The sleeping giant has been awakened.
Right now we're witnessing an unprecedented response to the Obama administration's decision last Friday to proceed with their new mandate forcing all Americans (including the Catholic Church) to fund birth control, sterilization, and some abortion-inducing drugs.
Since Friday we have been receiving reports from individuals and parishes across the country. Catholics of all stripes, left, right, and center -- "political" categories that are not typically helpful -- are nevertheless coming together like never before.
We are united as one Church.
Bishops, priests, pastors and the laity are rising up. Many priests and bishops preached last Sunday on the threat, with numerous reports of congregations spontaneously erupting with standing ovations. Blogs, news sites, and grassroots organizations (on both left and right!) have erupted. The emails and calls to CV are pouring in.
Retired Cardinal Mahoney in Los Angeles responded to the decision saying: "This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster...there is no other fundamental issue as important as this one as we enter into the Presidential and Congressional campaigns...[i]f any candidate refuses to acknowledge and to promote those rights, then that candidate will not receive my vote."
And just this morning, New York's Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan authored a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal in which he concluded:
"This latest erosion of our first freedom should make all Americans pause. When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead."
The assault on our religious freedom may not come as a surprise to many of you. For years, hostile groups and some elected officials have been working to destroy the influence of the Church in America. For years they have flaunted our social teachings, insulted our clergy and hierarchy, and mocked our Pope. The attacks are endless.
And now they want us to fund their agenda.
We will not accept this new mandate, and we will not rest until it is overturned.