and prestige that come with administering govt funded programs. What is not to get about this? Oh yes, the bishops would never rail against God, oh no, that could never be ... Yeah, right, carolyn. Maybe it is easy for me to see, because I was not brought up in a bishop worshiping community.

Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 5:21 PM By JLS
Church losing tax exempt status weighed against one million abortions per year which the Church could stop? I do not see the problem; evidently however the bishops do: But have the bishops checked with the babies who are being aborted about whether the tax exemption is worth it? Aside from nonsense in the details, the label of what this amounts to is called murder for hire. Same with the sex coverups ... temple prostitution. When will we receive actual faithful bishops? When in history has the episcopal corruption been worse? Ever?

Posted Friday, July 06, 2012 1:43 AM By Carolyn
JLS..I agree that with you on many points. Yes it would be civil disobedience, just as many priests are in civil disobedience in China, Vietnam, Cuba and other countries. If what you say is true about all of the bishops, then all we, the laity have to do is just keep praying....what else can we do. Rebellion is rampant among these "apostate" catholics, I have no time for them and their lies. I myself have told people that they cannot vote for Obama because it could be a grave sin, and that he is not prolife. Guess what, they don't care. My question is, I am a catholic and know abortion is a terrible sin and that Obama is pro abortion, why do not other catholic pro Obama supporters know this? Can we blame the bishops? I am not any smarter than they, maybe even less, they are just renegade catholics, who DO KNOW the truth but choose to be in rebellion, as I just said before. I still believe the justice of God is on its way, pmay Jesus Our Lord protect His faithful followers.

Posted Friday, July 06, 2012 4:03 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
JLS, I know of many priests and a few bishops who would like to see the Church surrender its chains of the the Satan inspired tax exempt status! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Post your Comment
Email: (Optional: Will not display)
Comments are limited to 1500 characters, and cannot contain offensive or libelous language. For security, comments cannot contain html tags, including < and > symbols - and NO URLS or LINKS. Comments will appear after they have been approved by the editor. Inclusion of your email address is optional so the editor may contact you.

Calcatholic Mobile
Optimized for your
mobile device

Visitors since January 1st, 2009:
javascript hit counter