In today’s (Wednesday’s) Gospel reading, Jesus said:
“They will seize and persecute you, they will hand over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist and refute. You will be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
What a powerful message!
Jesus is saying that we will have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.
Jesus was handed over to men who did not believe in him.
But he was first betrayed by Judas Iscariat — a Christian and an Apostle.
In the United States, Catholics have a great voice through the democratic process. For several decades now, the Catholic vote has swung the United States Presidential elections.
It will do so again in 2012.
Fundamental to both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is the free exercise of religion. The reason is simple. In Populist thought, the State forswears a profound understanding of Natural Law, confining itself to (in those cases dictated by prudence) preventing one person from treating another human being as a means rather than an end in themselves. The State understands itself as having no insight into the deeper aspects of Natural Law, Theology, and the moral life. Thus, the State by virtue of its inaction and lack of expertise, defers to the Church in high matters of Natural Law.
The Church and State thus work in harmony in their respective spheres.
A new level has been reached to attack this harmony, violate Populist principles, and particularly persecute Catholics.
Health and Human Services has issued a mandate under the authority of Obamacare to tell every employer that they must provide coverage for every employee for contraception or face immense and possibly debilitating fines (up to $100 per employee per day).
How could this have happened?
How could a program have been set up that violates the principles of Populism and, additionally, persecutes Catholics who believe contraception is intrinsically evil.
Catholics. Catholics. Catholics.
Catholic Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski passed an amendment to Obamacare in committee to give Health and Human Services the authority to define which women’s health issues can be defined in the “essential health benefits package” that need to be covered without any copay to the patient at all. Catholic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi got the bill passed. Catholic Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that all FDA-approved contraceptives (even those which are undisputed abortifacients like Ella) should be included in the essential health benefits package.
All three of these Catholic women have been endorsed by EMILY’s List, a powerhouse fundraising organization that only endorses female Democrats who oppose conscience protections, support partial birth abortion, and taxpayer funded abortions.
Nancy Pelosi attacked such efforts, accusing Catholics of having this “conscience thing.”
It is sad that the concept seems so alien to her.
American Catholics can well understand the words of Christ: “You will be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.”
Mrs. Pelosi in the same statement, said: “I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it.”
Would you really betray your fellow American Catholics with the verbal equivalent of a kiss?