It may be that the HHS mandate is one of the best things that ever happened to the Catholic Church. That is not to say that it is a good thing, but that it might end up having been a good experience for the Catholic Church.
This past Tuesday we had a holy hour for the Fortnight for Freedom to pray and learn about what religion in the United States is up against with the HHS mandate. There was a favorable turnout, more than we had anticipated, and then Fr. Pfeiffer packed up all the stuff and we went on with the rest of our evening.
But the people who attended did not. As it turns out a good number of them went to a coffee shop to continue the discussion. (When was the last time Catholics spontaneously got together after Mass or a prayer service to talk more about the homily?) One of the gentlemen with whom I spoke told of a feeling of camaraderie, unity, and the energy that one receives when bonded in a common cause with one’s brothers and sisters. So as it turns out, history is rhyming once again. Under persecution (and this is persecution under our Constitution) the Church unites and grows stronger. Such as always been her history.
When asked what he was going to do about the Catholic Church problem Napoleon is reported to have said, “You cannot destroy the Catholic Church. The Catholic clergy have been trying to do it for over a century and a half and they are getting nowhere.” This is a Church that has faced the cruelest governments and has always come out stronger for it. But it has happened that the faith of a nation has, from time to time, almost died out. One need just cast a furtive glance to France once known as the backbone of the Church to see that this is true. In order for that to not happen here we must wake to the challenge. The lion has been stuck with a stick. He needs to wake up.