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February 8th, 2012
Obama, Catholics, And Why I Walked Out Of Mass On Sunday

I did something this past Sunday that I’ve never done in my life. I walked out of mass in protest. No, fire and brimstone didn’t descend upon me; my leaving wasn’t followed by the gnashing of teeth.  In fact I’m sure that if anyone noticed they probably thought I was going to relieve myself – which I was, in a real sense.

Some pertinent background: I was raised Catholic.    I was born in a Catholic hospital and was educated in Catholic schools. But for many years I’ve nurtured a healthy distrust of all organized religion – my own Catholicism included. For the past several weeks, though, I’ve been going to mass on Sundays again. The priest who celebrates the mass I go to is a long time friend, I consider him a mentor, a spiritual and intellectual leader. So I returned to church because I missed his presence in a Sunday service context.

The mass is a Spanish service, standing room only, I’d say 90% immigrant, awesome choir included. I felt at home, although not entirely in place with the overall organized religious context. Still, my friend the priest hadn’t missed a beat since I last attended one of his services: vibrant, relevant, compassionate… After that first service, he saw me, gave me a bear hug and said “I was so happy to see you here.”

So I went back, twice. Then last Sunday he wasn’t there. Another priest was substituting for that day. I’ll call him father “Spaniard of the condescension.” He reminded me of the reasons I had stopped going to church. It took him all of 90 seconds to turn his homily into a diatribe against President Obama’s directive concerning healthcare insurance in Catholic institutions. He misrepresented the directive saying it forced women to have abortions, and then he said the congregants shouldn’t vote for Obama.

That’s when I blew. I felt my fists tighten, my neck expand. My wife turned to look at me with what I sensed was concern (Not so much for me; I think she was afraid I’d challenge the priest out loud. But I wouldn’t, out of respect, for the same reason I still push my chair in when I leave the dinner table: Catholic school upbringing.) I said, under my voice, “I didn’t come to church to be told who to vote for.” And I walked out.

So what do you do when you walk out of church to a parking lot filled with empty cars? I paced. Over the years I’ve learned to tame what was once an unmanageable temper. I give myself room to be angry, and get over it – it’s my responsibility after all. Ten minutes later, when the froth had gone, I returned to the back of the church and stood through the rest of the service. I didn’t confront the priest. In fact I said nothing to him, at all. I’ve also learned strategic patience and knowing to choose my battles.

This Presidential directive, though, has been taken out of context. It doesn’t force women to have abortions, regardless of what Father Spaniard says. All it does is raise the question of preventive services for women who work in Catholic institutions – excluding churches. All together Catholic hospitals and universities employ hundreds of thousands of women, not all of them Catholic. The directive makes preventive services accessible to them, that’s all. It also includes an 18 month period to look for creative ways to follow the directive. It’s about healthcare, and it’s about the law.

On the political side, it was a calculated move. I’ve said before that everything the President does is calculated. This time he may have gotten the equation wrong. I don’t think he expected the loud and angry fallout.  Just as I didn’t expect politics in my church. I emphasize “my” church, because I don’t belong to one of those evangelical congregations where politics is religion. In fact, the one time I disagreed with my friend the priest was when he allowed then presidential candidate Michael Dukakis (we go back that far) to speak from the pulpit during a Sunday service. I didn’t walk out that time, my conviction-to-action link still needed some simmering. But I felt it was wrong.

Here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have minded if father Spaniard would have asked the congregation to pray for a resolution to the healthcare directive, or to pray for the President to understand the Catholic institution’s position. But he crossed a line when he told the congregation not to vote for Obama.

I understand the long legacy of social and political movements that have had their birth in churches – the U.S. civil rights movement, the Mexican independence of 1810 to name just 2. But those were movements, not political ads. What’s more, 60% of the congregation that morning were women, and 90% of those probably don’t vote because they’re not citizens. You’d think a leader would know his congregation better (you may have noticed that I’m not quite done getting over it).

In the end, this directive will be fodder for punditry and homilies for weeks to come. And I’ll make my way back to church on Sunday, hoping my friend leads the entrance procession. This time, though, I’ve got an earful for him.

[Photo By Dougtone]

52 thoughts on “Obama, Catholics, And Why I Walked Out Of Mass On Sunday

  1. Your views on this is much appreciated as I agree with you wholeheartedly. My blood boiled when I opened my inbox last night and saw the latest e-mail  from my beloved Monsignor. The e-mail’s subject line: “SANTORUM FAMILY”. Body text: “Here’s a refreshing video about  3 minute. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ‘practicing’ Catholic and a family with seven children in the White House.” Good Lord!

    It is bad enough that the priest (at a neighboring Parish) at last Sunday’s Mass preached against the new healthcare mandate, similar to your priest’s sermon. I stopped attending Mass at my own Parish because the sermons are often used as a pulpit to tell the parishioners who to vote for, and inevitably, how NOT to vote for any Democratic candidates, especially President Obama.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I believe people should vote their conscience, be it Catholic or otherwise. However, I strongly believe in the separation of Church and State. Sermons are not supposed to be used as a political rally. Telling the congregation how to vote is clearly a violation of any faith based non-profit organization. I object to this ‘strong arming’ just as much as I object to subjecting the entire congregation to a 10 minute pledge drive in the middle of Mass. Enough is enough!

    We go to Church for spiritual guidance and fulfillment, not to be told how and who to vote for. We can leave that to the pundits on the airwaves and the clogging junk mail we receive daily. Thank you very much!

  2. A Church cannot tell anyone who to vote for – at least not in the US. That would endanger the parish’s tax exempt status.

    Priests can and should point out legislation that runs contrary to Church teaching and to give guidance on the moral use of voting privileges.
    I was in mass when a priest went into a grey area.  I wrote the priest a nice letter letting them know that I would call the IRS.   I attend church with my elderly mom and I meditate during the service.   I’m not religious, but I will listen to what they have to say.

  3. Victor,
    You are confusing a religion with your personal beliefs and our government intervention. 
    What you are failing to recognize, and respect, is that the Catholic Church is organized by particular set of beliefs, doctrine and traditions—just like other religions.  Unless you actually dedicate a good portion of your time and understanding would you be able to wholly accept or reject a faith you were baptized into.  Otherwise you are limited to understanding, and poorly able to represent, in any authentic or accurate manner why what the President has mandated is an assault on, not just Catholic beliefs, but those of religion, everywhere.

    First, whether or not you believe or accept Catholic dogma, which is entirely your decision, doesn’t negate that the Catholic Church maintains, and has maintained such truths and beliefs for thousands of years.

    Secondly, the government has NO right to intrude on a person’s beliefs or limit in any way the freedom of practice of religion.  In this way—to be literal—the freedom of a religion to NOT support or practice birth control. The First Amendment protects freedom of religion.

    Lastly, until the US Government makes access to healthcare a right for all Americans–and further mandates and provides universal healthcare for every American, then the President has no business to arbitrarily force religious institutions to offer a drug or service to their employees when they fundamentally oppose the action.

    As a practicing Catholic and Obama supporter I believe he is very, very wrong.  I feel personally that he has offended my Catholic beliefs and violated our Constitution.  I stand behind the USCCB.

  4. I was very upset to hear the letter from our Bishop, too.  Because like in past years, they turn the truth into a lie. When I heard “abortion” I knew they were lying.  This comes from the very top of our very conservative prejudice leaders, to try to turn us Hispanic Catholics to vote for their Republican friends. I am not a one issue voter.  We haven’t heard the last of it. I’ve noticed that before general elections, we start hearing only about abortion. The church should  spend more time talking about what we hear in the Gospel “Social Justice.”  Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.  The Lord hears the Cry of the Poor, Blessed Be The Lord. By the way. We’re not the only ones upset. They’re are many. I really wish there was an end to abortion. That’s the only Christian stronghold  the Republicans have to call themselves “The Religious Right” Give me a break. It’s probably their kids having the abortions. It can’t be the Hispanics. We’re growing too fast. 

  5. As someone has for many years worked and who works in the Church regularly,  and sees its flaws up close, in many Catholic churches over the years, I can virtutally guarantee that two things did not happen: the priest did not say, explicitly who to vote for, though there might have been implications, and it was not voiced that women would be forced to have abortions, (unless the priest was completely misinformed or an imbecile, and I kind of doubt this)  these two things just stretch credulity.  Probably a bad sound system or wax in your ears.   All priests are told where the line is as far as advising WHO to vote for, though they can advise on policy votes.  Please, people, let’s get off the prideful high horse of feeling that somehow we do the church or God a favor by showing up to Mass, especially with a chip on our shoulder or an attitude. Get over yourself and listen to what the church is saying.  They are not wrong in the amalgam.  And you Vatican II folks who think that the “thinking man’s” Catholicism started at that juncture, you’ve got it backassward.  License and freedom are two different things, there former demands accountability and responsibility. *You too often confuse the two.  You want license, now admit it. *you, meaning “cafeteria Catholics.” 

  6. Victor Landa writes, “My wife turned to
    look at me with what I sensed was concern (Not so much for me; I think she was
    afraid I’d challenge the priest out loud. But I wouldn’t, out of respect, for
    the same reason I still push my chair in when I leave the dinner table:
    Catholic school upbringing.)” Really? He attributes his practice of
    pushing his chair in when he leaves the dinner table to his “Catholic
    school upbringing”? He should have learned that at home. How about being
    respectful? Do you only learn that within a Catholic school upbringing? Respect
    should also be learned at home, any home, Catholic or not. I agree, though,
    that a priest should not tell his congregation who to or not to vote for. Yet,
    what he preaches should agree with the Doctrine of the church, which he
    represents. Read the comment by Yestrada78; I completely agree with what he/she
    says. If they force the Catholic institutions to provide for the services that
    go against its Doctrine, then it will be accused of being hypocritical, at the
    least. Eventually, the cynics would expect the Catholic Church to change its
    doctrine to agree with its practice.

  7. Victor, we are right there with you! For all fellow Latinos (and others, too!) who desire a more just and compassionate church, check out http://www.cta-usa.org. We’re a national organization of 25,000 priests, nuns and lay people working together for more justice in the church on issues of lay empowerment, racial justice, women’s equality, etc. 
    -N. Sotelo, Director of Communications and Programs, Call To Action

  8. Here is an idea –  get up and go to the foyer of the church for the homily if the pastor starts telling people who to vote for – then return to the Eucharistic. This doesn’t have to be done disrespectfully – in fact it may allow for reflection and peace to center in the heart – which is much better than sitting in anger and frustration and feeling alone in the Church community. Who can possibly recieve the body of Christ in that emotional morass without completely missing the point of commnion?  

  9. It’s good that all this has created room for dialogue and debate. What is NOT good is the personal attacks that have come from all this. Everyone has free will. No one is God’s puppet. As a person of free will, one is free to believe or not believe, to be Catholic or to not be Catholic, etc…the problem is that every day we have stories where the “separation of Church and state” is thrown in our faces (see the removal of the 10 Commandments from schools and government buildings). And yet, now that an issue that really has overstepped it’s boundaries as far as the separation of church and state is in our face…the Catholic Church is being attacked and smeared…go figure. Those who leave the Church because of priests they didn’t like, because they think the Church is behind the times, because the Vatican is rich (do people know the Vatican belongs to the people of the world and not to one individual??) have always fascinated me because they often leave because of PEOPLE and seldom because they truly knew the Catholic faith…those who are born into the Catholic faith but don’t bother to really study it are easily led astray by the secular world.  Often times, the best Catholics are the converts from other faiths because they take the trouble to study it…

    I stand by the Church’s stance on this. It can’t be too far off base if other faiths are following it’s lead. 

    You all who so readily attack those of us who stand with the Church might do well to take a step back and think on what all this is really about and don’t let your distrust/dislike/hatred of the Catholic church cloud your judgement.  Look at it from an impartial stance…

    Either way, we will fight this mandate…today it’s this…tomorrow? who knows? euthanasia? eugenics? 

  10. Thank you for this post. 

    Try the Episcopal church. I did, and I have the same background you have. I’m as happy as a clam in my church, where politics isn’t religion and I hear intelligent sermons. 

    When one goes to an Episcopal Mass, one doesn’t have to leave one’s mind in the parking lot.

  11. The problem I have with the Bishops’ letters at all the churches, aside from anyone telling us what to do about what goes on in our bedrooms, is that whatever happened to free choice? or free will?  Women (and men) have choice!  No one has to use contraceptives….but why deny those who would choose to and cannot pay for it?  And what is the Church telling us?  To have as many babies as possible?  Catholics have been using birth control, probably since our parents… and that goes a long way back.  I’m angry about this!  And the Church keeps wanting fallen-away Catholics to return…Hah!

  12. Under these circumstances I agree with you fully.  In the past the Church in our Diocese has held workshops to encourage voters to be informed on all of the issues before they cast their vote, however I can never remember being told how to vote, or which candidates were “church approved”. 
    When a priest steps over the line in his homily it’s time to walk.  It’s also time to speak up.  At a nearby parish, a priest went on a diatribe about how women shouldn’t be ministering in any manner on the altar.  He offended every woman in the parish and several of the men.  If I had been there, I would have walked out.  I understand one of the men in the parish felt so bad he apologized to all the women. 

  13. I really feel that being silent is not the way to deal with what was wrong with the priest’s homily.  First of all his facts were way off base about forcing women to have abortions.  That is so wrong for a priest to spread such lies.  There’s a commandment against that. 

    I am not fully decided about what to think about the HHS law and the bishops’ response.  I am not sure I have been given full factual information about the law, and given this example of extreme political lying, I don’t fully trust the Church’s stance. 

    Whenever someone takes a position and tries to spread untruthful statements to persuade others, I take two steps away from that position.  I was at first against the HHS law, because forcing Catholics to pay for or provide procedures that are against the moral laws of Church is definitely wrong.  The conscience of the Church is what she must go by.  Yet if it the HHS law is not actually doing that, then why the loud outcry? 

    Thanks to this priest and other over the top rhetoric, I’m now more confused.

  14. I really feel that being silent is not the way to deal with what was wrong with the priest’s homily.  First of all his facts were way off base about forcing women to have abortions.  That is so wrong for a priest to spread such lies.  There’s a commandment against that. 

    I am not fully decided about what to think about the HHS law and the bishops’ response.  I am not sure I have been given full factual information about the law, and given this example of extreme political lying, I don’t fully trust the Church’s stance. 

    Whenever someone takes a position and tries to spread untruthful statements to persuade others, I take two steps away from that position.  I was at first against the HHS law, because forcing Catholics to pay for or provide procedures that are against the moral laws of Church is definitely wrong.  The conscience of the Church is what she must go by.  Yet if it the HHS law is not actually doing that, then why the loud outcry? 

    Thanks to this priest and other over the top rhetoric, I’m now more confused.

  15. Very inappropriate but it seems this kind of talk is OK in today’s world and today’s churches.  Not OK with me or you and a lot of others.  I am Catholic too and this is horrible.

  16. First, I’m so glad you’re planning to go back. That misguided priest should not have the power to keep you away. Unfortunately that’s happened way too much for people over the years. Secondly, you have every reason to be upset that he went so far with that homily as to tell you how to vote. We too had a visiting priest that day, and things weren’t pretty. I just read an article about the fact that birth control has been required my all insurance programs that offer prescription benefits since 2000, during the Bush administration. This is really not a new issue. It is clearly a political game. Finally I must address the person who says it’s all or nothing. As Catholics we profess our faith and we must believe in all that is in the CREED and in the sacraments. Doctrine, on the other hand, much of which is found in the Catechism is put forth as a moral guide and compass. It is not the same as the commandments given to us by God, but the Church leaders interpretation of what God wants for our lives. It its meant to provide us with an ideal, and a guide, but we still have free will and the development of our own consciences. I’ve found it interesting that no one has brought up the fact that many women using birth control are doing so for medical purposes and not for contraception. They are used as hormonal therapy for many conditions, such as endometriosis, which if left untreated can render women sterile. The Church allows for this use, and for hysterectomy or sterilization when a woman’s health is being compromised or would be endangered by pregnancy. And while it may be wrong to force someone to purchase a product (insurance) that they are morally opposed to, it is equally wrong for an employer to force a specific religion on their employees.

  17. Bravo!  I am a cradle Catholic who also took a “sabbatical”  and walked out during Mass when health care reform was blasted from the pulpit with no mention of the plight of the uninsured or anything remotely resembling a balanced factual statement.  I ultimately found my way back – but with a lot less respect for the Church.  

    Vatican II very clearly taught the supremacy of individual conscience.  To those Catholics here who say Catholic doctrine is an all-or-nothing proposition – you are simply wrong…”Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on …the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”. (Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II ,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967).We have a very serious obligation to well-inform our conscience but disagreement with doctrine, and the honest truth of our efforts to inform that conscience can only be judged by God.

  18. I wish we did have the courage to confront this vocally.  After all “we are the 98%” according to statistics.   Where was the outrage on child sexual abuse, poverty, on financial abuse, or on the unjust, dishonest war in Iraq? 

  19. The fact is the Church is supposed to come up with a solution….the regs are not written yet! got it….not written yet until the Church comes up with the assist…I am so disappointed in how quiet the Church was on war but reeely loud on contraceptives…men…loud…when they were given a year to come up with the solution to not violate the non Catholic employees…like the Church honors  in 12 states already….I was a field underwriter for a major healthcare institution and it can be done…the right wing NY Bishop is out to make a name for himself…period….this is an easy solution unless the Bishop wants to gin up a fight at women’s expense….non Catholic and Catholic alike

  20. To hell with the bishops. I am a stubborn Catholic who would never leave the Church but the bishops have just about ruined it. Obama is the best president we ever had. I wish the bishops had Obama’s conscience when it comes to the social issues. Obama doesn’t owe the bishops a damned thing. They campaigned against him in 2008 and they will do it again this year. Good luck to them with their rich Republican friends. 

    • Jim, Please stop…you don’t know what you’re talking about…”Bishops ruined it…” ruined what? Bishops had Obama’s conscience? …you were not well catechized…

      • And when President Obama tries to force the bishops or their girlfriends to take birth control pills, then their religious freedom is being infringed upon. But when an employer wants to violate the Aaffordable Care Act by requiring insurance company to deny prescription drug coverage to their female employees, NOW THAT’s a problem. How does your religious freedom give you the right to tell someone else whether or not they can get certain prescriptions filled somewhere else. Answer that!

      • And when President Obama tries to force the bishops or their girlfriends to take birth control pills, then their religious freedom is being infringed upon. But when an employer wants to violate the Aaffordable Care Act by requiring insurance company to deny prescription drug coverage to their female employees, NOW THAT’s a problem. How does your religious freedom give you the right to tell someone else whether or not they can get certain prescriptions filled somewhere else. Answer that!

  21. Your comments and concern were on target..what I personally do not understand is why  religion and politics  should be an  issue either in church and or in the government..In my Baptist church the pastor has never in  20 years that I have attended,  has  never mentioned anything about politics..the day he does he w ill hear from me. I left the Cath0lic  church decades ago, when I made my first trip to the  Vatican..and I saw all the riches and affluent life styles surronding these so called chosen people, all of a sudden,  I then remenber the poverty that I saw when I went to Mexico.  I came to the conclusion that this was not what Jesus Christ was preaching . The Mexicans are the most devouted Catholic in the world. and as result they have follow the mantra of their church witch has been to”produce’  and what has been the results, an over populated nation in which its citizens has have to immigrate to other countries in order to survive

  22. Actually, the Church could lose its tax exemption status if it was found that priests were asking or urging people to vote, feel or think in a certain way about politics. President Obama is the only hope against the tide of racism and prejudice which the Conservatives and Republicans along with the madhatters are urging. America needs true health insurance; Obama is only taking a small step toward that goal. But it’s algo.

  23. Seriously how many of the catholics women do you know that do not use contraceptives. I am one myself and do not know of any that stand by the stone age belief that catholics are to not us birth control. The pope himself even stands by the use of condems in the prevention of aids. So is it you can only use birth control if your trying not to die? Well I would think that many women find that the use of birth control saves many more lives than not using it.

  24. With all due respect, you either accept the DOCTRINE of the Catholic faith or you don’t. What the HHS mandate is going to do is force Catholic institutions to provide for sterilization, birth control, and the morning after pill….all which go against church doctrine. You cannot serve two masters. Beside the fact that all 3 things are against church doctrine, where is the separation of church and state guaranteed by the Constitution? again..you cannot pick and choose…it’s all or nothing. You are free to not practice the Catholic faith, but for most of us who are practicing Catholics, forcing us to choose to fund these things that go against Church doctrine is wrong. 

    • yes you are WRONG.  Congratulations on walking out on such diatribe.  Everyone should have done that to respect the separation of church and state.  The priest had NO right to tell the congregants who to vote for or against.

      • So, the Priest words are a violation of church and state, but the federal government wanting to force the HHS mandate upon religious entities isn’t? why is one different than the other? you can’t pick and choose…either there is a separation of church and state…or there isn’t. I live in a pretty liberal city, and at no other time has any clergyman stood at the pulpit and enforced his political views upon us. But THIS goes against the very doctrine of the Church.   It not only violates the doctrine of the Catholic Church, but on religious entities in general. If one Constitutional right is violated, then what is to stop the government from violating more? at what point is the nation going to say “enough”? 

        • Regardless of the issue, ‘Fr. Spaniard’ crossed the line when he told the congregants not to vote for President Obama. In doing so, he threatened the tax exempt status of the parish church. 

        • “So, the Priest words are a violation of church and state, but the federal government wanting to force the HHS mandate upon religious entities isn’t? why is one different than the other?”

          The new “mandate” applies to religious entities running businesses which provide health care coverage for its employees. No one is requiring any religious entity to start and run a business, only if they do, that they comply with the applicable laws.

          If you read the details of the new “mandate,” you will find that the President actually made it easier for these religious entities to comply, that is they are allowed to be bypassed altogether really in the process and have no direct requirement to pay for contraception. 

          Many of these so-called religious entities were already doing what the Catholic bishops were having a hissy fit over having to do as a requirement by any business that provides health care insurance for its employees. That’s ironic.

      • So, the Priest words are a violation of church and state, but the federal government wanting to force the HHS mandate upon religious entities isn’t? why is one different than the other? you can’t pick and choose…either there is a separation of church and state…or there isn’t. I live in a pretty liberal city, and at no other time has any clergyman stood at the pulpit and enforced his political views upon us. But THIS goes against the very doctrine of the Church.   It not only violates the doctrine of the Catholic Church, but on religious entities in general. If one Constitutional right is violated, then what is to stop the government from violating more? at what point is the nation going to say “enough”? 

    • Religious freedom has never been and was never intended to be without legal constraints.  This has been upheld by the courts over and over again.  Perhaps Mormons should still be legally practicing polygamy?  

      A very similar New York law requiring health plans to cover contraception was upheld after several court challenges and, in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case – effectively upholding the lower court rulings. 

      I understand and appreciate that many do not like this regulation but there is absolutely no legal precedent being set here.  There is nothing new here at all.  Rhetoric to the contrary by the Church and by lawmakers  is pure pandering to the uninformed.

    • Religious freedom has never been and was never intended to be without legal constraints.  This has been upheld by the courts over and over again.  Perhaps Mormons should still be legally practicing polygamy?  

      A very similar New York law requiring health plans to cover contraception was upheld after several court challenges and, in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case – effectively upholding the lower court rulings. 

      I understand and appreciate that many do not like this regulation but there is absolutely no legal precedent being set here.  There is nothing new here at all.  Rhetoric to the contrary by the Church and by lawmakers  is pure pandering to the uninformed.

    • this is actually incorrect, please study what is known as the hierarchy of truth. What it essentially says is that not all teachings of the church carry equal weight, although i suspect from your words above you would prefer that to be the case. (for more on overly dichotomous/dualistic thinking, see james Fowler’s work on Stages of Faith Development) and in the end, it is an INFORMED conscience that we must follow, now that is actual church teaching

    • The Church isn’t being forced to do anything. However, EMPLOYERS are not going to be allowed to require their employees’ health insurance to deny certain prescriptions for female employees. Since 95% of Catholics who have been sexually active have used birth control, how dare they try to shove that “birth control is a sin” crap down the throat of NON-CATHOLICS.

      Catholics need to finally demand their Church to abandon this very harmful official stand against birth control, since they all ignore it anyway. Well except for the poor uneducated women in 3rd world countries, they truly think they’ll go to he’ll if they use birth control, so they have baby after baby after baby, while struggling to feed the children they have.

    • The Church isn’t being forced to do anything. However, EMPLOYERS are not going to be allowed to require their employees’ health insurance to deny certain prescriptions for female employees. Since 95% of Catholics who have been sexually active have used birth control, how dare they try to shove that “birth control is a sin” crap down the throat of NON-CATHOLICS.

      Catholics need to finally demand their Church to abandon this very harmful official stand against birth control, since they all ignore it anyway. Well except for the poor uneducated women in 3rd world countries, they truly think they’ll go to he’ll if they use birth control, so they have baby after baby after baby, while struggling to feed the children they have.

    • Yet Catholics have the right to dissent, an informed and fully reflected upon decision guided by conscience. Something that is clearly stated by the Magisterium in relationship to doctrine. Doctrine is not the same as dogma and is not infallible.

    •  This is a ridiculous position.  By this logic, the Catholic church could then decide that they won’t provide prenatal care coverage to an unwed mother, a gay man needing AIDS medication or a host of other medical coverage that doesn’t align with their specific “beliefs.”  There are two very different conceptions (no pun intended) of the issue going on here.  One is forcing an institution to provide the service directly (which currently is not required of a religious group) and the other issue, providing health insurance coverage for people that work at an institution to decide what treatment, procedure or medication they want to have. Don’t collapse everything into one bucket because it isn’t accurate. 

  25. Bravo! When will the Catholic Church realize that they have LOST big time, in how Catholics USED to follow, believe, admire and feel pride in? There are a few priest out there that are the exception. Priests that spew these lies should be thrown out of the church! Oh wait, this is the same church that lost me as a long time Catholic because the victims of the rapist priests were being protected and just moved around the world like a chess game. What this priest is doing is LYING to hard working and God loving people that want nothing more than to work and feed their families. These families are being told lies about healthcare under the Obama administration. These immigrants are being told to… ” Go ahead, have more babies you can not afford, can not deliver in a hospital, can not afford to feed, can not afford to take them to the doctor.” Will the Catholic church do all those things for these families that they are telling to have as many children? NO… they won’t.

  26. It hurts when your church tells you who to vote for…first it was Obama, now it’s not Obama but with good reason this time…because he is attacking the sovereignty of religion for us all by forcing all the health centers to accept abortion. This time the priest’s opinion is absolutely right on..we must not allow this to happen for the good of all religious organizations. The gov’t MUST NOT force any medical facility to perform a procedure they do not morally wish to do. This is facism. It’s on Obama’s watch but Romney also tried this. We must be very careful who we vote for as facism is rearing its ugly head in both parties. 

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