Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The separation of Church and Catholics

I know I said I would see you on the other side of the weekend, but the announcement made by you-know-who yesterday just needs to be written about, or my head shall explode.

The Obama Administration (Health and Human Services) announced yesterday that America's consciences are safe. If we don't want contraceptive, sterlization and abortafacient insurance coverage, we don't have to have it, and Catholic insurers won't have to pay for it. Funny thing is, if an employee wants the coverage, he or she can have it and it's free. It's free -- doesn't cost a thing to be manufactured or distributed. That president really is a magician after all -- he just made the cost disappear.

I'm not certain how any adult with half a brain can believe him. Let me get this right: it's free to me as the employee and my employer didn't pay for it? So when I go pick up by birth control pills/IUD/condoms/morning-after pill, or check into the hospital for my sterilization procedure there is no cost to any one or any corporation?

My family's insurance is provided through premiums we pay, and my husband's employer (a Catholic hospital) pays to an insurance company. Are we to believe that the insurance company is just going to foot the bill for all that "preventative care" out of the generosity of their hearts? That bill has to be paid by someone. It doesn't get "absorbed" or spread around. It is paid by a corporation, and all of their employees, Catholic or otherwise, and the bottom line is, Catholic institutions are going to have to pay, unless they keep fighting.

You-know-who has done nothing except convince us that we can be intellectually dishonest and no one will know about it. Go ahead -- violate your conscience, but we won't know and then you can save face.

I read this morning that Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the resolution. She actually believes that Catholics hospitals, schools, universities and charities can get away with not being responsible for any part of this mandate? She really believes it? I think she probably has more than half a brain, so my guess is Sister Carol is being intellectually dishonest with herself, and she thinks I should, too.

I heard on Fox news this afternoon that the only Catholics buying this resolution are those who have their doubts about the pope but have complete confidence in the infallibility of the federal government.

Sadly, that may be a good portion of the Catholics out there. They think as long as they pretend it isn't happening then it really isn't happening. Another example of you-know-who saying "I'm not really doing what you think I'm doing."

He has effectively split the Church right down the middle. There will be those who say "I'm not really doing it" and those who say "I know exactly what I'm doing." Being intellectually dishonest about it does nothing except bury one deeper in sin. The final judgement will separate the goats from the sheep, but those who are forced against their will to do something unjust, will also pay, unless they fight.

If Catholic institutions cave now, the fight for freedom in every respect is gone. Soon Catholic churches will have to perform gay marriage ceremonies, Catholic charities that assist in adoption will be forced to give children to gay couples, and Catholic hospitals will be openly performing abortions. It's not far ahead on the horizon.

So, my friend, don't be fooled by those who would fool you. Use your conscience, and it will tell you this is wrong.


  1. It's not surprising that this logic would be acceptable to so many. These are the same people who claim and/or believe that as long as you only give money to PP for pap smears that they won't use it for abortions. Right? That's a separate fund and never the two shall meet...just earmark THESE funds for health screenings and my conscious is clear that I did not pay to have babies killed.

  2. I am in the process of setting my house in order, both physically and spiritually. Yes, I am praying and fasting for this law to be overturned; for our bishops, priests, religious, and lay Catholics to have wisdom and courage. I believe the darkness can be pushed back. However, I want to be as prepared as possible for when they come and take us away; I believe that will happen, but it can be delayed. The people of God must have a conversion of heart, must seek His face in prayer and fasting, must listen for His voice, and follow Him. --- Rosemary

    1. I agree Rosemary. I know the bishops want us to write to our representatives and I have. My congressman and one senator are co-sponsoring the new Freedom of Conscience Act, but one senator fully supports the HHS mandate. We've been back and forth and I feel rather stuck and helpless.

      Time for serious fasting.

  3. I'm going to be brave and act as the voice of dissident here. (I'm surprised! After all, 98 percent of Catholic women in America use or have used birth control.)

    Most of you seem much older and as if you've already had children. I'm only twenty-one and still a virgin (and not planning on having sex in the near future), but I've been on birth control for almost a year to regulate my menstrual cycle for medical reasons.

    For me, it was the answer to my prayers. Before I went on it, I could barely walk on days when I had my period and the pain was so intense I'd be unable to sleep until I passed out from exhaustion -- to say nothing of the feelings of despair and anxiety! Not to mention that my medical problem can cause scarring and infertility, which the Pill helps prevent.

    1. Kat,
      I am not going to say much because Michelle thoroughly responded, but may I please point out that the government does not even require my insurance company to pay any part of life-saving cancer drugs. It doesn't require my insurance company to pay for life-saving medical procedures.

      Only drugs and procedures that prevent the conception or implantation in the utureus, or force the abortion of a baby.

      Do you find that very odd?

      As Michelle said, if the government can force me to do this then they can force me to do anything. Maybe the next president will be a gun lover and will feel taxpayers should pay for everyone to have guns if they like, even if it violates my conscience.

      ...or free alcohol. Or tobacco. These may seem like ridiculous examples, but I assure it's not so far out. Right now I pay for my neighbor's kid to play football, baseball and band. It doesn't violate my conscience but it really pisses me off.

      I hope you see the other side of this issue, Kat. Paying for someone else's birth control may not bother you but it bothers me. Next time it might be something that bothers you.

      And don't think you won't be paying for it because everyone pays. Unless you go to planned parenthood where, again, it's free (except it's not -- some generous donor offered to pay).

  4. Kat,

    several points. The biggest one is this: is it right and just to have the government force Catholics to pay for something that they feel is immoral? Can the government ignore the First Amendment right to freedom of religion without government interference? If so, than it doesn't matter the "good" you receive from a particular drug, it is still wrong to force citizens/churches to go against their conscience. If you don't believe the government's actions are wrong, then beware for when the rights you DO hold valuable are trampled. In other words, if the First Amendment rights can be deprived in these circumstances (the greater good...or the good of just Kat), then they can be deprived in other circumstances, such as your ability to participate in public discussions such as this one.

    Secondly, I can not say if your particular prescription would be covered or not, since it is not the particular medicine the Church condemns, only its use as BC pills. However, be aware that many BC pills work effectively by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. That's a form of abortion. No matter how much better the pill makes you feel, surely that does not trump the right to life of a child? Yes, perhaps you are unmarried and a virgin. However, may women who will be prescribed BC pills to deal with menstrual issues are, in fact, married or otherwise engaged in sexual activities and are happy for this "added benefit." I was one of those women, early in my marriage. I shudder to think that I am possibly responsible for the deaths of my own children.

    Thirdly, as you have pointed out that 98% of Catholic women have used BC...and as you have pointed out, YOU fall in that category, and so do I. For medical reasons. That statistic is irrelevant since it does not reflect the reason women used BC, if they still use BC, if they agree with the Church's position or not (NOW, not when they were 20, unmarried, not Catholic, not parents, not informed, not concerned, etc).

    Fourthly, if you happened to work for a Catholic institution or other employer that did not cover BC pills, yet you wanted them, there is no law to stop you from purchasing them. There is nothing to prevent your doctor from prescribing them. You just have to pay for it. Many people desire medical treatments or drugs that their insurance plans do not cover. They face the same dilemma you would: find an alternative that is covered or pay for it yourself. Although that may not seem "fair", making you pay for something you want is more fair than making somebody else pay for something they feel is morally objectionable.

    Lastly, if you really wanted this pill and your employer's plan would not pay for it, and you didn't want to pay for it yourself, you can get another job or not apply for a job there in the first place. I would never seek employment at Planned Parenthood because I disagree with them, morally. If a person disagrees with the Church, then don't work for the Church. They are not the country's biggest employer leaving millions of people at their mercy.

  5. Sorry, forgot one. Even if 99.99% of Catholic women think BC is OK, that does not mean that the Church is wrong or that it should have to pay for something it feels is wrong. It just means there is a complete lack of education of the faithful.

  6. Thank you ladies for the thoughtful and interesting replies! Due to my age and life situation, most conversations I have about this subject are with other young women in their late teens or early twenties. I don't have a mother to discuss this with, so it's interesting hearing the views of older women, all mothers. Admittedly, I've had a few interesting conversations about the subject with my priest and several sisters (all friends and mentors) and my local archbishop (who is swiftly becoming another mentor).

    I'll reveal a little more about myself here, since I've been vague about my personal life: I'm a grad school student (seeking dual masters) at a Catholic university, I work as a research assistant at my university and as an assistant at a Catholic grade school, and I'm currently in the early stages of my postulancy (to enter into the novitiate).

    I grew up in an upper middle class family, and I recognize how privileged I am to have the agency and education I do. I've studied in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where universal health care is taken for granted--and I've volunteered in third world countries where there is no health care of which to speak. Working with the impoverished in America, I've realized there are far more similarities to the latter than I am comfortable with.

    I'm going to go take a breather. And then I am going to go pray.

  7. Kat,
    thank you for being forthright about your experience. Clearly we see issues differently depending on our history.

    You must, however, see that contraception is never a solution for poverty or disease prevention. Education and behavioral changes are the only true solutions. Dependance on contraception is a set-up for inevitable pregnancy or disease. At some point there will be a time without a condom, but the individuals involved will not have learned self control and unprotected sex, and possibly the transmission of disease, will occur. Hormonal contraception often fails and then the "solution" sought after is abortion.

    I can see that you will have many opportunities to educate other young people, and possibly older as well. I hope that you will always seek to tell the truth, even when that truth may be difficult or uncomfortable to live with.

    God bless.

  8. "I can see that you will have many opportunities to educate other young people, and possibly older as well. I hope that you will always seek to tell the truth, even when that truth may be difficult or uncomfortable to live with.

    God bless."

    Thank you so much! Your comment brightened my whole afternoon. I know I have SO much to learn (about others, about myself, about God, about life!) left ahead of me, but I like to view it as an adventure -- and hopefully my students will see it the same way?

    Feel free to imagine that this comment is a virtual hug and a cup of tea (and a cookie or two, of course) waiting for you. Sending you peace, prayers, and good will. :)

    - Katherine

  9. Excellent post, Barbara, and wonderful comments, ladies! It's good to know that so many WOMEN of whatever faith and point of view are opposed to this law and its mandate too. I fully expect a great deal of opposition and even persecution of the Church.

    Mr. Obama is a consummate politician and he is trying to paint the Church and anyone who disagrees with him in a bad light. That's fine. I don't want to be in his picture. He is as anti-Christian and anti-American and anti-Constitution as he can be. I'm ready for November now. Let's pray that his tricks won't fool the majority of people before then.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!