The Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi group, affiliated with the US National Pax Christi,has abandoned Pax Christi’s fundamental principle of non-violence by advocating that the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and other Catholic employers, provide employees with Obama Care insurance, that provides, among other things, abortifacient contraceptives.
Pittsburgh Pax Christi’s support of President Obama’s law forcing the Catholic Church to provide employees with abortifacient contraceptives was expressed in their legal action against the Diocese of Pittsburgh before the District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Pax Christi argued the court should dismiss the Diocese’s legal objections to Obama’s Healthcare mandate.
Pax Christi’s legal case explicitly acknowledged the abortifacient nature of some types of contraception they argued the Church should provide to employees:
“There is some dispute as to whether all of the medications specified in the Complaint [Pittsburgh Diocese] prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to a uterus, or simply, inhibit fertilization. (See. N.Y. Times, June 5, 2012 “Abortion Qualms on Morning After Pill May be Unfounded” available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/health/research/morning-after-pills-don‟t-work-science suggests. Again, for purposes of this brief, Amici [Pax Christi et al] will accept the assertion that the medication prevents the fertilized egg from developing.”
Pax Christi readily acknowledges that providing abortifacients are against the teaching of the Church:
‘The Complaint correctly notes that under the Government Mandate, dioceses and other Catholic institutions that act as employers will be required to provide, as part of an insurance plan, coverage for sterilization procedures, birth control medication and devices and, possibly, abortifacients. The use of these medications and procedures for purposes of birth control is contrary to the official teaching of the Church.’
The Pax Christi group goes on to make two arguments for the court to dismiss the argument from the Diocese that to provide contraceptives is againts the teaching of the Church:
The first argument is that the court should legally recognise dissent as taking precedence over the teachings of the Magisterium:
‘Moreover, while the Complaint does not mention it, as to those employees who are Catholic, the Court can take judicial notice of the fact that polling data shows that the overwhelming majority of Catholics disagree with the official teachings of the Church and believe, as a matter of individual conscience, that they may practice birth control.’
The second argument is that the Catholic Church should be legally required to provide abortifacients because her freedom of religion would be adequately served by being able to teach that contraception was immoral, while at the same time buying the abortifacients for employees, thereby financially enabling the killing of unborn children:
‘Accordingly, the Amici suggest that any thoughtful balancing of all the interests at issue in this case leads to the conclusion that the Mandate is constitutional. The burden on the Church– although real — is slight. The Plaintiffs have the relatively modest cost, which all employers have, of implementing the Mandate — a rule of neutral application imposed on all employers.
Their employees are completely free to exercise their own individual consciences and to decide whether they wish to avail themselves of the procedures and devices without economic compulsion on them. Most importantly, nothing impairs the absolute right of the Plaintiffs and all other Catholic officials to loudly and clearly state their teachings.’
Pax Christi Pittsburgh, with other Catholic groups, were successful in persuading the Court to dismiss the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s claim to be exempted from the mandatory provision of abortifacients to kill unborn children, contrary to the explicit teaching and discipline of the Catholic Church.
Protect the Pope comment: What is the position of US National Pax Christi and International Pax Christi about Pax Christi Pittsburgh taking part in a legal action against a Catholic diocese? What is their position about a Pax Christi group taking legal action to force the Catholic Church in the USA to provide abortifacients? What is their response to Pax Christi Pittsburgh abandoning the fundamental principle of non-violence?
For Catholics over here in the UK this betrayal of the Church by an official Pax Christi begs the question, what is the position of Pax Christi UK about the action taken by their sister group in Pittsburgh to force the Church to provide abortifacients? What is Pax Christi UK’s position on the use of abortifacients in the context of non-violence?