Liberty of the Person and Liberty of the Soul


In my last blog I described the tender experience last week of participating in our daughter’s First Reconciliation. As I stood across the aisles of pew watching my daughter wait in line for her turn, a flood of gratitude came over me.

Gianna is Chinese. We adopted her when she was fifteen months. I could never imagine our lives without her. Even our Chinese guide told us Gianna’s life would have been severely difficult in China. Although I never followed-up, I assumed she was referring to the economic and lifestyle challenges there.

My emotions were beyond just the joy any parent would feel as their child receives the beautiful Sacrament of Confession. If we had not adopted Gianna, she would never have had this special moment with God. She might not have ever known Jesus.

In my blog Advent Angel (Part 2), I recalled the moment when my husband and I were trying to find a state-sponsored Catholic Church in China so we could attend mass. Until you have experienced being in a place where people can and are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, or even killed for practicing their faith, it’s easy to take for granted the religious freedom we have here in the United States.

But at this very moment there are grave and real attacks on our religious freedom.

Fellow Kansas and Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, has issued a dangerous and unprecedented attack on the ability to practice our Catholic faith under the guise of implementing Obama’s Health Care program. Catholic hospitals, Catholic institutions, and individual Catholics are not given any real conscience exemption and are required to pay for contraception and abortions in their insurance programs that they are required to buy.

It is one thing that abortion and contraception, particularly methods that are abortifacients, are legal. It is quite another to require someone whose faith does not permit them to pay for these services.

If we stand by as Catholics on this egregious attack on our religious freedom, what is next? Do you really think it is that out of the field of possibilities in ten years ,should Obamacare be permitted by the courts to be fully implemented, that we be told by the current Health and Human Services Secretary that we, too, have a limit on the number of children we can have…just like China?

Tune in to my next blog about what we can do as Catholics to protect our religious freedom.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships tip: Go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site (http://usccb.org/) to get more information on the latest ruling by Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary of the Obama Health Care mandate.