Friday, June 29, 2012

HHS Mandate Dialogue

I've been having an amiable debate with a proponent for the HHS Mandate on another blog.  It was going on before I joined in but it's really made me think about what I believe in.  There are a couple of women who are participating who are pro-choice and believe those against this mandate "are not dealing with reality or live in a skewed reality."  Through our dialogue, it's raised a number of very interesting questions that I have little understanding or no answer for so I'm hoping to find help here.  I'm paraphrasing here but you'll get the gist of the conversation.  I should preface this by stating, this woman is a doctor and agnostic in her views.

1.  It was said that the "Catholic institutions are not going to be paying for these services that the healthcare provider would be."  My response was that the Catholic institution buys the insurance package that is given to their employees.  And in the last 10 plus years, the employee pays a portion of the premium with the employer paying the rest.  Thereby a Catholic institution is paying for and giving their employees a healthcare package that includes contraception, sterilization, abortion..etc. which they find morally unacceptable.
Am I understanding this correctly?

2.  It was said that "the Catholic Church wants to keep church and state separate yet they want the tax exemptions that come with being a church."  Plus "they don't have to pay taxes on the donations received yet they have luxuries such as cars, houses and airplanes.  It's a double standard."  To be honest, I have no idea how the tax exemptions work but I responded with "that may be the case with the megachurches, tv evangelists and perhaps the Vatican and cardinals and yes, I agree that is a double standard, but the typical priest does not live that lifestyle.  They live in a small house on the church property that is not theirs but belongs to the parish.

3.  Being pro-life and Christian automatically means "we are imposing our beliefs on others while the pro-choice side only wants abortion as an option.  They also do NFP."  Well, I went into "the big money making machine of the abortion industry using my own clinic in my city and how many abortions are done in this one facility each week.  I even included statistics of how many legal abortions have been reported since 1973.  So, I don't really buy into that mantra."

4.  Here's my own question:  "What percentage of entities are we talking about that would like to remove contraception, sterilization, abortion..etc.?  Against the larger workforce, I was thinking it was only a small percentage of christian institutions, schools and charities.  Does anyone know the answer to this one?

I've not been offended at all in our dialogue because it made me think and think hard on what I believe an why.  What are your thoughts?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fortnight For Freedom

Check out this Youtube video that I first saw on Katie's NFP and Me blog.

Today's reflection:  "The Vatican Synod declares:  That the human person has a right to religious freedom.  This freedom means that all men are to be immune to coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to their beliefs.  Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his/her own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The Synod further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and by reason itself.  This right to the human person of religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed.  Thus it becomes a civil right."

For more information please go to The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fortnight of Freedom


I posted today at Community of Catholic Bloggers about the U.S. Catholic Bishops call to all Catholics and others of faith, to band together and participate in Fortnight For Freedom which is "a great hymn of prayer for our country."  It begins tomorrow ~ June 21st and goes to July 4th!

Please go and check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for how you can participate through prayer, study, catechesis and action!  The American Life League is also joining the effort to end religious persecution in the U.S.

Mary Immaculate, pray for us!
St. Thomas More, pray for us!
St. John Fisher, pray for us!
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
St. Peter & St. Paul, pray for us!
First Martyrs of the Church in Rome, pray for us!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Today is the weekly link up over at RAnn's Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival and I'm posting the following:

Feast of the Sacred Heart Link Up
Immaculate Heart of Mary Link Up

Both of these link ups brought many Catholic bloggers together both Spanish and English speaking.  Please hop over and see the many great ideas in celebrating both of these feast days.

Note:  blogger will translate the Spanish posts in English in a matter of seconds.  Very simple to do!  Thank you RAnn for hosting your meme!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Xhonane's EWTN Interview

For those of you who have been blessed "by meeting" Xhonane from Familia Catolica, probably already know that she was featured on EWTN's Cara A Cara show recently discussing Catholic Homeschooling.  It's in Spanish and I was hoping Youtube had a closed caption feature but it doesn't look like it.  I watched the video briefly to support Xhonane and thought I would share it here.  Must be able to understand Spanish though.

If anyone knows if there is a feature to translate from Spanish to English on a Youtube video, please let me know.

Xhonane is a sister in Christ, whose heart's desire is to Glorify Jesus and the Blessed Mother!

If you don't know Xhonane, you should head on over to her blog HERE.

"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31


Monday, June 11, 2012

Immaculate Heart of Mary Novena


O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, 
ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer.  
As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son.  Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially (your intention).

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer.  
We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting.  
Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.  

Here is our first attempt at making an Immaculate Heart of Mary cake!

This year, we celebrate this feast on Saturday, June 16th!  Happy Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Lined up with Arelis at Evangelizacion Catolica

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Welcome and please join us in celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!  

This feast day is a moveable date in our liturgical calendar but it is always 19 days following Pentecost Sunday ~  which means it falls on Friday, June 15th of this year.  This feast is not new, in fact it dates back to the 11th century and has been celebrated by faithful Catholics since then.  Please join in and share how you celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Come and join us and share your family celebrations, activities, games, crafts and prayers!  Then go ahead and  visit each other!

Links on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Religious Freedom Rally Today

Today is the 223rd anniversary of the introduction of the Bill of Rights by James Madison.  The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights pertains to Freedom of Speech, Press and Religion.  Our forefathers knew way back in the 1700's that individual rights and liberties must be protected, even from our government.  The Bill of Rights is not a new idea however.  It came from England back in the 1600's to prevent abuses of power by the monarchy. The English Bill of Rights put serious constraints on royal power.  Our Constitution and Bill of Rights balances out the power of our government~ Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.  We, the people, vote in our legislators to represent our individual and community needs and values.

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Our nation's leaders determined that America needed it's own Bill of Rights.  As previously mentioned, the First Amendment includes Freedom of Religion.  The HHS Mandate is violating that right because it is telling a religious institution that they have "to provide preventive services for women which includes sterilization, contraception, morning after pill, and the abortion inducing drug "Ella".  HHS' rule only allows a very narrow exemption for religious employers.  Catholic institutions providing education, health care and charitable services do not qualify for this exemption.

This is why 43 Catholic Institutions are suing the Obama Administration over the HHS Mandate.  But it must be said, this is not a Catholic issue either.  It is an ecumenical issue that will affect all Christians.

This is why every diocese in the United States is asking for individual members to learn more about what this HHS Mandate is all about and do something about it.  Let your congress men and women know where you stand.
This is not about women's reproductive rights.  
This is about religious freedom here in the United States.

Today was the second Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally and the numbers are still coming in but as of 4pm, there were over 38,000 people in 76 participating cities.  There was over 160 different rallies today so that number is definitely much higher!  I went to the one in Woodstock, IL and it was estimated that there were over 450 people standing up for religious freedom!

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I brought my son today because I felt it was "history in the making"!  He needs to know how the rights of people can be in jeopardy and how to peacefully stand up for your rights!

"What use it, my brethen, if someone says he has faith but he has no works?...even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."  James 2:14 & 17