Skip to comments.Exclusive: U.S. bishops say they’re willing to ‘go to jail’ over HHS mandate
Posted on 01/30/2013 5:26:02 AM PST by NYer
WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the Obama administration and the U.S. Bishops remain locked in battle over the HHS mandate, the question on the minds of many observers is: what lengths are the bishops willing to go to to oppose the mandate?
The prelates LifeSiteNews spoke to after the Vigil Mass for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24th indicated that they intend to do everything they can to oppose the mandate, including risking imprisonment if necessary.
"I would be willing to go to jail in defense of religious liberty,” said Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan, who was appointed Archbishop of Portland, Oregon on Jan. 29th.
He stressed that the bishops are exploring all of the options with the assistance of “sound moral theologians” to “see what is the most practical but effective way to oppose the mandate.”
“We will not simply roll over and accept the mandate,” he insisted. “We have to fight for our religious liberty and we'll take it as far as we can."
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh also said he is willing to go to jail if need be. "We can't compromise on the principles,” he told LifeSiteNews.
If it gets rough “all we have to do is look back at our history. Take a look at the saints who defended our faith and that's what it's about,” he said.
Bishop Zubik explained that he has been praying for "a conversion of heart on behalf of our president," but said “if that doesn't happen then I think it's imperative that I accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
“We have to be strong, we can't compromise, we have to stay firm on our values because I believe that this is a slippery slope,” he continued. “This is a point where we have to be ready to maintain a stand. I've taken a very strong stand on this position ever since all of this began over a year ago, and I don't intend to back down.”
Archbishop Samuel Aquila, the recently installed bishop of Denver, told LifeSiteNews after the Vigil Mass that he and many other bishops will simply refuse to cooperate if the government tries to force their hand.
“Certainly we as bishops are still considering what the options will be if it does go through,” he explained. “Many of us have already stated that we will not and cannot cooperate with the mandate.”
“There will be implications on it, whether it means narrowing some of what we do, or continue what we do and not cooperate with the mandate,” he added. “But it's a very real concern and grave concern in terms of religious freedom and freedom of conscience.”
Archbishop Aquila encouraged lay Catholics who are threatened by the mandate to follow the bishops’ lead, noting that Denver has a Catholic-owned company, Hercules Industries, that was one of the first to file suit against the Obama administration.
“I just really try to encourage Catholics: stay strong, stay firm, and continue to do what you're doing,” he said. “Continue to fight, because we as bishops can only do so much and it's going to be important for the laity to follow and to respond.”
Though all the bishops across the country have opposed the mandate, which forces employers to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations, many are reluctant to speculate on how they will respond going forward.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. is one who instead has stressed that the bishops hope they can reach an agreement with the administration.
LifeSiteNews asked the Cardinal about the mandate during a media availability before the Mass for Life at the Verizon Center on Jan. 25th, the day of the March for Life.
“We are very hopeful that as time goes on and our conference continues to work with the administration, that something will allow us to continue to function as we always have, as a free entity freely exercising our ministry in our country,” he said.
Pressed about what the bishops will do if the mandate goes forward, he said, “We take this one day at a time, and I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to resolve this.”
The question of jail time in connection with the HHS mandate was raised in the national media earlier this month when Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he had advised his bishop to “go to jail” if need be. The 2013 gubernatorial candidate said if citizens were jailed it would “provide an example of what tyranny means when it’s played to its logical conclusion.”
I believe some of the bishops would go to jail while others will wimp out under pressure.
If that happens it will be obvious that we have entered into an era of tyranny. The FED is more likely to impose horrific monetary sanctions. They can’t be that stupid.
The bishops are huffing and puffing with false bravado. No one is going to go to jail over Obamacare. The regime isn’t going to criminally prosecute anyone for failure to pay for Deathcare.
The regime will merely attach and seize bank accounts, and failing that, will attach financial assets, and then real property, seizing each as it deems fit. The bishops will stand by while foreign thieves steal the treasures laid up by generations of laity for the glory of God and to serve others out of love for God.
No bishop will spend a night in jail over failure to pay Obamataxes for Deathcare by Obama.
Well isn't that special. They've squandered their moral authority over the years by getting in bed with every left wing social scheme tht comes along except those related to reproduction, and NOW they draw the line. Gun control - can't get enough of it. Wealth redistribution - need ever more after all there are still people whose incomes are higher than those who don't work. Illegal immigration - bring 'em in and make the hardworking taxpayer foot the bill. Memo to bishops. If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.
“If that happens it will be obvious that we have entered into an era of tyranny. The FED is more likely to impose horrific monetary sanctions. They cant be that stupid.”
And why, precisely, would we comply? What then? Arrest?
“Because I did not stand up for the Jews”...
What makes you think Obama will spare you?
Now that's what I call courage.
I wish it were as simple as going to jail. It will be more like huge fines, confiscation of property, withdrawal of federal and state funding, etc. etc. The gummint won’t risk the photo of the bishop going to jail, just a virtual chains on the doors of the hospitals and social welfare buildings. Maybe our Lord wants His Church out of the social welfare business.
That is exactly what will happen.
Sending them to jail isn’t what the fascists have in mind.
No need for “compliance” when they can just freeze & seize your bank accounts, your money market accounts, your stock brokerage accounts. Dioceses have many thousands and thousands of dollars in short-term, medium-term and long-term financial assets and instruments that can be readily seized by the government.
Then, there’s real property. Even if a bishop shows up for an eviction, after a piece of the diocese’s property is seized, and chains himself to the building, they’ll just cut through the chains, throw his sorry ass out onto the street, and take possession.
Why arrest a bishop and create all that needless paperwork when you can just take the diocese’s stuff with little or no effort?
It’s been done before. They’ve burnt our parishes. They’ve confiscated land and property. Funny thing is, we are still here.
The Bishops are well meaning but naive.
They need to discuss what the means totalitarian governments use with other Cardinals and Bishops living in these circumstances around the world.
Obama’s minions are smart enough not to use the HHS mandates to destroy them, but will trump up charges as was done in the USSR and China.
It won’t be going against the government’s mandate that brings the house down.
The actual charges will be far more sinister and hard to fight like corruption or some public interest. Fifty percent of the charges brought up against priests are false. There is no mention of that fact in the media nor any correction albeit on the back page or next to the public notices for missing pets.
With a complicit government media that we have for propaganda, the circus will be ever growing and snare more people.
Face it. This is a spiritual issue. This is a fight that you can’t win alone.
I’m sure the Bishops know that.
That isn't much different than a photo-op of a bishop going to prison.
If there are huge fines, then the tax-exempt status doesn't mean much. With confiscation of property, priests would openly condemn Obama from the pulpit.
The democrats would lose the hispanic vote that they've so carefully cultivated for so many years.
I can’t help thinking that your post is meant as some sort of personal insult for daring to point out just how far left liberal the catholic bishops are, but since your post doesn’t make any sense I can’t really know
Reluctant as I am to call a Man of the Cloth a liar....I’ll believe it when I see it.
“The regime will merely attach and seize bank accounts, and failing that, will attach financial assets, and then real property, seizing each as it deems fit. The bishops will stand by while foreign thieves steal the treasures laid up by generations of laity for the glory of God and to serve others out of love for God.”
I concur. No one’s going to jail, but this is the proper stance for church leaders to take. If the “treasures laid up by generations...” are seized, so be it. Our treasures should be laid up in Heaven. The church will go forward without earthly assets, and persecution will purge all the posers allowing true growth.
I, along with many thousands more Christians, have been praying for revival for quite some time now, and I fear that revival is going to come out of persecution of the church. If that is the LORD’S will, then I guess >Here we go!<
You seem more interested in bashing Catholics than Obama. Odd that.
Divide and conquer.
If some are put in jail for disobeying an unjust law, it will remind Christians of the times of persecution that the Church endured. Maybe, just maybe, a few Catholics will see that and realize that they voted for the guy who is persecuting the Church.