By Alan Sexton
The Obama State Department has added the Holy See, the seat of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, to it’s “Countries/Jurisdictions of Concern” list in it’s just released “2012 INCSR: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report”.
The Roman Catholic Church appears on the list as the Holy See, and is now considered by this administration in the same company as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kosovo, and Yemen, among others.
Singularly, this action would be less disconcerting (especially since the United States is itself considered a country of “primary concern”), but the Obama administrations action raises concerns because no other U.S. administration has targeted the Holy See as a “concern”, and the action is announced at a time when Barack Obama and his administration are under intensifying pressure from a rapidly growing alliance of religious and secular Americans for Mr. Obama’s mandate to force Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives and abortifacients.
Respecting the tenets of Catholicism, the Roman Catholic church is morally forbidden to either directly or indirectly provide contraceptives and abortifacients, and doing so also violates and is in direct opposition to church teachings. Mr. Obama’s mandate also violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, wherein the federal government is expressly forbidden from making any law establishing a religion and restricting the free exercise of religion.
Also fueling renewed questions of the motives of Mr. Obama and his administration, the president is now facing intensifying public scrutiny for ambiguities, if not intentional efforts to mislead Catholic leaders in direct discussions on the contraceptive and abortifacient issue.