Catholic Cardinal playing politics (again, like he did when they were denying non-Republican politicians their communion). This news hits during an election year to influence, I'm sure, Catholic vote, and there's probably Christian Republican money behind this show of false indignance, trying to turn another bs non-issue into an apparent real issue (he'd never seemed this indignant about poverty, about the rape of kids by priests, violence against women, or any other REAL issues).
It's insulting on numerous levels. Chicago Cardinal claims religious ppl are 2nd class citizens because they're being forced to comply with the Law. He thinks we should have to lower our standards for religious people and let them discriminate and deny women and men reproductive choices, to demoralize, persecute and discriminate against gay families, AND of course to dodge laws against sexual exploitation of children ... does he think we're living according to some type of Catholic 'sharia' where these things should be the Law of the Land instead of our secular laws?
What nerve he has! To claim that he's a second class citizen when THAT'S WHAT HE DOES: HE FIGHTS TO MAKE WOMEN AND GAYS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS. He even compared gays earlier this year already with the Ku Klux Klan.
If his church embodied the democratic values that we cherish, HALF OF THE CLERGY WOULD CONSIST OF FEMALES and the ludicrous nature of everything that the Cardinal is and stands for would be absolutely self-evident, the church would have a completely different image, set of morals and culture.
I would bet women bishops would NEVER allow thousands of priests to rape little kids. This is why there ARE no women bishops. But he has no transparency, he thinks nothing of how plain Catholic anti-woman bias is to the rest of us and how irrelevant his teachings are to us.
The following news bit is a paid advertisement by the Republican Party and the Xtian Reich.
Chicago Cardinal Francis George has written a letter telling the city’s 2.3 million Catholics that “we cannot — and will not — comply” with the Obama administration’s “unjust” birth control law.
In the letter, set to be read Sunday at all Catholic churches in Chicago, George slams President Barack Obama’s requirement for church-run hospitals and universities to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens because of their religious beliefs… . Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights,” George says in the letter.
“We cannot — and will not — comply with this unjust law,” he writes, according to the Sun-Times.
Obama announced Friday that religious groups will no longer be mandated to offer free contraceptive coverage for their employees. Insurance companies will instead take the lead in enrolling employees for the birth control coverage and funding it.
“After the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as the frankly more cynical desire by some to make this into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not going to be an option,” Obama said in the White House briefing room.
The Cardinal says he cannot abide by religious organizations “being forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception.”
He also calls on the “community of faith” to pray and fast “so that wisdom and justice may prevail.”
George was the first Chicago native to become archbishop of the city.
And yet no outrage was ever expressed over the many insurance programs (probably even within Catholic businesses!) that cover Viagra for men. Apparently enhancing sex for pleasure for men is hunky-dory, but giving women any control over the life-long consequences of that sex is beyond the pale. I can't speak for all women, but I can tell you that any Viagra-enhanced erection coming my way from a religious man who tells me I don't deserve a choice about contraception would be a penis in purgatory before the guy could choke out the words "blue balls!"
They sure whine when they're told to obey the law, but they're always standing in line with their hands out for taxpayer money.
millions of Catholics praying.....(crickets). yeah, good luck with that. when their prayers fail to work, surely they will realize the banality of such wishful thinking. oops, i forgot, He works in mysterious ways. it must be nice to have that mental get out of jail free card in place of a functional cerebral cortex. ignorance is bliss.
The Vatican's timing was ironic. While Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S. were trying to revive their moral and political clout last week by battling President Obama over contraception coverage and religious liberty, a papally endorsed symposium was underway in Rome on how the Church has to change if it wants to prevent sexual abuse crises, the very tragedy that has shriveled the stature of Catholic prelates worldwide over the past decade, especially in the U.S. One monsignor at the Vatican gathering even suggested the hierarchy had been guilty of "omertà," the Mafia code of silence, by protecting abusive priests.
The Roman forum was a reminder -- and the birth control clash is turning out to be one as well -- of just how much influence the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has lost in the 10 years since the abuse crisis erupted in America. It hopes that its protest of a new federal rule requiring religiously affiliated institutions like Catholic hospitals and universities to provide no-cost contraception in their health insurance coverage, even if church doctrine forbids birth control, will help restore the bishops' relevance. They did win a partial victory last Friday when Obama, acknowledging the uproar, said those institutions would no longer have to pay for the contraception coverage themselves. But the President did not fully genuflect: The compromise will still oblige religious-based employers to offer the coverage, while their insurance providers foot the bill.(MORE: Mired in the Sticky Politics of Health and Faith, Obama Shif...
Although major Catholic groups like Catholic Charities and Catholic Health Services accepted that revision, the bishops are holding out for more. But their crusade to be exempted from the mandate is likely to fall short of its grail. If so, it's because Obama read the Catholic flock better than its shepherds did.
Granted, the bishops, led by New York Archbishop and Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan, did get the White House to acknowledge how high-handedly and ham-handedly it had managed the contraception debate -- confirming along the way the public's wariness of the so-called liberal elite -- and convinced it to craft a deal that should have been policy in the first place. Yet in his refusal to cave completely to the religious liberty campaign, Obama has illustrated the reality that the bishops no longer speak for most U.S. Catholics -- the nation's largest religious denomination and a critical swing-voter group -- on a host of moral issues, according to polls.
Not on abortion or the death penalty (a majority of Catholics believe those should remain legal); on divorce or homosexuality (most say those are acceptable); on women being ordained as priests and priests getting married (ditto); or on masturbation and pre-marital sex (ditto again, Your Excellencies).(MORE: Conflict Over Obama's Contraception Rule Intensifies)
And especially not on contraception. Ever since Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Church's senseless ban on birth control in 1968, few doctrines have been as vilified, ridiculed and outright ignored by Catholics – evidenced by a recent study showing that 98% of American Catholic women have used some form of contraception. It's hard to believe, as the bishops would have it, that those women simply succumbed to society's pressure to do the secular thing. They've decided, in keeping with their faith's precept of exercising personal conscience, that family planning is the moral and societally responsible thing to do -- for example, preventing unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions. And it explains why a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll found most Catholics support the contraception coverage mandate even for Catholic-affiliated organizations. Presumably most endorse Friday's compromise.
Far more Evangelical Protestants, according to the PRRI survey, back the bishops than Catholics do. But that hardly makes the bishops, when it comes to the more independent Catholic vote, the same force to be reckoned with that they were in the 20th century. That is, before 2002 and the horror stories of how prelates like Cardinal Bernard Law, then Boston's archbishop, had serially shielded alleged pedophile priests. It's true that some bishops, like Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl, confronted rather than coddled accused priests. But when it became clear that so many of the men in miters cared more about safeguarding the clerical corporation than about protecting kids, episcopal "authority" vanished like so much incense smoke -- and Catholics increasingly abandoned the 2,000-year-old notion that their church and their religion are the same thing.(MORE: Obama vs. the Church)
That's essentially what Catholics like me are asking for, especially from my colleagues in the media, during episodes like the contraception and religious liberty fracas: Stop equating what the bishops say with what we think, because we're not the obedient, monolithic bloc that newspapers and cable news networks so tiresomely insist is in "jeopardy" for this or that party whenever they smell church-state friction. When a hardline U.S. bishop calls for withholding communion from a Catholic politician who supports legalized abortion, stop assuming all Catholics have the prelate's back rather than the pol's. When Catholic politicians draft legislation like the religious liberty bills popping up on Capitol Hill right now, stop accepting their assertion that the birth-control ban is "a major tenet" of Catholic faith, as Florida Senator Marco Rubio called it this month. For the vast majority of Catholics, it isn't.
And for that matter, stop forgetting that in the 2008 election, 54% of Catholic voters ignored their bishops and backed a pro-choice presidential candidate like Obama. I certainly don't point that out as some kind of endorsement of Obama in 2012. I'm simply noting that pundits and politicians need smarter criteria for gauging the Catholic vote -- just as advisers in Obama's White House shouldn't have been so clueless about religious issues when they first decreed the contraception mandate. If the tragedy of the 2002 abuse crisis reminds us of anything, it's that religion does matter in politics. Just ask the church leaders who are still paying a political price for their religious code of silence.
The double standards and hypocrisies that the Catholic Church has laid out over the years are truly stunning. I think that this one is going to hurt them. Their view is so off-base with so many of their members, they can't come out on top. Yet, foolishly, as always, they continue to dig in deeper. I am happy that Obama has not caved in (yet). So long as he doesn't, I am okay with the clergy hanging itself.