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The Obama Administration's Lack of Mercy

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By Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC (Feb 28, 2012)
One hundred percent of the Bishops of the United States have now spoken out against the recent Obama Health and Human Services mandate requiring Catholic institutions to violate their consciences and the Church's moral teaching regarding coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

One of the 181 bishops, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, made a startling statement this past Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent:

If you haven't already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.

The Cardinal's words hit home when I visited a patient last night at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, N.Y., which is affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy, a religious community dedicated to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

I'd never been to this particular hospital, and I was immediately moved by how different it was from the secular hospital where I normally make hospital visits. Instead of a cold, institutional feel, it had an atmosphere of humanity, mercy, and love. Surely, the warm d├ęcor and welcoming words above the reception desk — "In the care of the sick, great tenderness above all things," from Mother Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy — had something to do with it. Certainly, having our Lord truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament at the hospital chapel also helped make the difference.

As I walked the halls after the pastoral visit, I came across a display that described the history of the hospital and the hard work and sacrifice of the sisters who founded it. One picture showed a Sister of Mercy tenderly ministering to a sick patient. Looking at that picture, I suddenly realized a grave injustice of the Obama Administration's mandate: One bully decision gets to single-handedly end a 143-year legacy of mercy?

This Lent, this year, let's work for change so that two Lents from now places like St. Peter's Hospital won't disappear. For more information on how you can help, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Your spiritual help is also needed. Consider praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and offering at least one of your daily Lenten sacrifices so that this unjust mandate will be overcome. Get your friends, family, and prayer groups to pray and sacrifice for this very special intention.

Read Cardinal George's full address.

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, is the director of the Association of Marian Helpers, based in Stockbridge, Mass.

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concerned - Mar 21, 2013

speaking of hospitals, I've been told by 3 different ladies that Fr. Michael Gaitley was in the hospital recently - details not explained of what happened or what hospital. Even though it's a work of mercy to visit people in the hospital, I didn't do it. I just prayed the Chaplet for him from afar. I hope if he was sick, that there was a priest to help with him with annointing of the sick, and that the healthcare professionals were truly merciful, as in really Nurses 4 Divine Mercy types. I'm sorry if he's suffering. He works so hard for the Church. Remember St. Ignatius read spiritual books when he was in recovery :) Get well soon.

Maria - Mar 5, 2012

What is ironic is that the bad leaven for this whole thing came from the system in Massachusettsset up by Gov.Romney !

Mormon belief systems in God having been only a human and the distortions about who the Lord is - Catholics and Christians may have to be very discerning if we want to put our trust in any one who holds to such beliefs , with its antpathy against The Church !

Let us hope that the Catholic candidates would commit to spending a good bit of effort in promoting the Divine Mercy Devotion and Feasts ( may be Karen Santorumand Mrs. Gingrich together planning to do so , in thousands of places , over the next 8 years ) and that same would lead to miracles, like in the fall of communism , with intercession of St.Faustina and bl.Joh Paul 11 .

Lynne-Marie - Feb 29, 2012

Thank you Fr. Michael for this and for forwarding Cardinal George's enlightening article. We can take action today to ensure our religious freedom by visiting the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment website: nchla.org. Please send the pre-drafted message to your U.S. Senators to ask them to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, Amendment 1520. May God be with us as we entrust the world to His Mercy. Jesus, we trust in You.

Allison - Feb 29, 2012

Thank you, Fr. Michael! It is only through the grace of God that this battle will be won. May we all continue to fight the good fight and implore the mercy of God on this unprecedented situation. God bless you and your ministry.

Marie Romagnano, RN, Founder, Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy - Feb 28, 2012

This is a serious challenge to all Catholic Healthcare Professionals and our Catholic Medical Facilities. Our Conference Medicine, Bioethics and Spirituality May 1 and 2, sponsored by Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, will address these issues and more. Please tell others about this conference and join us. http://www.thedivinemercy.org/events/event.php?id=163