Skip to comments.U.S. Bishops: Catholics should prepare for civil disobedience to HHS mandate
Posted on 05/31/2012 2:57:17 PM PDT by NYer
May 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Catholics in the United States should be prepared to engage in civil disobedience if the HHS mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs is not rescinded, says a new document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The USCCB released the one-pager as a bulletin insert to be distributed in Catholic Churches during June, in preparation for the Fortnight for Freedom, a two week period of prayer and fasting for the rescinding of the mandate.
Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that disobeying the laws may be justified, the bishops write. Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties.
The insert takes up some of the themes expounded on in a longer document released in April by the USCCBs Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, which also alluded to the possible need for non-violent resistance and compared the situation to that faced by the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Like the April document, the insert calls the civil rights movement an essentially religious movement, and quotes Martin Luther Kings 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail in which King cites St. Augustines dictum that an unjust law is no law at all.
The church does not ask for special treatment, simply the rights of religious freedom for all citizens. Rev. King also explained that the church is neither the master nor the servant of the state, but its conscience, guide, and critic, the insert reads.
It continues: For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to fund and facilitate coverage of a drug or procedure contrary to their moral teaching, and purport to define which religious institutions are religious enough to merit an exemption. This is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may by forced by the government to provide such coverage even when it violates our consciences.
In addition to urging Catholics to contact legislators, the insert asks people to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom beginning on June 21st and leading up to the July 4th holiday through prayer, fasting, and organizing local events to oppose the mandate.
The two week period encompasses several feasts of saints who, the USCCB website notes, remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power, including St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More. St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.
An opening Mass has been scheduled for June 21, the vigil of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More. It will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, and presided over by Archbishop William Lori, the newly installed Archbishop of Baltimore.
The July 4th Closing Mass will be offered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, with Archbishop Charles Chaput, a widely reputed champion of the pro-life cause, giving the homily.
Obama has awakened a sleeping giant. FINALLY!
Cardinal Dolan, you’re unbelievable. If you’d been telling Catholics to hold their duly elected representatives to account for the laws they are voting on; if you’d told them to participate in the democratic process of America as is their constitutional right, then you wouldn’t have to use them as pawns in your pissing war with barak obama by suggesting “civil disobedience”
Actually I think this is pretty funny, the Catholic Church has been abd is in bed with the International Socialists and their New World Order, now they find the snake has bitten them.
Sleep with dogs, wake up with fleas. I’ll bet the Catholic Church will still support the New World Order and socialism.
So much for the constitution....but that is not news
“Ill bet the Catholic Church will still support the New World Order and socialism.”
You can throw me in for a couple bucks, too.
Well put; Obama wouldn’t have been elected without their complicity. While I think their fight is better late than never, I’d still be leery of how they water down Rome’s messages about abortion (in fairness to Dolan, I don’t think he was in that job yet when that occurred in 2008).
Just as I suspect that the Mormon elders have also made their... calculations.
I’d like the Bishops to handle the civil disobedience, thanks, because they don’t have ten children, as a rule. (St. John Fisher, anyone? Who wants to live forever, anyway?)
I’m not Catholic (an “adrift” Episcopalian) ... but I would join these folks in a heartbeat.
You and all other religious groups had better join in.
This isn’t a war on catholics, it is a war on religion, all religion. Catholics are just bearing the brunt of it rioght now, but you can bet it is coming to others soon.
The ACLU suing to have crosses removed from all public property, the Homosexual attack on Marriage,The murders of innocents, the attacks on the 2nd amendment it is all coming together in a big jigsaw puzzle that ends with Socialism, Communism lack of morality and a generalplan of destruction of what America is.
Certainly the Catholic Church is late in coming out, and certainly they are still only crying about Contraception now, but this is just the beginning, and all faiths had better start getting ready.
You have babies, I have teenagers.
We’ll stand in for you.
Our Defenders of Life are already going to be at the main protests here in MI. Yellow balloons and all.
If I just had the teenagers, we’d be in the front lines. My teenagers are very militant. However, at any sort of protest event, there wouldn’t have to be any leftist violence (although we’ve seen that), because my little boys would just run in front of a truck!
No NC FReeper will forget Pat’s solemnly lecturing the police horses (one at a time, with excellent manners) at the counter-protest to the Fayetteville “anti-war” march ... but there were assaults on our people in our permitted area within a few yards of me and whatever baby it was, James I guess. DP hasn’t let me do anything other than local poll campaigning since then.
“This isnt a war on catholics, it is a war on religion, all religion.”
Yeah, first they will mandate contraception in direct assault against Catholics.
Then they will ban:
serving communion without a restaurant license,
public reading of the Bible because it is homophobic,
all evangelism because it is intolerant and might offend Muslims,
pastors from mentioning elections or candidates.
Then they will require teaching gay history,
zone churches to obscure regions,
declare that home bible studies are “churches” and thus forbidden,
establish government monitors to attend churches to make sure no anti gay, intolerance or “racism” is taught.
I can go to jail and take my kids with me!
Lord Love you!
I can’t go anywhere without lots of diapers ... size 3 and size 6!
If it came down to it, I wouldn’t apostasize, but I would charge the guns and make them shoot me before I went to jail with kids in diapers!
We should all prepare to oppose zerocare.
You don’t have to be Catholic to despise this “law”.
Ha! I’m right there with you. By the way, your newest little girl is just darling! Congratulations! Mine is crawling already. I blinked. I need to try not to do that. :o)
They are decades late & they have not got the courage of their convictions as they don’t have the convictions. Those few that do have the convictions are rarely able to articulate them. This is going to be ugly & a long drawn out fight .
12 years of Catholic education when the Sisters wore the habit & the board of education was a 1”x4” with a handle carved in it by the school custodian & it hung on the wall of the principals office & sadly I have to agree with Freeper stockpirate.
Thanks! Wow, crawling! Kathleen would like to roll over, but she’s too fat. She wobbles from her left side to her right, though.
Crawling on my awful floors, *shudder* ...
Thank the Lord for the growing number of good and courageous bishops and clergy. We are ready...with God’s help.
We are seeing the fruits of the John Paul II pontificate. The seminaries have all been restructured and the candidates for priesthood vetted well. Today’s new priests are grounded in orthodox theology and a deep love of Jesus Christ and His church.
The same can be said about many of these newer bishops. This group are filled with loyalty to the Gospel and to the church. They are willing to engage the culture and not back down on the truths of the Christian dogmas.
I say, “Go, Bishops, Go!” I stand with you and plan to be on the streets whenever a rally is close by my hometown -with homemade signs and my rosary beads.
It's more than that. It's the state substituting its mandates for your conscience. To the Obamunists - the will-to-power driven monsters in the White House and beyond, human beings are nothing more than things, animals or machines. All else follows from that.
The real objection to the contraception and abotifacient mandate should be primarily rooted in property rights. Property rights are the most elemental right of an individual’s soveriegnty and free will. Forcing an individual to enter into a private contract or to pay for something not enumerated by the US Constitution is a violation of the 5th amendment. However, the generic argument for religious liberty is not unlimited. For example, Islam cannot enforce certain tenants of Sharia law which includes practices such as genital mutilation, honor killings, and gender discrimination.
The argument for religious liberty is mostly an exceptional but negative right. It is a right not to have to do something and to be left alone as long as it does not infringe on others’ rights.