I would love to know how the big-wigs are thinking.
My fantasy, if I were pope would be to contact the BP’s of Wilmington. Delaware, Maryland, Arlington, DC, and San Francisco (and whoever Sebelius’s bishop is.) I'd make sure they were all on board and ready to discipline any clergy that resisted. And then I'd wait for the HHS mandate to work its way out.
Then, however the HHS thing broke, I'd send a formal letter to each of the bishops, probably through a nuncio — hand-delivered. And on an agreed upon date, hammer down, reserving lifting of the excommunication to their bishops if the HHS breaks our way and to the Holy See if it breaks the wrong way.
To ME, there is a scandal at this point. And we're out there organizing religious freedom demonstrations and such. We need some backup from the hierarchy.