Saturday, March 24, 2012

Where is the US?

I recently came across this news article, "Egypt Remains on the List of Worst Religious Freedom Violators". The article talks about the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's report released on March 20. From the article:
The commission's most recent reporting period was also a time of difficulty for religious believers in the People's Republic of China, where authorities have pursued a policy of nationalistic control over the Catholic Church and other institutions.

In its 2012 report, the commission said the Communist nation “continues to interfere in the religious activities of Chinese Catholics,” particularly through its harassment of both state-recognized and unregistered clergy.

Commission members accused Beijing of blocking Catholic clergy from communicating with the Vatican, and said the government “continues to deny Catholic leaders the right to abstain from activities that contravene Holy See policies.”
[emphasis mine] and
In his announcement of the report's release, commission chair Leonard Leo explained that governments “too often stand idly by in the face of violent attacks against religious minorities and dissenting members of majority faiths.”

He described religious freedom as “inseparable” from other civil rights, noting that it is often “the first human right threatened by tyranny.”

During 2011, the commission's own work was threatened when a bill reauthorizing its existence was stalled in Congress. According to CQ Weekly, which reports on developments in Congress, the re-authorization stalled because of a “hold” placed on it by Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

The last-minute re-authorization, passed in December 2011, established term limits and travel restrictions on the commissioners. Its provisions called for five of the nine commission members to resign their positions on March 21, one day after the release of its 2012 report.
Interesting, and I could see why the administration would want to remove this committee. If you look at the part in bold above, the Chinese government “continues to deny Catholic leaders the right to abstain from activities that contravene Holy See policies.”

Last I looked, paying for abortion and contraception was against Holy See policy. In fact, the Catechism says:
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
...and I believe with the HHS contraception mandate Catholic leaders are not allowed to abstain from paying for abortifacients and contraceptives.

So, where is the US on that list?


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