Faithful Friar Remarks: Assembly 2003 Business Meeting – May 24


Needless to say that right now there is tremendous tension between the Federal Government and the Catholic Church with regards to the HHS ruling on Health Insurance coverage. It’s quite clear that all U.S. Bishops agree that the ruling is unacceptable.

Reportedly, there are a few Bishops who disagree with the decision of others (Cardinals Dolan and Wuerl among them) of some Catholic institutions to have recourse to the Courts. But all agree that the specific HHS ruling on implementing one of the provisions of the so-called “Obamacare” is an attack against religious freedom. It is a violation of the First Amendment. It is based on interpreting and limiting “Freedom of Religion” to Freedom of Worship.”

Whether the Courts will let the ruling stand or not, the ruling forces almost all Catholic business people who have employees to drop health care coverage and pay a penalty, or keep health care coverage and pay. Directly or indirectly, for Health Care coverage that goes against our moral code.

The Knights of Columbus stands behind the Bishops on this most important issue that has the potential of changing the country in a fundamental way. We, individual members must do likewise. I suggest that we all have a duty to keep abreast of what is happening and to do what we can to back up our Bishops.

“How should Catholics vote?” That’s another topic on the forefront of American life this year. The Bishops are not going to tell how to vote or for whom to vote…at least not directly. The Bishops have issued guidelines in the past and may do so again this year. Publications such as “The Participation of Catholics in Political Life” (Vatican 2002) and “Faithful Citizenship” (US Bishops 2003) focus on general principles on how to vote.

Let me call to your attention however one publication that is designed to fool Catholics. The publication is entitled “Voting for the Common Good: A practical guide for Conscientious Catholics.” It is published by the dissident “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.” This organization is led by former advisors to Senator John Kerry and Hilary Clinton. The publication is well-funded and will probably enjoy wide circulation. It distorts and twists the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Beware of the publication.