Will the Bishops' Conference deal with those of its own house before suing the U S Government?
In the USCCB Media Blog of Tuesday, January, 24, 2012, concerning the recent Obama Administration ruling that Catholic institutions have to cover sterilizations and contraceptives (including abortion-causing agents), we read:
This egregious violation of religious freedom marks the first time in our history that the federal government is forcing religious people and groups to ante up for services that violate their consciences. Some claim this is all about access to contraceptives—but everyone knows how and where to get them, and get them cheaply. And the mandate also forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-causing drugs. This is about forcing the church to pay for all these things through insurance coverage, to sponsor these “benefits” that it considers immoral. This is, in other words, about freedom of religion, which is a foundation stone of U.S. democracy.The course seems clear. If the administration persists, this is going to court. So, my question, from a priest, moral theologian, interested party, cheerleader for the bishops, and adherent to the authority of the magisterium, (the list goes on) is will the conference of bishops, or individual bishops, now correct individual Catholic legislators and administration officials who support these abridgments of the Church's freedom by pursuing the moral and canonical measures available? As we know, the bishops' conference has chosen not to speak in favor of adherence to the Church's long-standing, well-established, and incontrovertible moral tradition regarding the refusal of admission of public sinners to Holy Communion in the case of formal cooperation in abortion (referring to those politicians who promote and vote for the so-called right to abortion)--and it should be clear that the administration of Holy Communion to such public sinners entails cooperation in sacrilege and the sin of scandal on the part of the minister of Holy Communion.
The government allows other religions to live out their beliefs. The Amish and Christian Scientists have a conscientious objection to health insurance, and so the law exempts them from buying it. The government acknowledges the right of these religious groups to live out their religious convictions in U.S. society. Why are beliefs of Catholics and others dismissed? USCCB Media Blog: "Anybody but Catholics Has Religious Freedom.
Will the bishops' conference find in these offenses, the offenses against conscience and religious freedom committed by Kathleen Sebelius and others involved, serious enough reason to say that these actions are scandalous enough public sin to require that the ministers of Holy Communion not cooperate in the scandal and ensuing sacrileges involved in the reception of Holy Communion by these public sinners? If the bishops conference is willing to take the US Government to civil court to fight this on a legal basis, to have these offenses declared unconstitutional by government standards, has the time not come, as well, to say that the individuals involved in this should have to publicly repent from their moral and canonical offenses before being admitted to Holy Communion?