The Obama administration and their idea of 'freedom of conscience'

On Jan. 20, the Obama administration, specifically Health and Human Services, made it known that it will indeed require, in the words of a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops news release, "that sterilization and contraception--including controversial abortifacients--be included among 'preventive services' coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans."

The administration is throwing an extremely small bone to opponents of the mandate by delaying its enforcement among faith-based groups until 2013.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, promptly denounced the decision.

"In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," the cardinal-designate said. "To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty."

So much for freedom of conscience.

As a practicing and assenting Catholic, I applaud Archbishop Dolan's statement. Yet I fear it may be too little, too late. Over the last several decades, Catholic leadership in the U.S., with certain notable exceptions, has chosen to remain largely silent in the face of "politically correct" evil; or to dialogue with the devil, so to speak.

Whether it's been mainly out of fear or actual complicity in moral corruption is hard to say, but it's obvious that too many purported Catholics--clergy and religious included--don't care a wit about Catholic moral teaching on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, fornication and homosexual activity. In other words, we can, at least in part, thank a majority of Catholics for electing politicians and supporting elites who have given us a culture of death. 

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