Obama's HHS 'Concession' is no concession at all

I usually avoid writing about politics on this website, but the recent Health and Human Services coverage mandate debacle has annoyed me to no end, as I feel that it's one of the first incisive and direct attacks on the freedom of my religion I've witnessed.

Basically, the mandate is telling me (if it is ever enforced), "The U.S. Government has the right to make its citizens pay for whatever the U.S. Government deems necessary for whatever reason, even if a citizen is morally opposed due to a religious belief." In a way, this happens from time to time (like with a war I don't support), but never as a direct, out-of-pocket expense, like that of my health insurance premium (something for which I pay more than my residence).

Two from the Review - Sunday Obligation + Marriage in a Church

This week's St. Louis Review has a few excellent articles that I thought I should share here for the benefit of those reading this blog who may not be from St. Louis.

First is a column from Archbishop Carlson, in which he stresses the importance, and individual responsibility, of the Sunday Obligation. He definitely doesn't sugarcoat things—we need more of this from our leaders!

There is simply no excuse for missing Mass on the Lord's Day. If through your own fault you miss Mass on Sunday, you are committing a serious sin. You should not receive holy Communion until you have gone to confession. (Continued...).

Next up is a 'Dear Father' response from Fr. John Mayo, a friend of mine, concerning the need to celebrate Wedding ceremonies inside physical Church buildings (rather than having 'destination weddings' on beaches, or at otherwise secular locations):

Should Pope Benedict XVI Resign?

...this is a question posed by KMOX Radio's Mark Reardon, who hosted an hour of some of the most confusing arguments for the Pope's resignation I've ever heard.

His basic principle was this: Accepting the facts of the New York Times' recent article bashing the Pope, should the Pope resign, as would any other head of an organization accused with being an accessory to a crime?

Unfortunately for Mark, most Catholics do not (and likely will not ever) accept the Times as a credible source of information when it comes to Catholic-bashing. There have been numerous posts on the problems in the NYT piece (some are linked to at the bottom of this post), but Mark would not for a moment entertain these problems, or any other arguments against the basis of his question.

Catholic Action Network, Holy Families Committee

Spotted recently in the Post-Dispatch's comment box:

Miss Campbell neglects to write the rally was co-sponsored and supported by St. Louis Catholics. Catholics who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and straight. The Catholic Action Network and Holy Families Committee helped co-sponsored the peaceful event and if Miss Campbell actually took the time, she could of called Archdiocese Chief Communications Officer Anne Steffens (who was there on Sunday) and learn that the protest was nothing like Miss Campbell describes.

Neither the Catholic Action Network and Holy Families Committee are Catholic. They are not endorsed, supported, acknoweledged or otherwise recognized by the Church. Please realize this.

Neither of these organizations do anything to build up the Church's support for the poor, give shelter to the homeless, build up a profound respect for the Eucharist and liturgy, or spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are political organizations with the misnomer of 'Holy Family' and 'Catholic' who wish for something that cannot be: a Catholic Church that throws out any moral theology of human sexuality.

In Other Old News... P-D Online = Anti-Catholic Sanctuary

Thumbs down to secular media's treatment of CatholicismFor years, I and other Catholic Saint Louisans have noted with sadness the often disgraceful anti-Catholic slant with which the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes. But until the past few years, the half-truths and boring/uninformed journalistic endeavor was limited to a single story or a single author in the print edition of the P-D. Now, unfortunately, the articles with which secular media (especially the Post) try to destroy Catholocism are a free range for hundreds of other anonymous anti-Catholic commenters.