Skip to comments.ObamaCare mandate may force nuns devoted to the eldery to leave U.S.
Posted on 12/19/2012 2:52:00 PM PST by Morgana
BALTIMORE, December 19, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) The Obama administrations HHS mandate may force the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor to cease their U.S. operations, according to Sister Constance Carolyn Veit, the religious orders communications director.
The Little Sisters currently provide group homes and daily care for the elderly poor in 30 U.S. cities.
Sister Constance told The Daily Caller that the Little Sisters may not qualify for a religious exemption from ObamaCares requirement that employers provide coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs free of charge to female workers.
We are not exempt from the [ObamaCare] mandate because we neither serve nor employ a predominantly Catholic population, Constance said. We hire employees and serve/house the elderly regardless of race and religion, so that makes us ineligible for the exemption being granted churches.
Catholic teaching forbids contraception, sterilization, and abortion, but President Obamas health-care overhaul law requires employers to offer services that cause all three to their employees without a co-pay.
Failure to comply will result in fines of $100 a day per employee even for religious orders like the Little Sisters whose members have taken vows of poverty.
[I]t could be a serious threat to our mission in the U.S., said Sister Constance, because we would never be able to afford to pay the fines involved. We have difficulty making ends meet just on a regular basis; we have no extra funding that would cover these fines.
The sole compromise the Obama administration offered to religious-based groups that oppose the mandate was to give them an extra year to comply. That extension expires at the end of 2013, but the sisters have only a few weeks left to try to persuade the administration to grant them an exemption beyond that.
We just cannot not say what will happen, Sister Constance told The Daily Caller. We are continuing to pray that our backs will not be up against the wall in 2014. If we are forced to make a decision, we will seek concrete direction from the U.S. bishops.
The Little Sisters have left countries over issues of religious freedom before.
[A]s Little Sisters of the Poor, we are not strangers to religious intolerance, Sister Constance wrote in a June 2012 essay for the Tablet, a Brooklyn-based Catholic newspaper. Our foundress was born at the height of the French Revolution and established our congregation in its aftermath.
Our sisters have been forced to leave numerous countries, including China, Myanmar and Hungary, because of religious intolerance, she wrote. We pray that the United States will not be added to this list.
In addition to the 300 religious Little Sisters in the U.S., each of their group homes employ about 100 people, many of whom get their healthcare through the Little Sisters.
The cost of the fines would be in the millions of dollars each year.
Sister Constance said although their current objections to the HHS mandate have to do with reproductive issues, they are concerned that more mandates may be coming that will have a greater impact on their mission.
What we fear is that, if the federal government succeeds in this case, there are other areas where they could exert pressure or enact measures that could endanger our apostolate particularly in end-of-life care and in the possible rationing of care to the elderly as a cost-saving measure, she said.
Sister Constance said their battle with the Obama administration has worried many residents of their nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. They wonder if the Little Sisters will be there to take care of them in years to come.
We wish to avoid causing them any further anxiety, said Sister Constance. They are always our first concern, our employees as well.
Nuns are comparing Obama’s ideology to that of dictatorial China and Myanmar.
Some of these people in Washington want Christianity gone. They hate us.
But Muslims are Exempt.
Ask yourself why.
The democrat party has given the Catholic church no choice. It must “choose” between violating its principles and closing up shop.
That is the highest form of sacrament for the democrat party. They loathe the Catholic church because it opposes abortion and gay “marriage.” But above all, democrats are afraid of stirring up the angry fang-toothed feminazis.
“....Ask yourself why...”
We all know why. The unwashed masses cannot see it yet, but they will eventually (it will be too late) once the communists disarm the country so they can start their massive killing campaigns.
After the French revolution (which the nuns make reference to), Catholic clergy were made employees of the government.
You know very well Muslims watch out for their poor and aged.
They give them begging bowls and allow them to set up in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.
We are living in dark times and it looks to be picking up speed. Decline is an ugly thing. We, in America, have been spoiled....most don't think decline “can happen” here. Wrong.
Dictatorships particularly resent Catholic (or other religions') schools, hospitals, and charities because they want everyone to be dependent on the State alone. They can't tolerate voluntary intermediate institutions.
My father is being cared for by Little Sisters of the Poor here in Chicago. I visit most everyday. To say this isn’t a religious institution is absurd. There’s crosses on the walls, statues and pictures of Jesus, Mary and the saints. There is a chapel where mass is said twice a day...grace is said before every meal. Why would this place have anything to do with buying condoms? Who would think this is a good idea?
The Catholic church needs to start excommunicating members like Nacy Pelosi and Joe Biden.
Get thee to a Bummery
Muslims are not exempt. Urban myth.
Take a chance ladies ~ NO ONE ON A JURY WILL VOTE TO CONVICT ~ ‘cause if they do they’ll get throttled in the deliberations room.
NOTHING in Obamacare has worked out as planned- NOTHNG~!!
I have been reading in here for months that they are exempt. Have you a way to find out for sure?
It appears you are correct.
There are some incorrect rumors about Obamacare but the stuff that is true is even scarier.
Without doubt the worst bill ever written.
Obamacare literally places all health care in the hands of Sebelius, and she can make it up as she goes along.IRS agents hired specifically to collect Obamacare taxes. The bill has no limits.
Bad Optics: Obama and HHS vs Little Sisters of the Poor
September 25, 2013 By Elizabeth Scalia
The Little Sisters of the Poor are heroic social servants: they serve the indigent poor and go begging on their behalf. They are tremendous women offering companionship, love and hospitality to people who often have no one else in their lives willing to see and affirm their dignity and worth, and they dont ask are you a Catholic before they make that offer: it is for all.
Likewise, in their many facilities across the nation, the Little Sisters employ nurses, and aides and helpers, and they do not ask, are you a Catholic before they hire them.
And because the Sisters do not discriminate in their service or their hiring, they, and their ministry, and the aged population they serve, are all being imperiled by the United States Government, specifically by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Obama Administration.
How can that be? How can these religious Sisters, living in a country where the first amendment to its constitution insists upon a free expression of religion and the exercise thereof be in peril? Because the HHS and the Obama Administration have written one of the strangest laws imaginable, a law that says if a church-related organization serves or hires people outside of its religion in other words, if they do not discriminate against others then they are not religious enough to claim the primacy of a religious conscience over a government mandate.
So, if the Sisters do not deny their own consciences and offer insurance policies to their employees that include free coverage for sterilization procedures, artificial contraceptives and abortifacients, these vowed-to-poverty women will have to pay more than a million dollars in IRS fines, effectively making their work near-to-impossible.
Yes, theyll be punished and perhaps driven from serving the poor in America the poor of every race and creed for the sin of not prostrating themselves before a secularist culture that has made an idol of preventing the conception and growth of human life a strange god endowed with so much power that the government believes it can and must stomp on fundamental human freedoms of conscience in order to serve it.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor, in an effort to protect their freedoms and win an exemption from this government, so they can continue to serve the poor in America.
Catholic religious sisters more or less created the idea of social service networks; often in the face of resistance, they organized to meet the healthcare and educational needs of the poor and the abandoned long before government began to even think of it. Whoever would have believed that in America, they might be fined out-of-existence rather than freed to operate and assist. The Little Sisters of the Poor are precisely the sort of religious sisters that are held up, and should be held up, as innovators and heroes of faith, and models of good citizenship.
But thats not happening.
I happen to know that the Little Sisters did not want to pursue this lawsuit; they had hoped to simply get an exemption and get back to their work, because public talk of the HHS Mandate and its ruinous effects on their residences was creating awful anxiety for their residents, and they couldnt bear to see them so worried. That they are now moving forward through the Becket Fund, and thus going public, is a measure of how deeply committed they are to not abandoning their people.
Really, what is the Obama Administration thinking? What is the HHS thinking? Do they really want these optics? The intrusive, overbearing the government forcing dedicated sisters to abandon their work with the elderly and the poor?
The Little Sisters of the Poor should be extolled as role models, and encouraged not punished by the government. They are too busy begging for food and material sustenance for their clients to travel about on a comfortable bus and raise awareness (and wouldnt it be wonderful if whoever funded those bus treks for other sisters would be as generous to them?) so we must.
Please, send this around. Let your friends and co-workers and your email lists know that the Little Sister of the Poor do important necessary work toward raising up the Kingdom; they serve everyone, not just Catholics, and they ought not be fined for that. Urge everyone you know to call their congressional representatives, imploring them to petition the Obama Administration for an exemption on their behalf.
And if you want, send a note of encouragement to the Sisters at a residence near you. Im sure they would appreciate knowing that they are not alone in their fight. Im going to drop a card to my gals in Queens today along with a little check because they actually, really are poor; they really do give everything they have to the effort of serving their clients.
You know they do the brothers keeper thing Obama keeps talking about. Maybe he only means that when its about taxes and government programs, and not real, human outreach within communities.