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
So Newt says Obama has declared war on Catholic Church? It’s true and I’m glad someone has the cojones to say it.
When we were going through pre Cana in Lincoln, the priest said that in 15 years he expected active persecution.
My LCMS pastor said the same, only he added he expected a civil war to boot.
Are you too lazy to keep up with the news in Lincoln?
Or we may very well see a second American revolution in the works.
A true Nebraskan. Even though he wasn't born there, and it took him a bit to get there. He stand by what he believes and makes no attempts to pretend other wise.
As someone who grew up there, from a Lutheran family, we fought a lot with our Catholic friends and family. But it was a family fight. Now that the Fedgov has decided to attack, it is time to push back.
Here is my Archbishop’s letter in the Catholic newspaper:
Time to Lawyer Up!
Tens of millions of Americans need to say “NO, we will not obey”
One will lead to the other.
Regardless of faith.
The rebuttal to those who claim that this will provoke a war would go something like this:
The religious people who are horrified by this will not place the blame with the rightful groups and individuals, but will blame “politics”. More evidence that politics is so corrupt it is best to stay completely out of it. The more they are persecuted, the more they will be disgusted with “politics”. (”All politicians are no good. They are all the same.”)
Forty years ago, some said, “things are not that bad! When they get really bad, then I will do something about it.” Now the same folks say, “things are so bad, there is nothing anyone can do about it.”
Self-governance is not seen as a Catholic concept, so it is not part of most Catholics’ religion. They believe that they have no obligation to participate in self-governance. Some believe that they are morally obligated to vote and doing so satisfies their civic duties.
Which Catholic theologian said:
“Piety in place of duty is no piety at all”? A lot of them pew-sitters have “bad theology” and they prolly ain’t gettin’ rid of it any time soon.
She’s downright creepy.
No, they didn’t. They supported “health care reform” in the abstract, but not the bill that actually passed.
Not technically excommunicated, but advised not to present herself for communion. Effectively the same thing as far as she’s concerned.
Addressing here, not "what Catholics do" or "what Catholics think," but "what the Catholic Church teaches": there's actually a quote from either Pope Pius XII or Pope Pius XI -- I don't have it at my fingertips, but it's findable -- that says that the responsibility of voting in a democratic state is "grave matter" ... that is, to neglect to vote without a good reason, or to vote for an evil candidate when there is a good alternative, is mortal sin, capable of damning the individual to hell for eternity.
I understand and agree with everything you have stated. However as the old saying goes, “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”
They have been too silent in the past. I hope this is the change finally needed to put a fire under them that will turn them into warriors!!
Any regrets Doug Kmiec for backing this c***s*****?