Saturday, February 04, 2012

Showdown: Catholic Military Chaplains and Obama Administration

Fr. Z: "Pres. Obama is at war with the Catholic Church" (February 4, 2012):
"In Catholic churches across the country, parishioners were read letters from the pulpit this weekend from bishops in their diocese about the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services giving Catholics a year before they’ll be required to start violating their consciences on insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs. But not in the Army.

"... On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels....

"The Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains subsequently sent an email to senior chaplains advising them that the Archbishop’s letter was not coordinated with that office and asked that it not be read from the pulpit....

"Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants.

"Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter. Additionally, the line: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law” was removed by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience."

Update: "153 US Bishops have protested Pres. Obama’s blatant attack on Catholics" (WDTPRS, February 3, 2012). That's over 80% of bishops who head dioceses who have spoken out against the Obama/HHS mandate.


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Ab Broglio need not have worried. Civil disobedience will be the norm soon enough, though I wonder how many nominally Catholic Americans will be paying attention. And I really have to wonder how firm the spines of the bishops will prove to be, when the first phony "compromise" is dangled in their faces by Harry and Nanci. Are their 'A' list cocktail party invitations dropping off yet?

This is the time for Republicans to pony up for the support they have received from Catholic voters. There's more to it than spewing boilerplate social values rhetoric and being fawned over at annual March for Life rallies.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Which of the Republican presidential candidates will show up at the next March for Life rally and speak of their heartfelt support for the right to life and the criminalization of abortion -- instead of sending a written statement delivered by a phalanx of flunkeys ?

And why aren't Catholics asking them this question ??