To the editor:
The furor over the HHS mandate has, — unintentionally, I think — provoked searching personal and societal reflections on fundamental human issues. For example: When does human life begin? Is our culture in America one of sexual libertinism? Is there a bright clear line between artificial and chemical birth control and the procuring of abortions? What constitutes a healthful environment for growing children ? Have the citizens of the United States now become merely "the masses" living in illiteracy and impoverishment and enjoying such amusements as are available 24/7?
As Catholics, we should know that, historically, we generally live in nations that are more or less hostile to the interests of the church. This is however a time for thought and reflection, not panic and hysteria.
Two books that are helping me to consider these issues are "The City of God" by St Augustine and "Render unto Caesar" by Archbishop Charles Chaput.
And yes, I am grateful to ALL U.S. Bishops for their call to thought and action.