Are You a Camouflage Catholic?

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Are you a camouflage Catholic?

Many of us have been greatly saddened and troubled at heart by the HHS Mandate.
Yet, there are many more who really haven’t been able to stay informed or have not understood just how this mandate has stripped away the religious liberties and freedom of expression from all American citizens.

Already, Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio, has informed its student-body that there will be no more health care insurance offered at the school. (Read more here)  Why? Because, the HHS Mandate forces all Catholic schools, hospitals, and various institutions to provide contraceptives, sterilization services, abortion pills, and other products and services which stand in direct contradiction to the moral Teaching of the Catholic Church. Rather than compromise its Catholic identity, Franciscan U thought it best to cancel the insurance.

Catholic institutions have been give a “choice”.  As of August 1st, 2012, they must provide these things as part of the health-care packages you offer; or, close your doors.

I don’t know what’s more worrisome: To think of all those who will be left in dire need should Catholic hospitals begin to shut down, or how devastating and dividing it will be if Catholic institutions acquiesce to this unjust law and give in, rather than deprive their employees of health-care packages or shut down.

“Jesus, I trust in You”.

The pastor of the parish to which I belong, Reverend John J. Lombardi, has challenged us.
He asks, “Are you a camouflage Catholic? Or, a heroic one?” He says, “The time has come for us to be heroic Catholics”.

Sadly, there was a quiet avalanche forming and pushing forward for years. Catholics, who are afraid to speak up in a crowd of people. Catholics, who want to claim the Faith as their own, but don’t wish to be seen as “different or out-dated”. Worse, and most-damaging, has been those who call themselves Catholic and hold official voting positions in our government, who, instead of being “heroic Catholics” as Father Lombardi challenges them to be, have been “camouflage Catholics” and have, many times over, publicly spoken, acted, and voted against the Teachings of our Church.

This paved the way; a quiet avalanche, steam-rolling; many times un-noticed, until all of the ground work was in place…so that something like the HHS Mandate could make its way through the United States Supreme Court, and be called “constitutionally valid” under the guise/loop hole of an old tax law.

To think that the very Justice who offered the “swing” vote for the “success” of the mandate is, himself a (Camouflage?) Catholic, is disturbing, to say the least.

“Be not afraid” Pope John Paul II often reminded us; echoing the words Our Lord and His angels use in the Scriptures time and time again.

“The gates of hell shall not prevail,” Jesus tells us.

Thus, we, as Catholics need to be transparent now. We must take off the “camouflage” and put on the “armor of God”! We must know our Faith, live our Faith, and share our Faith with others. Most importantly, insofar as government and law is concerned, we must “vote” our Faith!

I am grateful to know many heroic Catholics in my life; Father John Lombardi being one of them.
He has inspired hundreds, if not thousands of people to reach higher, go deeper, step out in a great leap of faith for Christ, in the world.

On July 29th, 2012, Father Lombardi, and two of my own precious children; my teens, age 17 and 15, will embark, with others, along a spiritual pilgrimage, entitled, “Religious Freedom Walk 2012”.
These faithful pilgrims of God, defenders of the Catholic Faith, and joyful/willing Christian servants, will walk
100 miles, across the state of Maryland, from our parish parking lot, to the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore.

100 “heroic” miles for Christ!

They will walk in prayer, penance, and praise of God.
They will walk as witnesses to the Truth of the Teaching of the Catholic Church and to defend it against the unjust law of the HHS Mandate.
They will walk to raise monies for two worthy charities: The Saint Vincent de Paul Society and The Interfaith Coalition Service (where my teens have served those in need in the local food pantry for 4 years).

You, dear reader, are welcome to join these Heroic Catholics!
You may walk the entire 100 miles or any portion of it.
You may unite yourself, in spirit, through prayer, penance, and fasting to sustain the pilgrims as they walk.
You may offer a donation: For the charities listed above, and/or for gift cards for gasoline to fund the “chase cars” that will be following the pilgrims and dropping supplies for them along the way.
You may also keep in touch, leave an encouraging comment, or simply follow them each day by visiting religiousfreedomwalk2012.blogspot.com or the Religious Freedom Walk 2012 page on Facebook.
And, if you happen to be driving through Maryland, between July 29th and August 5th, and you see some pilgrims walking along-side the road, wearing Religious Freedom Walk 2012 shirts, honk your horn, or give a shout out to keep them going!

Let us all ponder the words of Father John J. Lombardi.
Let us ask ourselves if we are camouflage Catholics or if we are willing to be heroic Catholics.
The time has come.
The time is now.

Copyright 2012 Judy Dudich

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16 Comments

  1. Maureen O'Shea on

    Judy,

    I LOVE your post! Unfortunately, we have allowed it to happen, I told my local priest that I am becoming a militant Catholic. I am willing to stand up and am being forced to do so. There are still so many “camouflage” Catholics who either are unaware, or afraid. Either way it is past time to pay attention to what is happening in our country and stand up for what we believe in. God bless you for this article and your children for bringing awareness to this matter. Great article!

    • Thank you, Maureen. God bless you, too.
      You can help the pilgrims, greatly, by uniting in prayer/fasting/penance and inviting others to do the same. These prayers will sustain them for every one of the 100 miles! They will have a logo on the their shirts for Religious Freedom Walk 2012 and on the back, an American Flag and words: “We walk for YOU!”

  2. You have some interesting comments – some of which I don’t agree and some of which I wonder if such passion existed when we went to war in Iraq. I stood among a lot of silent Catholics in my protests against this unjust war; against the horrors it brought to our world. I noticed no one speaks out against the fact that catholic institutions pay for Viagra and other such medications for men. I also wonder about those who are so outraged if they ever in their lives suffered without insurance, watched a child suffer or a parent or a friend die because no insurance was available or lived in fear of pre-existing conditions when changing insurances. If we are to judge anyone then we must judge ourselves – for all too often in our righteousness we forget Jesus’ teachings of justice for the poor, the sick and the outcasts. I believe goodness will prevail in this bill – it is a beginning – not an end. It has within it the power to make us a better country – a country who cares for its people – all its peoples – not just a selected few. I hope my comment does not offend – for that is not my purpose. By the way I work at a Catholic University, and I have suffered all the above – from the war to no insurance to pre-existing condition – to watching a friend die too soon.

    • Sue,

      No offense taken. The whole essence of “camouflage” Catholic is to “judge ourselves”. So, you have written well!
      Viagra is something an individual chooses to take because of promoted/claimed enhancement on libido. It does not kill children in the womb. It does not prevent conception/God’s natural order of the marital relations. Therefore, in my opinion, and I speak NOT for the Church; it is entirely different and non-comparable to the issue. As for your questions of wonder, my personal answer is “yes”…for I, too, have experienced ALL of what you mention; some within my own family. So, “yes”, I understand what those things are like VERY well.
      My husband is a veteran of the Gulf War in Iraq. I am proud that he rose to serve his country when called and that he risked his life, came close to death several times, and sacrificed being with his wife, young daughter, and newborn son for a year. He is no longer in the service but would go in a heartbeat if re-called. The Catholic Church’s Moral Teaching on contraception, sterilization, and abortion pills is quite clear. Far too many “camouflage” Catholics have allowed this mandate to take place. In fact, I agree with the previous commenter, above, Kevin, who stated that there are no “camouflage” Catholics, only cowardly ones. This article does not address and is not intended to address those who are ignorant by no fault of their own.
      However, any person of age, who is literate, can study and learn the Teachings of the Church, and can become informed on the issue at-hand with the HHS Mandate. We are not talking about war. We are not talking about children who need insurance. Both are important issues; but this article is addressing a specific current atrocity in our nation; Catholics are being targeted by the US Government and ALL people’s religious freedom of liberty and expression is at stake. These institutions are being forced/coerced to provide products and services that are immoral and in direct contradiction to the convictions, beliefs, and Teachings of their Faith. This is not freedom.
      I thank you for your comment. I also do not understand why you ask about those who are “outraged”. I never stated that anyone was outraged but that they are calling all Catholics together in solidarity to walk “in prayer, penance, and praise of God and to witness against the unjust law of HHS Mandate.” What I wrote and what you interject on all topics are two very different things. God bless you and I hope that many of the people, children, families, with whom you work are blessed by your passion and compassion for those in distress.

  3. Your follow-up comment is well taken – thank you. When one is writing and reading the written words – the understanding and comprehension is not the same as ‘talking.’ On such topics I enjoy verbal discussions. I believe there is much more discussion regarding this matter. I’m one of those people who work not to judge another’s choice/beliefs/life – whether I agree or disagree with them for I have not walked in their shoes or their journey. I want to learn more about people so I can have their choices/beliefs/life to challenge me to understand more. I don’t think anyone would call you – or me for that matter – a camouflage Catholic. You write from your heart. God bless you as you continue your journey back to the one who first called you by name.

    • Thank you, Sue, and God bless you, as well.
      I would like to interject one more thought regarding “judging”.
      None of us is free to judge a person’s soul; meaning to decide, or make claim, as to the STATE of that soul; and if it is bound for heaven or hell.
      ONLY the One, True, Sovereign God can do that.
      However, among the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord, we are given the tools and graces to be able to discern right from wrong. And, the Spiritual Works of Mercy: Admonish the sinner, Instruct the ignorant, Counsel the afflicted, Comfort those in need, Bear wrongs patiently, Forgive others, and Pray for all….(Fortitude: Have the strength and courage to do what is right and forge ahead in the face of adversity or hardship!)
      The Lord has entrusted us with the care and furthering of His Church on earth. We are to minister to ALL people : Hence, the term “Catholic”; meaning: Universal and For All.
      I mention these things because while we can not judge a person’s soul…we most definitely can “judge” an action, a behavior, a lifestyle, etc…with “judge” meaning “observe and determine if it is openly against God’s way or detrimental to the soul because of an inherently and intrinsically evil aspect”…And, when we see someone living, acting, or voting, in a way that stands in offense against God’s Commandments, and doing so in an unrepentant manner, then, as the above suggest, we are obligated to “admonish”. In order to admonish, one can assess, that we must first, “judge that there is a need for admonishment”. This is not the same as “judging someone’s soul/Salvation”. I think part of the problem we face today, is that political correctness and secular liberalism & relativism have infiltrated the hearts and minds of Christians to a point that they are hesitant (or even afraid) to discern and reach out in brotherhood to admonish, to stand for Absolute Truth, and to speak up when God’s laws are being usurped by a certain sect or government. You are correct that we never know a person’s heart; or “what shoes” they have walked in…but, if we are Christian, then we DO know what God has Commanded and what “true freedom” is; and, it is my belief that we are called and morally obligated, not only to try our best to LIVE that Truth, but to DEFEND it when it is attacked. Of course, we are all sinners…but, if we have confessed our sin with a contrite and sorrowful heart; then, we are forgiven. Sometimes, we fear that people will look at something like this pilgrimage and say, “Who are you to do this? You , TOO, are a sinner? You are not free to judge”….This is when we must remember that our sins are forgiven if we are sorry for them and work to amend our lives…but also, that we are not walking or speaking to “Judge Souls”…only to stand for and defend our rights (as written and supposed to be protected under the Constitution) as Americans…to practice and express and follow our Faith; no matter WHAT that Faith might be. This is not about judging. It is about America. It is about the fact that a FREE society should not have a government coercing and FORCING ANY PERSON to act against his conscious or Faith…and this is EXACTLY what the United States Government is doing right now…forcing people to do things that they believe are immoral and sinful.
      I have enjoyed your interaction with me here on CathoicMom.com, Sue. I can tell that you have a good heart that loves people; especially those in distress. I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  4. Judy, my dear CatholicMom sister, you have risen to the ranks of GENERAL – a true leader – in this war to protect and preserve our religious freedom! I, among many of the Church Militant, are proud to walk in your company!

    • Dear Brian,

      God’s blessings to you “brother”.
      I’m glad this post moves you and encourages you in our “walk of Faith”.

      Speaking of “walk”, please pray for our pilgrims, will you?
      Their numbers grow by day and the “enemy”, I’m certain, will try/has already tried, to thwart their efforts.

      They need you…and others…to carry them with your prayers.

  5. Great article Judy! Catholic camouflage really describes it well.

    I hope Sue is right that there might be some goodness in the obamacare but I don’t see it. I think we need better health care system but obamacare will make things worse not better.

    • Thanks, Colleen. And, I sometimes feel like it’s beyond our health care now, don’t you? It’s so much, now, about freedom in America and being able to act as to our conscious and the beliefs/teachings of our Faith. It’s AMERICA…this country was founded upon that very RIGHT/LIBERTY! I’m with you…I just can’t SEE ANY good there.

  6. Awesome Post. I couldn’t have said it better. Yes, our country is founded on our religious right. It is what makes America Great! I was thinking that maybe some Catholics are just uninformed and don’t know any better. Sometimes we don’t speak up because we are unaware or don’t know a lot about the subject. I know that my congregation pray each week that they have a change of heart and change this. If that doesn’t happen, I will do my god given right and vote them right out of office. The pen is mightier than the sword my friend, or in this case the voting box.

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