Church leaders have formed a coalition of Catholic organizations, dioceses and individuals under the banner “Fortnight of Freedom” to support right-wing Republicans and Rush Limbaugh in their battle against abortion, contraception and women’s rights. The church contends it is exempt from paying for insurance coverage for female employees because to do so is contrary to its ancient religious doctrine. Under Obama’s plan, faith-based hospitals, universities, schools and charities that employ and provide services outside of their religion have to pay for insurance for employees. That sounds fair to me.
The U.S. Conference of Bishops is providing the resources for a two-week nationwide campaign in July to preach, teach and lobby against the president and the Democrats. Town hall meetings, prayer gatherings and public readings of the U.S. Constitution will be held, and a “special prayer for strength and courage” will be their mantra. The event will end at a Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput will give the homily. I wonder if the archbishop will mention anything about the conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn of the same dioceses, who was found guilty by a jury in Philadelphia on one count of endangering children on the same day his Fortnight of Freedom was launched. Lynn was the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States to be convicted for covering up child sexual abuses by priests under his supervision. Ironically,
the day after Lynn’s conviction, Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in a Pennsylvania court for sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Must be something strange in Pennsylvania’s water.
The all-female political left arm of the Catholic Church also has become a lobbying group. The National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, a network of Catholic nuns, is taking its march to Wisconsin. In a campaign-style bus, a group of nuns drove to the Wisconsin office of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) to lobby against proposed cuts in the federal budget they say will hurt struggling families.
The convents of chastity have recently been criticized by the archbishops for spending too much time working for social justice instead of fighting social issues such as abortion. Maybe the hierarchy of the church should pay more attention to the sins of their priests and allow the Sisters of Mercy to deal with social justice. The archbishops finally joined the nuns, claiming Ryan’s budget plan was “unjustified and wrong.” Ryan, a Catholic, said he was just trying to reduce spending in “big government” and his budget plan was “consistent” with his Catholic faith. It was also consistent with Republican strategy to take over the White House and deprive women of their constitutional rights.
At least some Christians are concerned about Catholic lobbying, political influence and their Republican-based agenda. Executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State Rev. Barry Lynn (no relation to Msgr. William J. Lynn convicted of endangering the lives of children) accused the Catholics of using their political campaign as a “clerical power grab.” Actually, the Catholics have a higher political goal that should concern all of us.
Archbishop William Lori, of the archdiocese of Baltimore, warned all Americans of the Roman Catholic Church’s future political strategy to create a theocratic state similar to the Vatican on American soil. Referring to future Fortnight of Freedom demonstrations, claiming religious liberties are threatened because they have to pay to insure their employees like everyone else, he said, “Even if current religious liberty threats were overcome, the Catholic Church would still need to face powerful forces which seek to prevent religious faith from exerting an appropriate and necessary influence within our culture.”
After all these years the church has finally admitted publicly that it is really a political party lobbying for cultural changes and conversions to its cult and pseudo-religion.
The political nightmare for democracy is based in the smallest (110 acres) and wealthiest independent state on earth, the Vatican. It’s governed by the head of John the Baptist, the Miter of St. Peter, martyrdom of Christ, the catechism of propaganda and politics of Caesar.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. He can be contacted at email@example.com.