The U.S. Catholic Bishops are asserting ‘religious freedom’ in the wake of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that may force religious organizations to pay for medical procedures that are in violation of their moral teachings.

Commentary: Actually the American Bishops abrogated religious freedom (and their duty) long ago by going along with mandates from U.S. government officials that they avoid publicly opposing the policies of U.S. presidential candidates, or face having their tax-exempt status revoked. When was the last time a member of the clergy preached that torture wrong from the pulpit — or said that ‘not voting’ was a legitimate option, given that both candidates espoused positions that undermine American society and threaten the world? Instead the USCCB is pushing for people to vote no matter what.

For years the Catholic Church in America has received billion of dollars from the U.S. government — with many clergy going along with (even advocating for) policies that are in opposition to natural law and divine law. And now after much betrayal and cowardice they want to be treated with respect. One priest commented to OC — “When you take their money (the state) you play by their rules.”

Hopefully the Fortnight of Freedom (June 21-July 4) will move the USCCB to be true shepherds, regardless of the consequences, rather than functionaries of the state. “The role and competence of the Church being what it is, she must in no way be confused with the political community, nor bound to any political system. For she is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendence of the human person.” Gaudium et Spes 76 (The Documents of Vatican II)