Skip to comments.Top U.S. Bishop to All Bishops: ‘We Did Not Ask for This Fight, But We Will Not Run From It’
Posted on 03/04/2012 12:44:57 PM PST by NYer
(CNSNews.com) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a letter on Friday to all the Catholic bishops of the United States reasserting the conviction of the Catholic Church that it will not yield to the Obama administrations commandissued in the form of a Health and Human Services regulation implementing the presidents health-care plan--that Catholics and Catholic institutions must violate the teachings of their faith by purchasing and providing health insurance plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients.
We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans, Cardinal Dolan wrote his brother bishops.
We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it, he said.
Since January 20, when the final, restrictive HHS Rule was first announced, Cardinal Dolan wrote, we have become certain of two things: religious freedom is under attack, and we will not cease our struggle to protect it.
Although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the cardinals letter on its website on Friday and issued a press release about it, neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times nor any other American newspaper that appears in the massive Lexis-Nexis database of news sources published a story about it in any of their Saturday editions. Nor, as of the early hours on Sunday, had any secular newspaper that shows up in a Google News search published a story about the letter.
Despite the silence from the establishment media, the cardinals defiant letter was in fact a major event in what has become the most significant confrontation over religious freedom in the history of the United States.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 51 to 48 to reject an amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri that would have added conscience protection language to the Obamacare legislation, and thus protect employers from being forced to provide health insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients if they have a moral or religious objection to these things.
If enacted, this amendment would nullify the HHS sterilization-contraception-abortifacient regulation insofar is it effects employers, but not insofar as it effects individuals who buy their own insurance and who would still be mandated under Obamacare to purchase insurance.
And you now ask the obvious question, wrote Dolan, Whats next?
Dolan first noted that the Obama administrations regulation jeopardizes the churchs ability to carry out the ministries that he said have been entrusted to it by Jesus.
As pastors and shepherds, each of us would prefer to spend our energy engaged in and promoting the works of mercy to which the Church is dedicated: healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor, said OConnor. Yet, precisely because we are pastors and shepherds, we recognize that each of the ministries entrusted to us by Jesus is now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church.
Cardinal Dolan then said that the so-called concession President Obama had offered in Februarythat he would order insurance companies working with Catholic institutions to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients to the workers at those institutions for freedid not solve the problem.
For one, there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS attempt to define the how and who of our ministry, wrote the cardinal.
Two, since a big part of our ministries are self-insured, we still ask how this protects us, he wrote. Well still have to pay and, in addition to that, well still have to maintain in our policies practices which our Church has consistently taught are grave wrongs in which we cannot participate.
And what about forcing individual believers to pay for what violates their religious freedom and conscience? he wrote. We cant abandon the hard working person of faith who has a right to religious freedom.
And three, he said, there was still no resolution about the handcuffs placed upon renowned Catholic charitable agencies, both national and international, and their exclusion from contracts just because they will not refer victims of human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and the hungry of the world, for abortions, sterilization, or contraception.
The cardinal revealed that President Obama had invited the bishops to work with the White House to work out the wrinkles on his proposed accommodation. But that effort failed to make progress as the White House showed no flexibility on the core issue.
At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedomthat is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemptionare all off the table, wrote the cardinal. They were informed that they are. So much for working out the wrinkles.
The cardinal said that the bishops would continue to seek a legislative remedy to the administrations attack on religious liberty and would also pursue protection of religious liberty through the federal courts.
Perhaps the courts offer the most light, he said, pointing to the Supreme Courts recent 9-0 decision against the Obama administration in the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the administration tried to tell a Lutheran church who its ministers would be.
Given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times, the cardinal wrote.
He closed the letter by noting to his brother bishops that religious freedom now faces a threat not from a foreign enemy but from within the United States.
Brothers, we know so very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans, he wrote. There have been many threats to religious freedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without. This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom. Read the entirety of Cardinal Timothy Dolan's letter by clicking here.
Unfortunately, you're a day late and a dollar short.
In the words of Frances Piven and Richard Cloward, "Overwhelm the system."
Which would lay the groundwork to a second American revolution.
The proverbial “Sternly worded letter”.
These are ominous times, but with our leaders, I am proud to be a Catholic in this fight.
This civil disobedience should be child’s play compared to those who faced lions in an arena for this same religion.
First ... the warning shot. While we are all waiting to see Dolan's next move, many of us are still waiting for support from the christian community at large. Where are the voices of Joel Ostein or Pat Robertson? Why don't we hear outrage on religious freedom from the Evangelical or Methodist or Lutheran or Anglican communities? Oh wait ... they have been silenced because they condone the use of contraceptives and abortifacients by their members. Perhaps you can rally some troops to come to the assistance of the Catholic Church.
There are several Protestant ministers who have aligned themselves with the Carholic church on this issue. Richard Land of the Southern Baptists is one. Dr. Land has stated that it may actually culminate in Christians being thrown into jail, and he, himself, is willing to take that step if necessary in order to defy the Obama administration.
Onward Christian Soldiers! The Conservarive Orthodox Jewish Community has also come out in support of the RC Church on this subject matter.
Religious people ought not to negotiate with the administration about our civil rights which are God-given and written into the US Constitution (Bill of Rights, 1st Amendment).
These rights are not negotialble!
A small slip up by the author. In the previous and following paragraphs he is talking about Cardinal Dolan.
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