Biden Administration Threatens Catholic Hospital: Put Out Your Sanctuary Candle, Or Else

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In yet another manifestation of the Biden regime’s burning hostility to traditional religion, and particularly to the Catholic Church of which the alleged president claims to be a proud member, Old Joe’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has demanded that an Oklahoma Catholic hospital put out its sanctuary candle, or be stripped of all Medicare and Medicaid funding. Did you get this idea while praying your rosary, Joe?

Every Catholic (and Orthodox) Church in the entire world has a sanctuary light, signifying the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Almost everywhere these pose no problem, but according to a report in the Daily Caller Wednesday, “The federal government told Saint Francis Health System’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael J. Lissau that the sanctuary candle on their premises was in violation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s (CMS) fire safety requirements, the hospital says.”

This has implications far beyond Saint Francis Hospital, which is in Tulsa. Given the ubiquity of these lights, this directive could end up stripping federal funds from Catholic hospitals all over the country. Old Joe Biden must know how sweepingly damaging this regulation could be, as he professes to be a pious Catholic. Yet so far, he has neither said nor done anything to rein in HHS and reassure the hospital. Why not? Likely for the same reason that he is so ardently pro-abortion and determined to prevent states from placing any restrictions on sacrifices to Moloch: he isn’t really a Catholic at all, but just poses as one to gain the support of unwitting Catholic voters who don’t know what game is being played.

One of the most revolting aspects of this sinister corruptocrat’s carefully cultivated public persona as affable Lunchbucket Joe is his ostentatious false piety. “I go to Mass and I say the rosary. I find it to be incredibly comforting,” Biden claimed in a 2020 campaign ad, and the establishment media has pushed this nonsense as well. “The new president,” the New York Times announced three days after Old Joe started pretending to be president, “elevates a liberal Catholicism that once seemed destined to fade away.” By “liberal Catholicism,” the Times means an ostentatious, external piety emptied of all its content and cynically designed to win Catholic votes.

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And so now “the government says that the hospital will no longer be able to accept Medicare and Medicaid funds as long as the flame remains in the chapel. After the hospital requested a waiver, the HHS sent a letter denying the request on April 20.” That letter was full of spurious concern for patient safety, explaining that “a hospital must ensure that the life safety from fire requirements are met.” The rule for lighted candles “states that such candles must be ‘placed in a substantial candle holder and supervised at all times they are lighted.’” Yet the sanctuary candle in Saint Francis Hospital was “burning unattended 24/7.” What’s more, the rules forbid any “open flame within one foot of a nasal cannula and 15 feet of any other oxygen delivery equipment.”

All this sounds superficially impressive, at least until one realizes that Catholic hospitals have had sanctuary candles “burning unattended 24/7” since time immemorial, and no one has gotten hurt. What’s more, anyone who knows how Catholic chapels and churches are laid out will know immediately that no one with a nasal cannula or oxygen delivery equipment was getting within fifteen feet of the sanctuary candle anyway.

Related: CONFIRMED: The FBI Has Spies in Catholic Churches to Hunt for ‘Domestic Terrorism’

An organization dedicated to defending religious freedom, Becket Law, accordingly wrote to the HHS: “Saint Francis cannot do this as a matter of faith. And so, in twenty-five days, the federal government intends to disaccredit (and thereby effectively shutter) this premier health system, which includes the number one hospital in Oklahoma and the 12th largest hospital in the nation. All because Saint Francis refuses to abandon its religious beliefs and extinguish the sanctuary lamp.” Lori Windham, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, added: “The government’s demand is absurd and unlawful — it is targeting Saint Francis’s sincere beliefs without any good reason.”

Oh, but it has perfectly good reason: the Biden regime just hates traditional religion. And it especially hates Roman Catholicism because of the Catholic Church’s strong and sustained stance against abortion, the primary sacrament of the Leftist faith. That’s what this is really all about. And much more like it is soon to come.

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