It has always been my practice to preach on the readings of the day and the only time I’ve ever varied from that was the business report that you give the parish once a year.
Recently I attended a meeting with Archbishop Mansell and during the meeting he spoke about the new Health and Human Services Mandate and its implication for Catholic institutions in our country.
How many of you know what that it ?
For those who don’t know what I am talking about It seems that the government has decided that that all employers including religious institutions will be mandated to provide contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans.
This clearly goes against both our religious conscience and our religious freedom.
It true that there are exemptions in the mandate for religious institutions when the majority of people employed are of the same faith.
However, in our larger institutions like hospitals and universities it puts our church in a terrible place because it either means that we don’t hire non Catholics who might be best suited for the job or that we violate our conscience... by provide medications and procedures which violate our conscience.
If we compromise on this principle one has to wonder what will come next.
I can’t imagine signing a check that would pay for medication that would kill a baby... I just can’t do it and I won’t do it even if it is the law.
Some of you might be thinking to yourselves I don’t want to come to church and hear the priest talk about government policies.
I know my email box is going to fill up with complaints and I know my voice mail will too.
I’m willing to accept that.
I assure I am making these comments only after a lot of prayer and discernment.
A homily is supposed to take the Gospel and apply it to our everyday lives and circumstances.
Good people I feel compelled to look at this mandate from the federal government in the light of the Gospel of our Lord.
This is not a partisan issue. I believe that there are both democrats and republicans who are for and against this mandate.
This is simply the matter of a government agency making a radical change to our constitution by forcing us to violate our conscience.
Never before has the government put itself so clearly in between our conscience and our God.
When our founding fathers wrote the separation of church and state into our constitution it simply meant there would be no recognized national church.
During our meeting Archbishop Mansell expressed grave concern about the whole situation and he begged the priests present to speak about it and make sure their congregations knew what was going on.
After listening to him I admit I studied the mandate even more and now I almost feel guilty that I did not bring this to your attention early.
This week I have included a fact sheet in the bulletin so that those who wish can inform themselves more about the mandate.
I promise to put a bunch of links on our website which will explain the HHS Mandate and its implications for the free practice of our faith here in the United States we all love.
I know that you will agree we must always remain faithful to the Gospel not matter what the cost.
I am sure you will also agree that Catholics have always tried to be faithful citizens of our great country .
This mandate will place us all in a most difficult situation because it is the the first time our government seems to be inserting itself between our individual conscience and our faithfulness to God’s Word.
There is an old latin say which goes like this
Qui tacet consentit
He who is silent consents...
I can’t remain silent anymore I fear I have been silent too long.
Thank you for listening
God bless you all and God bless America.