There are many things I admire about Roman Catholicism. Top of the list are its present day condemnations of both war and the death penalty. However, these fine principles somewhat emphasise the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic church. As far as I know members of this denomination are not called upon to refuse to pay their taxes even when part of their contributions will be spent on war and implementing the death penalty. In this they are no different to the vast majority of Christian denominations who take a "give unto Caesar" attitude. Where they do differ is in their willingness to ignore their "give unto Caesar" policy when it suits them.
I cannot see any reason why paying for healthcare that must include subsidised contraception, sterilisation and coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, when you oppose such things, is any different to paying taxes that include paying for war and executions which you similarly oppose. Yet, the Vatican's agents in the United Staes were forced to read the following letter out in all their parishes on Sunday.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,
including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample
Bishop of Marquette
It's one thing (using a very recent example) for an archbishop in England to publicly argue against a government policy but a completely different thing to organise mass opposition to it which is, in essence, just electoral blackmail. If the English government called on all Episcopalians in the United States to try and bring down a US administration there would, quite rightly, be one almighty stink about it with the offence being brought up at the United Nations (and possibly the US navy heading towards the UK at a great rate of knots). Why such a jealously independent nation would allow a tiny European princedom to corrupt their political process without even uttering a tiny whimper of protest is beyond me. I shall file it under the heading "Things I just don't get about Americans." It's a very big file.