Pope Benedict XVI Warns of “Grave Threat” To Religious Liberty in the US

Obama  meets with Pope Benedict XVI in his library at the Vatican on July 10, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican.(July 10, 2009 – Photo by Pool/Getty Images Europe)

Not mentioning any names, but with the implication clear, Pope Benedict XVI warned today of a “grave threat” to religious liberty in the United States that requires American Catholics to respond with intelligence and courage.

Via Gateway PunditCNA/EWTN News reported:

“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres,” he said Jan. 19 in an address to a group of American bishops visiting the Vatican.

The Pope said he was particularly concerned with “certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.”

Pope Benedict’s address was delivered to the bishops from the Mid-Atlantic states region, which includes the Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore. They are in Rome this week on their regular “ad limina” visit to discuss the health of the U.S. Church with the Pope and Vatican officials. The two bishops from the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services are also participating in the meetings.

Pope Benedict said that over the past few days many of the bishops have expressed concern over attempts in the U.S. to “deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”

Meanwhile, other bishops raised the “worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship” without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

At present, the Obama administration is considering imposing a contraception and sterilization mandate that would require all insurance companies to provide those services free of charge. The regulation has a religious exemption clause, but it provides very few exceptions for Church organizations.

Some states are also pushing Catholic adoption agencies out of business or severely limiting their work because they refuse to compromise the Church’s beliefs on same-sex “marriage.”

Pope Benedict said these issues highlight the need for an “engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” The American laity must have the “courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate,” he said.

Last week, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan lashed out at the Obama Administration by name for its affront to religious liberties:

The decision by the Obama administration in which it “ordered almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans.” He made the statement in a web video posted at:http://bcove.me/ob5itz9v. . .

“Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said.
Liberals will counter argue – ‘yes, well they came out even stronger against Bush for the Iraq war, so there!’
It’s true that the Vatican opposed the Iraq War. But –(and this is a huge but for practicing Catholics, so listen up) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself said:

  • “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion – General Principles”L’espresso, June 2004:

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

 Catholic Answers has been spreading that message for years with its Voters Guide For Serious Catholics. There are in fact 5 non-negotiable issues that Catholics should consider before casting a vote; abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage. The fact of the matter is, Catholics in good conscience should only very rarely vote for the Democrat candidate. Yet a majority of self identified Catholics voted for Obama, the most viciously pro-abort presidential candidate in our nation’s history, in 2008.. Enough was known about his voting record in the IL Senate, that that tragedy should never have happened.

Catholic dioceses throughout the nation should be making those voter guides available to their flocks so this grievous error is not repeated.

Obama is bad on all of the non-negotiables, especially abortion and including gay marriage, which he consistently votes ‘present’ on, when asked. If you pay attention to what his administration does, rather than what he says,  his position should be clear. But since it’s an election year, and he knows how key constituencies feel about the issue, his position is “still evolving”.

The good news is, exit polling from the 2010 elections show anywhere from a 24-point to an 18-point Catholic swing from supporting Democrats to supporting Republicans.

Catholic vote  endorses Rick Santorum for President:

I know who I’m voting for in our primary.



8 thoughts on “Pope Benedict XVI Warns of “Grave Threat” To Religious Liberty in the US

  1. The problem is obviously not just a “Catholic” problem, either. The fight of the secular leftists to remove any vestige of public worship or conscientious objection flies in the face of every evangelical, too, and if not stopped (it’s for sure this administration won’t do it, nor the courts) soon there will be no more public witness, no more religious television or radio, and no more denial of unfathomly evil services without direct and severe retribution from the government and all the drones that inhabit such.


  2. I am not sure that the assumption that more Catholics wouldn’t have voted for Obama if they knew the general principle’s.

    The number of people who consider themselves Christians in this country is something close to 90%. If they lived those principles the rates of abortions in this country wouldn’t be nearly as high as they are.

    I grew up in an area with many Catholics. They used birth control and got abortions. So if they are willing to forgo those principles in life they must be just as willing to forgo them at the ballot box too. Just seems to make sense to me.


  3. That’s my point. Many people who call themselves Catholics, are not practicing Catholics in any appreciable way. If you polled the number of weekly communicants who follow church teachings you would find the number of people voting Democrat to be much smaller. But Church leaders should be do a much better job instructing their flocks because among these people are are very decent, but confused “social justice” Catholics who put the Iraq War and the non-negotiable life issues on an equal plane and they are making an error when they do so.

    Catholics who can’t bring themselves to vote Republican should stay home unless they’re voting for a pro-life Dem, (which is very rare).


  4. “Many people who call themselves Catholics, are not practicing Catholics in any appreciable way.”

    Like JFK. But he didn’t try to force either his beliefs or his non-beliefs on the rest of us.


  5. Like JFK. But he didn’t try to force either his beliefs or his non-beliefs on the rest of us.

    You mean like believers being told that they can no longer pray at school events because it isn’t “inclusive” of the selfish “look at me, look at me, look at me” beliefs of the one or two lone jackasses in the group who demand that everyone else have to refrain from participating in corporate acts of faith because they decided not to have any faith of their own?


  6. Does it appear to anyone else that Dear Leader is gritting his teeth and can’t wait to stop touching the Pope’s hand?



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