Court May Deny Religious Liberty of Catholic Schools

Supreme Court debates same-sex marriage

The key battleground for the federal government’s twenty-first-century assault on religious freedom may be Catholic education—in particular, those faithful Catholic institutions that refuse to surrender and remain committed to Christ and His teachings as they come to us through the Church.

On Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., told the Supreme Court that religious colleges could lose their tax exemption and suffer other penalties if the Court redefines marriage.

Certainly this could affect Evangelical Christian, Mormon and other religious colleges, as well as all religious apostolates that adhere to the natural definition of marriage. But Catholic education especially has been targeted by LGBT activists, from within and without. Consider the controversy in San Francisco over Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s expectations for teachers, as well as the refusal of even many conservative Republicans in Congress to protect Catholic schools from a Washington, D.C., law that could force them to sponsor clubs that advocate marriage rights for homosexual couples.

It was long before the Supreme Court took up the redefinition of marriage—and even before the Obama administration announced its “HHS mandate” for employee insurance coverage of sterilization, contraception and abortifacients—that Catholic education was under fire.

Six years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ordered Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina to cover contraception in its employee health plan. And the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has sought to coerce religious colleges—especially Catholic colleges—to accept its oversight despite a Supreme Court ruling in 1979 that such entanglement with religious education violates the First Amendment.

Faithful Catholic educators have forcefully opposed the HHS mandate. The first lawsuit against the mandate was filed by Belmont Abbey College in 2011, and others have sued including Aquinas College, Ave Maria University, Catholic University of America, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Thomas Aquinas College, as well as several Catholic schools and dioceses.

But now the redefinition of marriage threatens to undue Catholic education entirely, at least where Catholic schools hold to Catholic beliefs without compromise.

During Tuesday’s oral argument before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts asked Verrilli, “Would a religious school that has married housing be required to afford such housing to same-sex couples?”

Verrilli tried to argue that, although the Obama administration wants a federal redefinition of marriage, it would be left to the states to decide such thorny issues:

…that is going to depend on how States work out the balance between their civil rights laws, whether they decide that there’s going to be civil rights enforcement of discrimination based on sexual orientation or not, and how they decide what kinds of accommodations they are going to allow under State law. And they could—well, you know, different states could strike different balances.

But the Chief Justice didn’t let him get away with that:

ROBERTS: What about Federal? It’s a Federal question if we make it a matter of constitutional law.

VERRILLI: But the question of what—how States use their enforcement power is up to the States.

ROBERTS: Well, you have enforcement power, too.

VERRILLI: Right. And—and—well, that’s certainly true, but there is no Federal law now generally banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that’s where those issues are going to have to be worked out.

Verrilli was being devious, and surely the Court could see that. No one doubts that a Supreme Court ruling changing the federal definition of marriage would be followed by extensive changes to America’s nondiscrimination laws, and so Chief Justice Roberts had it exactly right.

Most religious colleges are able to compete with state-funded institutions and other private colleges by participating in federal student aid programs, but increasingly there are concerns that a ruling against traditional marriage could force religious colleges out of these programs. Just this month, Wyoming Catholic College announced that it would forego participation in the federal aid programs to protect its Catholic identity from potential coercion. Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia—as well as non-Catholic colleges like Grove City College and Hillsdale College—also reject government assistance.

How could a change in marriage law affect a college that supports traditional marriage? For one thing, accreditation by a federally recognized agency is required for participation in student aid programs and often for acceptance of credits by other institutions. Accreditors could push out religious colleges for perceived discrimination, regardless of federal law.

And federal student aid could be directly affected by any ruling that finds justification for same-sex marriage under the 14th Amendment, if it leads to changes in federal nondiscrimination laws. In the 1984 case Grove City College v. Bell, the Supreme Court extended the reach of federal law to any college participating in the student aid programs. For instance, Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 gives the federal government substantial enforcement powers over America’s schools and colleges with regard to sex discrimination. Colleges must submit to extensive reporting requirements, continuous review of the parity of their athletics programs for men and women, and lately the increased scrutiny of the Obama administration into college policies related to sexual assault and “transgendered” students.

Federal nondiscrimination laws also can apply to Catholic elementary and secondary schools, if they accept a substantial amount of government aid—such as for school lunches or technology.

Aside from federal aid, Justice Samuel Alito on Tuesday forced Verrilli to acknowledge the danger to religious organizations’ tax-exempt status. Noting the 1983 Supreme Court ruling against Bob Jones University for refusing on religious grounds to acknowledge interracial marriage—which the Court said was a violation of federal law despite First Amendment protections for religious freedom—Alito asked if a college should lose its nonprofit tax exemption for refusing to accommodate same-sex marriage.

Verrilli conceded, “You know, I—I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I—I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is—it is going to be an issue.”

Then there is the EEOC, led by Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum, who has strongly advocated sexual liberties that trump religious freedom concerns. The EEOC has never responded to Belmont Abbey College’s appeal of the agency’s ruling requiring the College to cover contraceptives in its employee health plan, which leaves the agency the option to resurrect its charges should the Supreme Court exempt religious nonprofits from the “HHS mandate.” With regard to marriage, it indicates the extent to which the EEOC is willing to disregard religious concerns. An adverse EEOC ruling can lead to lawsuits, which can put an organization out of business.

The recent cowardice in Indiana—not only on the part of Governor Mike Pence and his compromise on the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but also the silence from Catholic institutions including the University of Notre Dame in defense of their own religious freedom—demonstrates how great the danger may be for faithful Catholic educators and all Catholic apostolates. The ability to teach and live the Catholic faith could be severely tested.

Patrick J. Reilly

By

Patrick J. Reilly is founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization to advocate and support the renewal of genuine Catholic higher education.

  • An Orthodox Christian

    If they come at you, than shutter them. Caesar is not necessary for the propogation of the Faith. Synergy between Church and State is nice, but it isn’t necessary (and at times is dangerous).

  • Guest

    2 days ago I was described as engaging in hysteria, hyperbole, and hyperventilation in response to my concern that the Gay Rights Groups will be banging on the doors to our Catholic Churches demanding a Gay Wedding (Is Homosexual Marriage Even Possible?). The words of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. should serve as a notice to all of us what is to come if The Supreme Court changes the definition of Marriage. This is an old trick, since they cannot win with the voters, they are creating Case Law to trump the rights of the voters. I was also asked to supply proof of my concerns. The testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court can be added to the evidence I provided. This not just about the redefinition of Marriage, but rather the dismantling of our Catholic Institutions.

    • russell snow

      There is no doubt that the Catholic Church is the main target of the totalitarian forces in our country. Hitler had plans to exterminate the Church and Stalin was very effective. Lenin tried to destroy the Orthodox Church in Russia. Whether the radical secularists will succeed here is an open question. We are quite way along the road toward an anti-Christ culture. We should look to the salvation of our own souls and pray for the souls of others, especially our enemies and those who persecute the Church. Hatred of the Catholic Church is hatred toward our Blessed Mother, both her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. God gave the kings of France 100 years to consecrate that kingdom to his Sacred Heart and finally, it seems, “He swore in his anger they shall not enter into my rest.” I seriously doubt that any of the Holy Fathers actually consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, but may the current Holy Father when he goes to Fatima in 1917 has the humility and the courage to actually do it.. Meanwhile, it is probably better for Catholic parents to do what they can to educate their children in the important things at home.

      • An Orthodox Christian

        Russia has been consecrated to the Theotokos for centuries. Devotion to her runs very very deep….and the blood of the martyrs consecrated that soil. I accept the sincere intentions of Latins when they talk about Fatima, but rest assured the Theotokos is quite present in Russia, and always has been (just like the Theotokos has not left those Christians living under the Muslim yoke).
        I do agree that looking to our own souls first is the only way…..
        As St. Seraphim of Sarov said, “Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved”

        • russell snow

          I know, I attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in the 1970’s Studied with Fr Meyendorff and Fr. Schmeman I forget the correct spelling of his name. I do not think consecrating Russia to the Holy Mother of God will in anyway diminish the Orthodox Church in Russia. I also studied with Professor Kesich, the most wonderful teacher of the Gospel one could hope for.

          • An Orthodox Christian

            Russia is already consecrated to the Mother of God. Why do something that has already been done?

            • jacobum

              Unfortunately not. The “world’ has been consecrated several times. But never “Russia” by name as requested by the BVM at Fatima.

              • An Orthodox Christian

                Again, I ask….why do something that has already been done?
                This assumes that the Theotokos actually appeared in Fatima. Admittedly, your own co-religionists are free to not believe in this supposed apparition….so in theory there are Latins who don’t believe it either.

                • jacobum

                  All of us are free to do or say anything at our own risk as long as we accept the individual responsibility and its consequences.
                  I believe it is a bit more than “assuming that the Mother of God actually appeared in Fatima”. If it wasn’t her then who and how do you reasonably explain:
                  The promised and delivered “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima on October 13, 1917 was beyond extraordinary by any human measure. It was witnessed by 70,000+ people in the middle of a rain storm. The sun began swirling, rotating and started to fall from the sky. After about 10 minutes of this, it went back into normal location, the sun came out, the sky was clear and 70,000 people were dry, not to mention the muddy fields were dry as well. Now when you consider the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to 3 kids, no older than 11, every month from 5.13.17 to 10.13.17 and promised them she would perform a miracle to prove who she was and what she said and then backed it up by naming the date, time and place, and delivered it spectacularly in front of 70,000 people….Well again one can believe or discard anything one chooses right?.

                  • An Orthodox Christian

                    My reply is that “miracles” are not necessarily of God. Old Rome teaches this as well as the Church at large. The number 70,000 has been disputed, as well as the eyewitness accounts, which don’t all agree. There have been critical studies of the Fatima apparition, citing other “Miracles of the Sun”….in particular at Heroldsbach, Germany in 1949…this apparition was eventually condemned by Rome. Again, a miracle, but a bad message….
                    For the record (and this will be my last comment on this) as an Orthodox Christian I believe in miracles. I believe that the Theotokos can appear to people (and she has). My issue (and the issue that the Orthodox have with Fatima) is the message….
                    The image of the Theotokos holding back the angry hand of Christ wanting to punish the world, and that we need to make “Reparation” for our sins, feeding into the “Atoning, Angry God” image.
                    Roman Catholics tell us that they don’t believe that God is this way, that Orthodox writers have misunderstood and mischaracterized Latin teaching on this….
                    And yet…..one of your key apparitions is exactly that image.

                    • jacobum

                      Agree as to “miracles” in general. But I overlooked including one minor detail. This was thoroughly investigated and approved (aka worthy of belief) by the Church in 1930. The oldest seer, Lucy, was 11. She became a cloistered nun and died in 2005. Her 2 cousins, Jacinta & Francisco died within 2-3 years of apparition. Pope JP2 beatified both of them on 5.13.2000. As to the dispute on the miracle of the sun. The only dispute is from those who are compelled to disprove it to justify lifestyle, beliefs, disbeliefs etc. Too many people were there, saw it , reported it, and government secular paper reporter was there and reported it as well. Germany you site is a non-sequitur. Most of the “apparitions” are bogus. The latest, most famous one, is the abomination going on at Medjugore, Yugoslavia since 1981….daily. It’s very difficult for the Church to approve (declare it worthy of belief). The message/secret of Fatima still playing out. There is credible evidenced that the 3rd and finally secret has not been completely revealed. Take care.

      • Margaret in MI

        After reading Dr. Dennis Jarrard’s article about Russia’s Devotion to Our Blessed Mother, I found this from Mystic Post blog: “Russia will come to glorify God the most”. Some foreign policy experts are now reporting that intrusions into Russian government affairs by the Orthodox Church are emerging as the defining political concern for the Russian state and its citizens. These emerging religious events in Russian and the West would have been nearly impossible to predict in 1981, yet Russia’s return back towards religion is precisely what the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje told the world that this would happen. The Queen of Peace is alone in predicting the current state of Russia. Despite the spiritual awaking occurring in Russia, this important development is virtually unknown in the United States.

        USA continues to demonize Russia …Why? Because spiritual forces are at work.

      • St JD George

        I don’t doubt for a minute that there is a spiritual awakening going on, blossoming in the spring after years of lying dormant under a hard, cold, oppressive winter. Though I admire the stories of Putin’s connection to his mother’s deep faith and the ROC, I still find that the hasn’t retired his KGB Col uniform and has an element of thuggery still in him. In other words, I don’t fully trust him. I don’t doubt his faith, but I have suspicions that he is deeply torn between nationalistic pride. I don’t doubt that he deeply cares for the people either, and sees what is happening in the west as the advancement of perversion.

      • Jacqueleen

        St. Pope John Paul II made the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as she asked for in the 80’s. The question about that consecration is not that it was not done, but did all of the Bishops partake in the Consecration as was called for? The smoke has infiltrated the church!!!
        Then, there is the poor response in turning from their evil ways as the Blessed Mother asked. So…..which is it? Consecration or Repentance?

    • Jim in Pittsburgh

      How right you are!

    • Artistree

      Remember, too, that the majority of the justices happen to be Roman Catholic…..but the Roman Church is a pansy Church and doesn’t do church discipline anymore. We should demand that the higher ups excummunicate those Roman Catholic justices who vote in favor of queer sodomite “marriage”…but we won’t because the Roman Catholic Church is a pansy church, far gone and apostate.

      • St JD George

        Pansy, maybe, but born of the fruit of becoming too cozy with those who would dole out trinket favors in return for a pound of flesh.

      • WRBaker

        Canon 915? If you ask the cardinal of Washington, D.C., he’s never heard of it (and his history of defending the offenders is well known). Don’t look for him to do anything in the center of hypocrisy and immorality.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      The unthinkable becomes law before it even becomes thinkable. Keeps us older folks shell-shocked and easier to manage as we are shepherded by to annihilation.

    • John Germain

      You have it exactly right, this is all about bringing down everything Catholic. Unless God is the third person in Marriage, it is not a true marriage. Marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. It is where a man and a woman become one with each other and with God and are capable of producing another life (child) who’s character is made up of his or her parents. Any union of persons that don’t involve the lifelong covenant with God and the possibility of new life is nothing more than a man made institution of legalities and contracts that form civil unions they are not truly marriage. Realities exist, and are different from what people perceive, and so we fool our selves if we perceive something other than the reality that truly exists.

      • Shannon Marie Federoff

        No, a true marriage is between a man and a woman. Even the Church recognizes a “natural” marriage between pagans. In order to be a sacramental marriage, both the man and the woman must be baptized. But marriage, itself, does not depend on the man and woman being Christians. Marriage is truly a natural, human institution of a man and woman united for the procreation and education of the children of such a biologically possible union.

        • John Germain

          No one said they had to be “Christians” God had covenants long before the Christians. Marriage was established with Adam and Eve, and it was a covenant marriage with God. People like to play God and change what He (God) establishes, but it doesn’t change the reality God established.

    • Ruth Rocker

      It goes even further than dismantling the Church. Their ultimate aim is to destroy society in general and rebuild it in their own twisted version of reality. The year may be 2015, but the atmosphere is most definitely 1984.

      • Watosh

        The ultimate goal of liberals. to replace religion with their vision of mankind’s true destiny.

    • santiago

      What do you expect? You are giving the state power to tell you what is right and wrong by advocating for a prohibition in SSM, why shouldn’t they do this as well. You open the door then live with the consequences. You were so preoccupied in instilling Our Catholic values and morals on all, and did not even notice that the sword you were drafting was a double edged weapon. Instead of advocating for a prohibition in marriage for homosexuals, let’s all pressure the state in to dropping such power that can easily be abused and used against us. Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves. If you do not surrender your power they can not take it away but by acknowledging that the state has the power to dictate morality, it can find that it is moral to enforce any ‘moral’ it typifies. For the state it is ‘moral’ that anyone can marry anyone else and if not it is inmoral since it is now ‘discrimination’. If there is no grounds for any kind of discrimination, there is no typication of what discrimination is.

    • Asmondius

      Given the current bent of the government’s attempts to trample over religious freedom (abortion coverage, contraception, etc.) it is far from a hysterical fear.

  • Tanyi Tanyi

    The Church in the US can only be faithful to Christ or to Caesar. You cannot be faithful to both. It has to learn to live poor and faithful to Christ. Stop taking federal monies. Stop competing with secular institutions. Stop aspiring to be first on the New York Times. All those things don’t matter for the essential mission of the Church, which is to prepare people for Christ. Pull out of registering couples for the federal government. Be faithful to Christ, not to Capitol Hill.

    • An Orthodox Christian

      Amen.

    • St JD George

      Alter ego, is that you?

    • Watosh

      Amen. An Eastern Rite Catholic.

    • Jay

      Amen.

  • Dick Prudlo

    Regardless of how the black robes decide, for this whole issue is outside their jurisdiction, the response by Christians must be: “we will not comply.” Any other answer is not acceptable.

    • JP

      Oh, but most will. The Mainline Protestant Churches have already complied. Most not only marry gays, but much of their clergy are gays. And don’t think for a minute Catholic Schools like Notre Dame will allow magisterial teachings to get in the way of their portion of the federal gravy train. And our Bishops? We know where most of their loyalties lie.

    • publiusnj

      This is exactly right. No wheedling. No compromise. Absolute unequivocal opposition.

      What we are seeing is Dictatorship pure and simple. The Novemvirate (Government by the Nine “justices”) will be ignoring History and the clear unequivocal rejection of Gay Marriage in 32 straight referenda (and other state legislative enactments of Constitutional Amendments) should it rule in favor of GM. There is no question that the US Populace rejected GM in those referenda but were simply ignored and then repudiated by a critical mass of politicians in 2011-12 when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ignored the CA Referendum and the NY Legislature pushed through the first legislative approval of GM in a state that did NOT have a referendum process.

      At that point, the floodgates opened when Joe Biden endorsed GM and was quickly followed by Barack, and Billary (despite Bill’s approval of DOMA). Now, all that principled opposition is just being ignored and some polls, taken after a bunch of lower court rulings that make it seem GM is a done thing) are being quoted as proof that America is yearning for GM. Of course, many polls were taken before those 32 referenda and many of them showed majorities in favor of GM, but were eventually proven false.

      So, we must never accept the claim that GM is favored. We must clearly remind the Nation that this is something that a dictatorship has forced down our throat despite clear opposition to this total change in American law without legal authority (the Founders and approvers of the 14th Amendment would roll over in their graves if they heard that either the Constitution or the 14th Amendment mandates GM.

      In truth, this whole thing is legerdemain. The “justices” knocked out DOMA on the ground that Marriage was a matter for the states. Now, that DOMA has been gotten out of the way, the Novemvirate wants to pull the old bait and switch. “Sure, GM may be a matter of state law but not when we want to have our say. It’s just Congress and the People of the States who have no say; we “justices” can say whatever we want whenever we want to say it because who is going to stop us.”

    • An Orthodox Christian

      Nor will we have to. Simply withdraw from the secular marriage process. In many countries around the world, Caesar’s marriage and the Holy Mystery of Marriage are quite separate. I see no reason why the same cannot apply here.
      Leave the light on, see what happens.

  • Jim in Pittsburgh

    Mr. Reilly’s article perfectly describes what may well become the “tipping point” in the war between secularists and people of faith in America. To date, we have been engaged in seemingly minor skirmishes (with a few victories) and occasional large battles (which we have lost).

    As a result, our side has,in large part, adopted defensive, rather than offensive tactics, playing by the enemy’s rules. The enemy has been engaged in an offensive war, sometimes attacking with force, most of the time probing for a weakness in our defensive wall that can be exploited.

    A pro same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court will blast a hole on our defensive wall that the ememy will exploit to full advantage. What the media have described as a campaign for “tolerance” will rapidly become a rout in a war of extinction.

    Most of those on our side will not know what hit them.

    We must PRAY for a favorable ruling. If we get one we must REORGANIZE and develop strategies and tactics suitable an offensive war on all fronts: spiritual, educational, legal, and political.

  • Artistree

    Since the “State” does not know what marriage is any longer, maybe it is
    time for our bishops to discuss separating from the State in regards to
    marriage and perform the Sacrament of Marriage, between one man and one
    woman, only, without all the official State licenses, paperwork, and
    such, and therefore, State recognition. Who cares if the State (the
    beast) puts its stamp of approval on any of our sacred ceremonies?

    • publiusnj

      This is way too defeatist. The bishops would be inflicting an unnecessary wound on the Church if it voluntarily gives up its authority to bind the State as well as the couple. Let the Dictatorial State say: “you must perform GMs.” Then laugh at the State saying: “just because you are acting like fools doesn’t mean we have to, as well. We don’t perform Remarriages for Divorced people even though the State allows them. So you allow GM but we never have and never will. Deal with it.” Then let the Dictatorship make the next move.

      • Martha

        That’s true, publius; the Church isn’t forced to marry divorced people, so perhaps the whole GM thing won’t be a problem. :/

        • Asmondius

          Divorced people are not climbing over the ramparts with pitchforks at the moment.

  • St JD George

    Is there anybody here who can inform on what the impact would be for the church to lose its 501(c) status? I was thinking about that the other day as I read about the NFL’s decision to finally rid itself of the burden. Pope Francis is calling for a poor church, maybe rather than being reactive we should be preemptive and get the government off the back of people of faith with it’s idle threat to remove this “favor” which it uses like a stick with a carrot. Not that that would solve all problems, it certainly would create new ones, and definitely would not end the attacks on Christ in this world.

    • Cool mick

      Ostensibly, churches do not run a business for profit and would not be subject to income tax or a tax on profits. but they do indeed have large pieces of property and large buildings which would be subject to local property taxes. Think of St Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan and all the churches/schools in real estate markets like NYC – alot of annual taxes that could not be absorbed.

      • St JD George

        That’s kind of what I thought. Still, the time for some tough soul searching and hard decisions is at hand.

    • John Germain

      Well, the tax burden could be a near fatal blow to many diocese. The U.S. church has recently spent well over two billion dollars settling abuse cases and we are not finished with that as yet. The Catholic church has been a target here by the media because many other institutions have far more cases than the church and are not even mentioned by secular media. I feel the church can relieve it’s burden by placing the burden on the government by temporarily shutting down everything Catholic except it’s worship spaces, The government seems to have forgotten how much benefit the church is to this country and might need a reminder like having to absorb all that the church does here.

      • Ken Torrens

        I absolutely believe in such a tactic, however, I had the great pleasure of speaking 2 years ago with Francis Cardinal George (God rest his soul) and I posed this very option. His response was rather startling to me as he indicated that the “catholic” institutions like the hospitals have already secularized in practice, so we aught not expect their support. As an example, St Joseph’s in Phoenix when put to the test by Bishop Olmsted, gave up its Catholic affiliation about 6 years ago rather than give up federal monies. The institutions that stay true to faith don’t last long as the Catholic Church has no means to support them in transition: in Illinois, Catholic adoption agencies simply closed rather than support gay adoptions as the adoption business is completely intertwined with government regulation and finance. To my mind, the greater tactic before the supreme court, which I don’t believe has been argued, would be the exact stating of the first portion of the 1st amendment: “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. When the government states we must behave in “such and such a way” they are in effect establishing religion; they are positing a belief about the nature of humanity and causing us to comply with such belief; this is the essence of totalitarianism that the founders sought to eradicate. As elsewhere stated, churches apostasized when they got in bed with the government. It is therefore up to the faithful to maintain and propagate the faith regardless of where that leads us, to the gallows if necessary; a greatly persecuted church is a great church; we are called to be in the world but not of it. Have courage my friends!

      • Martha

        Amen! That sounds like a winner if we could get the hierarchy to go along with it.

    • rick b

      Contributions to the church would no longer be deductible for the donor. Sales taxes would be required on all purchases and profits, if they were to be realized, would be subject to income taxes. A serious financial blow.

    • JP

      There is also the question of Catholic charity work. Where I live, there is a Catholic hospital that provides millions of dollars of free healthcare to the poor. No one is turned away. The Diocese dispenses millions of dollars in scholarships to the poor so they can attend parochial schools; various Catholic charities build homes for the poor, pay their poor’s heating bills, care for orphans, single mothers and their children, etc…

      All of this would either disappear or be severely diminished in order to satisfy the desires of a few wealthy effete gays.

      • Ruth Rocker

        If they force the Church to withdraw financially from these endeavours, they should then be willing to pay for them out of their own pocket. Like that would ever happen. The gaystapo aren’t interested in or worried about anything but their own twisted, selfish agenda and being able to force everyone else to not only agree to it but to celebrate it as the new normal.

    • St JD George

      Thanks to all. Don’t know enough yet to weigh all the pros against the cons, of which there would certainly be many. I also know that this is a much larger issue than just a piece of paper for the church, or for the 1% who don’t yet recognize their bondage. The real issue is that we have collectively taken our eyes off the ball and have helped contribute letting this red tide blossom under our noses until the stench of death has gotten so strong that we can no longer ignore and are now forced to deal with it. What good does it do to be alone in the boat with a net when there be no more fish to be had in the sea. Jesus helped Peter fill his nets, let’s return the favor and turn the sea blue again, full of life, full of grace. Empathy is great for the dying fish, but it alone won’t restore the sea, nor will enabling by ignoring that there is one who would destroy souls by accepting sin as their fate getting them to accept their own acts as free will, yet another life choice, full of pride. Strong medicine is required, and help wanted signs for practitioners to dispense the healing ointment of faith are on every street corner today. We all know what the alternative to driving by and ignoring them is, more of the same, and more dead fish.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    3.6% Homosexual is a high estimate for the U.S. population. Those seeking marriage where it is allowed in Europe have leveled off at about 5% of the ‘gay’ population and most likely would here as well. What is 5% of 3.6%? And why are we upending and tearing apart our entire culture, marriage, family, gender itself for the sake of this tiny minority?

    • They will not stop at being 3.6%. This is just the first shot towards a homonormative society, where having a child will be granted only by parental license, all pregnancies will be surrogates, and all genes tightly controlled until homosexuality is 36%.

      • I think the creative leftists will just come up with a “orientation spectrum” chart that will categorize higher numbers under the “gay” umbrella. Genetics will not even be their main justification.

    • Thomas Sharpe

      Right, not only is the percentage of homosexuals around 4%, the percentage of homosexuals seeking “marriage” is around 5% of the homosexual population.
      That would only be 1% of the general population, if that.

      This was never about “marriage”.

    • Jacqueleen

      And why are we upending and tearing apart our entire culture, marriage,
      family, gender itself for the sake of this tiny minority?

      BECAUSE: No. 1, there is another bigger agenda that they are distracting the public from realizing. No. 2. They are loud, very loud, paying attention to every incident or article whereby they can protest. No. 3. They have a mission and are bound and determined to reach the goal.

  • I suggest ending the 501 category and taxing all of them exactly like everyone else. 501 are the discriminators. The concept of tax deductions for charity is mythical and eliminates any true value in actual charity.

    • St JD George

      I know everything has consequences, including probably the closing of many churches, but it certainly has an appeal to it. The problem is broader I think though, and even though there is appeal, that won’t stop the wolf from howling at the door. I do believe the situation is more epic than the singular issue of conforming to the desires of the 3%.

      • Asmondius

        They may simply be the tip of the lance.

  • The purpose is to force upon us the Benedict Option.

    But the Benedict Option is a winning strategy, because in the long run, the sexual revolution is not procreative and will burn itself out in one to two centuries. After which the Latin Americans and Africans will repopulate the north.

    • JP

      That’s assuming the Muslim haven’t first. Religion, like Nature, abhors a vacuum.

      • Whether Africa and the Middle East is Muslim or Catholic in 100 years time is still a very open question- one that wars are currently being fought over.

  • St JD George

    This is off topic slightly, and though not related to SCOTUS or SSM still a good read. Sister Diana of Irag had her visa application denied because she was thought to be an IDP who might overstay. Curious to contrast that against the express lanes being opened from elsewhere. Where is the Soros open border society to defend her (did you here he may owe $7B in back upaid taxes)? Interestingly she was invited by congress to come to DC and testify about what she experienced being persecuted by IS. There may be more to the story, but if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it probably is not a turkey.

    by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.30 Apr 20150

    All but one of the members of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups—comprising representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities—have been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington. The lone member denied a visa was the only Iraqi Christian in the group, a Catholic nun.

    Nina Shea, director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, reportedThursday that the U.S. State Department prevented a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun named Sister Diana Momeka, “an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS,” from coming to Washington to testify.

    Sister Diana is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, a Catholic order of nuns that traces its presence in Iraq back to the thirteenth century.

    The nun is uniquely qualified to testify to Islamic State atrocities in Iraq. When Mosul was overrun by Islamic extremists in June 2014, about 500,000 civilians left the city en masse, in an effort to escape the siege. At that time, the only group that chose to remain in Mosul was the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, “a congregation of Iraqi sisters that has witnessed generation upon generation of war and carnage.”

    On Tuesday, however, the U.S. consulate in Erbil told Sister Diana that her visa application had been denied, stating that she was unable “to demonstrate that [her] intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.”

    The nun told Nina Shea she was informed she was rejected because she is an “IDP,” an Internally Displaced Person. In other words, the State Department suspected that the Catholic nun could be secretly intending to stay in the United States.

    Never mind that Sister Diana already had meetings set up with the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the State Department, USAID, and several NGOs, or that she submitted several documents attesting to her character, as well as the temporary nature of her stay in the U.S.

    She is, in fact, contracted to teach at the Babel College of Philosophy and Theology in Erbil, Kurdistan, for the 2015–16 academic year.

    Moreover, Sister Diana had already been permitted to visit the United States, and she delivered the commencement address at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union in 2012.

    According to Shea, the nun has become internationally known as a spokesperson for the over 100,000 Christians driven into Kurdistan under the ISIS “convert or die” policy. Former Congressman Frank Wolf (R. – Va.) met her in Kurdistan a few months ago and agreed to sponsor her trip to the U.S. to tell her story.

    Wolf, cofounder of religious freedom group 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, said they had hoped to facilitate her trip to the states “so that she could speak with great candor, as is her custom, to policymakers.” Wolf said that he views her as “a critical voice to awaken the church in the West to the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.”

    For some reason, the U.S. consulate does not see it this way. According to Shea, the State Department has pledged that “every overseas post and domestic bureau will seek opportunities to engage religious leaders” as part of its program for countering “violent extremism.”

    Apparently, Catholic nuns do not fit the bill.

  • St JD George

    Supreme Court Stops IRS Fines From Hitting Catholic Group Over Federal Contraception Mandate

    BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER, April 29, 2015|12:18 pm

    The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out a ruling against a Catholic organization that was being compelled to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives at the threat of being fined by the Internal Revenue Service.

    On Monday the highest court in the nation granted the Michigan Catholic Conference their request for an exemption for religious reasons against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate.

    In the Supreme Court’s order, the Justices invoked last year’s landmark Hobby Lobby decision, which concluded that “closely-held businesses” could be exempted from the HHS mandate due to religious objections.

    “The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for further consideration in light of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.,” read the order.

    The Washington, DC-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has followed the case and submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Catholic Conference.

    Mark Rienzi, senior counsel with the Becket Fund, told The Christian Post he was “delighted that the Court once again rejected the government’s stingy view of religious liberty.”

    “That’s what is so bizarre about the government’s position,” said Rienzi regarding the federal government’s effort to prevent a religious organization from getting a religious exemption.

    “The government says they are not a ‘religious employer’ and therefore they have to sign forms to authorize and require other people to give out contraceptives for them. That makes no sense at all.”

    In 2012, the Obama Administration announced the creation of an HHS mandate that would compel insurance to cover FDA approved birth control methods.

    The announcement garnered controversy as many argued that the then-proposed HHS mandate did not adequately exempt all of those with religious objections to some or all forms of contraception covered by the mandate.

    Since then, the federal government has made various compromises and has lost the occasional court case compelling them to amend the mandate.

    “Under current law, [the Catholic Conference and others] can receive an exemption by writing a letter to the Health and Human Services Department or filling out a two-page form to document their objections,” reported the Hill.

    “But the groups said those extra steps created an ‘unjustified substantial burden’ and called for the same kind of across-the-board exemption that houses of worship received under the law. ”

    Regarding the overall lawsuits being leveled nationwide against the mandate, Rienzi of Becket Fund told CP that he believed the Supreme Court will eventually have to take up the issue.

    “I think that the Court will continue the path it has set in the long string of mandate cases to date … and it will protect religious ministries from this mandate,” said Rienzi.

    “This whole fight is unnecessary and silly. Obviously the government can distribute contraceptives without the forced involvement of the Catholic Church and its ministries. The government can put a man on the moon — they can distribute pills without religious ministries.”

    Reportedly Michigan Catholic Conference’s success at the high court is the sixth group since December 2013 that the Justices have sided with on HHS mandate legal action.

    The other five are Little Sisters of the Poor, Hobby Lobby Stores, Wheaton College, the University of Notre Dame, and Archbishop David A. Zubik with the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/supreme-court-stops-irs-fines-from-hitting-catholic-group-over-federal-contraception-mandate-138399/

  • Watosh

    And all the while we are supporting the spread of America’s “values” by war and regime change and economic sanctions throughout the world.

  • cestusdei

    Make no mistake, they want us out of education and health care, and pretty much everywhere else. It will happen. I don’t see any movement to stop these attacks.

  • SnowRose

    Catholic Schools lost their God-given protection when they stopped celebrating daily Mass due to worrying about offending children of other religions coming in and worrying about finances instead of remaining true to the Faith and trusting God. This was a terrible mistake. I watched this harm the children, the school and the Church over time. Lord have Mercy. If Mass was said daily once again, this problem would soon disappear in our Catholic schools.

    • Seamrog

      There is a lot of truth here.

      The Catholic school my children attended only celebrated Mass once a week.

      There was an early daily Mass that had no other school children attending other than my own. When Fr. Talksalot gave a rambling homily, the would be late to school and be handed tardy slips. I had to complain to the principal who excused them, but said they still had to get the slips because they were tardy.

      I wanted to start the first day of school off with Mass for the entire school, but that got dismissed – it would be too chaotic.

      The pastor rarely – if ever – sets foot in that school.

      Attendance is down, morale is down, and it is struggling.

      The Eucharist is our nouishment, it is our daily Bread. It is amazing to me that it is preached, but not practiced in our schools.

      Many of those on straw foundations will not stand when the homosexualists come armed with the tyrannical federal government.

      • SnowRose

        I couldn’t agree more! I pulled my kids and homeschooled them after a few years of struggling with what the Catholic School we were at. All that it was not doing and starting to teach/allow..so much error was suddenly being taught and I decided that it would be better to put my energy into educating my kids with the truth instead of fighting the school that was slipping away from Catholic teaching! So sad! This choice was such a gift to my family, we all still thank God for it! So many of the kids that came out of this school ended up leaving the Church. My kids did not and now are taking their own kids to Mass and living according to the teachings of the Church. So many hard issues and fights to fight today in our world!

  • Robert

    A wise man once said, “Evil preaches tolerance until it becomes dominant, and then seeks to destroy good.” And that is what is unfolding before us today as the homo-fascists (and their enablers in the Federal courts) continue their relentless assault on our institutions.

  • Debi

    I am a Jesus follower who agrees whole heartedly regarding the persecution that the church is facing in this country. Perhaps God is calling us to take this stand against evil and be counted for what we believe. The courts may not uphold the Constitution but we will still have to stand.

  • WRBaker

    What many Catholics don’t also see is the disintegration of Catholic schools from within. Those of us who have tried to withstand this destruction and been castaway know that some teachers, principals, education departments, priests and bishops have taught, allowed or ignored patently un-Catholic heresies and practises to exist in our schools.
    Part of what we are experiencing from the outside are CINO politicians (including judges) who were not taught the Faith correctly. Those responsible for our schools were not properly inculcated with the Faith, as well, and they convey their own ideas instead.
    Since we rarely hear from the bishops, even on topics Catholic, it has been left to lay Catholics to take up the flag and try to hold fast against the secular and those who wish to bring down our Faith.
    We have met the enemy and he is us.

  • Philip Lishman

    I have asked the revolutionaries directly on four occasions now to list the professions and business activities they would allow Christians to do, assuming they get everything they demand.

    So far none has dared answer me, although some have attacked the question, or me. When I’ve cut through this playing for time, there has always been no answer to my initial question.

    The revolutionaries clearly recognize that the implications of their demands are for Christians grossly unjust and immoral, hence they are ashamed to admit them.

    I think all Christians would be served by putting this question to social revolutionaries as often as possible, to force them to confront the (entirely predictable) consequences of their activism.

  • jacobum

    We have no one to blame for this except ourselves. This has been totally predictable. The left, liberals, progressives etc both laity and clergy (especially clergy) within and out of the Church are like termites. You either eradicate them by the fumigation of direct exposure to the sunlight of Truth or they just keep on chewing and destroy the edifice from within. Vatican 2 was pitched as an opening to the world. To date It has been a fantastic success for the ruler of the world and his minions and brilliantly accomplished at that. It takes a special type of stupidity aka “diabolical disorientation” to surrender to the Satanic i/n/o “obedience”. The Shepherds have turned into wolves and devoured the sheep. How else does one explain the self-destruction of the Church, rampant prelate apostasy, empty Churches, closing schools, ignorant “Catholics” who have been the deciding vote in the last 2 elections in the selection of our own executioners. All done i/n/o of tolerance and freedom. The current Vatican version of this nonsense is the PF lead excuse of the day called “Mercy”. It’s all about “Man” being God. How do you think that’s going to turn out? Lord have mercy on us.

  • Jacqueleen

    Catholic Schools must stop accepting Government subsidies. They have sold their souls to the atheistic government. Then, they should limit enrollment to only Catholic students with much emphasis, doubling up on the study of the Catechism/Bible so that non-Catholics will look for a secular private school. Pray for our Church, our country, our families!

  • Jake Rabas

    Hey, it’s us against the world, just like in the early days of the Church. While this is sort of scary, it is also strangely exciting. Being a true Catholic is now being a rebel of sorts. Who would’a thunk it?

  • henhill

    Holy Matrimony is not equal to the civil marriages of the state. The Catholic Church is now getting it’s just desserts after YEARS of capitulating to profane state requirements in order to get money to fund its charities and institutions. But only now that they are pushing the boundaries “too far” there is all this wailing. Where were these folks when abortion, contraception, the sexual revolution, adoption, etc were in the news? No one wanted to fight over these values, especially when the grant money was flowing.
    This is not a moral problem, moral people will behave according to their faith, no matter what. It is a money problem, and these institutions want their cake and to eat it too. A good education, steeped in faith and morals is worth turning our noses up at the government- pay them the tax or whatever it is just to keep them away, there is no price too high to keep the devil outside the gate. Holy matrimony, faith and all other tenets of our faith are more valuable than the dollars that flow from hell right into our sacred spaces. I almost welcome the opportunity to have to stand and be counted, to find other ways in order to fortify ourselves and rout the wolves in ssheeps clothing in our midst.

  • Silver

    Have gay rights groups ever heard of shotguns?

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