30 August 2011

Memorial of Blessed Alfredo Cardinal Schuster, OSB Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion of the SMOM

Today is the memorial of of Blessed Alfredo Cardinal Schuster.  He was invested as a Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion in 1933. His Requiem Mass was sung by another member of the Bailiff of the Order, Cardinal Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII. When his tomb was opened in 1985 his body was still intact.

For more background on Cardinal Schuster visit the following link. http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/08/blessed-ildefonso-cardinal-sch.html











The Collect for today is

Almighty God, through your grace,
         Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso, by his exemplary virtue built up

         the flock entrusted to him.
Grant that we, under the guidance of the Gospel,

may follow his teaching and walk in sureness of life,

until we come to see you face to face in your eternal kingdom.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.





Memorial of Blessed Alfredo Cardinal Schuster, OSB Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion of the SMOM

Today is the memorial of of Blessed Alfredo Cardinal Schuster.  He was invested as a Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion in 1933. His Requiem Mass was sung by another member of the Bailiff of the Order, Cardinal Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII. When his tomb was opened in 1985 his body was still intact.

For more background on Cardinal Schuster visit the following link. http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/08/blessed-ildefonso-cardinal-sch.html











The Collect for today is

Almighty God, through your grace,
         Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso, by his exemplary virtue built up

         the flock entrusted to him.
Grant that we, under the guidance of the Gospel,

may follow his teaching and walk in sureness of life,

until we come to see you face to face in your eternal kingdom.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.





Cardinal Canizares Llovera Recommends Receiving Communion on the Tongue

From Catholic News Agency (CNA)
Lima, Peru, Jul 28, 2011 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera recently recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.

The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.”

Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Cardinal Canizares Llovera Recommends Receiving Communion on the Tongue

From Catholic News Agency (CNA)
Lima, Peru, Jul 28, 2011 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera recently recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.

The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.”

Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

Read the rest of the article here.

29 August 2011

Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

The beheading of St. John the Baptist, whom Herod ordered beheaded about the Feast of the Pasch; but his memory is solemnly kept on this day, on which his venerated head was found for the second time. It was afterwards translated to Rome and is preserved in the church of St. Silvester in Capite and honoured by the people with great devotion. (from The Roman Martyrology

The blog New Liturgical Movement has a nice post on the theological meaning behind several icons of St. John the Baptist.

Have a blessed feast day.

Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

The beheading of St. John the Baptist, whom Herod ordered beheaded about the Feast of the Pasch; but his memory is solemnly kept on this day, on which his venerated head was found for the second time. It was afterwards translated to Rome and is preserved in the church of St. Silvester in Capite and honoured by the people with great devotion. (from The Roman Martyrology

The blog New Liturgical Movement has a nice post on the theological meaning behind several icons of St. John the Baptist.

Have a blessed feast day.

25 August 2011

Feast of St. Louis IX and the Custom of Genuflecting during the Credo

Today is the feast of St. Louis IX. Among the more notable events of his life is something perhaps less known. In his private chapel, Saint Louis would genuflect during the Nicene Creed to show reverence to the incarnation of Christ at the words, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary; and was made man.

During the crusades, the king's practice became widespread and eventually was established as part of the rubrics of Holy Mass. In the Extradordinary Form of the Mass the custom is still to genuflect while in the Novus Ordo the practice is to bow and thankfully this practice is again being done more and more.

This painting of St. Louis and St. John the Baptist is from the Flemish school and was a detail for an altar of the Parliament of Paris. In the background is the Louvre palace from the 13th century.

Feast of St. Louis IX and the Custom of Genuflecting during the Credo

Today is the feast of St. Louis IX. Among the more notable events of his life is something perhaps less known. In his private chapel, Saint Louis would genuflect during the Nicene Creed to show reverence to the incarnation of Christ at the words, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary; and was made man.

During the crusades, the king's practice became widespread and eventually was established as part of the rubrics of Holy Mass. In the Extradordinary Form of the Mass the custom is still to genuflect while in the Novus Ordo the practice is to bow and thankfully this practice is again being done more and more.

This painting of St. Louis and St. John the Baptist is from the Flemish school and was a detail for an altar of the Parliament of Paris. In the background is the Louvre palace from the 13th century.

22 August 2011

Knight of Malta School Bus Donation Project

A project of one of the Knights of Malta from the New York area is donating refurbished school buses to Catholic organizations in need. Recently three buses were donated to Catholic schools in Joplin, MO after the losses they suffered from the F5 tornado earlier this summer. St. Mary's School was totally leveled.
In the picture below are a couple of buses that were previously donated to two of the major works of the American Association of the Order, Hospital Sacre Coeur in Haiti and House of Friendship in Honduras. Knights John D. Corr, Jr. who is the donor and Bob Reers who is the School Bus Donation Chairman of the Order are pictured below.

Knight of Malta School Bus Donation Project

A project of one of the Knights of Malta from the New York area is donating refurbished school buses to Catholic organizations in need. Recently three buses were donated to Catholic schools in Joplin, MO after the losses they suffered from the F5 tornado earlier this summer. St. Mary's School was totally leveled.
In the picture below are a couple of buses that were previously donated to two of the major works of the American Association of the Order, Hospital Sacre Coeur in Haiti and House of Friendship in Honduras. Knights John D. Corr, Jr. who is the donor and Bob Reers who is the School Bus Donation Chairman of the Order are pictured below.

Video of Pope Benedict's Address to the Disabled Youth in Madrid

Video of Pope Benedict's Address to the Disabled Youth in Madrid

Pope Addresses Youth with Disabilities at WYD

Pope Benedict encouraged a group of youth with disabilities while in Madrid and his message is also a reminder for those of us who serve the sick. The following text of the speech is courtesy of the Zenit News website.
MADRID, Spain, AUG. 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today upon his visit to the Foundation of Saint Joseph's Institute.
* * *
Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,
Dear Priests and Religious of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God,
Distinguished Authorities,

Dear Young People, Family Members and Volunteers,

I thank you most sincerely for your kind greeting and heartfelt welcome.
This evening, just before the Prayer Vigil with the young people from throughout the world gathered in Madrid for this World Youth Day, we have this chance to spend time together as a way of showing the Pope’s closeness and esteem for each of you, for your families and for all those who help and care for you in this Foundation of Saint Joseph's Institute.
Youth, as I have said more than once, is the age when life discloses itself to us with all its rich possibilities, inspiring us to seek the lofty goals which give it meaning. So when suffering appears on the horizon of a young life, we are shaken; perhaps we ask ourselves: "Can life still be something grand, even when suffering unexpectedly enters it?" In my Encyclical on Christian Hope,(Spe Salvi) I observed that "the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer … A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through 'com-passion' is a cruel and inhuman society" (Spe Salvi, 38). These words reflect a long tradition of humanity which arises from Christ's own self-offering on the Cross for us and for our redemption. Jesus and, in his footsteps, his Sorrowful Mother and the saints, are witnesses who shows us how to experience the tragedy of suffering for our own good and for the salvation of the world.

These witnesses speak to us, first and foremost, of the dignity of all human life, created in the image of God. No suffering can efface this divine image imprinted in the depths of our humanity. But there is more: because the Son of God wanted freely to embrace suffering and death, we are also capable of seeing God's image in the face of those who suffer. This preferential love of the Lord for the suffering helps us to see others more clearly and to give them, above and beyond their material demands, the look of love which they need. But this can only happen as the fruit of a personal encounter with Christ. You yourselves – as religious, family members, health care professionals and volunteers who daily live and work with these young people – know this well. Your lives and your committed service proclaim the greatness to which every human being is called: to show compassion and loving concern to the suffering, just as God himself did. In your noble work we hear an echo of the words found in the Gospel: "just as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).

At the same time, you are also witnesses of the immense goodness which the lives of these young people represent for those who love them, and for humanity as a whole. In a mysterious yet real way, their presence awakens in our often hardened hearts a tenderness which opens us to salvation. The lives of these young people surely touch human hearts and for that reason we are grateful to the Lord for having known them.
Dear friends, our society, which all too often questions the inestimable value of life, of every life, needs you: in a decisive way you help to build the civilization of love. What is more, you play a leading role in that civilization. As sons and daughters of the Church, you offer the Lord your lives, with all their ups and downs, cooperating with him and somehow becoming "part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race" (Spe Salvi, 40).

With great affection, and through the intercession of Saint Joseph, Saint John of God and Saint Benito Menni, I commend you to God our Lord: may he be your strength and your reward. As a pledge of his love, I cordially impart to you, and to your families and friends, my Apostolic Blessing.

Pope Addresses Youth with Disabilities at WYD

Pope Benedict encouraged a group of youth with disabilities while in Madrid and his message is also a reminder for those of us who serve the sick. The following text of the speech is courtesy of the Zenit News website.
MADRID, Spain, AUG. 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today upon his visit to the Foundation of Saint Joseph's Institute.
* * *
Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,
Dear Priests and Religious of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God,
Distinguished Authorities,

Dear Young People, Family Members and Volunteers,

I thank you most sincerely for your kind greeting and heartfelt welcome.
This evening, just before the Prayer Vigil with the young people from throughout the world gathered in Madrid for this World Youth Day, we have this chance to spend time together as a way of showing the Pope’s closeness and esteem for each of you, for your families and for all those who help and care for you in this Foundation of Saint Joseph's Institute.
Youth, as I have said more than once, is the age when life discloses itself to us with all its rich possibilities, inspiring us to seek the lofty goals which give it meaning. So when suffering appears on the horizon of a young life, we are shaken; perhaps we ask ourselves: "Can life still be something grand, even when suffering unexpectedly enters it?" In my Encyclical on Christian Hope,(Spe Salvi) I observed that "the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer … A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through 'com-passion' is a cruel and inhuman society" (Spe Salvi, 38). These words reflect a long tradition of humanity which arises from Christ's own self-offering on the Cross for us and for our redemption. Jesus and, in his footsteps, his Sorrowful Mother and the saints, are witnesses who shows us how to experience the tragedy of suffering for our own good and for the salvation of the world.

These witnesses speak to us, first and foremost, of the dignity of all human life, created in the image of God. No suffering can efface this divine image imprinted in the depths of our humanity. But there is more: because the Son of God wanted freely to embrace suffering and death, we are also capable of seeing God's image in the face of those who suffer. This preferential love of the Lord for the suffering helps us to see others more clearly and to give them, above and beyond their material demands, the look of love which they need. But this can only happen as the fruit of a personal encounter with Christ. You yourselves – as religious, family members, health care professionals and volunteers who daily live and work with these young people – know this well. Your lives and your committed service proclaim the greatness to which every human being is called: to show compassion and loving concern to the suffering, just as God himself did. In your noble work we hear an echo of the words found in the Gospel: "just as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).

At the same time, you are also witnesses of the immense goodness which the lives of these young people represent for those who love them, and for humanity as a whole. In a mysterious yet real way, their presence awakens in our often hardened hearts a tenderness which opens us to salvation. The lives of these young people surely touch human hearts and for that reason we are grateful to the Lord for having known them.
Dear friends, our society, which all too often questions the inestimable value of life, of every life, needs you: in a decisive way you help to build the civilization of love. What is more, you play a leading role in that civilization. As sons and daughters of the Church, you offer the Lord your lives, with all their ups and downs, cooperating with him and somehow becoming "part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race" (Spe Salvi, 40).

With great affection, and through the intercession of Saint Joseph, Saint John of God and Saint Benito Menni, I commend you to God our Lord: may he be your strength and your reward. As a pledge of his love, I cordially impart to you, and to your families and friends, my Apostolic Blessing.

21 August 2011

Proprium Breviarii for the Order of Malta

A knight of the Irish Association of the Order of Malta has compiled and published a beautiful edition of the Prorprium Breviarii, or Order of Malta Breviary. Here is a description
Designed, compiled and produced especially for members of the Soveriegn Military Order of Malta, this simple prayer book is intended primarily for those members who wish to pray a form of the Liturgy of the Hours which includes the Offices of, and identifies us with the Saints of our Order in the knowledge that we are part of a supranational community, praying each day with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are also praying the Order’s Office. Included with the Little Office of Our Lady, the Common and Proper Offices and Compline are Anthems to Our Lady and the Te Deum, together with the Litany of our Saints, the Daily Prayer and short biographies, which includes our most recent saints – Saint Nonius, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed Karl of Austria. The text at the beginning of each Office is illuminated with coloured versals, each supported by various plants and flowers. The Breviary is a limited editition and publication is limited to 500 copies. This is a strictly non-commercial venture and all profits from the sale of the Breviary are donated to the Holy Family Hospital, Bethlehem. Each volume is individual numbered and signed. Your contribution to this project through the purchase of the Breviary will help introduce the recitation of the Divine Office to many members of our Order.
For more information, including a couple sample pages, or to place an order you can visit their page on ebay.

Proprium Breviarii for the Order of Malta

A knight of the Irish Association of the Order of Malta has compiled and published a beautiful edition of the Prorprium Breviarii, or Order of Malta Breviary. Here is a description
Designed, compiled and produced especially for members of the Soveriegn Military Order of Malta, this simple prayer book is intended primarily for those members who wish to pray a form of the Liturgy of the Hours which includes the Offices of, and identifies us with the Saints of our Order in the knowledge that we are part of a supranational community, praying each day with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are also praying the Order’s Office. Included with the Little Office of Our Lady, the Common and Proper Offices and Compline are Anthems to Our Lady and the Te Deum, together with the Litany of our Saints, the Daily Prayer and short biographies, which includes our most recent saints – Saint Nonius, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed Karl of Austria. The text at the beginning of each Office is illuminated with coloured versals, each supported by various plants and flowers. The Breviary is a limited editition and publication is limited to 500 copies. This is a strictly non-commercial venture and all profits from the sale of the Breviary are donated to the Holy Family Hospital, Bethlehem. Each volume is individual numbered and signed. Your contribution to this project through the purchase of the Breviary will help introduce the recitation of the Divine Office to many members of our Order.
For more information, including a couple sample pages, or to place an order you can visit their page on ebay.

06 August 2011

Videos from the Funeral of Fra' Fredrik

It's been a busy summer and my blogging has been a little slow so I just came across some videos from the Solemn Requiem Mass for Fra' Freddy provided by, A Wandering Oblate.

Videos from the Funeral of Fra' Fredrik

It's been a busy summer and my blogging has been a little slow so I just came across some videos from the Solemn Requiem Mass for Fra' Freddy provided by, A Wandering Oblate.

Cardinal Canizares Lecture on Europe, Present and Future

At a summer course at the Catholic University of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave a lecture entitled Europe, Present and Future.  Here are a few of the highlights from the news story at Religion en Libertad. I had to use a crude translation from Google but hopefully it makes enough sense until I can get better one.
In his speech, Cardinal CaƱizares encouraged to overcome the "moral bankruptcy that suffer" and retrieve a "society based on ethical foundations unconditional belonging to the nature of man, the truth of man and make man free ".

In this sense, the cardinal has appealed to the "responsibility" of Christians to offer "a new evangelization," which in his opinion, is "the best service we can provide for our society to change and overcome this crisis."

The cardinal described the current situation as "a crisis not just structural and economic but a crisis of man, a failure of humanity, moral bankruptcy, spending beyond our means and search only the enjoyment at all costs, the enjoyment to myself, if I have to crush the other, a situation that must be overcome, "he said.

Similarly, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has defended the "identity" of Europe, whose bases "were Greek philosophy, Roman law and Christian faith."

Thus, European identity is "inseparable from the dignity of the human person as the basis of all order and all that is culture that distinguishes us." In this regard, he noted that "no human being there is no future for any society, without the dignity of the human person is no future for any order."

However, the Cardinal he was "hopeful" in the future and encouraged a "conversion, again, Jesus Christ," which, starting with the same members of the Church, "will bring a big future for Europe."

Cardinal Canizares Lecture on Europe, Present and Future

At a summer course at the Catholic University of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave a lecture entitled Europe, Present and Future.  Here are a few of the highlights from the news story at Religion en Libertad. I had to use a crude translation from Google but hopefully it makes enough sense until I can get better one.
In his speech, Cardinal CaƱizares encouraged to overcome the "moral bankruptcy that suffer" and retrieve a "society based on ethical foundations unconditional belonging to the nature of man, the truth of man and make man free ".

In this sense, the cardinal has appealed to the "responsibility" of Christians to offer "a new evangelization," which in his opinion, is "the best service we can provide for our society to change and overcome this crisis."

The cardinal described the current situation as "a crisis not just structural and economic but a crisis of man, a failure of humanity, moral bankruptcy, spending beyond our means and search only the enjoyment at all costs, the enjoyment to myself, if I have to crush the other, a situation that must be overcome, "he said.

Similarly, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has defended the "identity" of Europe, whose bases "were Greek philosophy, Roman law and Christian faith."

Thus, European identity is "inseparable from the dignity of the human person as the basis of all order and all that is culture that distinguishes us." In this regard, he noted that "no human being there is no future for any society, without the dignity of the human person is no future for any order."

However, the Cardinal he was "hopeful" in the future and encouraged a "conversion, again, Jesus Christ," which, starting with the same members of the Church, "will bring a big future for Europe."

NCBC Commentary on HHS Birth Control Requirements

Pro-lifers of both political parties criticized the Bush Administration for failing to be "truly pro-life". For many it was an excuse to vote for Barack Obama. Whatever the legitimate complaints of Pres. Bush not advancing the pro-life cause there can no longer be any denying that we are so much worse off with President Obama. The latest act being that of the "catholic" Kathleen Sibelius and the Dept. of Health and Human Services requiring free birth control. Don't expect any outrage over this from the National Catholic Distorter crowd who are always criticizing the Vatican or our Bishops for "violating their freedom of conscience." In the world of the Left buzzwords like freedom of conscience, dialogue, openess, only apply to their rights and not anyone elses.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center has a new commentary over the HHS disregard of freedom of conscience.
Pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented, nor is the embryo an enemy who once conceived has no right of access to the nurturing womb of his or her mother. Not only do these mandates apply to all group health plans and health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets; they also apply to self-insured group health plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). There are few exemptions, and those pertain to group health plans which were in effect before the Health Care Reform was enacted, and those offered by employers who are deemed by HHS to qualify as a “religious employer.” The definition of a “religious employer,” however, is so narrow that its applicability negates most of the religious employers in this country. To be exempt from these new mandates an employer would have to hire and serve primarily those of one’s own faith and have the inculcation of religious values as its purpose. (Although, it does appear that, after the fact, HHS is willing to accept comment on this definition). The regulations state that this definition is consistent with most state laws in which exemptions for contraceptive coverage are allowed. The actual fact, however, is that there are only seven states with such provisions while a number of states have far more robust conscience protections. It should be noted that the Catholic Church is the largest provider of non-governmental health, education, and social services in this country. Not only are individual employers who have a moral, ethical or conscience objection to paying for contraceptives for college students—a group specially referenced as needing these “preventive health services” before going back to college—not exempt, but also the majority of faith-based ministries in the United States who are committed to serving all persons and not just those of their own faith.

These regulations reflect an utter disregard for the foundational principles of the government promulgating them, i.e., that conscience is sacrosanct. We are left to ask, “What has happened to this great country?” “When did we lose the respect for conscience which inspired the very founding of our country?” As Thomas Jefferson stated: “[O]ur rules can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.” [Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. President. Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), Query 17, p. 159, ed. William Peden (1954).]

Respectful comments over this policy can be sent before September 30, 2011 to:
E-HOPSCA2713.EBSA@dol.gov

It is critical that the voices of all persons of conscience be heard, noting in particular that pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented and that contraception should not be a mandated “preventive health service.” Respect for conscience is foundational to a just society. At a minimum a robust conscience protection should be granted, not only for all religious employers, but also for all employers, insurers, and policy issuers with moral, ethical, or religious objections. As it is, the limitations contained in the regulations for religious employers make the exemption virtually meaningless.

NCBC Commentary on HHS Birth Control Requirements

Pro-lifers of both political parties criticized the Bush Administration for failing to be "truly pro-life". For many it was an excuse to vote for Barack Obama. Whatever the legitimate complaints of Pres. Bush not advancing the pro-life cause there can no longer be any denying that we are so much worse off with President Obama. The latest act being that of the "catholic" Kathleen Sibelius and the Dept. of Health and Human Services requiring free birth control. Don't expect any outrage over this from the National Catholic Distorter crowd who are always criticizing the Vatican or our Bishops for "violating their freedom of conscience." In the world of the Left buzzwords like freedom of conscience, dialogue, openess, only apply to their rights and not anyone elses.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center has a new commentary over the HHS disregard of freedom of conscience.
Pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented, nor is the embryo an enemy who once conceived has no right of access to the nurturing womb of his or her mother. Not only do these mandates apply to all group health plans and health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets; they also apply to self-insured group health plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). There are few exemptions, and those pertain to group health plans which were in effect before the Health Care Reform was enacted, and those offered by employers who are deemed by HHS to qualify as a “religious employer.” The definition of a “religious employer,” however, is so narrow that its applicability negates most of the religious employers in this country. To be exempt from these new mandates an employer would have to hire and serve primarily those of one’s own faith and have the inculcation of religious values as its purpose. (Although, it does appear that, after the fact, HHS is willing to accept comment on this definition). The regulations state that this definition is consistent with most state laws in which exemptions for contraceptive coverage are allowed. The actual fact, however, is that there are only seven states with such provisions while a number of states have far more robust conscience protections. It should be noted that the Catholic Church is the largest provider of non-governmental health, education, and social services in this country. Not only are individual employers who have a moral, ethical or conscience objection to paying for contraceptives for college students—a group specially referenced as needing these “preventive health services” before going back to college—not exempt, but also the majority of faith-based ministries in the United States who are committed to serving all persons and not just those of their own faith.

These regulations reflect an utter disregard for the foundational principles of the government promulgating them, i.e., that conscience is sacrosanct. We are left to ask, “What has happened to this great country?” “When did we lose the respect for conscience which inspired the very founding of our country?” As Thomas Jefferson stated: “[O]ur rules can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.” [Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. President. Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), Query 17, p. 159, ed. William Peden (1954).]

Respectful comments over this policy can be sent before September 30, 2011 to:
E-HOPSCA2713.EBSA@dol.gov

It is critical that the voices of all persons of conscience be heard, noting in particular that pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented and that contraception should not be a mandated “preventive health service.” Respect for conscience is foundational to a just society. At a minimum a robust conscience protection should be granted, not only for all religious employers, but also for all employers, insurers, and policy issuers with moral, ethical, or religious objections. As it is, the limitations contained in the regulations for religious employers make the exemption virtually meaningless.

02 August 2011

The High Cost of Medical Care

Listening to the Dennis Prager radio show this morning he had on a guest who was with the charity Cure International. It was part informational and part solicitation for funds. They were describing the cost of a medical procedure they could provide that would cost about $1000 to perform in some 3rd world country but would cost tens of thousands to $100K in the U.S. Assuming that part of this reduced cost is due to volunteer work and donated goods that is still an incredible difference. There has to be some way to bring down the costs of care in this country. If we were to equate this to another type of product or service then that is approximately a 1000% markup. It would seem that we should figure out a way to lower the costs of this type of care in this country instead of leaving the price as is and demanding more taxes or paying higher insurance premiums.

The High Cost of Medical Care

Listening to the Dennis Prager radio show this morning he had on a guest who was with the charity Cure International. It was part informational and part solicitation for funds. They were describing the cost of a medical procedure they could provide that would cost about $1000 to perform in some 3rd world country but would cost tens of thousands to $100K in the U.S. Assuming that part of this reduced cost is due to volunteer work and donated goods that is still an incredible difference. There has to be some way to bring down the costs of care in this country. If we were to equate this to another type of product or service then that is approximately a 1000% markup. It would seem that we should figure out a way to lower the costs of this type of care in this country instead of leaving the price as is and demanding more taxes or paying higher insurance premiums.

Disclaimer

This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.