After three years of some of the most anti-religion policies in U.S. history, The Catholic Advocate has launched a campaign urging President Barack Obama to keep the promises he made at Notre Dame in 2009 and “meet with Catholic leaders to discuss compromise.”
(CA), headed by author Deal Hudson, is a group that encourages faithful Catholics to actively participate in the political process to support elected officials and policies that remain consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. CA is accusing the president of not making good on a pledge to seek “common ground” with Catholics — something he promised to do in a speech he gave at Notre Dame. However, they contend that since that time, the president has abandoned his word and all but ignored their concerns.
“Shortly after taking office, President Obama spoke about the importance of cooperation and seeking the common good on sensitive religious issues,” explains the CA website.
“But unfortunately, no other president in American history has so blatantly chipped away at our religious liberties. This is a religious liberty issue that affects all Americans of faith. Will you sign the petition telling the president to live up to his promises, and stop trampling on our religious liberties? Demand that President Obama live up to his promises delivered at Notre Dame.”
One of the policies CA cites is the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which forces health care plans to provide coverage of abortion and use our tax dollars to pay for abortion. It also gives no protection for the the conscience rights of health care insurers, providers, and personnel who decline to provide or pay for abortion services.
Many people see this petition campaign to be symptomatic of the overall deterioration of relations between Obama and the Catholic Church. One of the most recent affronts was a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to end funding to a program overseen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to assist victims of human trafficking. Because the Bishops refused to refer trafficking victims for contraceptives and abortions, the American Civil Liberties Union sued to have the funds deferred to other groups that refer women for these services. The HHS complied and the funding was stripped last month.
The USCCB is now threatening to sue the Department, accusing them of bias. Even though the HHS officials deny the allegations, career staffers inside the Department are protesting, saying the process was indeed unfair and politicized. They accuse officials of awarding the grant money to non-Catholic groups against recommendations to the contrary, saying the funds should have been awarded based on scores by an independent review board. Their concerns have been reported to the HHS inspector general’s office.
The Obama Administration’s stance on same-sex marriage, its decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and a variety of other decisions have set it on a collision course with faithful Catholics who want the president to live up to his promise to seek common ground.
Click here to sign the petition.
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