Why The Catholic Church Will Not Comply

In the following article from Catholic World Report, a professor of moral theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio  discusses why the Catholic Church must refuse to comply with the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization health insurance mandate:

 From Catholic World Report:
We Must Not Comply
February 28, 2012 – Catholic World Report
The HHS mandate: Assessing the current situation and looking to the future
Msgr. Kevin T. McMahon, STD
On January 20, 2012, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its August 2011 mandate requiring ….
If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BLOG BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in abortifacient, abortion, birth control, contraception, contraception mandate, freedom of religion, health care compromise, Health care mandate, religious liberty, STD, The Catholic Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch Euthanize Woman Despondent About Macular Degeneration; No Evidence of Routine Intervention to Address Depression

The rise in euthanasia in The Netherlands, allegedly voluntarily at the person’s request, has raised questions about the state of medical ethics in that nation. The latest case being discussed is that of a woman who was killed by her physician because she was feeling depressed about her macular degeneration.

Wesley J. Smith, J.D., a lawyer and bio-ethics expert consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture, said the woman, in her eighties, was euthanized because of her impaired vision and other typical symptoms of advancing age. A 2010 annual report by the five regional euthanasia review committees in the Netherlands stated that the patient, a woman in her eighties, could no longer do many things that she once enjoyed [Note: I don’t know any senior citizen who can!]. “She lived on her own. She had always enjoyed intellectual challenges in her life” and had used the computer, emails and liked “reading, philosophising, debating, politics and art.” But she began feeling depressed as she felt like she was deteriorating due to macular degeneration, bouts with dizziness, poorer hearing and occasional incontinence. 
Smith writes that these depressed states in the elderly are treatable with routine geriatric psychiatric interventions but that there was no indication whatsoever that her geriatric psychiatrist even attempted that type of help.  In fact, as Smith sees it, the psychiatrist “might have killed her.”  See Smith’s recent discussion of the euthanasia epidemic in the Netherlands in First Things: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/02/22/euthanizing-the-mentally-ill-in-the-netherlands/
Another independent psychiatrist who was also consulted by the state noted that despite the patient’s poor hearing he was able to interview her successfully. “She was lucid and was well oriented to time, place and person,” the report said. “The interview did not reveal any memory problems. The patient was coherent and responded appropriately to questions. She was able to explain why her disabilities (deafness, impaired vision and dizziness) prevented her from living her life as she had always done….” According to the report, she wanted to end her life (or have it ended) because she was “suffering from being alive.”
The Dutch have reported a 19 percent year-to-year annual increase in assisted suicides in 2010, rising from 2,636 in 2009 to 3,136 in 2010. Their “guidelines” allow doctors to euthanize not just the terminally ill, but also the chronically ill, such as those with diabetes or heart disease. The emotionally and mentally ill can be killed, as well as infants with serious disabilities.
Also included in the 2010 numbers were 21 early-stage dementia patients who were euthanized by lethal injection, calling into question whether “guidelines” which require a patient’s ability to make an informed choice and to voluntarily request death could possibly have been met.
Despite these sad statistics, advocates of euthanasia refuse to acknowledge the problems and some groups in The Netherlands now want to legalize “dying assistance” for those 70 and older to encourage them in their desire to die for reasons of “humanity.”
If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in euthanasia, macular degeneration, medical ethics, Netherlands, Wesley Smith | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberal Catholic Pawns in Political War Against Religion

“The Obama religious wars”: neither words of hyperbole nor an empty epithet but an apt description of an unfolding crisis that encompasses the United States Constitution and fundamental religious liberty. Just last month, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, the United States Supreme Court unanimously (yes: 9 to 0!) slapped down the Obama Administration’s attempt to countermand a Protestant congregation’s choice of its own minister. Now the Administration is telling the Catholic Church that it must either compromise its conscience or close its hospitals, universities and tens of thousands of outreaches to the poor and the vulnerable of all faiths and of none. As in Hosanna-Tabor, the Administration even claims for itself the right to intrude upon a most fundamental right of any religious body:  to decide who it is who speaks for a church, synagogue, mosque or other religious entity and its members.

By its manipulation of the media message, the Administration has been saying, in effect, that its own dissident Catholic allies — not the bishops — are the legitimate voice of the Catholic Church. And, as a corollary, they even seem to suggest that their collaborators are entitled to impose their views on both the Church itself and also on other Catholics: namely, those whose consciences won’t let them become complicit in the Administration’s mandated health insurance for contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization. Even people of other faiths who don’t share the same Catholic moral objections are sounding the alarm. As in the Hosanna-Tabor case, the Administration’s principal adversary in these religious wars is not the Catholic Church but, rather, First Amendment religious liberty itself.

Despite this developing solidarity among people of diverse faiths against the threat to religious liberty, vocal and well-positioned Catholic dissenters on the left are serving as the Administration’s willing pawns in this war. In the following article in First Things Magazine, George Weigel argues that the credibility of these Catholic collaborators of the Administration is becoming the first casualty in these religious wars, as these Administration apologists reveal the “utter incoherence into which post-conciliar liberal Catholicism in America has tragically fallen”:

George Weigel

The Catholic Diaspora and the Tragedy of Liberal Catholicism

February 29, 2012
George Weigel

In a February 14 note to his people, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., the archbishop of Chicago, commented on the question of “who speaks for the Catholic Church,” which had become a subject of public controversy thanks to the Obama administration’s “contraceptive mandate”—which is, of course, an abortifacient and sterilization mandate as well. The cardinal noted the administration’s crude attempt to play divide-and-conquer with the Catholic Church in the United States, a ploy to which some nominally Catholic groups quickly acquiesced. . . . Continue Reading »

If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in abortifacients, birth control, Cardinal Francis George, Catholic colleges, Catholic Health Association, Catholic Hospitals, Catholic nuns, contraception, contraception mandate, George Weigel, health care compromise, Health care mandate, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC, John Courtney Murray, Jr., Obamacare, religious liberty, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2012, Sister Carol Keehan, The Catholic Church, United States Constitution, United States Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the National Catholic Register: Crossing the Rubicon

‘We Are Crossing the Rubicon’: House Tackles HHS Mandate  Threat   (143)

Bishop Lori, legal and policy experts raise concerns; a  representative of the Institute of Medicine defends the federal rule.

by  JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND02/29/2012 Comments (1)

WASHINGTON — Yesterday a full House Judiciary Committee hearing provided opponents of the HHS contraception mandate  with a forum to explain why President Obama’s “accommodation” failed to address

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/we-are-crossing-the-rubicon-house-tackles-hhs-mandate-threat/#ixzz1nmOU4br3

If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.

Posted in abortifacients, abortion, birth control, Bishop William Lori, Catholic, Catholic Health Association, Catholic Hospitals, Conference of Catholic Bishops, contraception, Deus et Patria, freedom of religion, National Catholic Register, Obamacare, politics, pro-life, religious liberty, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2012, Sister Carol Keehan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cardinal George Warns: Closing of Catholic Hospitals, Universities in Two Years


The Catholic Church is being “despoiled of her institutions” through Obama….
If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in abortifacients, birth control, Cardinal George, Catholic, Catholic colleges, Catholic education, Catholic Hospitals, contraception, Deus et Patria, freedom of religion, health care compromise, Health care mandate, politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scholarly Medical Ethics Journal: Why Not Baby Killing?


The abstract below comes from this month’s Journal of Medical Ethics, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. It embodies the icy, amoral detachment of utilitarian medical ethics.  The argument of the Australian authors from the University of Melbourne echoes that made for many years by Princeton University bioethics professor Peter Singer.

Based on utilitarian premises, the article concludes that newborn babies, like infants in the womb,  are not fully human persons. Therefore (to use a “nuanced” word) the conclusion is that it is ethical to “terminate” newborns. The professors emphasize that this is true “even if the baby is not disabled.” In the absence of limits, is it then ethical, to use the less nuanced word, for parents to kill the baby if she doesn’t quite look like “the Gerber baby” … or cries annoyingly at night?

Remember: this new article appears in a leading, peer-reviewed “scholarly” journal of medical ethics. It not alarmist conjecture.

The article argues that killing newborn babies is moral whether or not the child is disabled. Of course, if the baby does happen to be sick or disabled, others besides the parents often are affected, especially in a future world of national health insurance. In an amoral, utilitarian society, why wouldn’t the Department of Human Services defend the low cost of health insurance by deciding to end the baby’s life, trumping the pleas of her parents?

Following the abstract, see also the rebuttal by a noted Princeton scholar and opponent of abortion who has long disputed Peter Singer’s utilitarian “logic”:

JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ETHICS An international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in medical ethics Journal of Medical Ethicsjme.bmj.com J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411                 

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

Alberto Giubilini, Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia                      Francesca Minerva, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK  Contributors AG and FM contributed equally to the manuscript.                                                                                                                              Published Online First 23 February 2012

Abstract                                                                                         Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

REBUTTAL: See the analysis by Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Robert P. George, who is also one of the foremost scholars who opposes abortion:


If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in abortion, after birth abortion, Alberto Giubilini, Deus et Patria, Eobert P. George, Francesca Minerva, Health care mandate, Journal of Medical Ethics, Obamacare, Peter Singer, politics, pro-life, Robert P. George, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Ahmed Sumeira, a courageous Muslim civil liberties lawyer I knew in the Middle East, says he has personally investigated the dispute between the Iranian government and Fox News about why Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces capital punishment. The government says he committed rape and extortion. Fox News reviewed the Court decree ordering the hanging and discovered that not a word was mentioned about rape or extortion. As a former Muslim Pastor Nadarkhani’s to be hanged for apostasy. Now Ahmed has investigated and says Fox News is correct and he tells me that the Pastor’s wife has also been sentenced to life imprisonment for apostasy. Amnesty International says the government has offered leniency on the condition that Nadarkhani renounces his Christian faith.

If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.
Posted in Amnesty International, Fox News, Iran, religious liberty, Youcef Nadarkhani | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments


FATHER JOE, PERSONAL CONSCIENCE and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Some friends seem to question my judgment (maybe my sanity, too) when I say that Jesuits hold a special place in my heart. That’s not to deny my very special and unique love for Francis of Assisi and Franciscans, either … or my admiration for Dominicans (who taught me as a teenager) or for the peerless diocesan priests who form the backbone of the Church and to whom I’m so personally indebted. All I’m saying here is that the Society of Jesus is well and includes many priests who make the Church and the legacy of Saint Ignatius Loyola proud. And these include many in the current crop of younger Jesuit postulants, novices and ordinands.

One Jesuit I deeply admire is Father Joe Koterski, head of the Philosophy Department at Fordham University. He’s currently the President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. This week he issued the statement below on behalf of the Fellowship, addressing the Obama Administration’s assault on religious liberty.

The HHS Mandate

by Rev. Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars is deeply concerned about threats to religious liberty in any sphere, including especially Catholic institutions of higher education such as universities, colleges, and seminaries. For this reason we deplore the incursions against religious liberty that have been threatened by the recent declaration of the Department of Health and Human Services that requires coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. As the President of this organization, I urge our members to join me in objecting both to the rule about “preventive services” and to the “compromise” offered by President Obama in regard to religious liberty.

Meaningful religious liberty requires that individuals of all faiths as well as all religiously affiliated institutions have the freedom to practice their faith in a way that respects moral truth and the inviolability of an individual’s conscience. Accordingly, religiously affiliated institutions have the right to have appropriate policies and practices in place. In the course of this dispute, the Obama Administration recently proposed what it labeled an “accommodation” for religiously affiliated institutions that it claims would resolve the problem by shifting the burden of paying for these products and services to insurance plans. But the government would still be forcing religious institutions and individuals to buy insurance policies that cover services that the Catholic Church sees as gravely immoral, such as abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives. Although the Obama Administration has called this a compromise, it is no such thing. It in no way alters the attack on religious liberty and on the rights of conscience that are at issue.

This HHS requirement violates both religious liberty and the right of every American to the exercise of that religious liberty. Despite widely publicized claims that the Obama Administration has made meaningful changes in the HHS mandate, the rule as issued in August 2011 remains in place “without change” and religious employers committed to serving people of faiths other than the sponsoring institution are still not exempt as “religious employers” but are described as “non-exempt.” In fact, even if the proposed changes to the requirement were morally acceptable, they would merely be promises of action in the future. Since the policies in dispute are to be developed over the coming year before its enforcement, their effect will not be felt until 2013, well after the next election. Hence, we need to urge other people of faith, conscience, and good will as well as our co-religionists to raise vigorous objections to the HHS initiative, so that individuals as well as religiously affiliated schools, hospitals, and charities will not have to violate their beliefs or be faced with unconstitutional financial penalties for exercising their faith.

One of the most distressing parts of this whole debacle is the way in which the Administration seems to be trying to marginalize the bishops and thereby promote an alternative magisterium. As Catholic scholars, we recognize the legitimate role our bishops play as the official teachers of the faith, especially in the formation of conscience. Respect for our Church and for Catholic beliefs demands recognition that it is our bishops speak authoritatively on matters of faith and morals. To pretend or act otherwise is insulting to our community of faith and involves government encroachment into the internal affairs of the Church. We join all people of faith and good will in urging the Obama Administration to rescind this regulation and to recognize Americans’ God-given and constitutionally protected rights to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of their consciences.

The importance of defending religious liberty is crucial. Here we might bear in mind the following passages from Pope Benedict XVI’s address to U.S. Bishops on January 19, 2012. The full text can be found here.

“With her long tradition of respect for the right relationship between faith and reason, the Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of an extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth. Our tradition does not speak from blind faith, but from a rational perspective which links our commitment to building an authentically just, humane and prosperous society to our ultimate assurance that the cosmos is possessed of an inner logic accessible to human reasoning. …

“Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

“Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country; as essential components of the new evangelization, these concerns must shape the vision and goals of catechetical programs at every level.

“In this regard, I would mention with appreciation your efforts to maintain contacts with Catholics involved in political life and to help them understand their personal responsibility to offer public witness to their faith, especially with regard to the great moral issues of our time: respect for God’s gift of life, the protection of human dignity and the promotion of authentic human rights.”

If you like this article, please click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL button  on the right column (it’s free) to receive e-mail alerts when a new article is published at Deus et Patria.

Posted in abortifacients, abortion, birth control, Catholic, Catholic colleges, Catholic education, contraception, Deus et Patria, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, freedom of religion, health care compromise, Health care mandate, Jesuits, Obamacare, Ordinations, politics, Pope Benedict XVI, pro-life, SJ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


JUST OUT…. The National Review becomes the sole adult in the chaotic and destructive GOP Room by offering much-needed advice to Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney:

“… it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee…. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.”

TO MITT: GET REAL!: “… make the most of it: Tell conservatives what they will get out of a Romney presidency. Entitlements brought under budgetary control. A more market-oriented health-care system. Judges who know their place in the constitutional architecture. Fannie and Freddie extinguished. The defense budget protected. Tax reform, and tax relief for families. … So far Romney has been running mostly on his biography: Republicans are supposed to vote for him because he is a family man and shrewd businessman. And Republicans, even the many who are well disposed to him, have been saying as loud as they can: It isn’t enough.

Posted in general election, Mitt Romney, National Review, Newt Gingrich, politics, Republican Presidential nominees, Rick Santorum | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


An independent national survey by Rasmussen Reports last week shows that Americans oppose the Obama contraceptive mandate. However, the vote is extremely  close and reflects a fundamental divide among Americans about the kind of nation we shall be.

When Americans were asked whether “health insurance companies should be required by law to cover all government-approved contraceptives for women, without co-payments or other charges to the patient”,  46% said No, 43% said Yes and 11% were “Not sure.” A much larger percent did say that the mandate would increase– not decrease — the cost of health insurance: 54% Increase, 16% Decrease, 21% No impact and 9% were Not sure.  When asked whether such coverage should be required if it violates the beliefs of a church or religious organization,  50% said the government should not require such coverage while 39% said the government should still require them to provide such coverage anyway and 10% were not sure. When asked whether individuals should have the right “to choose between different types of health insurance plans, including some that cost more and cover just about all medical procedures and some that cost less while covering only major medical procedures,  a decisive 77% said individuals should have that choice while only 9% said they shouldn’t and 14% were not sure. The poll was taken February 6-7  and has a 3% margin of error.

And how’s Obama doing himself in his re-election bid? Today’s poll results need to be a wake up call for Republicans and independents who are greatly concerned about where America is headed. At least for now, Obama leads every declared GOP candidate and the margin is now well beyond the margin of error. Santorum and Romney trail Obama by almost identical percentages while Obama presently leads Paul by a somewhat larger margin while Gingrich presently trails far behind them all.

The following results appear on the Real Clear Politics website today:

Romney vs. Obama         Pew Research               Obama 52, Romney 44              Obama +8 over Romney
Romney vs. Obama         Rasmussen                    Obama 48, Romney 42              Obama +6 over Romney
Santorum vs. Obama      Pew Research               Obama 53, Santorum 43            Obama +10 over Santorum
Santorum vs. Obama      Rasmussen                    Obama 49, Santorum 41            Obama +8 over Santorum
Gingrich vs. Obama         Pew Research               Obama 57, Gingrich 39              Obama +18 over Gingrich
The most recent match ups between Obama and Paul, taken earlier this month by Fox News and Rasmussen, show Paul averaging 11% behind Obama.

BOTTOM LINE: President Obama’s policies are deeply dividing America. A plurality of Americans don’t like either Obamacare in general or the mandate for abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilization designed as trampling over individual consciences and religious belief.

However even though these policies of the Administration are cynical, divisive and unpopular,  the President is winning, at least for now. Can this change? Definitely! Will this change? That depends on you and on me.

Posted in abortifacient, abortifacients, abortion, birth control, Catholic, contraception, Deus et Patria, Fox News, freedom of religion, general election, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Obama, Obamacare, Pew Research, politics, Rasmussen, Rasmussen poll, Rick Santorum, Romney, Ron Paul, sterilization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment