Archbishop Chaput published a rallying cry of sorts to Catholics concerning religious freedom and the HHS mandate that would force many Catholics to purchase insurance for abortifacients, sterilization procedures, and contraception.
He writes that the bishops should remain prudent but not use prudence as an excuse to avoid action.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that prudence is the auriga virtutum, the “charioteer of virtues.” It’s “right reason in action,” the guide to correctly applying all other virtues. Rash action, no matter how well intended, violates prudence and usually does more harm than good. God gave us brains. He expects us to use them to judiciously pursue the highest moral good for others and for ourselves.
At the same time, the Catechism warns that prudence should never be used as an alibi for “timidity or fear, duplicity or dissimulation.” Real prudence has a spine called fortitude, the virtue we more commonly know as courage. And courage, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”
He asks for prayers that God may guide their discussions and decision making.
He quotes Notre Dame Law Professor concerning the ins and outs of the latest “accommodation:”
“Gauging the net effect of the new administration proposal [is] hazardous. But one can say with confidence the following: (1) religious hospitals are, as before, not exempt ‘religious employers’; (2) religious charities are very likely not exempt either, unless they are run out of a church or are very tightly integrated with a church. So, a parish or even a diocese’s Saint Vincent De Paul operations would probably be an exempt ‘religious employer,’ whereas Catholic Charities would not be; (3) the new proposal may (or may not) make it more likely that parish grade schools are exempt ‘religious employers.’ But Catholic high schools are a different matter. Some might qualify as ‘religious employers.’ Most probably will not.
“It is certain that Catholic colleges and universities do not qualify as exempt ‘religious employers.’ The new proposal includes, however, a revised ‘accommodation’ for at least some of these institutions, as well as some hospitals and charities. The proposal refines the administration’s earlier efforts to somehow insulate the colleges and universities from immoral complicity in contraception, mainly by shifting — at least nominally – the cost and administration of the immoral services to either the health insurance issuer (think Blue Cross) or to the plan administrator (for self-insured entities, such as Notre Dame). This proposal adds some additional layering to the earlier attempts to insulate the schools, but nothing of decisive moral significance is included.”…
As the lawyers figure out who will be forced to do evil and who will not, it really doesn’t matter in the end. If the government removes rights from some, we are all in danger of losing our rights.
We all must continue to act against this injustice.