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Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured My USCCB Staff On How to Interpret Catholic Teaching

Catholic Vote ^ | March 6, 2012 | Thomas Peters


Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letterto his brother bishops earlier this week where he revealed a shocking conversation that recently took place at a meeting between White House and USCCB staff:

At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers

Let’s break this down so we don’t miss anything about the context or gravity of the situation:

1. This meeting was prompted because the White House decided to curtail and violate the religious freedom of the Catholic Church and individual Catholics.

2. The White House refused to consult with Catholic bishops while originally formulating and issuing this mandate. President Obama misled Cardinal Dolan when he promised the Cardinal he would be happy with the White House’s final decision.

3. The White House has continually lied about and misrepresented the opinion and pposition of the U.S. Bishops in this process (claiming, for instance, that they were always against Obamacare and that Catholic Charities USA supported their false accomodation). They have continued to act in bad faith.

4. The White House has also chosen to ally itself with liberal, left-wing Catholic dissenters like Sr. Carol Keehan throughout this process, thereby snubbing the U.S. Bishops and all faithful Catholics.

(Are you still there? Because now it gets reallygood….)

5. After all of this, when the White House finally gets around to inviting staff authorized by the USCCB to negotiate on behalf of them, the White House says what to them?! First, they issue an ultimatum saying all compromise is off the table.So what on earth are they supposed to talk about if the White House refuses from the outset to compromise in any way, shape, or form? The cynical answer is the White House, once again, simply wanted to establish the appearance of dialogue while offering zero substance.

6. Then, the White House proceeds to lecture the USCCB staff about how to interpret Catholic teaching! Can you imagine anything more offensive? Telling Catholics how to be Catholic? They show them a copy of the America editorial as if a) the staff has not already read it and b) the U.S. Bishops give a fig what the editors of Americathink.

7. Let’s read Cardinal Dolan’s line again:

The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.

In other words, what we have here is NOT a failure to communicate. What we have here is an Administration and White House officials who believe they know Catholic teaching better than us. And who have the hubris to lecture us about what our faith teaches.

The editors of the Wall Street Journalcomment:

As a study in ideology and power, the anecdote [of the White House meeting described above] is chilling, compounded by all the recent claims by Democrats and liberals that Catholics who actually abide by their faith are opposed to modernity. Such prejudice is supposedly defunct in contemporary America, except when it’s practiced against religion.

And not just any religion – Catholic religion.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t take kindly to my elected leaders lecturing me about what my faith teaches. Talk about the height of hypocrisy. Talk about an offense that cries out to the ballot box to be answered definitely.

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Obama & Rev. Wright by fourbyfourblazer

Obama's espiritual and  political  mentor, Rev. Wright, a rabid

racist and anti-american marxist says blacks  should not sing

"God Bless America" but  "God  da..mn America."



Obama's "christianity" is based  on the marxist "black  liberation  theology" and the chief  architect and Rev. Wright’s mentor, James  Cone, argues that   Jesus  Christ himself must have been black because “either God is for  black  people in  their fight for liberation and against the white  oppressors, or  he is not.” Mr.  Obama spent 20 years attending  Cone-protégé Wright’s  church. Is it possible that  one can attend a  church for 20 years and not  be aware of the theology that  animates  it? One is left to wonder if the  president is aware of James Cone’s   incendiary statement in which he  asserts that

Black theology refuses to   accept  a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the  black  community. If  God is not for us and against white people, then  he is a  murderer, and we had  better kill him. The task of black  theology is to  kill Gods who do not belong to  the black   community.


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Leviathan: Mandating  us

The liberal media is doing a good job of blurring the issues  involved in the HHS mandate controversy. The issue is not, and never has been,  whether contraceptives will be available for women who want them. It has never  been about whether such birth control drugs or devices will be legal. The issue is solely about whether institutions, including hospitals and  ministries, shall be mandated to provide drugs that can cause  abortions, sterilizations and contraceptives in insurance coverage to their  employees even in violation of their consciences.

We hear most about Catholic institutions, of course, because  the Catholic Church historically has not accepted what she terms artificial  birth control. From America’s earliest days, political leaders have gone the  extra mile to respect religious consciences. That’s why, for example, you find  in the Constitution itself the requirement that office holders swear an oath to  support “this Constitution.” Or, they can affirm their loyal support  for the basic law. Why “affirm”? Because the Founders knew  that the Society of Friends, known as Quakers, did not take oaths as a matter of  conscience. The Founders did not want to exclude Quakers from holding federal  office. In the course of the Twentieth Century, with two world wars to fight,  the issue of conscientious objector status for exemption from compulsory  military service has been repeatedly raised in the courts.

The federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, has  never accepted the idea that the government has unlimited powers over you. And  thus, traditionally pacifist sects, like Quakers, like Mennonites, have been  exempted from the military draft. Liberal jurists have even extended such  exemptions to pacifists who do not belong to historically exempt religious  groups. Supreme Court justices have recognized deeply held convictions that, for  the holders, are as much a part of their identity as religious scruples are for  believers. Compare that respect for tender  consciences with this HHS mandate and you see Leviathan rising  up from the depths to crush us in its powerful jaws. Now, HHS Sec. Kathleen  Sebelius says Catholic hospitals are mandated to provide coverage that  includes drugs that can cause abortions. If this is accepted, what principle could be invoked to  say that these hospitals cannot be similarly mandated to provide  coverage that includes surgical abortions? Or can these hospitals simply be mandated to refer patients for abortions elsewhere? Any one of these  mandates is unacceptable to Americans whose consciences recoil at being  entangled with the killing of unborn children.

For pro-life people, both  Catholic and non-Catholic, this HHS mandate is like being swept up into King  Herod’s army. We will not accept it. We want an exemption from that draft. For  us, James Madison is a better guide. He became a passionate advocate for  religious liberty. As a member of the Virginia General Assembly, he supported  Thomas Jefferson’s 1779 Bill for Religious Freedom. He shepherded that historic  measure through various committees until it was finally enacted in 1786. Madison recognized the multiplicity of  sects as the best guarantee of religious liberty for all. After passage of the  Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Mr. Madison went to Philadelphia in 1787  and played a central role in the framing of the Constitution. From there, he  carried the day for ratification of the Constitution in Richmond, at the  Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788. Arguing for  ratification, Madison in Federalist 51 wrote: “In a free government,  the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It  consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other, in  the multiplicity of sects.”

Madison followed up these magnificent achievements with  his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789. “The magnificent  little Madison,” as his devoted wife, Dolley, called him, then rode to New York,  where he supervised the drafting and Congress’s approval of the Bill of Rights.  Religious freedom is the first among the rights recognized in the First  Amendment. To journalists, it is hard to understand all this fuss. That’s not  surprising. After all, 91 percent of journalists never attend any religious  service.

TIME magazine’s Amy Sullivan thinks conservatives and  pro-lifers are over the top in their opposition. They should not call this HHS  mandate “a war on religious liberty” or “the worst assault on religious freedom  in our history.” Why, blogger Sullivan asks, what about the anti-Catholic “Bible  riots” in Philadelphia in the 1840s? Challenge accepted, Amy Sullivan: Those  deplorable riots were not mandated by the government of the United  States! Mr. Madison is a better guide for us than are contemporary journalists.  Without respect for religious freedom we will surely lose civil liberty. And he  said: “The people are right to take alarm at the first advance on their  liberties.”

Conservatives are arguing in  federal court, correctly, I believe, that the Founders rebelled against a King  and Parliament that taxed us for tea without our consent. But even that  tyrannical King and Parliament never mandated us to buy the tea. Now,  under the HHS mandate, the Leviathan grows even more voracious. Under President  Obama and Sec. Sebelius, we are mandated to drink the  tea.