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The Opportunity (for Catholics) of the HHS Mandate

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I just got home from a Diaconate formation gathering here in the Grand Island Diocese, where the topic of the HHS Mandate came up in a practice homily. It was pointed out by the director that we should never assume that the congregation knows anything about it, until we inform them. A passing reference is of no value, regardless of what it is, if it is not in the common, everyday mind.  When one references abortion, we know what that is, even those on both extremes of the issue know what it is…… but the HHS Mandate is not common to everyone’s mind, though most are at least now vaguely familiar with it.

Oh, sure, the news picks up bits, but the mainstream media is fickle, stories are short and topics short-lived and rarely show even a favorable nod to Catholic teaching. So safely assume that what the average Catholic knows about this intrusion by the government is what they may have seen on CNN, Fox, or their local newspaper. Not much, and not the whole story. I think they like it that way.

We, my brothers and sisters, should not be latent or lazy in getting this message out!

To one who has been given much, much is required. Our gift is great indeed!

As faithful Catholics, we must carry the Gospel into our workplaces, our schools, our shopping malls. We know this.

What we have missed , at times, is that this horrible excuse for a law is an opportunity to express what our faith means to us, what Church teaching is, and evangelize using this opportunity while Catholic moral teaching has surfaced in the media. This means evangelizing our fellow Catholics as well.

Those of us who frequent Catholic blogs or websites, generally have an active faith life, like minded friends.  However, do not assume that the man or woman sitting next to you at Sunday Mass is aware of the severity of the problem, and the very real possibility of loosing  our religious freedom here in the good ol’ US of A! Trust me when I say, they most likely do not have the zeal that we might. If you care deeply about the Church, about our country and about our neighbor, take the message to the streets, the break room, the Elk’s Club meeting, and the local Wal-Mart. Everyone of us has a pulpit!

Become informed about the mandate and the first amendment. Know your history. Take comfort in knowing that if the Church is being persecuted, then we have touched a nerve, stirred a moral awakening, and that our Adversary continues to prowl for souls.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan has done an excellent job of articulating our position, and we can learn from him in this area. The National Catholic Register has a very good article that can help us in our efforts. I will reference it below.

“Accusations that the Church is trying to impose peculiar Catholic teachings are “baloney,” said Cardinal Dolan. “You could say that if we were trying to pass a law that would make it illegal to sell hot dogs on Fridays during Lent,” but not on the positions that the Church has taken. “Catholics ought to propose, not impose,” he said, making the case in terms of natural law for the good of society.

Rather than trying to impose its morality, the Church is saying: “Don’t impose your morality on us,” the cardinal said….
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Deacon Bill O’Donnell is an ordained Permanent Deacon serving in the Diocese of Grand Island. He is the host of DeaconCast.Net and  also runs the popular website The Deacon Preacher.


Author: icelmcreek

Ordained in 2001 and currently serving the parishes of Immaculate Conception, Elm Creek, NE and her missions, Holy Rosary in Overton, NE and St. John Capistran in Amherst, NE.

I'd love to hear what you nthink about this`!

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