Apparently a clear majority of American Catholics support mandating that the health insurance provided by employers cover contraception. This is a step of apostasy beyond simply ignoring the clear direction of Catholic doctrine and tradition.
Clearly, Benedict, you've got an apostasy problem. Now, as a Quaker (albeit in name only), I've got little room to talk, as my denomination is at least as hollowed by apostates and frankly, probably moreso. So let our Catholic readers not imagine that I'm taunting them. Far from it, encouragement is what we do best here at the Chariot. What we aim to do this evening is encourage.
As I see it, the problem is that you've lost your voice. Oh, I see your many encyclicals---I've read many of them. I'm a Protestant but I'm more inclined to give you the time of day than most Catholics, at least in my country. The problem with the many encyclicals is that they generally tend to speak to Reason, and not to the gut. Not by accident, I think, does God say He wants obedience, not sacrifices. But most of us have forgotten what your voice sounds like. Perhaps you have as well? Let me refresh your memory
(From A Canticle for Leibowitz, hat tip to http://payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/09/18/book-recommendation-a-canticle-for-leibowitz-by-walter-m-miller-jr/ for the quotation, but read the book if you've not already, it is a masterpiece and the only thing, IMO Walter Miller wrote of lasting value)
“ – but even the ancient pagans noticed that Nature imposes nothing on you that nature doesn’t prepare you to bear. If that is true of a cat, then is it not more perfectly true of a creature with rational intellect and will – whatever you may believe of Heaven?”
“Shut up. Damn you, shut up!” she hissed.
If I’m being a little brutal,” said the priest, “then it is to you, not the baby. The baby, as you say, can’t understand. And you, as you say, are not complaining. Therefore—”
“Therefore you are asking me to let her die slowly and –”
“No! I’m not asking you. As a priest of Christ I am commanding you by the authority of Almighty God not to lay hands on your child, not to offer her life in sacrifice to a false god of expedient mercy. I do not advise you. I adjure and command you in the name of Christ the King. Is that clear?”
Dom Zerchi had never spoken with such a voice before, and the ease with which the words came to his lips surprised even the priest. As he continued to look at her, her eyes fell. For an instant he had feared that the girl would laugh in his face. When Holy Church occasionally hinted that she still considered her authority to be supreme over all nations and superior to the authority of states, men in these times tended to snicker. And yet the authority of the command could still be sensed by a bitter girl with a dying child. It had been brutal to reason with her, and he regretted it. A simple direct command might accomplish what persuasion could not. She needed the voice of authority now, more than she needed persuasion. He could see it by the way she had wilted, although he had spoken the command as gently as his voice could manage.
That, Friend, is what your voice sounds like. Not the plaintive meow of a housecat but the roar of the Lion of Judah. Not the simpering of the scholars of the Second Sigma, but the Command Voice of the Vicar of Christ.
A Roman Fresco from Pompeii
16 hours ago