Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15th, many organizations across the nation are asking their members to defend their constitutional right to religious freedom. Thousands of people will be calling their Member of Congress (202-224-3121) and urging him or her to enact legislation that protects religious freedom. Will you join us in this effort?
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, said that “No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of civil authority.”
Today people of faith are being forced to act against their beliefs. Nurses, medical students, and other health care workers should not be threatened by the government, or entities receiving federal funds, when it comes to matters related to abortion or other services to which they may be conscientious objectors.
Think about the nurse or doctor who must help with an abortion or face losing his job.… Read the rest
The government’s appeal withdrawal gives temporary relief to the Illinois-based Bible publisher.
BY ADELAIDE MENA/CNA (National Catholic Register)
WASHINGTON — An Illinois-based Bible publisher has secured temporary relief from the federal contraception mandate after the Obama administration asked an appellate court to dismiss its challenge to a preliminary injunction.
Matthew Bowman, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending the publisher, told Catholic News Agency that the move indicates “that the government knows it is taking an extremist view against religious freedom, and it is afraid to defend that in court.”
As a result of the court order, the Bible publisher will remain protected by a temporary injunction and will therefore be able to conduct its business free from the demands of the federal contraception mandate while its lawsuit against the mandate makes its way through the court.
Alliance Defending Freedom describes its client, Tyndale House Publishers, as “the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles and digital media,” which directs more than 90% of its profits “to religious nonprofit causes worldwide.”
The company is contesting a controversial federal mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires employers to offer health insurance covering contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates the employer’s deeply held religious beliefs.… Read the rest
“The upcoming 62nd annual National Day of Prayer, May 2, 2013, will have profound significance for our country. We have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne. To echo the words of Mary Washington, mother of our nation’s first president, we believe it is time to ‘Remember that God is our only sure trust.’
Our theme for 2013 is Pray for America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen Matthew 12:21 as our Scripture for this year: ’In His name the nations will put their hope.’”
Find an event near you.… Read the rest
By Adriana Gonzalez
What happens when one individual, in prayer, feels the tug of God and dares to step out of the boat and onto the water? This is the story of María José Mansilla, a woman from Madrid, Spain, who felt God leading her in a new direction in Spain’s pro-life movement and is now being used as an instrument of God to help awaken God’s people.
In 1985, abortion became legal in Spain. Since that time, the pro-life efforts have been led by non-religious organizations. The individuals leading the organizations have been Catholic, but the strategy has been to separate the Church from the battle. After working many years in the non-religious pro-life movement, Mansilla felt God leading her in a new direction. She describes it as a faith walk: “I began to realize that only God saves. If we do not fight against the culture of death with the weapons of faith, we have no hope.”
Mansilla then founded a faith-based organization called Spei Mater, an affiliate of Human Life International, and began her work of battling the culture of death under the Christian banner.… Read the rest
By Patti Maguire Armstrong (The Integrated Catholic Life)
There has been an outcry against the media silence of perhaps one of the most horrific, under-reported story in modern times: Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his abortion clinic now known as “The House of Horrors.”
The only national TV source has been Fox News while the three major networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS continue to ignore it. After intense public pressure, CNN finally reported on it last Friday. This lack of interest is odd given the typical formula for news reporting: If it bleeds, it leads. Curiosity mixed with revulsion draws audiences. The Gosnell story can barely be topped on the revulsion index: dead babies, victimized women, racism, horrifying visuals, and extreme governmental failures.
If you are not familiar with the story, here is a brief summary.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is charged with first-degree murder of seven babies born alive, and one woman patient.… Read the rest
By John Audino
As the United States of America was thrown into a frenzied public debate on the nature of marriage this past week, one brave Catholic Archbishop managed to make headlines. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has created a stir ever since his installation. Placed in a city not exactly known for its support of traditional marriage, the Archbishop has proven true to his surname as he has become a bastion of sound Catholic doctrine and charitable reason. A prophet never bore a more fitting name. Salvatore Cordileone (meaning “Savior Lionheart”) has emerged as one of the Lord’s chief instruments for the New Evangelization in the United States. As the push for legalizing so-called “gay marriage” makes its way through its first battles in the Supreme Court, the media has looked to any and every voice for sound bytes, and the position of the Catholic Church was near the top of their list.… Read the rest
The following is taken from Dr. Monica Miller’s excellent article on homosexual “marriage.” To read her entire article, click here.
This article is not a full-blown treatise on the subject of so-called “gay marriage.” I intend here to provide some concise arguments as to why same-sex sexual activity is not the moral, social, cultural equal to heterosexual marital unions—and thus should not be granted equal status in law. In addition, I will also explain who or what is to blame for the moral and intellectual break-down on the subject of marriage represented by the current advocacy for “gay marriage.”
Legal recognition of homosexual bonds as marital bonds ultimately means that gender, human sexuality, being a husband or a wife, motherhood and fatherhood have no objective moral meaning. This also means that the family itself has no objective moral meaning. The moral law rooted in nature is completely dissolved. There would no longer be any natural familial moral bonds, thus no longer any natural moral ties and thus no innate moral responsibilities arising from the very nature of the family.… Read the rest
By Terence P. Jeffrey
(CNSNews.com) – The Catholic bishops of the United States are asking the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to do something concrete and effective–rather than merely symbolic—to repeal a regulation the administration has issued under Obamacare that will force Catholics and other Christians to act against their faith in purchasing or providing health-care plans that cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Last June, the bishops unanimously declared this regulation an “unjust and illegal mandate.” Since then, dozens of Catholic and Protestant private business owners, schools and non-profit organizations have sued the administration seeking to fully or partially overturn the regulation, arguing it violates their First-Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
The regulation, however, is beginning to take effect now, and pending lawsuits could take years to reach the Supreme Court–where it is uncertain how they would be decided.
Given the gravity and immediacy of the issue, the bishops are asking Congress to act now by incorporating language repealing the regulation into “must-pass” legislation.… Read the rest
By George Weigel (National Review Online)
Rome — The swift election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., as bishop of Rome is replete with good news — and not a little irony. To reverse the postmodern batting order, let’s begin with the good news.
A true man of God. The wheelchair-bound beggar at the corner of Via della Conciliazione and Via dell’Erba this morning had a keen insight into his new bishop: “Sono molto contento; e un profeta” (“I’m very happy; he’s a prophet”). That was certainly the overwhelming impression I took away from the hour I spent with the archbishop of Buenos Aires and future pope last May — here was a genuine man of God, who lives “out” from the richness and depth of his interior life; a bishop who approaches his responsibilities as a churchman and his decisions as the leader of a complex organization from a Gospel-centered perspective, in a spirit of discernment and prayer.… Read the rest
Choosing between religious integrity and participation in health care system unacceptable
Religious freedom, conscience rights foundational to American society
Conscience rights protections essential to Catholic ministries
WASHINGTON (USCCB.org)—Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013.H.R. 940 was introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) on March 4; the bill has 66 co-sponsors.
“Protection for conscience rights in health care is of especially great importance to the Catholic Church, which daily contributes to the welfare of American society through a network of schools, social services, hospitals and assisted living facilities,” Cardinal O’Malley wrote in a March 8 letter to Congress. “These institutions, which have been part of the Church’s ministry since the earliest days of the Republic, arose from religious conviction. They provide a substantial savings to communities and states throughout the nation, and we believe they contribute to the common good.” Read more on USCCB.org.… Read the rest