The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Archbishop Dolan on Religious Freedom

Responding to recent initiatives by the Obama administration and a number of state governments that threaten the religious freedom of American citizens, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has formed an ad hoc Committee on Religious Liberty designed to secure and promote the religious freedom of all. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the bishops' conference, has led the charge to awaken Catholics to the threats to their religious liberty and to enlist them in the battle to defend the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution.

At the U. S. bishops' semi-annual meeting in Baltimore, Archbishop Dolan clearly defined the nature of the struggle for religious freedom in our increasingly secular culture:
"Our world would often have us believe that culture is light years ahead of a languishing, moribund Church. But, of course, we realize the opposite case: The Church invites the world to a fresh, original place, not a musty or outdated one.

"It is always a risk for the world to hear the Church, for she dares the world to 'cast out into the deep,' to foster and protect the inviolable dignity of the human person and human life; to acknowledge the truth about life ingrained in reason and nature; to protect marriage and family; to embrace those suffering and struggling; to prefer service to selfishness; and never to stifle the liberty to quench deep down for the divine that the poets, philosophers and peasants of the earth know to be what makes us genuinely human."
Archbishop Dolan wasn't alone in this effort to defend religious freedom, and stated that he was impressed by the unanimity of support expressed by his brother bishops. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty, argued that by defending religious liberty the bishops will protect the many Catholic social services that do so much good in our society. Bishop Lori stated that, "In the dioceses that we serve, the Church is the largest non-governmental source of education, social, charitable, and health-care services."

Summing up the bishops' position, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia threw down the gauntlet by stating that religious freedom "should become an election-year issue, because our identity as Catholics is under threat."

Pray for our nation...

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  1. Can't the Catholic church ever tell the truth, and can't the congregation ever smarten up and make them tell the truth?

    The Catholic church has complete religious freedom. They can say and do whatever they want. What they don't have is the ability to tell everyone else what to do, or to have the government spend U.S tax dollars the way the Catholic church wants them spent.

    Here's a tip, Catholic church - stop having sex with children, stop lying about it, stop protecting pedophiles, as you still prove you do as shown in cases in Philadelphia and Kansas City this year, and maybe people will listen to you.

  2. It would seem you have been hurt by the someone in the Church at some point. Your vitriol and illogical arguments seem to point in that direction. I'm sorry.

    Couple of things: check the stats if you like, but more children have been molested by public school teachers and by ministers of other Christian denominations than by Catholic priests. But the media loves to tear into the Catholic Church. These facts don't excuse those priests who perpetrated these abominations, nor those bishops who allowed them to continue, but it does put it into some perspective. And contrary to your statement, the primary cause of it all is not pedophilia but homosexuality, since the vast majority of those abused were post-pubescent males, who are not targets of pedophiles.

    I would also suggest that telling the Church it must perform abortions in its hospitals or provide contraceptive services if it is to offer any other services to the poor or refugees is certainly not religious freedom. And keep in mind the Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental provider of health and related services in our country. If the Church were to cease all of its operations that fall under the regulatory control of federal or state government, this nation's health care system would collapse.

    And you're also mistaken in that the Church can certainly tell "everyone else" what to do. It's called freedom of speech, another one of those pesky First Amendment rights. Indeed, that is part of its mission: to evangelize the world, to tell all of the Good News of Jesus Christ, to teach all nations what He has commanded and make disciples of them. You might disagree, but the Church still has that right.

    Finally, please stay away from this blog if you are going to write hate-filled comments. I simply won't allow them.

  3. By the way, here a couple of quick links to articles on sexual abuse of children in public schools and in non-Catholic churches:

    DO a search and you will find much more info.