I recently heard from a friend named Mary Clare who is very frustrated by her local bishop. She had heard me suggest that if Catholics knew of problems in local Catholic hospitals, the best thing to do would be to contact the bishop and request an appointment to discuss the concerns. She tried that, then informed me, “As you probably know, bishops will not make appointments with us.”
Sadly, I do believe that this is the case. But Mary Clare had a plan. Understanding that, when the request for an appointment is either ignored or denied, Catholics take the opportunity during the various bishops’ appeal collections to place notes in the collection basket addressed to the local bishop, Mary Clare wrote a note stating, “I do not support abortion or sterilization or birth control being provided in our Catholic hospitals and want to see the bishops stop such practices.” And she suggested that others do the same.
Kudos to Catholics like Mary Clare!
We all know that the situation at many Catholic hospitals is dire, yet the bishops seem unwilling to take the actions needed to stop such practices.
Mary Clare’s “silent collection” suggestion comes at the same time Cardinal Raymond Burke, in a recent interview, called on Catholics to act against things that are harmful to our children and to the Church. He said, “It is necessary to bear witness to the truth of Christ to affirm the natural right to call the healthy Catholic doctrine into memory and stand up to the rampant perversions of relativism and secularism against the Church, against life, and against the family.”
Further, the cardinal also pointed out that President Obama’s policies are hostile to the Church and her teaching, saying, “He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies. . . . Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship.”
Not only that, but he told LifeSiteNews:
Sadly, one has the impression that a large part of the population is not fully aware of what is taking place. In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly. It leads to the loss of the freedom which a democratic government exists to protect.
It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation.
Well, the truth of the matter is that there are far too many of our own bishops, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who are not teaching and preaching the truth of the moral law. Just recently, for example, Cardinal Dolan’s reaction, when asked about NFL hopeful Michael Sam’s recent decision to come out publicly as a homosexual, was to say “Good for him. . . . So I would say ‘Bravo!’”
Dolan’s ridiculous statement came under scrutiny by one commentator who wrote, “The cardinal thus hoisted ‘Do not judge’ as an absolute biblical principle, a kind of supreme commandment that trumps chastity or marital fidelity. But human thought can only attain its end when, in making a judgment on the truth or goodness of something, it distinguishes truth from error, good from evil and just from unjust. Therefore, it would be absurd for God to forbid man from acting according to his rational nature.”
In truth, a faithful Christian is obliged to condemn the sin, not the sinner per se, and Dolan had a perfect opportunity to make this distinction and defend the truth of the moral law. He chose not to do so.
This is exactly the kind of situation that causes the Mary Clares of the world to become frustrated.
So today, on the Feast of the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of God’s son, we are called to be hopeful, joyful people.
We are called to be courageous defenders of the truth of the moral law. No evil can stand in the way of each of us responding to that call.