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+JMJ+

Source: OSV News
Link: osvnews DOT com/2024/01/16/new-us-bishops-report-identifies-5-top-areas-of-religious-liberty-concerns/
New US Bishops’ Report Identifies 5 Top Areas Of Religious Liberty Concerns

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WASHINGTON — A new annual report by the U.S. bishops’ conference identifies five top threats to religious liberty in the United States, including a federal regulation it says could impose mandates on doctors to perform objectionable procedures and threats to the church’s service to people who are migrants.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ first annual “State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” published Jan. 16, said potential threats to religious liberty in the United States largely come in the form of federal regulations or cultural trends.

Five key areas of concern, the 48-page report said, include:
  • Attacks against houses of worship, especially in the aftermath of the Israel–Hamas conflict.
  • The Section 1557 regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which the report said “will likely impose a mandate on doctors to perform gender transition procedures and possibly abortions.”
  • Threats to religious charities serving migrants and refugees, “which will likely increase as the issue of immigration gains prominence in the election.”
  • Suppression of religious speech “on marriage and sexual difference.”
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations, which the report said “aim to require religious employers to be complicit in abortion in an unprecedented way.”
The report’s introduction said that due to a divided federal government, “most introduced bills that threatened religious liberty languished,” resulting in threats in the form of “proposed regulations by federal agencies,” or cultural trends such as growing partisanship over migration.

The report noted the U.S. Supreme Court only heard two cases implicating religious liberty in 2023, “but in each case the Supreme Court ruled for broader protections — for religious exercise in the workplace, in Groff v. DeJoy, and for free speech based on religious beliefs, in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.”

Other areas of concern identified in the report include some state bills making clergy mandatory reporters for abuse without an exception for the seal of the confessional. As the report notes, “For Catholic priests, breaking the confidentiality of statements made during the Sacrament of Reconciliation — that is, breaking the seal of the confessional — is a grave offense, resulting in automatic excommunication from the Church.”

The report also identified partisanship within the church as an area of concern.

“This dynamic is not new, is not unique to Catholics, nor will it disappear anytime soon,” it said. “But it will be especially salient in 2024, and the long-term standing of the Church in the public square requires a conscious and sustained turn — away from partisanship and toward the Gospel.”

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne–South Bend, Indiana, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, who oversaw the report, told OSV News that the committee began this annual report in order to “educate the faithful” and “motivate people to get involved in promoting and protecting religious liberty.”

Bishop Rhoades noted that threats to houses of worship remain a significant cultural concern, as Catholic churches and organizations saw vandalism and other crimes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in 2022 that overturned prior rulings by the high court making abortion access a constitutional right; other faith traditions have seen more violence occur at their places of worship, such as the 2018 mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Dan Balserak, the USCCB’s religious liberty director and assistant general counsel, told OSV News the committee’s work has historically centered on “legal problems.”

“Things are such now these days that we are actually having to worry about the physical health and safety of people in their place of worship,” Balserak said. “Which is pretty disturbing.”

Both Bishop Rhoades and Balserak said that a growing cultural divide on the issue of migration also threatens to imperil the church’s service to people who are migrants and refugees.

“The church’s mission, you know, is we’re to serve, serve the poor and the needy. That’s part of our mission to the corporal works of mercy, so welcoming the stranger,” Bishop Rhoades said, an act of mercy demanded by Jesus Christ in Matthew 25 when he renders justice at the final judgment. “And we’re talking here about basic needs: sometimes food, sometimes shelter, clothing and other kinds of assistance. The church has always done this and it’s just part of our Christian responsibilities.”

Bishop Rhoades said some have suggested that “somehow the church is contributing to illegal immigration” through such service.

“Comprehensive immigration reform is something that the Catholic Church in the United States has been advocating for for decades,” he added. He said “our provision of humanitarian aid to human beings who are in need” is needed regardless of whether and how Congress would act.

Balserak said, “It seems that the role that religious charities play in the immigration system as service providers — helping immigrants get a place to sleep, get a meal, understand their legal obligations, the role that religious charities play in that regard — has been essentially scapegoated.”

The real burden of responsibility is with Congress which has failed to address “the immigration problem that the immigration crisis has created.”

Charities that ensure “newcomers who arrive in America deserve to have their basic human needs met” are sometimes then accused of “conspiratorial, outlandish stuff — like you know, facilitating ‘the great replacement.’ ”

The so-called “great replacement” theory is a conspiracy theory advanced by white supremacists in which they claim people of other races plot to eliminate the white race. The racist theory was amplified recently by Vivek Ramaswamy at a GOP presidential primary debate prior to dropping out of the race after a distant fourth-place finish in the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses.

Erroneous claims about the church’s service to migrants, Balserak said, could imperil their ability to partner with the federal government on services to migrants and on other projects.

“At the end of the day … what’s being proposed is basically if you exercise your religious beliefs in this particular way or area, we’re going to penalize you,” he said, calling those claims “a classic religious liberty threat.”

[…]

Balserak said the best way for Catholics to respond to religious liberty threats is to “go out and do the things that we are fighting for your right to do.”

“So what’s under threat right now?” he said. “Our service to immigrants? Go volunteer at a shelter for immigrants. We see arsons pregnancy resource centers — there’s a threat to the continued operation of ministries meant to help pregnant mothers in need — go volunteer at a pregnancy resource center.”

That “ground up approach,” Balserak said, “is the most viable long-term solution to current threats that we face to religious liberty.”


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Post by Del »

Wosbald wrote: 17 Jan 2024, 10:48 +JMJ+

Source: OSV News
Link: osvnews DOT com/2024/01/16/new-us-bishops-report-identifies-5-top-areas-of-religious-liberty-concerns/
  • Attacks against houses of worship, especially in the aftermath of the Israel–Hamas conflict.
  • The Section 1557 regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which the report said “will likely impose a mandate on doctors to perform gender transition procedures and possibly abortions.”
  • Threats to religious charities serving migrants and refugees, “which will likely increase as the issue of immigration gains prominence in the election.”
  • Suppression of religious speech “on marriage and sexual difference.”
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations, which the report said “aim to require religious employers to be complicit in abortion in an unprecedented way.”
Let's break this list down into political demographics:
- Anti-Semites attack synagogues mainly, and perhaps some Christian churches who display support for Israel. Perps are mostly inner-city Blacks, Moslem immigrants, and university student activists.
- LGBT activists and Anti-fa attack churches and pregnancy care centers
- The whole political spectrum opposes illegal immigration, but BLM, criminal gangs, and their ilk are the ones most likely to perp violent attacks. Although a lone rogue terrorist of "white supremacist" attitude is possible.
- Democrats and Big Tech suppress speech and opinions opposed to LGBT agenda.
- Democrats control EEOC and other agencies that are pressing for mandatory abortion policies.

So ALL of these threats come from the political LEFT, except for the possibility of a lone "white supremacist" terrorist who might lean either to the right or the left. Hard to say, as those kooks are insane.

American conservatives love religious freedom and preach tolerance. We will be the ones protecting the churches and charities. (I myself spend one night each month volunteering as overnight security at a pregnancy care center.)
“This dynamic is not new, is not unique to Catholics, nor will it disappear anytime soon,”


This was the first thought that occurred to me. Glad to see it stated in the article. I wonder why this is posted under "The Catholic Thread," as threats to religious freedom are hardly a uniquely Catholic problem.
The so-called “great replacement” theory is a conspiracy theory advanced by white supremacists in which they claim people of other races plot to eliminate the white race. The racist theory was amplified recently by Vivek Ramaswamy at a GOP presidential primary debate prior to dropping out of the race after a distant fourth-place finish in the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses.
This is flat-out false. Makes me question the integrity of OSV News.

The Great Replacement Theory has nothing to do with white supremacy. Quite frankly, there are no outspoken white supremacists in America, and they have no voice with which to preach whatever their policies are.

The Great Replacement Theory has nothing to do with race. This is a name that American conservatives (of every race) give to the Democrat policy of flooding Red States along the border with millions of illegal immigrants -- whom Democrats plan to keep in a state of poverty, desperation, and government-dependence -- in the hope that they will one day become reliable Democrat voters, as has worked for the inner-city Black communities.

It is absurd to even suggest that Vivek Ramaswamy is any sort of "white supremacist." Just as absurd is the notion that Republican voters -- half the nation -- are a whole bunch of white supremacists.

Racism is a Democrat Party thing. They can't stop thinking about race.
Last edited by Del on 14 Feb 2024, 20:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wosbald »

+JMJ+

Source: America
Link: americamagazine DOT org/faith/2024/02/03/ddf-invalid-sacraments-247108
Vatican to priests: Stick to the script for Sacraments

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Feb 03, 2024 — The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a doctrinal note approved by Pope Francis that aims to counteract deviations in the administration of the sacraments, especially of baptism and the Eucharist. The document, Gestis Verbisque (“Deeds and Words”), reaffirms the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching on the administration of the sacraments and insists that it is essential to use the correct form of words and the proper matter to ensure the validity of the sacraments.

The 13-page text is described as a “note,” a lower-level document than a declaration. (The document on blessings for couples in “irregular situations published by the dicastery in December, for example, was a declaration.) It was published only in Italian on Feb. 3, but translations in English and other languages are expected to come later. The document has been under discussion since the dicastery’s plenary assembly in 2022 and was unanimously approved by the plenary assembly in January 2024.

The text was prompted by the phenomenon of priests not following the liturgical directives for the administration of sacraments, particularly baptism and the Eucharist, thereby rendering them invalid, as Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, prefect of the dicastery, notes in his two-page introduction to the text. He recalled that the dicastery’s plenary assembly in January 2022 had already expressed concern at having to declare the invalidity of the sacraments on many occasions and said many people had to be contacted and rebaptized or re-confirmed, “and a significant number of the faithful have rightly expressed their distress.”

Cardinal Fernández reported that some priests had used the formula “I baptize you in the name of the Creator …”; others said, “I baptize you in the name of Mama and Papa …” He said that some priests discovered after their ordination that they had been invalidly baptized.

[…]

Cardinal Fernández explained that “while in other areas of the Church’s pastoral action there is ample room for creativity,” in the realm of sacramental celebration this “turns instead into a ‘manipulative will,’ and so [creativity] cannot be invoked.”

Therefore, he said, “to modify the form [formula of words] of a sacrament or its matter [such as the water, oil or bread] is always a gravely illicit act and merits an exemplary punishment, precisely because such similar arbitrary acts are capable of causing serious harm to the faithful People of God.”

“We ministers [of the sacraments] are asked to overcome the temptation to feel that we are owners of the church,” the cardinal said. On the contrary, he said, “the treasures of the sacraments are entrusted to Mother church. They are not ours. And the faithful have a right to receive them as the church lays down, and it is in this way that their celebration corresponds to the intention of Jesus.”

He said ministers of the sacraments should acknowledge the truth that “the head of the church, and therefore the true presider of the celebration, is only Christ.”

The document recalls that the sacraments are “masterpieces of God” that are “instituted by Christ” and make it possible for human beings “to participate in the divine life.” Noting that celebrations of the liturgy and sacrament “are not always done in full fidelity to the rites prescribed by the church,” it laments that the deviations are often presented under the guise of pastoral motivations.

Gestis Verbisque recalls that the Second Vatican Council’s constitution on the liturgy reminds us that “the church, in Christ, is the sign and instrument of the intimate union with God, and of the unity of the whole human race.” It reaffirms that the church “receives and expresses itself in the seven sacraments, through which the grace of God concretely influences the existence of the faithful, so that all life, redeemed by Christ, may become a pleasing worship of God.”

The document from the D.D.F. recalls that Christ constituted the church as his mystical body and “makes believers participants in his own life, uniting them in a real but mysterious way to his death and resurrection through the sacraments.”

The text does not appear to contain anything new. It reaffirms the traditional doctrine of the church, based on Thomistic theology, which identifies the three elements necessary for the validity of a sacrament: matter, form and intention. It restates that the correct intention is not sufficient to ensure the validity of a sacrament; the matter (water, oil, wine, laying on of hands) and form (words accompanied by gestures) are also essential and must correspond to what is prescribed in the liturgical texts.

[…]

The document concludes by restating that the liturgy allows for variety that preserves the church from “rigid uniformity,” as stated in the Vatican II constitution on the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium). But it insisted that this variety and creativity, which can promote a greater intelligibility of the rite and the active participation of the faithful, cannot change what is essential to the celebration of the sacraments.

The D.D.F. document applies to churches in both the Latin and Oriental rites. It states clearly that certain aspects are not negotiable in the sacraments and says priests and bishops are not the owners of the liturgy. It reaffirms that one has to follow the liturgical books and emphasizes that the people of God have a right to have valid sacraments.


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Post by Jocose »

https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1776313650778980390

America Is In Serious Trouble. Catholic Charities Making Videos Saying ‘Phase Two’ Has Just Begun

🚨 These charities want to now help migrants “Begin working on our applications to sponsor friends and family”

Phase one, flood the system with millions of illegal aliens

Phase two, is allowing permanent resident aliens called Lappers or people with green cards and United States citizens to sponsor illegal immigrants from foreign nations into America
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Post by Del »

Jocose wrote: 05 Apr 2024, 12:32 https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1776313650778980390

America Is In Serious Trouble. Catholic Charities Making Videos Saying ‘Phase Two’ Has Just Begun

🚨 These charities want to now help migrants “Begin working on our applications to sponsor friends and family”

Phase one, flood the system with millions of illegal aliens

Phase two, is allowing permanent resident aliens called Lappers or people with green cards and United States citizens to sponsor illegal immigrants from foreign nations into America
Biden's policies have made messes of millions of people's lives, but I have no problem with helping those peaceful immigrant families reunite with loved ones and settle into homes and jobs.

the Leftists are going to be very disappointed when all of those pro-life, hard-working, family-oriented Catholics eventually become legal voters.
They want prosperity, not a bunch of woke nonsense and decadence.
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