Monday, January 30, 2012

Anchorage Roman Catholic Archbishop Roger Schweiz Joins Catholic Prelates Nationwide In Proclaiming Intent Not To Obey Obama Contraceptive Mandate

God bless our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters for taking a powerful stand for unborn life and freedom of conscience, and against growing Federal tyranny. During this past weekend, many Catholic officials across America read a pastoral letter to congregants during services that condemned the Obama Administration's requirement that employers must include contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in health-care coverage. Although not applicable to houses of worship, the requirement will force Catholic colleges, hospitals and other Christian groups to provide these drugs despite their faith-based opposition to them.

In the letter, which varied slightly in style and syntax from one originator to another, Catholic leaders also stated that the Church cannot and will not comply with this unjust law, as it violates the Catholic conscience. Additionally, the church says that it is faced with a difficult decision — either comply and violate its faith, or drop coverage for employees and suffer the consequences. The letter urges congregants to take action and to call Congress in an attempt to overturn the regulation.

As a resident of Anchorage, I am proud to report that Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schweiz joined in the condemnation, publishing a similar letter read to Catholic congregations in the Archdiocese of Anchorage. Here's the most important part of the letter, which spells out the church's intent and what they ask of parishioners:

...The Church cannot comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend contacting Congressman Young and Senators Begich and Murkowski asking them to support legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision. This can also be done by visiting www.usccb.org/conscience. This website is also a place to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how we should work together on this matter. You may also go to the Archdiocese web site. There will be a link to the USCCB site for your convenience.

Note that the Roman Catholic Church does not advocate that its parishioners break the law or engage in civil disobedience at this time. Since church-affiliated hospitals and organizations still have another year before they will be forced to comply with the coverage restrictions, there is still time to resolve this situation without resorting to civil disobedience or any other extralegal tactics. The best way is to mobilize Congress to act against this requirement.

Defending the right of the Roman Catholic Church to not include contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in health-care coverage will better guarantee that other religious denominations won't be forced by a tyrannical government to violate their consciences either. I would not want the Federal government to force the LDS Church to confer the Priesthood upon women or to marry gay couples in their temples. The Roman Catholic Church is fighting for the religious freedom of all in this case.

Comments posted to The Blaze story indicates strong support for the Catholic position.

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