Skip to comments.Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Posted on 01/31/2012 4:59:07 PM PST by The Shrew
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of LincolnLincoln, Neb., Jan 30, 2012 / 06:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics may have to suffer for the integrity of their institutions, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska announced in his response to the Obama administration's contraception mandate.
We cannot and will not comply with this unjust decree. Like the martyrs of old, we must be prepared to accept suffering which could include heavy fines and imprisonment, Bishop Bruskewitz wrote in a letter he ordered to be read at every Sunday Mass in his diocese on Jan. 29.
Our American religious liberty is in grave jeopardy, he warned, describing the impact of new rules that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has instituted as part of federal health care reform.
Those rules, confirmed as final on Jan. 20, will require most religious employers to cover contraception and sterilization, including some abortion-causing drugs, in new health care plans. Sebelius has given religious groups an extra year to comply, but rejected calls for a broader exemption clause.
This means that all of our Catholic schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and the like will be forced to participate in evil, Bishop Bruskewitz explained.
The bishop recalled that the Church has pleaded with President Obama to rescind this edict, but all pleas have been met with scorn and have fallen on deaf ears.
He described Secretary Sebelius as a bitter fallen-away Catholic, and called her one-year deadline extension for non-exempt religious employers an act of mockery because, he noted, during that year, they must 'refer' people to the insurance that covers wicked deeds.
A proposed U.S. Senate bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, would amend the health care law to let employers opt out of covering some services. Bishop Bruskewitz urged Catholics to call their elected representatives in support of the bill, and to protest the outrage of the contraception mandate.
Meanwhile, he said, the faithful should pray and do penance that this matter may be resolved.
The bishop of Lincoln was one of a large number of U.S. Church leaders voicing alarm over the weekend, in letters distributed to parishes and read at Mass regarding the Health and Human Services order.
In the Diocese of Phoenix, Catholics heard a message from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who declared that people of faith would not be made second-class citizens and stripped of their God-given rights.
In Marquette, Michigan, Bishop Alexander K. Sample said that if the rule takes effect, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so.
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond stressed the need for action in his letter to the faithful over the weekend, as he decried the unprecedented attack on religious liberty by which the state was violating our rights to make choices based on our morals and Church teaching.
Archbishop Aymond is in Rome for meetings with Vatican officials as well as Pope Benedict XVI, who issued his own warning to the U.S. Church just before Health and Human Services finalized the mandate.
In remarks to bishops of the Mid-Atlantic states on Jan. 19, the Pope said all U.S. Catholics must realize the grave threats to the Churchs public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.
The Bishop's Letter in Total
Office of the Bishop
This letter is to be read at all Masses in the Diocese of Lincoln at which the faithful are present the weekend of January 28-29, 2012. The reading is obligatory and is not to be a substitute for the homily, but is to be read as a part of parish announcements.
+ Fabian W. Bruskewitz, Bishop of Lincoln, January 26, 2012.
To the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful Laity of the Diocese of Lincoln:
Beloved in Christ,
The Catholic Bishops of the United States, led by Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, are joining together to call the attention of all Catholics in our country to a serious attack upon our faith, upon our consciences, and upon our cherished freedom of religion. I am happy to join my voice and efforts to these Successors of the Apostles and to protest most strongly against a mandate, not even a duly passed law, issued by the Obama Administration that requires all Catholics in the United States to violate their consciences and support abortion, abortion-causing drugs, contraception and sterilization.
As you know, the buying of health insurance by every citizen of the USA is now compulsory by federal law. The same law gives to the Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority over all health insurance. The present Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a bitter fallen-away Catholic, now requires that all insurance, even when issued privately, must carry coverage for evil and grave sin. This means that all of our Catholic schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and the like will be forced to participate in evil. The Catholic Church has pleaded with President Obama to rescind this edict, but all pleas have been met with scorn and have fallen on deaf ears. This mandate is accompanied by new attacks by the federal government on Catholic Relief Services and on the Bishops' work in immigration and refugee settlement services.
Secretary Sebelius, in an act of mockery, said that those who might quality for a conscientious exemption (almost no one), have one year to comply, but during that year they must "refer" people to the insurance that covers wicked deeds. We cannot and will not comply with this unjust decree. Like the martyrs of old, we must be prepared to accept suffering which could include heavy fines and imprisonment. Our American religious liberty is in grave jeopardy.
All Catholic are asked to pray and do penance that this matter may be resolved. All should contact their elected representatives to protest this outrage and to insist on the passage of the "Respect for Conscience" act which is now before Congress.
With my blessing and prayers for all of you and your loved ones, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
The Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz
Bishop of Lincoln
Of course, in order for actual Congresscritters to actually read it, they had to wait until it was passed per San Fran Nan. Imagine how much more true that was of bishops.
Would that the church had ten thousand more like him.
Thank you for your post and I second that wish.
God bless you and yours.
Labor unions are granted exemptions by the dictator but not us Catholics.
Great point. Make no mistake, many would just follow orders, no matter what those orders are.
And yes, I am talking about the military.
Both of them have instructed the foul creature Sebellius NOT to present itself for Holy Communion.
The thumbscrews, the rack, and the stake are, as always, available ... but not authorized for use in these United States at this time.
I did tell the SOC Chatroom about if anyone was willing to go up to Maine to help with the cacuses up that way.
I’m not picking on Catholics, cause are one. And not by birth/marriage, but ny choice. And because I understand the fact that the Church is the one true Church, I expect more from us than any other denomination. We need to clean our House first, before we worry about others.
I can't speak for the East Coast, but here in the Midwest, Catholics are very active politically. The majority of pro-life activity comes from Catholics, although there are a lot of Protestants who are active in our local Right to Life organization. I don't mean to slight them; we're glad to have their support. But the majority of turnout for the annual March, for volunteers at our two pro-life organizations (one a counseling service for pregnant women, the other a thrift shop for children's things), and for door-to-door political campaigning, are Catholics.
I’ve escaped the gloom by getting out and going to the Pine Tree state. The Battle is happening! Screw Vegas.
A rag-tag Santorum - Newt crowd are now headed to caucus sites ... even Bill O’B. of CT-RTL is getting supplies.
I will try not to give your regards to the Maine Liberty Forum folks (the libertarian isolationists). The NEwTS will have only 15 delegate candidates for the 150 slots in the large towns ... so after they vote for their own and the Santorums ... the remaining votes to ???? RP delegates?
RP will be the beneficiary as this activity will help break the ROMNEY slates from sweeping towns.
A more complete article. You can see that it is mandatory, it is coercion, it will involve financial penalties and possible jail time for those who do not sumbit to this tyranny.
2 posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:02:03 PM by Jim Robinson: “Rebellion against evil tyrants is good for the soul!! Disobedience to tyrants is obedience to God!!”
I’m not a Roman Catholic but I am a strong defender of religious freedom under the Constitution. Prohibiting Congressional actions like this is precisely what our Founding Fathers intended by the First Amendment.
What part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” does this cabinet secretary not understand?
Catholics were not singled out.
Everyone is subject to the same unconstitutional government mandates...EQUALLY.
Catholics are not special. In this case anyway:)
This is like the 20th time I had to say this and some folks keep trying to make a 1st and 14th Amendment case out of it.
The case is CLEARLY the 10th Amendment case: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people".
The US Constitution does not allow the Congress to make such a law, as the specific powers granted do not allow it.
However, IF the Individual Mandate was legal then it could be enforced against Catholics too.
Hopefully you two can kiss and make up. Like they say all politics is local, all religion is local. I don’t go to a congregation that’s affiliated with any denomination, let alone a congregation or denomination big enough to have employees whose health care plan in turn would be seized by Obamacare. But I believe I could do some consciousness raising about it, and see if our pastor groks the situation.
I have seen several excommunications over the years. They're necessary in cases of gross public sin. If this isn't gross public sin by publicly threatening to persecute the church of which you are theoretically a member,what else could possibly qualify?
I suspect the idea was to avoid making a “martyr” of this woman by simply advising her of the canon law on the matter regarding automatic excommunication, thereby avoiding drawing sympathy toward her as a “victim.” Maybe that's okay with a pro-choice politician who doesn't make a big deal of his views.
Well, this woman not only makes a big deal of her views but threatens to persecute her own church. Time to respond with a formal public excommunication. Most secularists who are fair will understand private organizations can set their own membership rules, and this woman did take on her own church in public, so she isn't a good example of a victim.
But the store was given away when Muslims got an encompassing pass from it, or at least the ritually odious requirements it would otherwise impose. Now we have a question of equal protection under law.