Skip to comments.Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Posted on 01/31/2012 4:59:07 PM PST by The Shrew
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of LincolnLincoln, Neb., Jan 30, 2012 / 06:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics may have to suffer for the integrity of their institutions, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska announced in his response to the Obama administration's contraception mandate.
We cannot and will not comply with this unjust decree. Like the martyrs of old, we must be prepared to accept suffering which could include heavy fines and imprisonment, Bishop Bruskewitz wrote in a letter he ordered to be read at every Sunday Mass in his diocese on Jan. 29.
Our American religious liberty is in grave jeopardy, he warned, describing the impact of new rules that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has instituted as part of federal health care reform.
Those rules, confirmed as final on Jan. 20, will require most religious employers to cover contraception and sterilization, including some abortion-causing drugs, in new health care plans. Sebelius has given religious groups an extra year to comply, but rejected calls for a broader exemption clause.
This means that all of our Catholic schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and the like will be forced to participate in evil, Bishop Bruskewitz explained.
The bishop recalled that the Church has pleaded with President Obama to rescind this edict, but all pleas have been met with scorn and have fallen on deaf ears.
He described Secretary Sebelius as a bitter fallen-away Catholic, and called her one-year deadline extension for non-exempt religious employers an act of mockery because, he noted, during that year, they must 'refer' people to the insurance that covers wicked deeds.
A proposed U.S. Senate bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, would amend the health care law to let employers opt out of covering some services. Bishop Bruskewitz urged Catholics to call their elected representatives in support of the bill, and to protest the outrage of the contraception mandate.
Meanwhile, he said, the faithful should pray and do penance that this matter may be resolved.
The bishop of Lincoln was one of a large number of U.S. Church leaders voicing alarm over the weekend, in letters distributed to parishes and read at Mass regarding the Health and Human Services order.
In the Diocese of Phoenix, Catholics heard a message from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who declared that people of faith would not be made second-class citizens and stripped of their God-given rights.
In Marquette, Michigan, Bishop Alexander K. Sample said that if the rule takes effect, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so.
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond stressed the need for action in his letter to the faithful over the weekend, as he decried the unprecedented attack on religious liberty by which the state was violating our rights to make choices based on our morals and Church teaching.
Archbishop Aymond is in Rome for meetings with Vatican officials as well as Pope Benedict XVI, who issued his own warning to the U.S. Church just before Health and Human Services finalized the mandate.
In remarks to bishops of the Mid-Atlantic states on Jan. 19, the Pope said all U.S. Catholics must realize the grave threats to the Churchs public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.
The Bishop's Letter in Total
Office of the Bishop
This letter is to be read at all Masses in the Diocese of Lincoln at which the faithful are present the weekend of January 28-29, 2012. The reading is obligatory and is not to be a substitute for the homily, but is to be read as a part of parish announcements.
+ Fabian W. Bruskewitz, Bishop of Lincoln, January 26, 2012.
To the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful Laity of the Diocese of Lincoln:
Beloved in Christ,
The Catholic Bishops of the United States, led by Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, are joining together to call the attention of all Catholics in our country to a serious attack upon our faith, upon our consciences, and upon our cherished freedom of religion. I am happy to join my voice and efforts to these Successors of the Apostles and to protest most strongly against a mandate, not even a duly passed law, issued by the Obama Administration that requires all Catholics in the United States to violate their consciences and support abortion, abortion-causing drugs, contraception and sterilization.
As you know, the buying of health insurance by every citizen of the USA is now compulsory by federal law. The same law gives to the Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority over all health insurance. The present Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a bitter fallen-away Catholic, now requires that all insurance, even when issued privately, must carry coverage for evil and grave sin. This means that all of our Catholic schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and the like will be forced to participate in evil. The Catholic Church has pleaded with President Obama to rescind this edict, but all pleas have been met with scorn and have fallen on deaf ears. This mandate is accompanied by new attacks by the federal government on Catholic Relief Services and on the Bishops' work in immigration and refugee settlement services.
Secretary Sebelius, in an act of mockery, said that those who might quality for a conscientious exemption (almost no one), have one year to comply, but during that year they must "refer" people to the insurance that covers wicked deeds. We cannot and will not comply with this unjust decree. Like the martyrs of old, we must be prepared to accept suffering which could include heavy fines and imprisonment. Our American religious liberty is in grave jeopardy.
All Catholic are asked to pray and do penance that this matter may be resolved. All should contact their elected representatives to protest this outrage and to insist on the passage of the "Respect for Conscience" act which is now before Congress.
With my blessing and prayers for all of you and your loved ones, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
The Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz
Bishop of Lincoln
At best, dropping their health plans on the floor and paying the tax for doing it.
They actually BELIEVED Obama’s minions....
If that is the case, and I haven't seen or heard nothing of it, then it would ALSO be a clear 14th Amendment case and it WOULD be "a Catholic thing". Or Christian...or any other religion not afforded a pass.
It would A L S O make a superb political ad in October. Especially if you could put it up on every station, in every swing state...every hour.
Gotta reference? I'd like to see that.
That I wish I did — I got that from another freeper on this same thread I think. When I heard, I thought “of course, what else would this pseudo-Christian muslim Kenyan do?” But it would be good to trace it back.
So a person might well ask, "What's causing the U.S. Catholic bishops to draw a line in the sand and dig in their heels HERE, and not at various other points where they could have resisted over the past 40 years?
I very good question. If I do say so myself. And I am pinging Black Elk in here to hear his opinion on the matter. I myself suspect that because this HHS mandate is NOT technically tax-funded, but is in fact an unfunded mandate to be paid for by employers via insurance, it crosses an obscure canonical or moral-ethical line which would make religious employers not just disgruntled-citizens-paying-their-taxes, but actual formal and material cooperators in a grave objective msoral evil.
I think a person can be excommuicated for formal and material cooperation.
Anyhow, it means that Bishops cannot obey this law without incurring excommunication.
In other words, they are being legally reqauired to commit an offense which terminates their communion with the Church.
And if they drop the insurance entirely, they are hit with crushing (truly crushing) penalties, fines. And if they do not pay the fines, it's off to prison they go.
They're finally at a place where there is no wiggle room. Where they cannot claim that this is only "remote material" cooperation (paying taxes). They can't finesse it.
Is that about it, Black Elk?
bookmarking & bttt
Reason 1: We had been used to having, as presidents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, men who were, at best, weak leaders and, at worst, not very Catholic. People like Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and Bishop Wilton Gregory. While an occasional strong Catholic like John Cardinal Krol would be elected once in a while, the weak were the rule.
Reason 2: We then came to two consecutive elections in which Francis Cardinal George of Chicago and Cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York were elected as reasonably strong and committed Catholics of religiously conservative views. Dolan was elected in an upset in the first contested election in memory, was elected defeating the far more church liberal incumbent Vice President Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson (formerly a Bernardin protege in Chicago). The Dolan election seemed to be in the nature of a mandate from his fellow bishops to put a stop to the church liberal nonsense. Non-Catholic (and Catholics with a superficial approach to Catholicism but a more fervent commitment to somewhat secular political conservatism) conservatives may find Dolan's dedication to government spending on the poor and to defending the immigration (with or without "papers" from the nations south of the US) may find Catholic church conservatism strange but it is what it is and I tend to follow and obey as best I can.
Reason 3: Having received that "mandate" from his fellow bishops, Archbishop Dolan (holding also what amounts to the premier See in the US particularly known for political liaison and leadership with the wider society, Dolan communicated with Obama and his administration on Obamneycare and was effectively rebuffed on Catholic concerns as to abortion, "morning after" pills (pharmaceutical abortions designed to prevent implantation) and the ordinary "birth control" pill which functions not as a contraceptive but to agitate the uterus and make implantation therein of the already conceived human being very unlikely if not impossible. I am not sure but I also imagine that Obamneycare provides for elective sterilization as well.
Reason 4. As Mrs. Don-o points out, there is a difference between living in a society in which birth control (especially the abortifacient kind) and abortion are legal and living in a society in which paying for such forms of birth control and abortion are mandatory. The latter is a legal mandate to materially cooperate with the evils in question and therefore to participate in them. We have had lesser forms of such material cooperation and participation in such evils via abortions allowed for service personnel at taxpayer funded medical facilities or via welfare abortions or provision of abortifacients to welfare recipients in states where such is funded by state or county or municipal taxation. The Hyde Amendments prohibited federal funding for a long time and therefore, protected the USCCB from having to express condemnation nationally, leaving the question to diocesan bishops in states or subdivisions affected by state or local abortion funding.
Reason 5: We Catholics and our bishops have been seduced, to some extent (not you, Mrs. Don-o or many of your colleagues in the determined pro-life activities in which you engaged) by some idiot libertarian argument to the effect that, if we don't like abortion, don't get one. This was no more sensible than someone saying that if you don't want to engage in bank robbery, don't. We have an obligation to stop evil. Dawn is now breaking via Obamneycare and the sunlight reveals that when we give the babykillers an inch, they will demand a mile. We had to be smacked up side the head and we and the bishops have been.
Reason 6: Obamneycare, the administration's militant defense of it, as applied to the Roman Catholic Church, that the vile apostate "Catholic" Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius is Obama's chosen Goebbels on the issue, that every leftist interest group or union is given "waivers" from Obamneycare's requirements but the Catholic Church does not get such "waivers" (the waivers themselves being probably unconstitutional under the XIVth Amendment Equal Protection Clause as are certainly their issuance to friends and denials to enemies of the regime (that would be us as Catholics), means that the Obozo regime is determined to make an example of the Roman Catholic Church and its institutions (schools, hospitals, charities, etc.) and to punish Catholics for BEING Catholic and to require Catholics and their leaders under penalty of steep fines and incarceration to abandon the Faith. We shall not.
Reason 7: Although the bishops probably have not figured it out yet, it is time for Catholics to study the history of the Christeros in Mexico and also particularly Warren Carroll's The Last Crusade about General Francisco Franco's Cathiolic Falangist revolution against the elected government of the Spanish "Republicans" (i.e. Stalinist Communists of Spain) when the "Republicans" went a wee bit further and went on a rampage in which the army on the mainland under their direction invaded a cloistered convent of about 80 nuns and raped and murdered them, followed by the martyrdom of seminarians and priests who told the Reds that they each wanted to be first to be executed so that each might be first to heaven. By the end, Franco sent a lot of the Reds to the next life and crushed them altogether and replaced their regime.
Reason #8: What the bishops have apparently figured out is that Obamneycare for Catholics is a sort of greater equivalent of having a government program to force observant Jews to eat pork. Maccabees I and II in the Catholic canon of the Bible covers what happened when a government gets carried away in forcing in forcing people to violate their own religious obligations because the powers that be disagree with those obligations of their subjects. Obozo does not have to like the Catholic Faith or live according to it but the First Amendment Freedom of Worship prohibits him and anyone else from interfering with the practice of Catholicism.
If I can be of further help, feel free to ask.
Finally and quite separately, to Mariner: This Tenth Amendment business has superficial appeal even to Catholics since it is the embodiment of an ancient Catholic philosophical principal of subsidiarity. I understand that St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) wrote eloquently on the subject of subsidiarity.
OTOH, if the long-ignored Tenth Amendment were to be rediscovered as a governing principle and put into effect fully tomorrow morning at 10 AM, are you prepared for the second coming of the French Revolution? No more federal: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or Departments of Edumakashun, Energy, Commerce, Labor, probably Veteran's Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Health & Human Services, also Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, National Labor Relations Board, Centers for Disease Control, Stafford Loans, National Defense Student Loans, Pell Grants, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum ad nauseam.
We are conservatives. ABRUPTLY abolishing all those agencies, departments, and programs and many, many more may sound good to libertarians or constitutional purists but not to me or a lot of other conservatives. This is one of the major problems with the simplistic Ron Paul view of "constitutionalism." A lot of those agencies may well need to be abolished. It may even be that the Tenth Amendment ought to be modified or even eventually enforced as is. We have spent about 180 years massacring and generally ignoring the Tenth. It won't be restored abruptly without massive bloodshed. Conservatives are natural born gradualists on domestic policy. The time to abolish functions suddenly is when they are being enacted not years later when people have learned to rely on them.
Avoiding making martyrs out of the likes of Sebelius, John Kerry, et al., has not worked. They should be splashily and publicly excommunicated.
Your point about secularists who are fair is particularly well taken.
I don’t think we need to kiss and make up. I just figured I wasn’t making myself clear enough.
Non-Catholics might want to do likewise but respectfully, saying they do not understand how her behavior could possibly be tolerated and not lead to her public excommunication, that she is an affront to all of Christianity and all of civilization.
In both cases, he should be thanked for telling Sebelius not to present for Holy Communion. Donald Cardinal Wuerl likewise but he is not likely to be her long-term diocesan ordinary and I would bet she retains a Kansas residence in Naumann's diocese.
We can lok forward to better days when the thumbscrews, the rack and the stake are again available and the Iron Maiden and pit and pendulum as well.
May God bless you and yours.
I once had a Missouri Synod Lutheran man who was my client in his divorce case. At one court appearance, the judge was a sneering non-believer who was purposely antagonizing the client. It gave me the opportunity to tell the judge: It is an amazing situation where I, as a Catholic, am required to defend the faith of my client whose religious denomination was founded in protest against my own faith but I am proud to have had this opportunity to do so.
If I don't miss my guess, you and I share a firm belief that God has given to each of us the gift of free will.
May God bless you and yours.
To know whom to avoid is a great means of saving our souls.
— St. Thomas Aquinas
Our Bishop and our pastor didn’t! In fact, our Pastor advised us to listen to our Bishop, and not to the Catholic groups who went along w/Obamacare!
Thank you for your post, BlackElk.
The Founding Fathers, by accepting the offered help of powerful Maryland Roman Catholics who correctly guessed they'd be treated better in an independent United States than as a British colony, and by actively seeking out the assistance of France, which at that time was still an officially Roman Catholic nation that had a not-too-distant history of persecuting Protestants, made very clear that the intent of the Constitution was to tolerate the religious freedom of Roman Catholics, at least in Maryland and other states which chose to do so.
In the civil realm, I believe our Protestant forebears were seriously wrong in the late 1800s and the first half of the 1900s in attacking the Roman Catholic Church. It wasn't too many years ago that Republicans were attacking the Democratic Party as the party of “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion.” That was wrong, and the split in the civil realm between Protestants and Catholics caused tremendous problems for well over a century. Things like the Blaine Amendment (barring state aid to “sectarian” schools) and all sorts of other laws, while originally intended to defend a mainstream culturally conservative Protestant consensus against “foreign” Catholic immigrants who were allegedly inculcating anti-American ideals in their youth, forged many of the legal weapons which secularists of a later generation used to attack not just Roman Catholics but believers of all types.
That stuff was wrong a century ago, it's wrong now, and we evangelicals need to own up to our own dirty laundry on this issue. Original intent counts, and we have no constitutional grounds to regard conservative Roman Catholics as anything other than belligerents against a dangerously aggressive secularism.
I believe our common battle against abortion in the pro-life movement, far from being a compromise of evangelical Protestant principles, is entirely appropriate for conservative religious believers, whether conservative evangelical Protestants, conservative Roman Catholics, or Orthodox and Hasidic Jews. All were represented in the Revolutionary War and the subsequent post-colonial government and commerce of the developing United States.
132 posted on Thursday, February 02, 2012 5:44:44 PM by BlackElk: “If I don't miss my guess, you and I share a firm belief that God has given to each of us the gift of free will. May God bless you and yours.”
I'm actually a Calvinist and a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, so my beliefs are specifically singled out for condemnation by the Council of Trent and subsequent Roman Catholic doctrinal statements. I raise that merely to avoid false pretenses — I routinely work with non-Reformed people in ecclesiastical and civil affairs and I'm not looking for a fight.
I have great respect for a church which upholds its own doctrinal standards and enforces church discipline. Far too often that is not the case. I'm a pretty strict confessional conservative, but I follow the political theories of Dutch Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper, who unusually for his day in the late 1800s and early 1900s, correctly saw the need to work with Roman Catholics in the sphere of civil government while maintaining strong confessional integrity within his own church sphere.
BTW, I did my senior thesis many, many, many years ago on John Henry Cardinal Newman; as a Protestant, I was very interested in learning how Roman Catholics responded to the assault of German liberalism on their churches when most Protestants lost the battle and were forced out of their former denominations. I realize you'll argue that Catholic bishops remained faithful because they remained in communion with the Bishop of Rome as Vicar of Christ; I would respectfully disagree at the same time that I compliment Roman Catholics for your success in running out left-wing liberals. It was far from clear a few decades ago that the American or European Catholics would win that battle, and John Paul II deserves considerable credit for seeing the dangers of what Communism would do the church.
Praise God for that!
Yes, the Cristeros. Something else to ponder.
One wonders if any other prominent religious group has protested this insanity?
Where are the Methodists? Baptists? Fundamental Christians? Presbyterians? Seventh Day Adventists? Etc., etc.?
[Good to see you posting, old FRiend. Hope all is well with you and yours.]