Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/12/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I have never had much tolerance for big bullies. Especially big bullies like a Federal Administration which has exceeded its constitutional authority and decided to take on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Little Sisters correctly insist that sterilizations, abortifacient chemical birth control and artificial contraception are all immoral. They are not only against the teaching of the scripture and Christian tradition but, as Catholics, the Sisters also maintain that they violate the Natural Moral Law.The Obama administration has asked the Court to compel these Little Sisters of the Poor to do indirectly what they refuse to do directly. They asked the Court to force Catholic nuns to sin, to act against conscience, to pursue an immoral course of action.  The nuns are placed in a situation reminiscent of other times in the history of the Church when unjust rulers sought to compel the Church to bend the knee to Caesar.

The Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/12/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: HHS Mandate, Obamacare, Little Sisters of the Poor, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, Pro-Life, contraceptive mandate, Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor, Becket Fund, religious liberty, St. Jospeh home, Richmond, Virginia, bullies, Keith Fournier, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - I love the Little Sisters of the Poor. Anyone with a heart who has ever had any contact with them feels the same way. The epitomize everything beautiful about the Gospel, the Catholic Church, Christian faith, and humanity itself.

These women put legs on love. Their smile dispels the darkness of the hour. They offer their hands to the Jesus who still loves the poor so much that he comes to serve them. He reveals the depth of His love in a most beautiful way through these Little Sisters of the Poor. They care for Jesus himself, in the face of the sick and the dying. (See, Matthew 25) 

My last personal contact with them was during the years I served St Benedict Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia  while I was engaged in doctoral studies in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America.

Visiting St Joseph Home in Henrico, Virginia  always moved me deeply inside. It drew me to my knees after I left. It showed me what I was studying, Moral Theology, in a way that all the books, lectures and research could never fully communicate. Those Little Sisters of the Poor reveal the Gospel without a need for words.

St Joseph Home is only one of many outreaches of this Catholic religious community. These faithful, humble, beautiful women of God provide Love to thousands around the world. They are beloved wherever they are.

My friend, the pastor of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Fr James Kauffmann, provided some pastoral care to them. His mother, of blessed memory, spent the last season of her beautiful life with the Little Sisters. They not only helped to care for her, but became a profound influence in her already saintly life.

On January 1, 2014, the Little sisters celebrated 175 years of caring for the elderly poor. The Lord, who loves them with such a special love, gave them a great gift to affirm them in their work of charity. They expressed their gratitude in a simple, non-confrontational Press release:

Supreme Court issues favorable decision on HHS Mandate: January 1, 2014, Baltimore: 2014 marks 175 years that the Little Sisters of the Poor have been caring for the elderly poor. We are grateful for the decision of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granting us a temporary injunction protecting us from the HHS contraceptive mandate. We hope and pray that we will receive a favorable outcome in order to continue to serve the elderly of all faiths with the same community support and religious freedom that we have always appreciated.

These women are peacemakers, healers and missionaries of love. They are genuinely humble. They are also now the focal point in a major constitutional case before the US Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor handles what are called emergency applications from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Little Sisters in Denver, Colorado filed a motion for an emergency stay.

They asked the Highest Court in the United States of America to prevent the Obama Administration from compelling them - under threat of fines which would literally shut some facilities down and force them to violate their faith (which they will never do) - to pay for condoms, sterilizations, and chemical abortions under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

The Justice granted the stay in an order which can be read here. She  gave the Obama Administration until Friday, January 10, 2014, to file a responsive brief. The Obama Administration filed the brief. In effect, they argued that since the nuns can - as they wrote in their argument "with the stroke of a pen" - sign a form which allows them to shift the distribution to a third party, their case should be dismissed. 

These simple, faithful, humble Catholic nuns who spend every waking hour caring for the poor, will not do indirectly what they cannot do directly. They are faithful Catholic Christians, with the courage borne of living faith. In other words, the Obama Administration is telling these nuns do what we say or you will be subjected to punitive fines which will threaten your work with the poor.

The Little Sisters correctly insist that sterilizations, abortifacient chemical birth control and artificial contraception are all immoral. They are not only against the teaching of the scripture and Christian tradition but, as Catholics, the Sisters also maintain that they violate the Natural Moral Law.  

The Obama administration has asked the Court to compel these Little Sisters of the Poor to do indirectly what they refuse to do directly. They asked the Court to force Catholic nuns to sin, to act against conscience, to pursue an immoral course of action. 

The nuns are placed in a situation reminiscent of other times in the history of the Church when unjust rulers sought to compel the Church to bend the knee to Caesar. This administration, led by a man who claims to admire Catholic Social Teaching and understand the concept of giving a love of preference to the poor, is seeking to compel the Little Sisters of the Poor to bend the knee.

In effect, the Little Sisters of the Poor are being bullied by the Obama Administration. There, I said it. They are being bullied and they need our support, in prayer, public outcry and support.

I know these self effacing, humble nuns women will not say it. They are being bullied by a regime which is violating the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. A regime which gives lip service to caring for the poor while now seeking to compel nuns who serve the poor to violate their deeply held religious beliefs and violate the Natural Moral Law.

Fortunately these Little Sisters of the poor have a legal champion in their corner. They are being represented in this David v Goliath lawsuit by some of the best constitutional lawyers in the Nation, the lawyers at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Fund is working in tandem with Locke Lord, a national law firm and Kevin Walsh, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

The Little Sisters are  joined in the lawsuit by religious health benefit providers, Christian Brothers Services, Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust. 

For the most accurate explanation of the issues, as well as the most accurate news coverage on this historic case, go right to the source, the Becket Fund.  Remember, much of what is often called the main stream media has become a propaganda arm for the current Federal administration and does not report the news.

I know that my blunt assertions in this article will be met with some negative reaction. First from those who seek to use sophistry to argue that it is somehow OK for this Administration to compel faithful Catholic nuns to do indirectly what they cannot do directly. I contend with these folks regularly.

However, I will also be met with negative responses from some who, thinking that we now need a kinder, gentler tone, will object to the manner in which I state my position.

Frankly, I do not care. I write as a Constitutional lawyer, a Catholic Deacon and someone who has experienced the beauty of the acts of love in which the Little Sisters of the Poor are engaged. What is being done to them is not only unconstitutional, it is immoral and wrong.

I have never had much tolerance for big bullies. Especially big bullies like a Federal Administration which has exceeded its constitutional authority and decided to take on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter