Roman Catholic leaders in northern New York and Vermont are decrying what they describe as a broad-based attack on religious liberties in general, and on their faith in particular.
In Vermont, Roman Catholic leaders say the government should move to block or disallow civil lawsuits sparked by the priest-sex abuse scandal, according to the Burlington Free Press.
“The State cannot infringe on a protected freedom by imposing damages and penalties that the church cannot pay,” the diocese said in a motion asking Judge William Sessions III to throw out a lawsuit filed in 2010 by a man alleging that as an altar boy he was molested in Rutland by the Rev. Edward Paquette in 1974.
“If the protections of the First Amendment are to mean anything, the government should not be allowed to shut the doors of a church and put it up for sale,” church lawyers Kaveh Shahi and Tom McCormick wrote.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Ogdensburg in northern New York is blasting an Obama administration rule that would force the church to offer health insurance that includes services that the church rejects, including contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion. This from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
“The federal government, which claims to be ‘of, by, and for the people,’ has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those
People – the Catholic population – and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful,” [Bishop Terry] LaValley said.
So what do you think? Do you see a Roman Catholic church under siege in an increasingly secular world? Comments welcome below.