Christ had a strong message for his followers. They were to take care of those in need, help those who needed it, and give what they could to those less fortunate. As author Terry Pratchett put it in a very unrelated book, Christians are suppose to “‘feed them as is hungry, clothe them as is naked, and speak up for them as has no voices.’”
The Bible even states, in Deuteronomy, ““If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.”
Yet, this is not the only part of the Bible that speaks about poverty and helping those in need. Again, to turn to the author, satirist and philosopher Terry Pratchett, in his book Good Omens, he made the point that the demon Crowley was able to create a faint patina of evil across a large number of people by angering and frustrating people through strategic use of things like traffic jams. Gathering together to help all the poor and needy helps to spread good across a lot more people.
However, it is not surprising that the Catholic Church has decided to abandon helping the poor or victimize women because of their need for power. Today, the Dignitatis Humanae Institute sent out this press release intended to make people turn from those in need, and those whose health is not the best:
In a further sign of Christian unity against President Obama’s compulsory birth control mandate, Cardinal Raymond Burke has called on all Catholics to bravely oppose this unprecedented attack on freedom of conscience and religious liberty.
Speaking in an interview today, Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, spoke of the duty of all Catholics to unite and defend: “the fundamental human right, the right to the free exercise of one’s conscience.” Cardinal Burke also encouraged employers to withstand the government pressure to provide contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization to their staff; a requirement that the US government plans to make compulsory, not just for all employers, but also for universities.
In response to Cardinal Burke’s rallying call, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, Honorary President of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute stated: “The leadership shown by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, backed up by millions of the Catholic faithful has been a heartening sight within this tragic situation. No citizen should be forced to choose between healthcare and their faith, all in the name of ‘choice’.” The Cardinal Martino added: “The Dignitatis Humanae Institute fervently applauds the leadership demonstrated by Cardinal Burke, and all American Bishops on this matter; a defining issue of our time.”
Speaking exclusively from his office to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Cardinal Burke said: “I would like to warmly thank Cardinal Martino for his support. At stake is freedom of conscience, a fundamental and innate right for which humanity has sacrificed so much to safeguard and preserve. We cannot allow a government to assume supremacy over our conscience, and to force us into actions we know to be morally wrong.”
Perhaps it is time that Christians remember this passage purportedly said by Christ:
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”