(CNSNews.com) -- President Barack Obama's policies “have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization,” Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the highest court at the Vatican, said in a recent interview.
Cardinal Burke added that Obama wants to restrict religious freedom and force the individuals, outside of his or her place of worship, “to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions.”
In an interview first published in Polish in Polonia Christiana magazine and republished exclusively in English at LifeSite News, Cardinal Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, was asked about President Obama’s policies towards Christian civilization and if there are any “Catholic reactions against this policy? If yes, what are they, [or] if not, why?”
Cardinal Burke, who heads the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court at the Vatican, said: “It is true that the policies of the president of the United States of America have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”
“Now he [Obama] wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship; that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,” said Cardinal Burke.
He continued, “Such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago. It is true that many faithful Catholics, with strong and clear leadership from their Bishops and priests, are reacting against the ever-growing religious persecution in the U.S.”
“Sadly, one has the impression that a large part of the population is not fully aware of what is taking place,” said the cardinal. “In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly. It leads to the loss of the freedom, which a democratic government exists to protect. It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation.”
As CNSNews.com has reported, the Catholic bishops of the United States have stated that the Obamacare mandate requiring individuals (and businesses) to carry health insurance that offers contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs without co-payments is an “unjust and illegal mandate.”
They have also declared the mandate a “violation of personal civil rights,” and that it should be “rescinded.”
“The mandate continues to represent an unprecedented (and now sustained) violation of religious liberty by the federal government,” said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“As applied to individuals and organizations with a religious objection to contraceptive coverage, the mandate violates the First Amendment,” they said.
In a 2012 letter on the issue, sent to parishes across the country to be read at Sunday Mass, the bishops said, “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”
So far, 94 lawsuits have been filed against the Obamacare mandate and the Department of Health and Human Services, by a variety of plaintiffs. In several dozen of those lawsuits, the courts have granted the plaintiffs an injunction, meaning they do not have to comply with the mandate as their case moves through the courts. Some of those cases are headed to the Supreme Court.
Next Tuesday, Mar. 25, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.