Thank you so much for your clear summaries of Church teaching on these issues. I think one of the lessons the Church needs to learn from the HHS mandate is that the Church (bishops, priests, deacons, and the laity) needs to do a much better job of making sure the people in the pews on Sundays actually know Church teaching. While it is certainly a scandal that many people who profess to be Catholic use birth control, it is at least as scandalous that most Catholics do not even truly know what and why the Church teaches on contraception. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2370, states: "[E]very action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil.That seems pretty clear: knowing use of contraception is a mortal sin. But how many people really know that? Far too many "experts" on Catholic teaching have had too many years to convince people that it is a matter of their personal conscience. It is high time for the Church to proudly and clearly explain its teaching on this and so many other topics!If people who call themselves Catholic do not even know what the Church teaches, how can the Church really say that requiring Catholics to go against that teaching is really an affront to religious liberty? I wish that more priests and deacons would incorporate the Catechism into their Sunday homilies for this Year of Faith. Let's be honest: that's the only time most Catholics have the opportunity to hear the Church speak on what it teaches. We need to take advantage of that opportunity to make sure the people in the pews know what the Church teaches. If the Church won't even teach these "hard" subjects to its people, how can the Church complain when the government makes people do something that is contrary to Church teaching?
If the Catholic Church is so big on religious freedom, why isn't the Catholic Church fighting for the religious rights of the Fundamentalist Mormons who believe in polygamy?
Please do explain why you aren't fighting for the religious freedom of the fundamentalist Mormons. In fact, aren't you fighting against their religious freedom by fighting to define marriage between one woman and one man? To the casual observer (me), it would seem as though you aren't for religious freedom as much as a partial Catholic theocracy.
Well, we're also not fighting for the religious freedom of vampires to kill and eat people's hearts...there are certain things that a society has to say are always fundamentally wrong and thus not under the purview of religious liberty - killing people, polygamy, robbing banks, committing crimes, etc. As an interesting side note, it is fascinating that our country DOESN'T allow polygamy. That is highly interesting given the push to redefine marriage. I am curious why polygamy IS banned in a state that would redefine marriage to be not what it has always been. Anyway, that is what is so utterly preposterous about the HHS Mandate and Obamacare - they would seek to force Catholicism to violate its conscience not over polygamy, not over killing people, not over a desire by Catholics to commit a crime...but over a refusal to buy people their freaking BIRTH CONTROL. That is so outrageous and preposterous that it defies explanation. If you fail to see that, then we probably aren't going to agree on much else either.