The 4th of July is upon us and the Bishops of the United State are inviting us to stand up for the Fortnight for Freedom. We are encouraged to renew our commitment to protecting Religious Liberty as written in the United States Constitution. This year the Church’s theme is “Freedom for Mission,” which unites the idea of Freedom of Religion as found in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States with responsibility to serve the people regardless of their religious affiliation. As a Church, we have a duty and obligation to live out our faith in real and concrete ways. Yet, whenever a government or agency begins to redefine what it means to be Church or limits the actions thereof the rights of the people are threatened.
Some may not understand that Rights guaranteed by the Constitution are being redefined. If one Right is able to be redefined then all Rights are threatened. The Health and Human Services Affordable Health Care Act mandates the Church’s institution to provide health care coverage for things contrary to our moral beliefs or limits our compassion solely to Catholics. We, as a church, are being forced to either compromise our moral beliefs or sacrifice our charitable work to help our brother and sister in need. True religious freedom means freedom from governmental influences and freedom to provide health care insurance that is not opposed to the moral and ethical teaching of Christ. Although the most recent congress is trying to address the issues of the Affordable Healthcare Act we, as members of both society and the Church, must continue to see that the poor receive adequate care. We must also protect the right of the Church to speak out morally on current issues for the development of society.
Think about it… Do I understand why the Catholic Church is opposed to contraceptives, abortion producing drugs, and sterilizations? Can the Government separate worship of the church from its involvement in society? How much control should the state have over the Church?
Blessings, Father Dooley