The Catholic Diocese of Austin has mobilized with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to protest the decision of the Obama Administration to order employers to provide health care insurance that pays for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs. The mandates run counter to the Catholic conscience for the protection of the unborn and interfere directly with ability of Catholics to practice their faith.
In other words, this is an all-out assault on the religious liberties of Catholics and those Christians who believe abortion in all its forms is murder.It's also an assault on the Constitution.
Please visit these sites to learn more about the issue and to participate with the protest.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Diocese of Austin
Despite his leading his Sunday homily with a quote from the "Philosopher Karl Marx," my associate pastor Fr. Adrian Chishimba after the Mass read a letter from the Most Reverend Joe S. Vasquez, Bishop of Austin. You can see his letter here and here is an excerpt:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
[I have to comment on Fr. Chishimba's appreciation for the "wisdom" of Karl Marx as a lead-in to his homily. I nearly threw up when he started his lesson that way, quoting a man whose published poems, "Savage Songs," contained an "intense pessimism about the human condition, hatred, a fascination with corruption and violence, suicide pacts and pacts with the devil," according to historian Paul Johnson. Please read more about Marx in the chapter "Howling Gigantic Curses," in Johnson's book "Intellectuals." If he had more knowledge of the atheist, non-Christian, "philosopher," maybe Fr. Chishimba would have questioned the value of a man whose poetic imagery contains such gems as" "We are chained, shattered, frightened/Eternally chained to this marble block of being...We are the apes of a cold God." Reconcile that with a lead-in to a homily, any homily. And I won't even delve into the bloodstained history of Marxism right now. Surely that too is anathema to Fr. Chishimba's appreciation for this "philosopher." Unfortunately, you can never be sure these days with some Catholic priests. ]