Yesterday, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan appeared on CBS to discuss the HHS mandate. While he signaled strength in one area, fighting the mandate, he signaled weakness in a few others. Not surprisingly, this morning the White House is floating some trial balloons in how to walk this back until after the elections.
To be clear, all Obama needs to do is yield for now. That will mollify enough Catholics, including Cardinal Dolan, who said as much. When asked by Charlie Rose what he would say to a President who might admit that he misstepped, Cardinal Dolan responded:
I would say… The religious exemption is very choking and very tight. There’s a restriction there that we can’t live with. Simply in the best American principles of freedom of religion, simply give a much more dramatically wide latitude to that religious exemption and protection of conscience and religious freedom, and you’re not gonna hear from us any more.
Watch the interview here to get the whole context:
The other alarming statement from Cardinal Dolan is this:
We bishops aren’t fighters. We’re pastors, and we want to stand on principle. We just want to do our work as effectively as we can.
To the Obama White House, that’s sweet, sweet music. Throw the fools a bone, because November is an eternity away in electoral politics. This will all be a distant memory. When Obama is reelected and has nothing left to lose we’ll pay dearly for our bishops not having galvanized us against the mortal threat.
Cardinal Dolan lamented the broken promises made by Obama when he received his honorary doctorate from Notre Dame.
He lamented Obama’s broken promises to the Catholic Health Association.
He lamented Obama’s broken promises to him personally at a private meeting in the White House.
And Cardinal Dolan’s response to the Church being played repeatedly for a fool?
Simply give a much more dramatically wide latitude to that religious exemption and protection of conscience and religious freedom, and you’re not gonna hear from us any more.
Translation: Throw us a bone.
When the President of the United States receives an honorary doctorate from the most revered Catholic University in the nation and gives his word, then is received by the Catholic health professionals and gives his word, then invites the head of the Catholic Bishops to personally give his word, and then makes them all look like fools, it’s hard to admit to having been played for a fool. However, we must recognize the true danger lurking in the president’s health care plan, as I wrote about yesterday.
Not only should have Cardinal Dolan not said, “you’re not gonna hear from us any more,” he should have signaled that having repeatedly played us for fools, Catholics and others are beginning to wake up to a profoundly disturbing reality that has lurked under all of those false assurances and will register their concerns at the polls in November. Further, while the bishops have not been fighters hitherto, that reality has changed. We recognize that this president has declared war on religious liberty, and that such ideology so flagrantly expressed is neither benign, nor transient. It is a manifestation of character and core ideology that stands diametrically opposed to the freedoms we enjoy under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Further, Cardinal Dolan should have stated that he can no longer work with a president who has lied to the Church from the outset, and that this is not the “change” Catholics augered for when they voted for Obama three years ago.
The bishops of Nazi Germany spoke up, led by Cardinal Faulhaber. There were brutal consequences for having done so.
We have reached the point in the history of our Republic where the president has declared openly the war that his liberal minions have been waging surreptitiously for decades. This is our last best hope to stand against the aggression against Catholicism and other faithful religious denominations. We can no longer keep silent for fear of losing our tax-exempt status. The President of the United States has declared an end to religious liberty. He has defined for us what is and is not a religion, what is and is not a religious institution, and who may or may not follow the dictates of conscience as formed by their faith.
The tax-exempt status?
That will go in the second Obama administration.
What we need now are bishops who see the mortal dangers inherent in Obamacare at every stage of the life spectrum.
We need bishops who realize that there is no reason to remain on the sidelines any more.
We need bishops who realize that a totalitarian regime is one more presidential election away.
We need bishops who will lead from in front.
We need a Cardinal who will say, “You haven’t even begun to hear from us.”