May we rise to challenge the HHS mandate
"The HHS mandate is as much about contraception as the American Revolution was about tea." So wrote a Catholic woman on her blog recently. She put it so clearly in one little sentence.
Surely in our heart of hearts we do not think this government interference would stop at contraception, sterilization and chemical abortion. What happens when contraception and chemical abortion fail – as they often do? We know what would come next: "free" surgical abortion. Then what? Mandated medical tests to find and destroy "imperfect" unborn babies? Infanticide? Coerced euthanasia? Then what next? Population control? How many babies would be allowed?
In 2008 Cardinal James Francis Stafford wrote an article entitled "In 1968, something terrible happened in the Church." It was re-run by the California Catholic Daily on Feb. 27 as a timely commentary on the HHS mandate. It is a haunting and unforgettable piece, in which Cardinal Stafford concludes, "Since January 2002, the abyss has opened up elsewhere. The whole people of God ... must now look into the abyss and see what dread beasts are at its bottom..."
The great battle begins. Our bishops are 100 percent united in fighting the good fight. Yet two entire generations of Catholics remain mostly untaught about these life and love issues, and many remain unmoved.
What can each of us do? I guess the answer has always been the same over the past 2,000 years: pray more, fast more, "offer it up," and keep ourselves well-informed on the issues via the faithful Catholic media. After that, we can pass information on to others, and take action in the ways that the good Lord may show us. May we rise to the challenge.
Patricia Glass lives in Mars Hill.
Pope calls for 'revolutionaries' to change hearts by sharing God's loveVATICAN CITY — Christians are called to be revolutionaries, changing the world one heart at a time, Pope Francis said. "A Christian who is not a revolutionary today isn't a Christian," the pope said June 17 during a conference that quickly...
Vatican diplomat, hotel director named to body overseeing Vatican bankVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has approved the appointment of the new interim prelate of the Vatican bank, Msgr. Battista Mario Ricca, a Vatican diplomat who has been director of the guesthouse where the pope is living. Msgr. Ricca was chosen...
Pope: Don't pretend to be sinless; preaching Gospel demands humilityVATICAN CITY — When boasting of having Jesus Christ as one's savior, people shouldn't pretend they aren't guilty of sin, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. The sincere and humble admission of one's weaknesses, of having "a sliver of Satan...
Pope says structures for collaboration, collegiality need strengthenedVATICAN CITY — A meeting with Pope Francis designed as reflection on the last Synod of Bishops turned into a group reflection on strengthening the synod itself and the way the world's bishops assist the pope. Meeting June 13 with members...
Pope confirms he's finishing encyclical begun by Pope BenedictVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told members of the ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops that he was preparing to publish an encyclical on faith written "with four hands" -- his own and those of Pope Benedict XVI. While a formal speech was...
Pope decries 'real slavery' of children forced to workVATICAN CITY — Many of the hundreds of millions of child laborers around the world work under conditions of "real slavery," Pope Francis said. Marking the World Day Against Child Labor June 12, the pope told people at his weekly general audience...
Wealth obscures power of God's word, free gift of salvation, pope saysVATICAN CITY — A church that is rich and lacking in praise for the Lord is an old, lifeless church that neglects the true treasure of God's free gift of grace and salvation, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. "Proclaiming the Gospel must...
Comfort of Holy Spirit, world don't mix, pope statesVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said Christians cannot receive consolation from both the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the world if they want to be saved. "You cannot serve two masters, you either serve the Lord or you serve the spirit of this...
Religious freedom gets more lip service than guarantees, pope saysVATICAN CITY — Religious freedom is talked about more than it is protected, Pope Francis said. "The serious violations inflicted on this basic right are causes of serious concern," and the world's nations must act together to uphold "the...
Pope dwells on God's wordless loveVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said God does not love us with words but through closeness and tenderness during his morning Mass on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "He does not love us with words, he comes close and gives us his love...