Prayers for and cheers to this courageous priest-lawyer for speaking the truth! May more of our priests be like him. Spread the word.
I’m posting the transcript of his homily here for my parents’ benefit. If you see any errors, please comment and I will edit.
In recent years, we’ve had cause to discuss the subject of political speech from the pulpit here at St. John the Evangelist. Many many many of you have regularly challenged me to speak out more frequently on matters that I deemed are purely political and as a result, I have refused to do so. However, others are so sensitive about this that even when I recently recommended two of our parishioners that were running for local office, they became vocally upset. Generally speaking, the message we priests preach should not be political except when it comes to faith and morals. What I’m about to share with you in my opinion moves beyond faith and morals and goes to our very existence to function and therefore I claim the right as your pastor. I claim the right as an American citizen. I claim the responsibility as a priest to speak what I perceive to be the truth.
Little more than three years ago, after Mr. Obama was elected but not yet sworn in as President of the United States of America, the bishops finally gave us priests permission to tell our congregations the truth about what Mr. Obama’s intention was and that was to force the Catholic Church to engage in morally repugnant actions or lose our ability to carry out the gospel message in health care, social services and education. I gave a stirring talk that Sunday, and you as well as people across the country, because the priests in their parishes also got up and spoke, sent millions of cards, letters, phone calls to DC, demanding reassurances that the Obama administration would not proceed with its plans. Almost immediately, the President-elect contacted the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and invited the bishops to a meeting, at which time he gave his word. He gave his word to our bishops that the conscience clause that exempts religious organizations from participating in those federal mandates that go against our conscience would not be disturbed. At that time, President-elect Obama feigned surprise that Catholics would even think that he would do something like this. And with those assurances, the bishops backed down. Within a few months of his administration, Obamacare was introduced creating a deep division in our country as the President’s vision of comprehensive health care coverage became clearer. Arguing that the poor would finally receive health care which is a longstanding goal of our bishops and of all Catholics, arguing also that the cost of healthcare under Obamacare would be reduced, another longstanding goal of our bishops and Catholics, the President asked the bishops to support this legislation. They were once again given assurances that abortion, sterilization, and other so-called reproductive services would not be included in the legislation, at least not in a way that would compromise Catholic conscience. As a whole the bishops declined to support that legislation. However, some naive bishops believed the President and came out in support of the ideas behind Obamacare.
Last week all those assurances and promises President Obama made were broke and his true intentions made known when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that virtually all insurance plans must pay for reproductive services even if they are morally repugnant to the organizations, specifically including the Roman Catholic Church.
Stop and think of this. We are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this culture of death that abortion is wrong. We are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this nation on issues of life. And now we will be forced to actually pay for someone to have an abortion. This is only part of the war that the Obama administration is quietly waging on the Catholic Church. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the US Labor Department has aggressively attempted to expand its control of how we conduct business. This is one of the regulations, there’s about eight of them. Imagine how thick that is. This is page after page, detailed. I as a lawyer, it takes me about an hour to go through and try to understand each of these pages.
Now, I’m your pastor! Now, we have to comprehend and implement every detail of that because the government wants to get into our business and tell us how to run our business, how to run our Churches! And there are no exemptions for us. I mean it’s overwhelming, just stop and think of that. How can I be pastor when I got to stick my nose in this kind of stuff every single day. I can’t make a decision about the Church without going through all this stuff, and this is across the country.
Furthermore, again as I mentioned a few weeks ago, federal moneys are being withheld from Catholic social services even though the Catholic services receive top ratings from the government. The government creates the rating system, the government scores the rating system, the government sets the rating system. Catholic social services get the highest score, even though part of that rating service is to penalize the Catholic church because we don’t provide reproductive services. And so the scores drop down, even after that, we’re higher than others. And consistently the government is giving money to other organizations with lower scores in other words to other organizations who reach fewer people, do it less effectively and cost more, will not give it to us because we do not provide reproductive services.
One would think that many of the objectives of the Obama administration would be consistent with Catholic objectives, relative to caring for the forgotten, the underprivileged and the needy. The president has been most eloquent in speaking about this segment of society and frankly, his words are very appealing to our sensitivity as Roman Catholics. So why is this president’s administration so intent on destroying the Catholic Church’s ability to perform our ministries which we do better and for less than the government can do?
Why is President Obama’s administration, with all the problems in this world, with the economy, with terrorism, with our country being sold to China, with Iran possibly becoming a nuclear power, with all these things. Why is it so obsessed on reproductive services and so obsessed by forcing us to go against our faith to do what they want us to do in that matter?
The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health services, social services and education. If the government can put us out of business, and make no mistake, the Bishop is right, we cannot and we will not follow this law. We will close down our schools, our hospitals, our nursing homes, our orphanages. We will go out of business in that area before we will pay to have a child murdered.
And once we are out of business, there will be literally millions of people suffering because who will provide those services for them? There will be a gap, a crisis in our nation and then we begin to see the real issue that’s going on here, because once that happens the government can reasonably argue that we cannot as a nation allow that suffering to continue. And the government will step in and provide less effective and more costly services which will mean more government employees, more individuals who become completely dependent on government help. Taxes will be raised to cover this, and the ultimate goal behind all this is exposed, for the United States of America will be one step closer to socialism. And in every country that has become socialistic, religion has become peripheral, but you’ll be able to have reproductive services available at every corner.
Why is the Obama’s presidency so addicted to expanding abortion and so called reproductive services on all of America and forcing Catholics to participate in what we consider to be the culture of death? Why would they sacrifice the First Amendment of the United States Constitution in favor of reproductive services? When did reproductive services become the national cry of our nation? When did it become more important than the Bill of Rights? More important than the Constitution?
And so before you get upset with me or any priest at our bishops’ instruction for addressing a political issue, get more upset over what’s happening in this country on this issue and how it will be devastating to your Church! I especially address those of you who voted for this President. I cannot believe that you voted for this, and now, I need you and all of us to stand up for the First Amendment, to defend your Church and to stand up for your Catholic faith. This week, we are going to follow the Bishops’ instruction and I ask you all to pray, to fast, to ask God for wisdom.
Next week we will have materials available for you to let your voice be heard to do what we can to stop this. We need to contact DC and demand that the longstanding conscience clause is respected and preserved even under Obamacare.
Let our message be clear. President Obama, let us be Catholic! And let us continue to contribute to this great nation as Catholics providing vital services and care especially to that segment of our nation that needs us the most. Let the Church say Amen.
Let’s pray, fast, pray, fast, pray, and fast some more.
St. Michael, defend us in battle! Mama Mary, ora pro nobis!