"His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke has been underscoring the interplay of civil law and the Church’s canon law. Last summer he organized a conference on that very subject.
This will be more and more important as the Church and state (and prevailing mores) become more and more estranged.
Catholics must consider what it will be like to maintain the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and hospitals (…. and, eventually, parishes). We must consider whether it is worth trying to do so. Most people will say that it is.
Under what conditions and constraints? At what cost?
I suspect we are going to get more direction from Card. Burke on these matters. Once he gets hold of something he, like a pit bull, doesn’t let it go. Think of can. 915.
Card. Ratzinger was nicknamed “God’s Rotweiller”.
Perhaps Card. Burke will be “God’s Pit Bull”."
This is a vitally crucial point. As civil government becomes more and more hostile to the Church we are, again, going to have to make decisions at the personal level that will have a cost. Every part of our lives as we move forward into the coming storm are going to be a series of divergence points, places in time where we make small and sometimes large decisions that will affect our soul and salvation. We will choose rightly or wrongly, each decision probably not climactic in itself but just part of an overall pattern that will either bring us closer to Christ or closer to the evil one.
I don't know how this will play out and I'm glad that Card. Burke is thinking about this and is going to give us some direction. I'm sure that it'll start with issues like insurance policies. Catholic organizations will be forced to carry coverage for abortions and contraception and God only knows what else. When they refuse the government will crack down, arresting the administrators and seizing assets.
The government will force Catholic schools to follow government guidelines regarding "the separation of church and state", forcing the removal of all religious objects and halting the teaching of the one, true faith in our own schools. When the schools refuse, the government will move in. What should our response be?
Catholic hospitals will be forced to preform abortions. When they refuse and the government forces nuns, whose orders have served for hundreds of years as medical professionals, to participate in murder they will refuse. What should we do to back them?
These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed and quickly because all of this is coming our way. We need to present a strong and unified front against evil when the time comes and we need to be prepared for the suffering that will come our way.
It is in this preparation that the Church must lead.