Father Ray Leonard was denied access to the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. The doors to the chapel were locked. On them was a sign that said, "Shutdown. No Catholic service until further notice."
Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas had this reaction:
Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded. This is exactly why we worked to pass legislation (House Concurrent Resolution 58) this past weekend – to protect the religious liberties of all those who bravely serve in our Armed Forces.
I regret to inform you that Catholic Mass and services provided by our Roman Catholic Priest this weekend and until further notice is canceled due to an absence of funds created by the government's shutdown. The Director of Religious Education will also not be available. All other religious services normally offered by the SUBASE Chaplains will continue. Please pass the word.Since our President came to office, the Catholic Church and other religious groups has been required to buy contraception-related health insurance - to include coverage for abortions - for employees at their hospitals, universities and charity groups, or pay heavy fines. The Catholic Church has consistently held that both contraception and abortion are wrong. Read these words from the Catechism of the Catholic Church :
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed as and end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.A Catholic who deliberately obtains an abortion meets the three criteria which constitute a mortal sin:
For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is one whose object is a grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent." To force a Catholic employer to provide employees with coverage for something which the Church views as a grave sin is to place the employer in an untenable spot. As Jesus said in Mark 9:42, "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea."
Furthermore, why are Catholics... and only Catholics... put in the position of violating their conscience, committing a grave sin, and causing division between themselves and God? Quakers are not forced to serve in the military. Muslim grocers are not forced to sell pork. Does this administration not see the inconsistency?
On January 19, 2012, Pope Benedict issued a statement to the United States Bishops Conference which addresses this assault on our faith:
Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.”Now Obamacare is taking things one step further. According to this news article, "The Obama administration on Friday finalized a regulation that orders all Americans—unless they work directly at a church--to purchase government-approved health insurance plans that cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives including those that cause abortions. The regulation further requires that health-insurance plans must provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients without any fees or co-pay."
I imagine it's rather difficult to purchase insurance coverage which does NOT cover "sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives including those that cause abortions". That's not my point. But I am curious if there are other medications or surgical procedures which do not require fees or co-pay.
I doubt it.
One final comment... as this Catholic Online article says, "Obamacare considers contraceptives, sterilizations, abortifacients, and abortion as "preventative services" under its definition of "health care". The underlying presumption is that pregnancy is a disease. When people pay into the Obamcare scheme, whether as taxpayers or through their insurance, their dollars will be used to finance these procedures, some of which must be provided for free to all women. The people have no choice - the individual mandate means everyone pays. It is ironic that a national federalized healthcare plan would make anti-life procedures absolutely free while still requiring people to pay out-of-pocket for lifesaving procedures and medications."