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Cardinal Timothy Dolan issues strongest statement yet against the HHS mandate
InsightScoop.com ^ | February 22, 2012 | Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan & Bishop William E. Lori

Posted on 02/22/2012 8:31:45 PM PST by Salvation

Cardinal Timothy Dolan issues strongest statement yet against the HHS mandate

His Eminence Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, President, and His Excellency Most Reverend William E. Lori, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, have released a very strong statement regarding the current status of the HHS mandate, dated February 21, 2012, to the bishops of the United States.

The statement warns of the severe danger posed to religious liberty by "an all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism" and notes that the narrow "exemption" in the mandate was "instituted only by executive whim" and so "can be taken away easily." Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori present the mandate as an assault on foundational principles and ask, "If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end?"

Here is the full text of the statement:

Dear Brother Bishops,

Since we last wrote to you concerning the critical efforts we are undertaking together to protect religious freedom in our beloved country, many of you have requested that we write once more to update you on the situation and to again request the assistance of all the faithful in this important work. We are happy to do so now.

First, we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to you, and to all our sisters and brothers in Christ, for the remarkable witness of our unity in faith and strength of conviction during this past month. We have made our voices heard, and we will not cease from doing so until religious freedom is restored.

As we know, on January 20, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a decision to issue final regulations that would force practically all employers, including many religious institutions, to pay for abortion inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraception. The regulations would provide no protections for our great institutions—such as Catholic charities, hospitals, and universities—or for the individual faithful in the marketplace. The regulations struck at the heart of our fundamental right to religious liberty, which affects our ability to serve those outside our faith community.

Since January 20, the reaction was immediate and sustained. We came together, joined by people of every creed and political persuasion, to make one thing resoundingly clear: we stand united against any attempt to deny or weaken the right to religious liberty upon which our country was founded.

On Friday, February 10, the Administration issued the final rules. By their very terms, the rules were reaffirmed “without change.” The mandate to provide the illicit services remains. The exceedingly narrow exemption for churches remains. Despite the outcry, all the threats to religious liberty posed by the initial rules remain.

Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it: it is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.

Recent actions by the Administration have attempted to reduce this free exercise to a “privilege” arbitrarily granted by the government as a mere exemption from an all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism. The exemption is too narrowly defined, because it does not exempt most non-profit religious employers, the religiously affiliated insurer, the self-insured employer, the for-profit religious employer, or other private businesses owned and operated by people who rightly object to paying for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. And because it is instituted only by executive whim, even this unduly narrow exemption can be taken away easily.

In the United States, religious liberty does not depend on the benevolence of who is regulating us. It is our “first freedom” and respect for it must be broad and inclusive—not narrow and exclusive. Catholics and other people of faith and good will are not second class citizens. And it is not for the government to decide which of our ministries is “religious enough” to warrant religious freedom protection.

This is not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization—although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all. If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded.

Much remains to be done. We cannot rest when faced with so grave a threat to the religious liberty for which our parents and grandparents fought. In this moment in history we must work diligently to preserve religious liberty and to remove all threats to the practice of our faith in the public square. This is our heritage as Americans. President Obama should rescind the mandate, or at the very least, provide full and effective measures to protect religious liberty and conscience.

Above all, dear brothers, we rely on the help of the Lord in this important struggle. We all need to act now by contacting our legislators in support of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which can be done through our action alert on www.usccb.org/conscience.

We invite you to share the contents of this letter with the faithful of your diocese in whatever form, or by whatever means, you consider most suitable. Let us continue to pray for a quick and complete resolution to this and all threats to religious liberty and the exercise of our faith in our great country.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Most Reverend William E. Lori
Bishop of Bridgeport
Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Theology
KEYWORDS: archbishoplori; bishoplori; cardinaldolan; catholic; hhsmandate; prolife; religiousliberty
Obama is being warned!
1 posted on 02/22/2012 8:31:59 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Let us continue to pray for a quick and complete resolution to this and all threats to religious liberty and the exercise of our faith in our great country.

Amen! Ping!

2 posted on 02/22/2012 8:34:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

It’s a damn good letter.


3 posted on 02/22/2012 8:42:27 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Especially this!

Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it: it is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.


4 posted on 02/22/2012 8:57:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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I think it’s a very good letter, well-framed.

All religious and even non-religious can support this. Alliances are being built and the issue framed.

It’s a good beginning, now it needs to grow and get stronger and louder. In addition to legal action on any and all fronts possible.


5 posted on 02/22/2012 9:22:34 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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6 posted on 02/22/2012 9:28:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: D-fendr

You’re right, but this issue cannot be framed as a Catholic Church or a “religious” issue. That’s what the Left wants. It has to be a condemnation of government overreach into our minds and beliefs - the thought police and in the same vein as “hate crimes”.

This issue affects all Americans. If you sit this one out because you’re not Catholic or you believe in abortion or contraception, etc. they’ll eventually come for you. That’s the history of despotism and Cook County Democrats are the worst despots in America. They never forget and they always take their pound of flesh.


7 posted on 02/22/2012 10:01:21 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Salvation
It is our “first freedom” and respect for it must be broad and inclusive—not narrow and exclusive. Catholics and other people of faith and good will are not second class citizens. And it is not for the government to decide which of our ministries is “religious enough” to warrant religious freedom protection.

Thank you, good Reverend, for speaking on all citizen's behalf and making it clear that these mandates violate everyone's 1st Amendment rights. Making exceptions for one organization or another is tantamount to the government establishing a state religion which is exactly what the establishment clause forbids.

8 posted on 02/22/2012 10:18:45 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: 1010RD
You’re right, but this issue cannot be framed as a Catholic Church or a “religious” issue.

I think he did a good job of framing this as a fundamental issue of individual liberty. I have been hoping that the RCC and other Churches would do that and not seek or accept exceptions tailored solely for their concerns and their specific organizations.

9 posted on 02/22/2012 10:25:48 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Salvation

Keep it up, Bishops!! Good to see you standing strong!


10 posted on 02/23/2012 1:11:24 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Salvation; PetroniusMaximus; D-fendr; 1010RD; TigersEye; SuziQ

Thanks very much for the ping/post/all those links; thread! WOOOHOOOO!

Individual liberty vs. $ubjugation by $ocialists.

DEFUND anti-life, anti-truth collectives.

DEPOPULATE socialists/TOTALITARIANS and their MANDATES from the body politic...(it’s easy...vote against them).

Fund/patronize those speaking out against them.

live - free - republic - individual


11 posted on 02/23/2012 2:48:07 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Salvation

Sure and when he gets reelected and appoints a Couple more Communists to the supreme court you can write all the letters you want it wont matter the Court will support the Marxist all the way and we are toast


12 posted on 02/23/2012 2:57:25 AM PST by ballplayer
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To: SuziQ

This is the time for the “We are ALL CATHOLICS NOW” T Shirts, with the horrid Obama logo with the red x over it (or the international “no” sign). I beleive a lot of Christians from many denominations, Jews and others are in support of what the Bishop is doing. Obama and his people are being Stalinists, and readying a religious purge in my estimation. Anybody who does not believe that these people behind closed doors in their heart of hearts are deadly serious Marxist-Leninists, ought to have his or her head examined. This is some serious stuff. I mean, not as serious perhaps as stuff since the US Civil War over slavery. Obama and the ReichsHHS is really, really pushing a backlash.


13 posted on 02/23/2012 3:03:33 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (Patience, my compatriots, PATIENCE! FR will be "Santorum Country" in a very short time, IMHO.)
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To: 1010RD

To be sure, it’s not just a Catholic issue. Geneva College, a very Protestant and non-church organization, has filed suit on similar grounds.


14 posted on 02/23/2012 3:08:19 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

No, we are not all Catholics. We are all Americans, who have fought a revolution before to escape such tyranny, who have fought wars to ensure such liberties elsewhere, and who have no qualms about doing it again. Protestants are affected by and fighting the issue as well.


15 posted on 02/23/2012 3:13:16 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Salvation
Lent is a time of spiritual conflict--the best of times for engaging the "pricipalities and powers."

Consider this ancient wisdom from Benedict XIV

“The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God's glory...”

16 posted on 02/23/2012 5:00:20 AM PST by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: Salvation

My Pastor and I have been and will continue to preach on this issue as long as it persists. If we lose this issue there is nothing to stop them from whatever their secular hearts desire.

Deacon Francis


17 posted on 02/23/2012 5:03:41 AM PST by ThomasMore (Islam is the Whore of Babylon!)
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To: Salvation

I wonder if someday we will be grateful to Obama for this attack on religion, as the bishops may be finally waking up.


18 posted on 02/23/2012 5:30:16 AM PST by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
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To: Bigg Red
I wonder if someday we will be grateful to Obama for this attack on religion, as the bishops may be finally waking up.>/I>

Let us hope that the masses wake up as well. The bishops and priests can speak all they want, but until the people realize the extent that this oBozo is over reaching it will come to nothing.

19 posted on 02/23/2012 6:26:56 AM PST by verga (Party like it is 1773)
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To: verga

True.


20 posted on 02/23/2012 10:42:08 AM PST by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
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To: Salvation

I am encouraged that in this letter not only specifically Catholic institutions such as Catholic hospitals are mentioned among the victims of the mandate, but also individual employers and non-affiliated businesses in general who disagree with the mandate on grounds of religious conscience.

The next step, and I hope our pastors won’t flinch from it, is to remind the faithful that they are not obligated to obey the law when and if it is enacted, and in fact would serve God if they find courage to resist it and to face the penalty.


21 posted on 02/23/2012 6:02:10 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Salvation

Yet, when he was in Milwaukee, he wrote a letter of endorsement for the community organizing group, Common Ground, which just got a $56 million Obamacare loan to start a “healthcare cooperative”. He and the other bishops brought this on themselves.


22 posted on 02/24/2012 6:07:25 AM PST by schmootman
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