Skip to comments.Pittsburgh bishop won’t comply with HHS mandate, even if it shuts down Catholic schools
Posted on 11/15/2013 3:48:30 PM PST by NYer
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop David Zubik, the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, told a district judge this week he would not comply with the HHS mandate under any circumstance.
The decision was made because the mandate endangers “the integrity of our beliefs,” the bishop said.
Zubik’s statement comes as the General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a “Special Message” to the Obama administration opposing the mandate, which requires employers to pay for health insurance plans that cover contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization at no co-pay.
In 2012, Zubik described the mandate as “'a slap in the face’ that says ‘To Hell with you!’ to Catholics and religious freedom.”
U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab is considering providing an injunction to numerous area Catholic organizations regarding the mandate.
The government requires that organizations either go along with the mandate directly or have insurance companies offer such coverage to individual employees for “free.” Zubik and other Catholic officials said they would do neither.
The refusal could shut down Catholic schools in the area. Fr. Scott Jabo, president of Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, testified that the fines for violating the HHS mandate – $100 per employee per day – could come to $2.8 million a year, nearly one-third of its $10 million budget.
"In essence we'd have to shut our door completely," he said.
But Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico said exposing employees to the mandate would have eternal ramifications.
The mandate, which went into effect on August 1, 2012, for non-religiously affiliated organizations, has been delayed until January 1 for such groups.
Its narrow religious exemption would not cover religiously affiliated organizations like Catholic Charities, parochial schools, adoption centers, and homeless shelters.
This life-long Baptist says, “Bravo!” and “God bless you, Bishop.”
GOD BLESS YOU, BISHOP!!!! WTG!!
I’m sure the IRS will investigate the good Bishop and send him off to an 0bagulag
I have doubts about a lot of other bishops, including the one in my diocese.
I am sure the Muslims are interested in how this plays out.-tom
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muslims however, get a pass.
Good on em.
I sure wish our bishop would take such a position... In fairness, maybe he will.
If it comes down to it, the bishop should use the money normally allocated for the schools for a Catholic homeschooling program, and then blast the godless government schools from the pulpit.
Except of course, when it's socialist healthcare and mandates, then everyone has to suffer...
Liberals are filthy hypocrites.
We all need to stand up with the bishops when they make a stand like this - and let them know we appreciate their leadership.
Good for him.
I am waiting for a Catholic bishop to declare that any nominally Catholic government employee who tries to oppress Catholics by enforcing such dictates has excommunicated themselves from the church. That their jobs are unimportant compared to their faith, and that they either support their faith, or they have chosen to abandon it.
Likewise, diocesan priests, once they know of such excommunication, must honor it.
If Obama can ignore laws he doesn’t like, why can’t everyone ignore laws they don’t like?
Love that graphic!! Those who pray and suffer for religious, look what your prayers have done! Bravo!