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
“And yet, Moslems are completely exempt from Obamacare for religious reasons.”
EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:
In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individuals status as a
member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian,
or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.
Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274
There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is haraam, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.
So, is it that easy? Is simply being a member of an recognized religious sect enough to exempt an individual from Obamacare? Not quite the information provided by each individual must first be verified against the records of the Social Security Administration, and possibly Homeland Security, in order to prove citizenship and religious status. If the records are found to be consistent with the information for the individual applying for exemption, only then are they eligible. If the records are found to inconsistent with such information, the individual applying for exemption is given 90 days to clear up any possible errors with the reporting agencies. That 90 day period can be extended upon the discretion of the Secretary of applicable agencies. If, by the end of this period, the information is still not cleared up, the individual can then apply for an appeal. Whereby exemption can be decided, or reevaluated on a periodic basis, by the individual agencies in question. The appeals process is determined by the individual agencies involved
In short, each individual applying for exemption must verify that they are citizens and that they are actually members of a recognized religious sect.
If the individual can make it through all of the bureaucracy involved in this process, they can then obtain exemption. Trust me the federal government doesnt want to make it easy for anyone to get out of participating in the system.
The real question is, which religions qualify for exemption? Its easy to argue that Muslims, Christian Scientists, and the Amish will be recognized, because they have a moral conflict with insurance. However, what argument will Christians be able to make for exemption? Will they be able to claim exemption due to a moral conflict with publicly funded abortions? Not likely.
“What is the one church that has stood against
Same sex marriage,
Embronic stem cell research
And is still standing and will continue to oppose these policies? The Catholic Church.....why do you think the media and the dims hate the Catholic Church so much?”
This deserves repeating and maybe this latest blatant evil and anti-Americanism offered up by the Obama administration will finally WAKE UP the liberal CINO’s in this nation!
Careful....THIS Bishop has been spiritually strong and quite vocal about our rapidly secularizing culture of death for a LONG time!!!!!
I think you might want to do a bit of research, sir.
I FULLY expect this to go to court...and I expect to win!
I hope this comes to a head — civil disobedience, jail, etc.
I been researchin’ since ‘76. Will do more research at the Maine caucus this weekend. One of the reasons I am driving is that Rick Santorum does not have ONE volunteer in the entire state. Not good. Neither does NEWT.
Example? I was in NY=23 for the Doug Hoffman race. Some young folks with Susan Anthony List came up from VA. When they attended Mass, the local folks at the parish were rude to them. “I wish you folks would take your politics to somebody else’s town ...” I met the pastor myself ... nasty old hoot.
Most Catholic pew-sitters don’t do elections. And they don’t much like pro-life activists.
It is probably just an east coast thing.
There are a lot more sources of potential (and actual) persecution of Christians in our country than just the government.
“Political correctness” is a form of persecution, but not one that usually leads to martyrdom (as of yet). Just think about the large numbers of institutions in our society that enforce “political correctness”!!!!
For those who contemplate disobedience, civil or otherwise, and who court martyrdom, that may not be as easy as one might think.
For smaller organizations, it will become impossible to buy health insurance that doesn’t have the contraceptive/abortifacient converage. No secular company will offer insurance without it, as they just won’t have the legal ability to do so, nor will they much care to do so. No state insurance commission will license a company, even church-owned or sponsored, that won’t comply with federal law.
For larger organizations, it will also become impossible to provide health insurance without this coverage. These organizations typically self-insure, and they can design their own health insurance plans. But those plans must still meet certain federal requirements, and the contraceptive/abortifacient requirement will be part of those. They could attempt to design and implement such a plan, but these plans need companies that serve as third-party administrators, and the TPAs also can’t administer plans that don’t meet federal requirements.
If organizations drop their plans altogether, they will be fined for each employee. This fine essentially serves as a premium for each employee to get their insurance, then, directly from the government. Which will, of course, have the coverage for contraception/abortifacients.
Failure to pay the fines will ultimately result in the government, probably through the IRS, seizing the money by force from the dissenting organizations.
Upon seizure of the money, the government will have the choice of either persecuting the offending organizations further, or concluding, hey, we got the money, these folks are part of the system, whether they like it or not, we don’t need to make martyrs of them.
The upshot will be that Catholic organizations will wind up seeing their funds used to buy insurance with these coverages, whether they like it or not, and may not actually suffer further consequences other than having their money legally stolen by the government to pay for this intrinsic evil.
The only way to escape would be to try to function without any paid workers whatsoever. Which would curtail most of the Church’s activities.
This applies to all churches, correct? Not just Catholic.
What an evil regime we are under, and our choice may be something just as bad in November.
We (Christians) should all be ready to accept some level of persecution from the obama admin if he’s re-elected. If this is what he does to a traditional dem voter base in an election year imagine what he’ll be like if re-elected!
So don’t comply, not the schools, not the hospitals, not the social service agencies, not any Catholic organization. If tens of millions of Catholics told Obama no, how far would he go and what would the populace do?
This may finally be the thing that makes the Catholic Bishops go after their apostate Democrat politicians. The fact that there is no record of Democrat Catholic politicians revolting tells two tales. 1. They are not revolting and 2. The MSM isn’t covering them if they are.
Ha. They need to go after their apostate PARISHIONERS, as well.
Many Catholics have dropped off from towing the line on birth control AND abortions and think nothing of it.
It’s called CINOS. They’re everywhere.
My own MIL PROMOTED the pill with her daughter. She knew she’d raised the girl to be a non-church going tramp, so the next step was to put her on the pill.
I converted to Catholicism. I am subtley MOCKED within the family for being “so conservative” in my views.
Sorry to inject my personal story, but there are millions of Catholics who go to Mass, even are involved deeply in the church, but who do not follow the rules in their personal lives.
I think this has everything to do with this issue on many levels. God is not fooled. Catholics need to look at themselves in the mirror as well.
This 'rule' is a 'law' that wasn't passed by congress and signed by a president.
This is nothing short of tyranny.
"Stoke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool." Paul Begala
That's how Democrats like to rule.
Ann Barnhardt: The Entire Sad Contraception Issue Explained
(Long, utterly devastating read)
“Most Catholic pew-sitters dont do elections. And they dont much like pro-life activists.”
The Catholics you refer to are not generally found in the pews. They are CINO’s.
Does anyone here from Kansas know in what diocese this evil witch Sebelius resides and who the bishop is? She should be formally and publicly excommunicated. I understand that excommunication is a self-executing thing (latae sententiae) in most cases but the Church NEEDS to hold this evil thing up before the public as poster thing for excommunication. Long before she joined Obozo, Sebelius was politically snuggling with the notorious abortionist of Wichita, the late Killer Tiller. That she has not yet been publicly excommunicated is in itself a scandal. If someone posts the diocese and bishop, send him respectful letters requesting that he excommunicate her for her extraordinary efforts to maximize baby-killing and because she is a scandal to the Church.
Bishop Bruskewitz did a blanket excommunication of all members of Planned Barrenhood, NARAL, Catholics for Choice, and several "progressive Catholic" (which is to say CINO) groups like Call to Action. The response from the groups was to have people wearing buttons indicating membership aproach for the Eucharist. Under Bruskewitz's orders, they were uniformly turned away. They stopped chalenging him. Regrettably, he has reached (or will this year reach) the age of 75 when he must submit his resignation to Rome. The Vatican may accept that resignation at any time but may delay for additional time until he is 80. Few bishops are allowed to serve past 80. I'd like to see him appointed to Sebelius's diocese so that he can do the dishonors of excommunicating her. There is an old ritual which might be used and might well appeal to Bishop Bruskewitz, having to do with turning altar candles upside down, one after another, at the altar of the cathedral as the formal decree of her excommunication is formally pronounced by the bishop. Regrettably the discipline of the stake and other appropriate medieval remedies are no longer available. OTOH, there would certainly be plenty of publicity as her secular humanism was formally recognized by the bishop of the diocese where her residence is located.
You just gotta stop being such a relentless Pollyanna!
If you are not already in the Knights of Columbus, join before it is too late. Make Scott join as well. Russell Council #10 at New Haven (nice HQ at State Street near Chapel Street) or San Salvador #1 (probably at St. Aedan's in Westville). Join an old traditional council in any event. There are plenty in Connecticut. You pay your dues and you get a traveling card that admits you to any council meeting of any council anywhere.