Statement of the USCCB on Religious Liberty

I would like to share with you the statement that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released to the press today regarding religious liberty.

The following press release was issued today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, quoting Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB.

Begin USCCB Release:

BISHOPS STUDYING INITIAL WHITE HOUSE MOVEMENT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

New opportunity to dialogue with executive branch, obtain details
Too soon to tell whether and how much improvement on core concerns
Commitment to religious liberty for all means legislation still necessary

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President Obama’s announcement today. But the Conference continues to express concerns. “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The past three weeks have witnessed a remarkable unity of Americans from all religions or none at all worried about the erosion of religious freedom and governmental intrusion into issues of faith and morals,” he said.

“Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said. “We hope to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations.”

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44 Responses to “Statement of the USCCB on Religious Liberty”

  1. Why is ONLY ABC covered – why not actual healthcare medication, like blood pressure meds or chemotherapy. Those should be provided “free”. Of course we all know that there is nothing free, not even our liberty if this government by mandate is allowed to stand.

  2. Kevin Miller says:

    Dear Your Excellency,

    Please keep the heat on the Obama administration. It is only when we are not aware that the administration will do the utmost evil.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin

  3. Henry Rondina says:

    KINDLY TELL ME HOW OFFERING FREE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN IS DIFFERENT FROM PAYING FOR IT. A MANDATE IS A MANDATE. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS STILL UNDER ASSAULT AND THE CONSTITUTION IS STILL VIOLATED

  4. Jeb says:

    Let’s say I ‘contribute’ $40,000 to the University of Notre Dame and they let my son go to college for free. I then deduct the $40,000 as a charitable contribution. If the IRS catches wind of this, they would never allow it. They would recharacterize the payment as non-deductible tuition and I would be hit with the tax, penalties and interest. Notre Dame would be complicit in the fraud and have a major problem also.

    This ‘deal’ smacks of the same sort of fraudulent nonsense. Just because everyone agrees to call something A does not mean it is not in actuality B. The truth is the truth regardless of common assent. My 16 years of Catholic school helped teach me this.

  5. Michael Dahmke says:

    Your Eminence,
    I humbly ask that you continue to strongly oppose any and all (non)compromises from the Obama Administration on this HHS Mandate. Only a full and total rescinding of the mandate, and a full and total exemption for religious churches and their institutions is acceptable. The Church and her Bishops are fully behind you. I’m 35 years old and I’ve never seen our Catholic Church as united as this. My parish in Florida stands in solidarity against this attack on the Church and on America’s religious freedom. We are desperate for true leadership. We cannot retreat and give in on this. If you give the devil and inch, he takes a mile.

    This issue, this “difficult teaching” brings to mind John 6:60-71. The Church must speak as Jesus, and say: “Does this offend you?” “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Christ’s Church, as granted by the Father, will respond: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life!”

    I pray that God bless you with wisdom, guidance, and strength concerning this continued assault on our Church. I ask you to pray for me, and I pray for you.

    In Christ,
    Michael Lewis Dahmke

  6. Mary Pesarchick says:

    Dear Cardinal-designate Dolan: First, I want to thank you for your wonderfully clear and courageous stand against this mandate. Your leadership in our Church is inspiring and so desperately needed right now. In all honesty. though, reading this statement from the USCCB regarding Obama’s “compromise” on the mandate makes me a bit nervous. It seems obvious to me that Obama’s modification is nothing more than an accounting “shell game” and that we as Catholics should dismiss it altogether.

    The national conversations regarding contraception, and abortions are at a fever pitch. To compromise now would stop this dialogue in its tracks and cause irreparable damage to the Church’s ability to shape the Pro-life argument in this country. Please stick to the original position and require the President to recind this mandate altogether. We, the Faithful are behind you 100%.

  7. Toni Amanda Tarantino-Meloche says:

    Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan,
    Thank you for your strong faith and witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your commitment and obedience to the Magisterial teachings on the culture of life. Your support, your LOVE shines so brightly and I thank GOD for you. You are a light in the darkness of the culture of death that has been rooted in our society since Roe vs. Wade. Your belief and your strength in the TRUTH is very much needed in our society. You speak with Love, your charity to neighbor is a shining example to me and to many others in my family and my parish family (St. Margaret-Otsego, MI). Thank you so very much Cardinal Dolan. May the Triune God bless you and keep you safe from the snares of the evil one!
    Yours in Christ,
    Kenneth and Toni Meloche

  8. Mary says:

    As a kid, I watched a daily show on TV called “Howdy Doody” that had an audience of children who sat on stage in bleachers called the Peanut Gallery. There was a clown called Clarabell who had a seltzer bottle and who, in nearly every show, sometimes tiptoed, sometimes ran around the studio looking to sneak up on Buffalo Bob to squirt him with the seltzer bottle. Buffalo Bob meanwhile would walk in front of the Peanut Gallery saying “what?” “who?” to the children who were screaming wildly that Clarabell was right behind him.

    When I read your response of hope “to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations,” I felt like I was back watching Howdy Doody. This time I’m sitting in the Peanut Gallery. This time it’s me screaming my head off. Watch out. Watch out. He’s behind you. It’s the President and his seltzer bottle.

  9. Roger Kriegbaum says:

    The Obama “tweak” on health care abortion, sterillization, and birth control coverage, in effect, leaves us where we were. The Church provides insurance coverage that will still allow for the above coverages. We are all paying for these coverages. Please come out against Obama health care.

  10. Anne says:

    NARAL pro Choice America just released a statement approving Obama’s compromise! Please Cardinal Elect Dolan, do not cave in! This is a very crucial moment. If you read the NYTimes readers comments regarding this issue the vitriol and hatred of our Catholic Faith is shocking. There are literally hundreds of letters attacking Pope Benedict, you, and priests, in the most offensive terms. Many of the laity are being persecuted for several years now in their professions because they are not complying with directives that are contrary to the church. Just today I heard of a father of five who resigned rather than teach about abortion in a neutral manner in his school. Health care workers are being fired or resigning. Small business owners who provide insurance and want to honor Catholic morality are in a terrible position. Your faithful are suffering. Please stand up for us.

  11. Martina Dillon says:

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/10/cardinal-dolan-fight-harder-against-obamas-mandate/

    Please take a look at this link. I am shocked at your statement above. Do not throw us to the wolves. What would St Paul say about your statement that bishops are not fighters – incredible.

  12. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    Obama, Sebelius, Pelosi. What can we possible have to say to these people? What negotiations are possible with evil?

    This is the most murderous, anti Christian administration imaginable. They export abortion to Africa using national blackmail. They will not rest until abortion on demand is a sacrament and society destroying contraception is paid for by taxpayers even though history proves that the increase in contraceptive use directly affects promiscuity, the break up of families, and abortion.

    I read the Archbishop’s article in the current Catholic NY and he is right. The red hat stands for blood. Blood that is/was shed by our great martyrs. The persecution is beginning. Yes, it starts out in a small way by ridiculing and dehumanizing ones opponent. Then comes the force of law, then the fines and then imprisonment. This is the most dangerous administration in the history of this country. Negotiating with them sans force is a waste of time.

    Lead us Your Eminence. Use the pulpits of America to lead us.

    Oh, and another question no seems to be asking by Americans is why must our taxpayer dollars be spent subsidizing sex lives with free contraception. Don’t we have enough of a deficit?

  13. Diane K says:

    Your soon-to-be-Eminence:

    Please stand on principle. I pray the bishops will not yield after Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities have signed on to Obama’s “accommodation”. I am deeply hurt, as a Catholic, that the heads of these organizations marched out in front of the bishops before they could fully digest the details and offer a response. A fellow blogger has penned an open letter to you, and I hope it is ok to post here. This man is a pro-life champion, in the trenches. http://gerardnadal.com/2012/02/10/an-open-letter-to-cardinal-dolan-fight-for-your-flock/

    I encourage all of my Catholic brethren to pray for our bishops this weekend. We need bishops who will bishop. God will take care of the rest. It’s time to start thinking about our salvation, rather than our self-esteem.

  14. maureen says:

    Dear Cardinal-designate Dolan,
    Thank you for taking a stand against this mandate. The word “compromise” makes me worry. One should never be asked to compromise their religious beliefs by the United States Government .Our beliefs do not harm others. As long as employees are aware they are not covered for these things they have the right to seek employment elsewhere.I also do not want any of my tax money to go for support of abortions but I suppose that will be another battle.

  15. Ray Miller says:

    To all good Catholic men, women and Clergymen, please sit down for moment. President Barack Obama is not the devil assaulting our religious freedom and doing the utmost evil. How different from the teachings of Jesus are these characterizations? Now- do not fall off of your chairs, but the Catholic Church in New York State has provided health insurance coverage including contraception and birth control since July 17, 2002. On that day the New York Legislature passed The Women’s Health and Wellness Act. President Obamas Health and Human Service Department mandates do not require the New York Diocese to change anything they are not already doing. There are 28 States in the United States that currently have the same State laws that we have in New York. In 8 of those States there is no provision to exclude churches. We have that exemption in New York. I wonder if you knew who the President was in 2002, would you demonize that president? Would he be the utmost evilest devily assaulter of religious freedom? Perhaps then would you find out who was Governor, back in 2002, and throw your stones at him?

    This entire false ‘controversy’ has embarrassed me as a New York Catholic. First, no one seems to know or admit that NY Catholic Churches currently provide the same women’s health coverage that President Obama proposes into federal law. Second, is the Lizard- brained comments like the ones I have read above. –Third, is every news reporter in creation every day for a week saying that 98% of Catholics use contraception.

    President Obama, today, out of respect for the Catholic Church, announced an alternative to the current State laws that would improve the position of the NY Catholic Church and move the cost of these services to the insurance company.

    Finally, your eminence, Bishop Cardinal- Elect Dolan; In the name of Jesus Christ, please tell the members of the Church that their religious freedom is not under assault. Sick minds need religious guidance to end their prejudice. Tell them President Obama is not evil. He has ended one war and is ending a second war. He is providing health care to millions more Americans than have had access to it before. I think the Bishop would approve of these measures. Remind everyone of my favorite (most ignored) of the Ten Commandments- Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness.

  16. Ken Bec says:

    I strongly object to the catholic bishop’s objection to this health care regulation. Life is full of choices that we are forced to make in spite of our personal moral or ethical standards. I am a strong supporter of a woman’s the freedom to choose how to manage her own body and her own reproductive activities. Decisions must be made in consultation with a personal physician and spiritual advisor, and the decisions should not be imposed by government bureaucrats. Aside from health care choices, I personally object to paying the 25% tax rate that I pay knowing that the bulk of it goes to the killing machine that our government maintains. The wars begun and fought, without paying for them, in the last 10 years to me are deeply morally objectionable, but what I can I do about them? Where is the Catholic church standing up for the rights to life of mature adults when we need them to stand up? I did not hear one peep from them!

  17. Robert Campbell says:

    Your Eminence,

    I request that you consider the path that has led so many to forsake the Catholic and Christian church because of policies buried in the Dark Ages. The real time to lead is now to show that the faith is not so out of touch with its members that it can agree to compromise of the vast vast majority of Christians believe that conception should be a blessed event that is the result of responsible husbands and wives making preparations for children. To foresake the basic medical services is simply a silly attachment to a policy that the majority of your own diocese does not agree to or practice. Tradition and stuborness does not make it God’s will.

  18. LINDA RICE says:

    I AM BUSTING MY BUTTONS IN PRIDE. THE POPE IS ONE SMART COOKIE, HE KNOWS YOU TO A BE A OLY MANBUT ONE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. YO REMIND ME OF MOTHER ANGELICA! KWWP THE HEAR ON THE PRESIDENT AND USE YOUR POSITION TO GUIDE US AND HELP US DEEAT THIS RED HERRING!

  19. Edward Colbert says:

    Besides religious freedom, it seems to me that personal liberty is being left out of the equation. What about the lay Catholic who does not want this mandated objectionable coverage? What is the difference in bargaining to achieve only an indirect support of the objectionable, and cooperating with evil?

  20. Joel says:

    President Obama’s “accommodation” makes it easier for religious employers to rationalize and violate their consciences. The cost will be buried in other premiums. There is no free lunch!

    Contraceptives and abortifacients will still be obtained through one’s employment with religious employers. Unless religious employers are completely exempt, continue to state unequivocally, “We cannot and will not obey!”

  21. Mary Kay Cavenaugh says:

    Your Eminence, Cardinal-designate Dolan,

    Thank you for the guidance and leadership you have given the USCCB on the issue of Religious Liberty. Your continued faithful service and leadership have done much to restore the faith in our Catholic Bishops.

    In that regard, and with great respect and humility, I implore you not agree to this. Many prominent Catholic clergy supported the Healthcare Reform Act as a commitment to “Social Justice”, when in reality, it was nothing more than a Faustian agreement. They were reassured by the numerous promises that people of faith had no cause for concern, that it would respect and adhere to a Conscience Clause, and that no one would be forced to comply with something that was against their Faith. The final language of “shall” and “may” gave almost unlimited power to the Secretary of Health and Human services, to enforce the mandates. We have learned since, that this Administration has no intention of honoring that agreement, in fact, they intend to force compliance.

    Pretending this ‘compromise’ is reasonable, goes against our core beliefs. The money still is being taken and used to supply birth control and abortion. If we are not willing to stand up for the most innocent, with what kind of ‘social justice’ are we really concerned? We cannot allow any interference from the Federal Government on matters of faith. Our Catholic Faith and heritage demand it, and the 1st Amendment guarantees it.

    While wanting to keep the lines of communication open is an admirable goal, it seems illogical, given that President Obama and Sec. Sebelius are acting in a manner that is hostile to people of faith, proclaiming it as ‘Separation of Church and State’ while blatantly violating the intention of that clause.

    I respect and honor wisdom and continued leadership, and will pray that in this and all things, God and our Savior’s will be done.

    Humbly,
    Mary K. Cavenaugh

  22. Paul Aliotti says:

    Your Excellency,
    Please do not let this administration, and the democrat party, dupe the Catholic Church any longer. If Catholic’s review with open ears, and eyes, they will see that all of this administrations policies are adversely affecting our ability to follow what I was taught, to be God’s plan. The policies being secretly pushed on the people by the administration, are even more harmful than those imposed on Europe in the past. Reflecting on the past, Europe was a made up of people with strong morals, and religious belief, which has eroded extensively. Thus country has also moved along that path, but this administration is pushing us past Europe, at hyper speed. We need to cut off politicians that not only use their faith to sell their lies, and half truths, selling us away from faith, and morals. Pelosi, a great example, has a distorted view of God’s teachings, has tried to force her views on us, and the Church as well. These people have to be fired!
    I was taught, we were put on this earth with a free will. We were given a plan called the 10 Commandments, but free to live our lives, make our own decisions, and be judged on the decisions we make. This was the greatest Country, because here we were able to follow this plan best, unfortunately, like cancer these elected officials are changing that, by making our decisions for us. Even more important, they now doing the same to our Churches. Please fight these changes by helping to elect those who will return us to the moral values we once had, and the freedoms God granted us.

  23. Louannne Glennon says:

    Your Excellency,

    May we please fire or replace Sr. Carol Keehan and the Director of Catholic Charities who beleive Mr. Obama’s new mandate is any different in essentials than his former?

    I am even more outraged! We must be able to practice our Catholic Faith in its fullness, and indirect taxes and money paid to end life remains morally rephrensible! THE SITUATION HAS NOT CHANGED. All Catholics in the U.S. and the world must let Mr. Obama know he has lost our friendship; we will not bow to him. God alone is God, and Mr. Obama is not God.

    Thank you.
    Louanne Glennon

  24. Larry Karl says:

    President Obama has tried to shift this from a moral issue to an economic issue. He is trying to shift the discussion from morals to money. Does he believe that we will agree to anything that we do not have to pay for? It is not the cost of the mandate, it is the moral precepts of the mandate. No employer should be forced to provide this coverage. This is not just a church issue.

  25. Kevin Neely says:

    This does nothing for employers (Catholic or Otherwise) who object to abortion and/or sterilization and/or contraception. Why should the government MANDATE that they have to provide these services? This is nothing more than bate and SWITCH!

    Please don’t let this change in tactics cool the USCB’s determination to speak the truth and work for justice.

    Thank you.

  26. This whole proposition is nothing more than a shell game. If all insurances are mandated to cover contraception and abortion, and every employer is mandated to provide insurance coverage to the employees, this is not a compromise but a shifting of the issue to a place under a different shell.

    Don’t buy it! Stand firm! Everyone needs to recognize that this isn’t about contraception, it is about prohibiting the free exercise of religion. It is absolutely a violation of the Constitution of the United States of America.

    The press is covering this as a choice issue — women need “health care,” they claim. Media moguls should be the first ones to realize that they will be next . . .

  27. J B says:

    With all my heard, Cardinal-designate Dolan, I hope you refuse this phony, Obama “compromise.” It is not a compromise, it is merely a baby step to take care of those “noisy Catholics” until (and if) Obama wins reelection – at which time, he’ll tell the church to “go pound sand” and NOTHING of the 2000 year Catholic doctrine will be sacred.

    This article, http://ricochet.com/main-feed/American-Catholicism-s-Pact-With-the-Devil, by Paul Rahe, voices my sentiments. I left the Church decades ago over what I thought was hypocrisy. I spent years as an agnostic but finally realized that there is something bigger than anything on earth. I now attend a very traditional Catholic church at times.

    There is much to be said for a 2000 year institution. Mr. Rahe’s treatise on the history of the Catholic Church’s reason for defining the rights of the individual as well as its move to the left starting in the US in the 1930′s and is totally erroneous focus on “social justice” is spot on. These moves are what caused me consternation for decades. And, the former Archbishop of St. Paul, who begged Catholics to go to the state Capitol to ask for more government money for “the poor” – excuse me: Caesar to Caesar, God to God.

    Thus, Archbishop, YOU must be the standard bearer in this fight. You must hold firm. You must ignore the guilt trips the socialist leftist politicians both within and without the church, will try to place on you.

    When the Catholic Church abandoned the personal responsibility angle of humanity, it lost. When the soul of an individual is destroyed, tyranny will reign.

    You have a huge job ahead of you – draw the line in the sand and find those who will stand with you.

    May God guide you in this endeavor.

  28. Daria Sockey says:

    Thank you, thank you, Cardinal Dolan and Catholic Bishops for continuing to exert leadership. I blogged about you today, comparing you to Gandalf waking up Theoden (USCCB), returning him to the King and warrior he was meant to be.
    http://dariasockey.blogspot.com/2012/02/rising-of-rohan-and-american-bishops.html

  29. Cristian Ridilla says:

    As a fellow Christian, I also find this mandate appaling. It does not matter from which tradition we come from, All Christians should back Cardinal-Designate Dolan in this mission to force Obama’s withdrawl of this immoral measure. I am praying more Christians stand behind Cardinal-Designate Dolan as a pillar of faith and a defender of life. May God Bless Cardinal-Designate Dolan and all Christians who stand with him for this important battle.

    Cristian Ridilla
    United Church of Christ

  30. Thomas says:

    Sebelius’ stand for this current mandate insisting on the provisions of birth control pills and abortion inducing drugs as “preventive health care for women” is nothing more than hypocrisy. To get it straight, pregnancy is not by any means an illness unless depending upon certain religious circumstances one were to consider immorality an illness. We certainly know this administration is not concerned with religious morality considering how far away from God our government has strived to distance itself in recent years. If the true intention of this so called “health care mandate” was to provide a preventive heath care means for women, it would be pushing condoms not birth control pills or abortion inducing drugs. This is not to suggest birth control is morally acceptable by any means, but to point out the underlying factors.

    If one puts aside the moral aspect of the issue for a second and considers the reality of this mandate, such drugs have no value at all in “preventive health care”. As we said before, pregnancy is not an illness; these drugs do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, are not as effective as condoms in avoiding unwanted pregnancy and can cause serious if not terminal illnesses in those who ingest them. Condoms are the only method that most effectively prevent pregnancy, have no ill or life threatening side affects and prohibit sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore it is the only method that could be legitimately considered “preventive health care”. But if that were not the true intent for pushing such a mandate, what would be? Could it be its underlying value to this administration would be to serve to reduce the population by avoiding pregnancy in some cases, eliminating pregnancy that does occur through abortion, and the “Collateral damage” imposed upon some women’s reproductive abilities or even lives lost to cancer? “Collateral damage” is a term the government uses in referring to acceptable loss of lives indirectly in an effort to successfully attain a particular goal. It may seem far fetched to some but consider all the other factors that have been promoted in regard to the massive push for abortions and the gradual elimination of health care to senior citizens with the introduction of euthanasia by this government to those who would be denied curative health care because their age determines their life not worth the cost.

    As far as the issue of moral conscience is concerned, it is obvious this administration gave little to no credence to our individual moral values and that should be extremely telling to some and insulting to others at the same time. Perhaps as a society we have left our moral code so far behind us we deserve to be insulted in this way. Even more so, perhaps it is time we strive to regain our faith, self respect and respect toward others so we are not so poorly judged again in the future. The voice of the people and the power of Christians coming together against this mandate alone have proven what we can do and what were are responsible for when it comes to faith and morality.

    and no I do not support the use of artificial contros…..

  31. Richard Garcia says:

    I would like to see the Catholic Church address all the Catholic women who use contraception. What will it do next make these women leave the Church? Jesus said let him who is without sin throw the first stone. I do not think the Catholic Church is in any position to throw that first stone. The Catholic Church has and is still doing things it teaches are wrong. That being said I still love my faith and hope God will change the hearts of those who have not sinned.

  32. John says:

    Archbishop Dolan,

    The parishioners heard our pastors read your letter today, and we are responding.

    Here is an idea for you — don’t go to Rome.

    Stay here! This is a crisis of major proportions. When the Cuban Missile Crisis developed, the bishops came home from the first session of Vatican II early to be with their people.

    This is a crisis for both life and religious liberty. Send the strongest media message you can when they have their news teams standing empty-handed in Rome, looking for footage of the genial Archbishop of NY. Let them sputter and stammer because you are here, because this is where the crisis is, and you would rather be here fighting the good fight with us than picking up a hat in Rome.

    Did you notice in the NY Times today that the “compromise” on Friday was declared a success and moved off the front page? What a great way to tell them, wait a minute, nothing is resolved, and I’m willing to stake my red hat on it.

  33. Don Panella says:

    Dear Archbishop Egan,

    I wholeheartedly support your right to religious freedom in deciding how best to handle your own medical care. I do not, however, support your right to infringe on the religious freedom of employees of Catholic schools and hospitals to decide how to best handle their own medical care.

    Two scenarios are of particular concern to me: birth control used for medical reasons (unrelated to the prevention of pregnancy) and the fact that many employees of Catholic schools and hospitals are not Catholic and do not necessarily share the same views on birth control. In fact, most polls show the majority of Catholics do not share the Caolic Church’s view on birth control. In order to protect our own religious freedom, we must respect that of others.

    Sincerely,
    Donald Panella

  34. Mary says:

    Two prominent catholic stakeholders were quick to address the President’s compromise:

    Feb. 10 press release from Sr. Keehan, OSP (Order of the Signing Pen: 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.

    Feb 10 Fr. Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities: “We are deeply appreciative that the Administration has recognized the importance of a religious organization’s fidelity to their deeply held beliefs.

    What’s a Catholic to do in the face of these two engines of mercy finding good in evil?

    Withhold the money. If in November 2012, Obama is re-elected and statistics show that more than 20% of catholics (last time it was 54%) voted for him, I plan to stop all financial support for the Church including my parish and diocese (NY). No tithing, no envelopes, no Stewardship gifts – I’m done with giving any money to the Church. Let Catholic lawyers, lobbyists and ceos like Snyder and Keehan dance for Obama and Sebelius. Compromise guarantees evil consequences including and perhaps most disturbing, 2 more Supremes to keep thebloody Culture of Death thriving for the next 50 years. withhold the money.

    There are 38 Sundays left before Election Day. Bishops, pastors, priests and laity better get this right. Many many souls are at stake. Withhold the money.

  35. Archbishop Dolan,
    Being a 55 year old cradle Catholic I have never been so proud of my Church! In recent years the intrusion of Progressive ideology into the conversation amongst the Faithful has caused concern for me.
    That is why I urge you and all Catholics to continue to push back against the evil that is Obamacare!! To think that ANY leader in the Catholic Church accepted and voiced approval of the original legislation boggled my mind. I sincerly hope the Church’s teachings on Social Justice do not parallel Social Democray i.e., Socialism/Communism. The injustices of Communism and Abortion are only two of the vast number in the Obama Administration and it’s “Health Care Plan”. Termination of a child’s life is NOT health care.
    Please continue abundant pressure on the President to end his assault on the First Amendment. God will hear our prayers. This Nation was founded with His Divine Intervention. It will continue with His favor if we stand behind Him and His Laws. There can be NO compromise with evil.
    I ditto the above comment: ” PLEASE stick to the original position and require the the President to recind this mandate altogether. We, the Faithful are behind you 100%”!!!

  36. Rob says:

    Archbishop Dolan,

    Please consider the idea of beginning adoration either in the cathedral or in an appropriate parish with the express intention of overturning this foul mandate.

    It would be a great thing if every diocese decided to do this, perhaps you could pass the idea on to your fellow bishops at the USCCB?

  37. Bob Janik says:

    Never before has a U.S. president taken measures against the constitution. In December, 2011, he signed into law NDAA which negates the Bill of Rights on his command. Now in February, 2012, he usurps the constitution’s separation of church and state by demanding Church’s act contrary to Christian conscience. I fear we have only seen but a glimpse of the tyranny soon befall us all.

  38. Christine Zainer MD says:

    To “revise” how to provide “free” access to abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations, contraceptives, i.e., contraceptive steroids which are carcinogens for women, and have as a mechanism of preventing pregnancy, interference with a tiny embryo attaching to his/her mother’s womb thereby causing this tiny person’s death…is NOT a “step in the right direction.” Proponents of the HHS mandate say it is about contraception. If contraception were not a moral act, (i.e., a human act consciously chosen with knowledge and free will that it is either good or evil) it would not be an issue of religious freedom. But, the HHS mandate is both about religious freedom and contraception. This is an opportunity to teach the truth about LOVE’s love…why contraception is not a good act and not good for us… and why it is neither a right nor free. NO individual, company or organization should have to provide, perform, pay or refer for immoral acts. To have to even fight for an exemption for religious institutions to this tyrannical ruling that should never have been put forth for anyone is evidence that this teaching is long overdue. There are many social injustices with the PPACA but the shocking HHS mandate and its mocking “accommodation” are reasons enough to repeal Obamacare and overwhelmingly reject prochoice politicians at the polls. Dear Your Excellency, please don’t cave in…for the sake of all Catholics, albeit not your employees, and the many of good will. Coraggio!

  39. Anne says:

    Sad and shocked to hear the letter regarding HHS law accommodation read yesterday. How can this be “A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?” This accommodation is approved by Planned Parenthood! I am sad because we as Catholics had a shining moment with so many unlikely voices defending us. Why were we read a letter that failed to expose the truly underhanded strategy to bypass Catholic liberty? This letter did nothing to galvanize or educate any of my fellow parishioners.

  40. Ann Marie Dell'Aquila says:

    A few years ago, I volunteered to teach the eight graders their lessons in preparation for their Confirmation. Two things come to mind when Obama challenged the Catholic Church. First, the conflicts between Pontius Pilate (The State of Rome) and Jesus which ended in his crucifiction (The Passion of Christ). To save his job and comfortable life, he scarificed an innocent man. Secondly, the Constitution of the United States guarantees religious freedon and the separation of Chruch and State. Mr. Obama, like any other ELECTED official CANNOT alter the Constition. He has NO authority to tell the Catholic Church to offer anything to their employees. Next, he will mandate abortions in Catholic Hospitals.

    I told my students, Jesus was considered a rebel by the State and his fellow Jewish Priests. Therefore, I pray, Archbishop Dolan will step up and walk the same path Jesus walked. Do not back down. Do not compromise. Challenge The State in the highest court. Your victory is ours. You are part of “We the People.” Thank you.

  41. Donna says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,
    I am a Catholic residing in the suburban Chicagoland area. I am very concerned about the White House’s response to the insurance mandate. I believe the Catholic institutions will still be providing the contraceptive insurance INDIRECTLY to their employees. Is this what we want? What is the difference between providing the insurance directly or indirectly? The institutions are still providing the ACCESS to the contraceptive insurance.

    I feel in my heart this is a direct attack on our faith. We need to stand together and fight this battle. Please reconsider the White House’s answer and just say NO!

    I believe the answer to this problem is for the White House to provide a waiver to the Catholic institutions– as they have done with hundreds of other companies. I will pray for you and all the bishops to have the courage and perseverance to continue to be strong and stand for what we believe in – - – LIFE!

  42. Patricia says:

    A very intelligent and clear article that addresses the unconstitutionality of the!HHS mandate and the alleged accomodation! Chills should run up and down our American spine at the brazen promulgation of such an unjust law!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204795304577223003824714664.html

  43. Timothy Paolicelli Sr. says:

    The passing of the President’s mandate is against the First Amendment to the Constitution which our forefathers fought for. You supported all the soldiers fighting for our country but now you are letting down our forefathers who fought for this country’s rights and freedoms. It will affect people of all religions and all classes of people in the United States. This is the start of a Hitler type situation all over again. If this bill passes, all who are to blame should be granted their hell on earth, before their natural death on earth.

    Please support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467), and vote for this measure when it is offered as Senate Amendment 1520 to the Transportation Authorization Bill. The Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, makes passage of this measure especially urgent. Please ensure that the religious liberty and conscience rights of all participants in our nation’s health care system are respected.

    I would appreciate a personal response to my heartfelt expression of my beliefs

  44. Dave S says:

    Cardinal Dolan:

    I respectfully suggest that all the USCCB statements and letters from you lose a significant part of their impact when there are statements being made by CHA and Sister Keehane and zip from the Bishops that sit on her Board. I submit my note to Bishop Lynch for your consideration;

    Bishop Lynch:

    Will there be some point when you acknowledge the serious damage being done by the CHA and Sister Keehan personally. Continuing to straddle the HHS mandate with your feet figuratively in each camp is hardly the position of a faithful teacher of the faith. Nor is silence on your part an acceptable response with supporters of the mandate citing the CHA’s support along with Sr. Keehan’s personally. Don’t you think it’s past time for you to take a stand consistent with the USCCB in public opposition to her?

    You’ll recall that when President Obama met with Pope Benedict several years, you told us you trusted Obama, and subsequent events have proved that trust was misplaced; when Sister Keehan, in opposition to the stand taken by the USCCB supported the original healthcare bill’s passage, you once again told us how much you trusted this “good woman of God” as you described her, and again, subsequent events have proven that she was unworthy of your public trust.

    Large numbers of Catholics and many political figures are influenced by her highly visible public stand and the illusion of fidelity her public position has conferred on the HHS mandate. I beg you to consider the consequences that your continued silence on Sister Keehan’s defiance will have…it’s time for you as a CHA Board member but more importantly as the shepherd of several million Catholics to be equally visible in fighting the false impression her statements have created. Please publicly and prominently separate yourself from her, the CHA, and any pretense that she speaks for the Church.

    Respectfully,

    David Schnelly

    With the utmost respect to you, I ask; When does the USCCB publicly and forcefully deal with the Sister Keehan’s of the world who at best are confusing and misleading hundreds of thousands of Catholics…at worst, are contributing to the loss of the religious freedoms they hide behind. Perhaps instruction the CHA to remove Catholic from it’s name would send a message that thus far hasn’t been received…