“When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey, as the late John Paul II so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.” – Pope Benedict XVI
In his recent address to the bishops of the United States of America on their “Ad Limina” visit, His Holiness, Benedict XIV observed that:
“[I]t is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.”
One of those grave threats made headlines the same day the Pope issued this statement, namely, the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services mandate that all insurance plans to cover contraception, sterilization and some abortion drugs.
As Cardinal designate Timothy Dolan immediately pointed out, this mandate would force Catholics to violate their consciences, if they were to comply with the law.
So here we are, faced with a dilemma: which law do we obey, the unjust law of the land or the law of our conscience?
There’s actually no choice in the matter as far as the Church is concerned. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly explains:
“Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, ‘authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.’” (CCC 1903)
Furthermore, the HSS mandate surpasses the legalization of abortion, by requiring insurance to cover drugs that would induce abortions, since compliance with this law would automatically entail formal collaboration in the elimination of innocent lives.
In other words, if the Catholic Church were to comply, as Katherine Sebelius’ HSS mandate requires, it would be participating in the destruction of human life.
The signs of the times could not be clearer. It’s now time to stand with our bishops in answer to Pope Benedict’s most recent call that we all participate in our Church’s public mission to “convince by proposing rational arguments in the public square.”
Freedom of conscience is no longer a luxury. We Christians must become involved in the public debate in order to safeguard this God-given, inalienable right.
Please read, also, my previous post for today, a letter from CatholicVote.org that expresses the urgency of the situation very clearly.
Although, this blog does not endorse political candidates or views, we cannot tolerate any decision that force citizens to oppose their consciences and do what God deems unjust.