Let me share with you my letter regarding the healthcare mandate. This letter has been sent to parishes to be read at masses this weekend.
Letter from Cardinal-designate Dolan
Letter from Cardinal-designate Dolan (Spanish)
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I am thrilled that this happened with such a wonderful response from the faithful. I just have one question, which I know you will not answer. If all forms of BC are going to be paid for by the INSURANCE companies, then won’t the premiums go up for RCs who carry insurance? So, in essence those who do not believe in BC will still have to pay for it, except this time, it will come out of the pocket of the faithful.
This still digs even deeper into the usurping of Religious Freedom from the Churches and people of the United States of America.
From what I heard the President say is Catholic entities will tell their employees who to contact in our insurance companies for contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs they request. This is not fitting and proper for our government to mandate of our church.
Please stand with us!
Sharon Ann Weidelman
I have the same question as Sally. BC and abortifacients will still be in the policies…just under “free”…nothing is free. NOTHING…not even salvation…so they will still be paid for tax dollars, higher premiums and we still have the same dilemma….they are telling us that we must still provide for BC’s and abortifcacients….except now you are playing a shell game by the current administration…which shell will you find the BC’s and abortifacients and other immoral procedures? Please, Cardinal-designate Dolan and all bishops…please, please! don’t quit on this…please!
In addition to the concern that we will still be paying for these things, there is the concern about who provides them.
The Church cannot provide the means to contraception, sterilization, or the morning-after pill. When we provide a policy that offers these things, we are providing that means, whether the funds are directly from the Church or not.
When we provide a policy and the insurance company instructs the policyholder that now they can have “free” contraception (and the rest), we are then giving the employees a policy that includes these things. Obama’s words make no difference to what is actually happening.
Please keep up the fight. Our souls depend on this.
Sally – you are precisely right. This is a Wag the Dog – let’s focus attention on the Insurance Companies in our speech rather than RCs, but ultimately if the insurance companies have to pay for this who is going to absorb the cost – the customer, by increased premiums. Does this man think that the American People have no logic? I am very sad and pray that we will find the right person to lead this country.
Please reject this compromise Cardinal Dolan! You will see it is nothing more than a trick.
Thank you for your excellent response to the White House assault on the free exercise of religion. As a Boston Catholic, I encourage you not to back down or accept the false “compromise” this administration is offering. We have never needed our bishops more than we do at this moment in history. Do not be afraid. We are under the protection of Our Lady Help of Christians. May God bless you and all who are successors to the apostles. May every one of you be worthy Shepherds.
I am so thankful for the leadership of Cardinal-designate Dolan and all our bishops. I am frustrated listening to the news which seems to say that as long as Catholic women get their birth control, this issue will die down. I’d want to scream at the TV ,” There are practicing Catholic women out there who follow the church and do not use contraception”.
I wonder when, as do millions of the ‘unwashed’ Catholics sitting in the pews each Sunday, our bishops/cardinals are going to begin the process of excommunicating those ‘c’atholics of either political party, or of national persuasion for their unabashed support of abortion in direct opposition to all Catholic teachings and beliefs. For any human being to claim they are personally opposed to (insert your hot button here) but will not allow that personal conviction to enter into their decsion making proceses shows me that they have NO personal code of ethics, morality or religious beliefs. You and I lie, politicians ‘mis-speak’. You and I cheat on our taxes, politicians ‘mis-state’ their income. You and I are expected to make decisions based on a set of religious, moral or ethical principles, politicians can be personally opposed and yet support that which is religiously, morally or ethically wrong. These small ‘c’ catholics show up at Masses like photo opportunities and if, like when then Archbishop Raymond Burke refused to give the Holy Eucharist to then presidential candidate John Kerry for Kerry’s open and vocal support of abortion, these poltical types are refused Communion, the USCCB begins the condemnation of the offending prelate, rather than demand ALL Catholics be one in ‘communion’ with Church teachings. OBiden, Pelosi, Dodd, Milkulski, et al, and a host of the Kennedys have all used the Church for political gain but refuse to abide by the same teachings you and I sitting in the pews each Sunday must abide by. I will NOT hold my breath waiting for our leadership to act. By excommunicating those who openly challenge and defy Church teaching, we are NOT judging their souls, only their anti-Catholic actions, which is what we must do each day of our lives, judge between good and evil. If they do not hold to Church teachings and doctrine, then by that very act, they must NOT be allowed to participate in Catholic activities unless and until they repent of those anti-Catholic stances.
Nothing is free except the grace of God. Nothing has changed except the the rhetoric. The President has done nothing except trying to confuse and deceive by distracting and using the Insurance companies as targets since most have less empathy for them. Sally is right on our premiums will go up and other benefits will disappear as will higher co-pays as church institutions find ways to offer affordable healthcare to employees. Yes out of the pocket of the faithful. I pray that His Excellency Archbishop Dolan and others are not swayed by this ridiculous and disrespectful response by the Obama White House. It has been very evident that they have chosen to attack the Catholic Church,” 99% of women use contraception.” They have no remorse it is intentional.
This so called accommodation is smoke and mirrors. It is no different from the president’s first mandate. By having the insurance companies offering these provisions in essence is saying to its employees that the church is not telling you all of what is offered by your insurance. You also get these provisions that are free. It matters that our Catholic teachings are not undermined by government mandate whether it is free or not. The teachings of our Catholic faith should not be restricted, but free to follow, teach, and lived individually, and examples set by its institutions. The Church is our moral compass and should never waver even if a majority of Catholics use birth control. The doctrines of our faith should not be restructured to accommodate the government’s idea of what is right and moral by slick gimmicks that make a mockery of our religion. The teachings of the Church stand for good, and the salvation of our soul. Is president concerned about that? Our Catholic families are praying for you and all our spiritual leaders to seek and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to be strong in faith and resist this infringement on our religious freedom.
Kathleen Sibelius emphatically insisted today that premiums will go DOWN, not UP, because “preventive” measures improve overall health, resulting in less costs for the insurance companies. However, I find a flaw in her explanation, because I fail to see how being fertile makes you less healthy in the first place.
Thank you for your strong witness and leadership. I do not believe that Mr Obama can be trusted. We must all stand together, and refuse to accept the unacceptable.
All Obama did is symantics…..what is the meaning of the word is????? Sound familiar ?I’m ready for civil disobedence. I pray for you Archbishop Dolan!!!!<3<3<3 God Bless you!!!!!!
I would agree with Sally, The bottom line is that the “change”or “solution”we are being fed requires us to set aside our religious belief and liberty. This smacks of a great conscience loop hole so that we can conveniently carry on our lives without worry of accomplice to sterilization or abortion.
I was very concerned by the initial ruling, but I am quite satisfied with the Administration’s new compromise. I think it does an excellent job of balancing the interests of all involved. I do not personally agree with the “official” Church teaching on artificial contraceptives and, like most Americans, I support women’s access to safe, effective contraceptives. But I also firmly believe that my fellow Catholics who think differently than I do should in no way be forced to pay for contraceptives. The initial rule was an erosion of our religious liberties, but the compromise does a good job ( or as good a job as possible in a pluralistic society) of protecting everybody’s rights and interests.
Thank you and the Bishops for standing up for religious freedom. The latest attempt by the administration at a compromise is not a compromise at all. You will still be paying for birth control and the “morning after pill” through higher premiums. There is also the matter of any employer of conscience who cannot subscribe to the administration’s health care mandate. I hope you can also stand up for us as well. If this is not stopped now, the next step will be abortion. There can be no compromise on the core principles of our faith. Thank you again for speaking for those who don’t often get heard and for those who never get the chance to speak.
Prior to my retirement 2 years ago I was the Personnel Director of one of the Archdiocese of NY Childcare agencies. During that time we provided health insurance to all our full and part time staff with apartial contribution by them. However, the policy had an exemption from the coverage of birth contol, sterilization and abortion. THis was standard in all our contracts and was in keeping with the teachings of the church. I believe all our sister agencies and programs had the same mandate.
Why not offer a similar health plan now and offer the rider covering such exceptions to Catholic teaching. The insurance companies can calculate the costs to them of such a rider and any staff who wish such a rider could opt for it and pay the full cost of such rider without a contribution by the agency.
This would keep us from violating our moral teachings yet offer coverage to those who chose same without any funds contributed by the agency.
Submitted for thought and comment.
There has not been a solution to the shredding of our constitutional rights. The mandated preventative medical coverage has simply been shifted. As Sally S. observes, now the individual faithful and not the Church organizations will have to pay for contraception and abortifacients. I hope Archbishop Dolan and the USCCB will continue to defend our Constitutional rights. Are not we, the faithful, the Church?
I have a feeling that Mr. Obana’s proposal for “free” contraceptive care is a bit of smoke and mirrors. We all do know that when a vendor says “free shipping” that we are really paying for the shipping in the product price. Insurance companies are not charities … contraception will be paid for by those paying premiums and the employers’ portion of the policy cost. Sorry, but hs porposl reminds of the 3 card monty scam.
Dear Eminence … keep up the good work! Why are our Catholic colleges (Manhattan, Fordham, etc.) involved with insurance companies that provide contraceptive coverages? Why can’t they come into our Archdiocesan self-insured policies? Why doesn’t someone also indicate the harmful side effects to birth control in order to broaden the discussion for the health of women? Will the adoption of children by same sex couples through our Catholic Charities agencies be the next battle royale? Please continue to fight the good fight and please continue to present — logically and profoundly simply — the issues and what our Catholic faith teaches … the best is yet to come. John Graham
God bless all our clergy for standing up for what is right..and for leading all of us in this fight againgst our freedom to practice our faith. Since when did birth control and abortion become a woman’s “right”? Since when did birth control and abortion become an issue of woman’s “health”. The government of these United States was founded by those who fought for religious freedom. Now the government is telling us not to be Catholic, our beliefs are outdated. Now is the time for all of us to be strong and to be faithful ti the Word of God as Catholic Christians.
thank you for your statements which so strengthen our cause in this very serious battle with the government to be able to adhere to our conscience in regard to birth control. however, i do not understand why people like sister carol keehan of cha, and even the president of notre dame, are allowed to remain in their positions when they repeatedly opposerankri razon our catholic beliefs.
As a Christian in the USA I want to thank you for standing up against Obamas war on our religious freedom. I am not Catholic, however, I have always admired the Catholic church for it’s reverence for God, His principals and standards.
I believe that if the Catholic Church stands firm against this threat that Obama will back down. I also believe that if the Catholic Church leads this stand that other denominations will support and follow with the same stand.
I for one will! This is not just a threat on religion in the US it is a direct assault on God Himself and His word. We are to live by His word not by man.
The countless thousands of people before us have paid with their lives to uphold the standards that God has laid before us. We not only owe it to those who did, but can do nothing less to uphold those standards ourselves or pay the consequences of inactivity.
Again, Thank you for your strong leadership and continued reverence of God’s standards.
I am very impressed with the efforts by the USCCB to stop the current presidents administration from forcing people who work for religious organizations, to violate their core religious beliefs.
I am concerned that this president and his administration will provide hollow or empty promises to the faithful and the leaders of the USCCB, to help them look favorable in the eyes of the Catholic voters in America, but will still end up forcing the faithful to have to violate their core beliefs in order to retain employment.
Please be very cautious when dealing with this administration as their motto and strategy appears to be “say what they want to hear” while continuing to do what they intended to do in the first place.
May God Bless you in this very worthwhile effort.
I think yes. We as Catholics will still be paying for abortions.
Last night I watched a PBS program on the young Freedom Riders of 1961. Afterward, I grew very sad. We, as Catholics, should be using the same tactics to combat abortion. We have not done enough. The result is 53 million “terminated” children since Roe v. Wade.
I think that we as the faithful generally lack the courage to stand up for our convictions. Why aren’t our university campus ministers “firing up” young people to participate in massive non-violent civil disobedience? We are like the German villagers during WW II who lived in the shadows of the Nazi death camps, but buried their heads in the sand.
Imagine–the mass murder of 53 million innocent “inconvenient” unborn children, and we Catholics vote for pro-abortion politicians, participate in abortion, or simply shrug our shoulders. God must be very unhappy with most of us. Where is our Gandhi? Where is our Martin Luther King? Where is our Batolome de las Casas?
I am encouraged that Catholic leadership has taken a strong stand against this mandate issued by Obama under the new authority given to government by the Health Care Bill. Too often the church is fooled by the words of the left. This new offer from Obama is just another deception. Nothing is free. The money will come from the insurance premiums paid by Catholics.
The fact that the Heatlh Care Bill gave this authority to the government is the reason we must elect a new president that will repeal the bill.
Yes, technically the cost of providing birth control would be spread out over all the customers of a particular health plan, but as Obama points out, birth control actually saves a health insurance company money in the long run as it is cheaper and safer than an abortion and treating complications from hormonal irregularities (and many would argue that taking birth control would be morally preferable to having an abortion). On the positive side, now the employees of Catholic institutions will be able to make their own moral judgement about how to take care of their bodies instead of having that choice imposed on them by their employer.
It has become clear that the Bishops have decided to play politics with the healthcare of their employees. The only immoral action is the actions and stances of the Bishops as they attempt to matter in an election year. With 28 states alreayd demanding this level of coverage from the Church as well as the majority of Catholic Law schools provide such coverage to their law students, one must question the motives of the Bishops to bring up this moot issue.
Maybe if the Bishops stay out of the political arena, lapsed Catholics like myself may return.
Although this reproductive “healthcare” services mandate is an asault on all people of conscience, it is a direct attack on the US Catholic Church. Please consider Our Lady of America’s request for all our nation’s Bishops to enthrone her statue in her National Shrine, to be a safeguard for our country. Please do this. Please let our Patroness, Mother and Queen save our country in the way Her Son expressed through her message!
There is no accommodation. There never was any intent on the part of HHS or Obama to make any accommodation. They just hoped that, as in the past, the people would not notice that the Emperor was still naked.
In the past, the Catholic Church was able to tailor health care coverage for it employees that provided appropriate health care while not providing services that the Church deemed to be intrinsically evil. With the proposed “accommodation” the Catholic Church will be mandated to provide health care plans that specifically include coverage for drugs, services and procedures that it deems to be intrinsically evil.
It is the height of hypocrisy to pretend that the Church’s religious liberty is being preserved by transferring the cost of the coverage of those drugs, services and procedures to the insurance company. Even if I believed that those costs would not eventually be passed through to the Church by increasing the cost of the remainder of the premiums, the Church is still indirectly participating in the the evil by offering the services as a part of it’s health care package.
So, no Mr. President, we will not be a part of your “accommodation” that is nothing more than a game of smoke an mirrors so that you get your way. Evil is evil – always and everywhere – and we will continue to resist evil, even when it is practiced by members of our faith who should know better.
I am a Catholic convert, 16 years ago. I truly love the Mass, and the Eucharist, and all the beautiful gifts that we receive through the Catholic faith. My thoughts on this mandate with the administration, are that we should not make any deal with them, no matter what. Catholics should stick to their guns, all or nothing. If we make any kind of deal with this administration, no matter what it is, I feel the Catholic Church will be selling their souls down the river. It is like dealing with the devil. No insurance for anyone at religious institutions, hospitals, universities ect. that cover anything even close to contraceptions, abortion ect. None, nada, nothing!!! If there is some kind of compromise, that allows it to people who are not Catholic at these institutions, I will be rethinking my life in the Catholic faith….any deal, or compromise, in my opinion, will bring down the Catholic Church, I will find some other place to go. All or nothing, and this all is just my statements and opinions!!
Thank you, (Cardinal) Dolan, for speaking out about the contraception insurance mandate and insisting on a conscience exemption for Church institutions. But what about Catholic employers in secular industries? Won’t the bishops include them in those they speak out for? Catholic employers will also be ruined if they are not granted an exemption. And what about Catholic employees in general, in every industry? Would we be materially cooperating with evil if we purchase insurance policies that include contraception, and even abortion, services?
I am so relieved after reading His Excellency’s letter of February 10, 2012. My parish here in Monmouth Beach NJ has discouraged any kind of solidarity against this atrocious assault on our consciences. I would like Arch Bishop Dolan’s email address so that I may share a disturbing thread of emails regarding this issue from our church leaders. The priests here, Father Bob and Father John, have remained diplomatically silent, as we did not hear response from the pulpit this weekend.
Again, I am so happy someone in faith feels the same way I do about this. There is a larger issue of religious freedom and personal conscience, which has been swept under the carpet due to political correctness that is threatening our God-given rights. I appreciate, as always, the Catholic Church remaining morally sound. I only wish my local parish was with us. Thank you.
Does our President think we are all stupid????? Or just us Catholics????? We sir are NOT STUPID!!! Your “change” means nothing. There is no free lunch and there are no free abortion services.
All that is needed is an OPT OUT for any employer for those services from their policy. Period. No subterfuge. No politics.
I hope & pray our Bishops continue to lead on this matter!!
There is no real change!
In plan A: You paid for birth control.
In plan B: The insurance company pays for birth control and you pay the insurance company.
I hope and pray that our bishops will stay firm and refuse to compromise.
You have made it clear that we are Americans and have the constitutional right to establish our Catholic religion the way we want it. America guarantees us this liberty because we are American Citizens.
You have made it clear that you stand with Americans in this and are not like some of the non-Americans who have Catholic religious beliefs – I know of one person who says the Catholic Church is a people, a nation, and that since becoming Catholic he looks at his Social Security Card as his “green card” to allow him to live and work in the United States. He is much like that bishop a number of years ago who said, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession… Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people… aliens and exiles” (He says the Church really is a Nation in the world, like the USA, but was not established by the world).
While Diognetus would not recognize American Catholicism from what he was told about the Church, he was not American, so he would not understand that America is above all, being the first cause of religious liberty, and that as Americans, Catholicism can be whatever we choose it to be in America.
Thanks for all you do! Keep up the good fight!
May I humbly suggest – Now is a great time for the Bishops to tell the world why we oppose contraception, e.g. Because it objectifies and degrades women (and men)!
Folks need to know that it is the Catholic Church that TRULY stands up for the dignity of women !!!
All the best to you, dear Archbishop!!!
I am disheartened in the visceral focus of the Church in opposition to the Federal rule on access to birth control pills. I was raised Catholic, and with each passing year I am further and further from remotely considering myself a Catholic. I remember (then Father) Dolan as a parish priest for a while near Annapolis MD. I had a lot of respect for him and hoped he would bring a more compassionate realism to the Church.
Where is the focus on the hungry and needy. Why so much focus on abortion,
homosexuality and on birth control. This is not 12th centure Rome and you are losing parishioners. You will continue to do so if you do not preach a realistic gospel.
Every woman (and man) has the absolute right to control his or her own body. The Church has failed to recognize that — and I could not be more disappointed.
I really do not see how this could possibly be interpreted as “A step in the right direction”! How in the world can this be any different from what was being done before the President’s speech on the subject? Is something a sin if I do it but okay, and not a sin if I watch someone else do it for me? Common…we’re not that stupid!
Sally, well stated. I have to say I am surprised that Cardinal-designate Dolan does not see how this “compromise” is so much smoke and mirrors. As the Catholic institutions will be paying a premium to the insurance companies for coverage of FREE birth control, sterilization, and Ella and Plan B…that the insurance companies will pay for. I certainly cannot see how this resolves our conscientious objections in ANY manner. Catholic leadership cannot back down on this issue and simply pretend that President Obama has given any respect to our Catholic faith and has done any favors for us.
I don’t know what part oif birth control you are against Obama has not changed a thing with this latest mandate. You proclaim to be voice of the church but st5ill think this is a good thing Obama has done. I only hope you have a change of heart before ytou meet your maker.
Working in the world of managed care and insurance for many years, I do not see the difference in positions….just smoke and mirrors for the uneducated on how insurance works. Here is an exaggerated analogy:
Initial Position: You must provide “poison” to all your employees.
Accomodation: Monies will be collected from you to pay for the poison supplied to your employees (i.e. your premiums) but someone else will store and provide the poison to your employees so that you do not have to administer the poison yourself.
I am not impressed with Obama’s response. There is no “free” healthcare, and there is no Constitutional right to “reproductive services”. When did this become a function of government? I just pray the Bishops will not give in. This issue is too important to allow the Federal Government to prevail.
Obama cares not a wit about what you, the bishops, the Catholic Church or for that matter, the Pope think about his mandate.
Obama’s only wanted to win back Sr. Carol Keehan (who helped him move Obamacare over the goal line) and he has done just that with his accommodation. In a Feb. 10 press release Sr. Keehan proclaims: ” The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions.
CatholicCulture dot org has a stark chilling analysis of what’s behind the curtain. I think it will know your red hat off (if you’ve gotten it already). It ain’t pretty. The enemy is inside.
Please read the bishops’ tougher response to the Obama ‘compromise’ mandate at CatholicCulture dot org.
God love you.
Since Obama’s “walkback” on the contraceptive mandate last Friday,liberals have been claiming the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause is satisfied because they would force someone else to bear the expense that the Church refuses to bear on conscience grounds. Perhaps the Free Exercise Clause could be assuaged if the insurance company truly would not pass on the cost to the Church (although the company almost certainly would somehow pass that cost onto the Church), but there are two parts to the Religion Clause of the First Amendment! Forcing the insurance company to support the Church would itself constitute its own violation of the Religious Establishment Clause.
Specifically, to get out of the Free Exercise morass his overreaching has created, the President would require insurance companies to bear the Catholic institutions’ Obamacare responsibility as an employer to pay for contraceptive services. Every other employer (except for other consience objectors) would be compelled to pay those costs, but not the Catholic Church which Obama would “establish” as benefitting from a special rule imposed upon insurance companies. I have not seen anyone on the talking head shows yesterday morning raise this issue, but it is a clear flaw in the Obama plan that needs to be pointed out. Insurance companies cannot be mandated to pay for a church’s responsibilities….not even to get Obama out of a jam.
Who’d a thunk it? Obama establishing the Catholic Church. Surely, not Michelle Obama who is distressed by all the power Irish Catholics have in Illinois Politics!
Dear Archbishop, I hope that read carefully the comments of the “community of loving disciples” that you’ve created. Someday they will turn on you.
Writer Steve McCann says it all:
The recent ruling by the Obama Department of Health and Human Services forcing religious institutions to provide either directly or through private insurance not only contraceptives, but abortion pills and sterilization is not a matter of so-called women’s rights, but a means of setting the precedent and foundation to force organized religion to be subservient to the state.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/barack_obama_in_the_footsteps_of_twentieth_century_despots.html#ixzz1mIBTXeJA
I am so thankful to you, Cardinal (almost?) Dolan. Please do not back down on this issue and do not compromise. This is not a Catholic issue;v it is a First Amendment issue. I have listened to the video on USCCB and I heard you on Fr. Groeschel’s program. You are gifted because you calmly discuss the issue and make the point with clarity. Please continue to stay the course.
The Government could pay for the benefits offered by insurance companies. It is more than reasonable to think it could, because the Government has, many times in the past, created large amounts of money to pay off debts and pay for various necessities.
It is an irresponsible practice, because it harms the global economy, but it is one way the Government could avoid forcing people who are against the health mandate to pay for the health mandate. It is the lesser of two evils, though not the only other option.
You know what the other option is: No evil services in the mandate at all. But it is very unlikely that this will happen, for a number of reasons, such as pressure from the public. Still, God’s Mercy is Omnipotent and we gotta trust in Him to take care of everything.
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