“Moving Our Country from Democracy to Despotism,”

A call to action delivered by Cardinal Francis George:

As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we are deeply concerned that such an action on the government’s part would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism. Respect for personal conscience and freedom of religion as such ensures our basic freedom from government oppression. No government should come between an individual person and God–that’s what America is supposed to be about. This is the true common ground for us as Americans. We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion–including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.”

Full text follows:

“Hello. I am Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I’d like to take a moment to speak about two principles or ideas that have been basic to life in our country: religious liberty and the freedom of personal conscience.

On Friday afternoon, February 27, the Obama Administration placed on a federal website the news that it intends to remove a conscience protection rule for the Department of Health and Human Services. That rule is one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers–for doctors, nurses and others–who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith I God.

As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we are deeply concerned that such an action on the government’s part would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism. Respect for personal conscience and freedom of religion as such ensures our basic freedom from government oppression. No government should come between an individual person and God–that’s what America is supposed to be about. This is the true common ground for us as Americans. We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion–including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.

Conscientious objection against many actions is a part of our life. We have a conscientious objection against war for those who cannot fight, even though it’s good to defend your country. We have a conscientious objection for doctors against being involved in administering the death penalty. Why shouldn’t our government and our legal system permit conscientious objection to a morally bad action, the killing of babies in their mother’s womb? People understand what really happens in an abortion and in related procedures–a living member of the human family is killed–that’s what it’s all about–and no one should be forced by the government to act as though he or she were blind to this reality.

I ask you please to let the government know that you want conscience protections to remain strongly in place. In particular, let the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington know that you stand for the protection of conscience, especially now for those who provide the health care services so necessary for a good society. Thank you and God bless you.”

acertainslantoflight writing in Catholics in the Public Square reports the meeting of President Obama with Cardinal Francis George.  “The statement from the USCCB said: “The meeting was private. Cardinal George and President Obama discussed the Catholic Church in the United States and its relation to the new administration. The meeting lasted approximately 30 minutes.”

Private, yes, but one can guess that Obama’s attack on conscience issues in health related fields had to be in mind and mouth. The meeting followed by one day Cardinal George’s warnings of emerging “depotism” with the removal of conscience protection.

EWTN report here

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 24 – Mar 24

crucificionicon12Day24 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/24/09

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 31-40

Day 24 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 26-33

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Educators Fail – Lawmakers Fail – Journalists Fail – False Compassion Fails!

We have important moral and ethical problems to face in America and in the world.  In order to make educated decisions, people need to be educated.  Our present culture seems determined to keep the people, young and old, in the dark as to the life that lives and moves and has its being within a mother’s womb.

National Geographic will take you inside the womb, so that you can watch the reality.  While Planned Parenthood, funded by U.S. dollars, enters into the most personal and profound decisions women can make, offers less than the reality.  For the woman making a life changing decision, a decision that will impact, for better or worse, how she thinks and feels about herself and others,especially her own child, Planned Parenthood obscures the facts in favor of  its own agenda.  Planned Parenthood will, for instance, turn the monitor away from the pregnant mother during a sonogram procedure.  Why trouble the client with the fact within the womb of their client, an actual picture of the truth, the infant/fetus growing  within them.  Why is that? Could it be that seeing is believing and believing can effect a decision to abort, when such a decision would effect the financial bottom line of this booming mega-business?

Our schools are no better.  Values-free education is of  no value when it comes to living a moral, ethical human life.  Giving teenagers less than science, and telling them less than the actuality of  pregnancy and person-hood is to fail them.  We propagandize them, when we pretend they will not be effected by decisions that society makes for them in lieu of  the education that can with present technology show them, in flesh and blood, not only the life in the womb, but abortion as it really is.

When the young teenager is aborted of the baby she carries within her, she sees it and feels it, and then has to live with it.  What teacher, lawmaker, journalist or councilor has prepared her for this reality, rather than failed her  in the name of compassion and/or convenience?  False compassion leaves scars too deep to be helped by a brochure hastily given before dismissing the girl to make way for their next act of “mercy?”

The education needed for today’s moral and ethical decisions goes beyond the facts of pregnancy to the heavy lifting science touching on  embryonic stem cell research.  Here journalistic misinformation and purposeful skewing of the facts muddy the waters. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput spoke of  “The Evil of Embryo Destruction – In embryonic stem cell research, end does not justify the means.”

Commenting on journalistic integrity Chaput responses to the Denver Post:

In the debate over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, some of the massive media coverage has been fair, accurate and thorough, but much of it — too much of it — has fallen short of reasonable journalistic standards.

By far the most troubling piece I’ve seen was the editorial, “Zealotry vs. science,” published by the Denver Post….. in this case, the Post used bombast and misleading information to argue its support for federally funded embryonic stem cell research in a way reminiscent of a not-very-bright bully.”

Ed Morrisey talks about the issue here with more from Archbishop Chaput