Friday, January 27, 2012

Call to Action: Respect for Rights of Conscience Act

UPDATE 2/2/12 and URGENT:  Have you signed the petition on the White House website yet?  CLICK HERE to SIGN.

Under the fine leadership of Cardinal designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the USSCB, an unquestionably quick call to action has been heralded against the recent attack against the rights of every Catholic in the United States.   

Dated January 20, 2012:

WASHINGTON—The Catholic bishops of the United States called “literally unconscionable” a decision by the Obama Administration to continue to demand that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans. Today's announcement means that this mandate and its very narrow exemption will not change at all; instead there will only be a delay in enforcement against some employers.
“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The cardinal-designate continued, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty."
The HHS rule requires that sterilization and contraception – including controversial abortifacients – be included among “preventive services” coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans. “The government should not force Americans to act as if pregnancy is a disease to be prevented at all costs,” added Cardinal-designate Dolan.At issue, the U.S. bishops and other religious leaders insist, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for the conscience of Catholics and all other Americans.
“This is nothing less than a direct attack on religion and First Amendment rights,” said Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairperson of the board at Franciscan Alliance, Inc., a system of 13 Catholic hospitals. “I have hundreds of employees who will be upset and confused by this edict. I cannot understand it at all.”
Daughter of Charity Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, voiced disappointment with the decision. Catholic hospitals serve one out of six people who seek hospital care annually.“This was a missed opportunity to be clear on appropriate conscience protection,” Sister Keehan said.
Cardinal-designate Dolan urged that the HHS mandate be overturned.“The Obama administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand,” he said. “The Catholic bishops are committed to working with our fellow Americans to reform the law and change this unjust regulation. We will continue to study all the implications of this troubling decision.”

Read other +Ponderings from the past about the Obama administration and Ms. Sibelius HERE

*See also USCCB January 23, 2012 News Release HERE


PatO said...

Start worrying about the rights of the tens of thousands of children that were raped in the Catholic church, as the church knowingly hid pedophile priests and moved them around. You will see those victims on your judgement day, and God will ask what you did to help God's most innocent children.

Kelly said...

Hello Pat, I do worry about the rights of the 10,667 people who made plausible allegations of childhood sexual abuse and rape at the hands of the priests and deacons they trusted. Thankfully, the (1% of the clergy) offending priests and deacons were either dead or removed from all ministerial duties between 2002-3.

I also have shown loving concern for children raped (statistically much higher than the priestly population) by their parents, babysitters, coaches, teachers, scout leaders, youth ministers and other people they knew and trusted.

I will be judged by Christ twice and both of those times he will know that I have done everything within my power to protect the children I have contact with through my parish and school duties to the best of my ability.

I sense a lot of anger and hurt in your words to me and I will pray for you just as I hope you will do the same for me. You have judged me with your comments but I forgave you the moment I read them.

Now for some facts:

*About 85% of the offenders of child sexual abuse are family members, babysitters, neighbors, family friends or relatives. About one in six child molesters are other children, while most of the offenders are male.

*Nearly 10% of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees.

*A non-Catholic publication reported a study. Education Week stated that "the physical abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests"

*In Christian Science Monitor, a 2002 article points out the following:

-Most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.
-Since 1993, on average about 1 percent of the surveyed churches reported abuse allegations annually. That means on average, about 3,500 allegations annually, or nearly 70 per among the predominantly Protestant group

The Catholic Church has implemented safeguards in recent years so that this atrocity will not happen to our children again. Many Protestant churches have not, however. For example, the Southern Baptist Conference voted to NOT track ministers who were accused of abusing children.

More information can be found here:

I personally know people who were sexually abused as children - several of them in fact. Of the 9 people I know, 8 were abused by a relative and 1 by a youth minister at her non-Catholic church.

God bless you and may He bring you to peace.

January 27, 2012 12:06 PM