USCCB president issues new letter on contraceptive mandate, religious freedom

Just about quitting time tonight, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a new letter from its president, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, to his brother bishops updating them on the status of their battle with the Obama administration over its contraceptive mandate for health insurance plans and how that impacts the church’s religious freedom. Much of the letter repeats what Cardinal Dolan said in his blog yesterday, but there are several new elements as well.

Here is a link to the full letter released tonight (.pdf), as well as a news release issued by the USCCB.

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25 Responses to USCCB president issues new letter on contraceptive mandate, religious freedom

  1. Duane Lamers says:

    At last! A member of the American hierarchy not afraid to speak clearly on the issues that are at the heart of our Constitutional freedoms as Catholics!
    It is fair to ask why, during the Obama administration, there has been virtual silence from the appropriate bishops regarding the directives issued by alleged Catholics who head so many government agencies.
    Cardinal Dolan would not have to bring matters to a head at this time if some others in the hierarchy had been doing their job all along. It is the lack of Catholic leadership up to this point that has given us the crisis we have today.
    Liberal Catholics will hardly approve.

  2. pamba says:

    I’ll take my envelope and readdress it to Planned Parenthood, Thank you very much.

  3. Duane Lamers says:

    But of course, pamba. The courage of convictions would require not only a readdressing of the envelope but of staying away from the portal entirely. Courage of convictions is better for the spirit than a clinging to a dubious notion that keeping one foot in the door is a ticket to a heavenly reward.

    This is not the recommended response, of course. And that has been central to the problem for a long time: a church making no demands has “progress” measured in the steady decline of commitment and attendance.

    Perhaps liberals are finally at a crossroads.

    Planned Parenthood may soon need all the help it can get, especially if it is cut off–at last!–from involuntary taxpayer funding.

  4. Ka Cox says:

    Pamba, I believe that the Church has done a much better job of providing real health care, social services, and education than Planned Parenthood has done.

  5. Holly Hansen says:

    You GUYS havn’t been able to convince Catholics not to use birth control “contraceptives” for forty years so now you want the federal government to do it for you. All you have to do is read that letter BROTHERS, BROTHERS, BROTHERS !!!!!! Hmmmmmm someone is missing here. Oh that’s right WOMEN .

  6. The catholic “church” is not only headed by the clergy but should be watched over by the flock. Yes, we are sheep and need to be led, however, we are only sheep in the sense we can be led easily. We are humans and the clergy need us to let them know when something is amiss. Maybe we flock have not done our jobs well either.
    Vatican II was for a purpose not well known to many and it would have been risky to tell the purpose for there are many communists among us and have been for years -since around the 1930’s. That is exactly the purpose of Vatican II. Many of us could see the infiltration of poorly educated priests, some downright irreligious, and many of my adquaintenances in the church could see this. We were at that council given the right to be a member of any parish we choose instead of being confined to a certain diocese. We were told by some clergy or nuns that when we were confronted with irreligious actions from the clergy we should change parishes
    We should have known then somethng was going wrong. Many of the flock left because they were not getting what they needed anymore from the shepherds. They need to be brought back now instead of more leaving. and it is the duty of each of us to let these things be known, that satan is the reason we have wolves among us. . .

  7. We have satan among us working undercover. He has his people who are beckoning to others to follow him. The Mormon church came about by a man saying he had visions and was given something to bring back the “church” that had been underground for centuries. Many followed this cause without investigating. Many of them claim to be christian but they are not because there founder Joseph Smith brought back polygamy which was practised before Moses. Moses was given the 10 commandments, one of which was denouncing adultery which is what polygamy is. This man was definitely from satan.
    Christ then came and did not change the commandments. He only gave us himself for the sacrifise instead of a beast lamb.
    There is a Mormon asking to be our president. He has gotten $14 million from the fed gov through earmarks to build the structures for the olympics in Salt Lake City where his Mormon faith is based. This benefitted their faith much in money bringing much business to that area He has built a Mormon temple in Michigan gaining much popularity there to bring votes and seduce more people to this sect.
    I have not heard him say that he has given to charity in any other way. The Mormons as far as I have heard have not reached out to the needy of any other religion or non religious person. They have no care centers, hospitals or the like. This would be the status of the devil for sure.
    It was said that many “catholics” voted for this man. I am sure it is because he claims to have been a business man who brought much prosperity to businesses. Is money the great factor above faith to garner votes??

    I have noted this for many years, that money comes first to the majority and I am ashamed that it is also that (and a political party) which cmes before the faith of many.

  8. Duane Lamers says:

    Holly, you better learn what the argument is all about. Your response indicates that you do not know it. The argument, Holly, concerns the federal government’s Constitutional right to order any organization to buy anything. Stripping out mandates from that hated Obamacare bill–I know this must offend you–does not force anyone to do or practice anything.

    Ah, the maginificent results of “education” in today’s schools!

  9. Jim says:

    Pamba’s response may explain why so many priests are unwilling to address the problems posed by abortion let alone contraception. Blackmail, my friends, takes many forms.

  10. randy says:

    It is amazing that these sexually dysfunctional old white guys are trying to keep women barefoot and pregnant. It is a good distraction from the ongoing abuse scandal. How many cardinals or bishops were fired for allowing this horror to go on?

  11. Brian says:

    Obamacare (socialised medicine) is the issue, is an affront to personal sovereignty. Obamacare is not “insurance” any more then a book of the month club is “insurance”.
    “healthcare” or any other service with mandatory participation and purchase is privately administered socialism, not insuranceand is incompatible with free thought. It’s welfare with an agenda. A secular pro-central control agenda that includes resource and population management. It’s illegal in this country.

    We’ve sown these seeds now we must clean up the mess.

    Who helps the poor? We help must the poor (ourselves) We don’t pawn off our responsibility on the Government.

    The Catholic church must now disentangle itself from the Government some naively sought to influence or be split along political lines, needlessly.

    “Charity” with taxining authority is Tyrrany.
    Love without freewill is not love.

    Continue to allign with government in any form and suffer the spiritual fate of the public schools. Civil disobedience must be given serious consideration at this point.

    This is not about Catholics, we are the canary in the coalmine and I am thankful for that. Years of Catholic bashing has finally gone overt and I a very thankful for that too.

    Disengaged Catolics are becoming engaged. The United States is on the cusp of greatness again and Catholics can lead the way with our age old message of Charity, Personal Responsibility, and Liberty.

    Faith and Love

  12. Duane Lamers says:

    Brian, you are right about this, except for one troubling detail: Far too many Catholics today see nothing wrong with the opportunity to get a “freebie” from the government, and many find it just terriblie that Ms Fluke was subjected to such abuse after testifying before a House committee that she is entitled to birth control at Georgetown’s expense. I’ll bet you a goodly number in our churches on Sunday morning second this notion.

    Now, it likely will not be our Church leaders who bring about a backdown by the Obama administration. The opposition will be headed by people of various faiths who have one common objective: the pushing of the federal government back inside the limits dictated to it by our Constitution.

    I’ll bet virtually no bishop is getting airtime in his own diocese as a result of strong reaction to what is going on in DC. Not even the bishop of DC is doing much reacting.

  13. Jim says:

    Today Cardinal Dolan called upon the laity to use their voice in the public square. There will be an opportunity to use that voice on March 23 in rallys for religious freedom being held across the nation. People in the thousands, let us hope in the hundreds of thousands will gather in prayer and public witness. Check for a rally near you by accessing If there isn’t a rally in a city near you organize your own! Our local rally will be held in front of the offices of a senator who opposes the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act and who led opposition to attempts to restore religious freedom through the Blunt amendment. We will have people of all faiths coming to that rally but I have no doubt that we will have people who sit in the pews next to us demonstrating against what we stand for. .

  14. IJW says:

    Perhaps we (the church) should take a page from Google’s handbook and for one day shut down all our services that will be impacted by this mandate. (provide basic level care for those in hospitals of course) Let the country experience just a taste of what it would be like for Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, emergency medical care, Vincent de Paul, our schools, universities, soup kitchens, Woman’s Care Centers…the list goes on …to cease operations.

    I know, not realistic. But maybe it is the reality we are heading towards.

  15. afl says:

    The sad part also was the 13 “Roman Catholic ” Senators that voted agains the Blunt admement even after the Bishop’s writings and discussions with the administaration. This President has continued to mislead people and he always feels he knows best for all people. The President of Notre Dame fell for it, as did Mr Kmiec. It is time for the Bishops to also take on these people ( Binden Pelosi, and the Senators and all others so called Catholics who defeated this bill ). There are too many at local levels active in Parishes that continue to support this administration and its anti-Catholic policies like abortion, marriage, and family.

    This is exactly what this adm wants. They wanted to get us riled!! They want us in the streets so the Occupy WS group can come out and attack us SOOOOOO THIS ADM CAN DECLARE


    when that happens FEMA will take over —we will have no more elections!!!! Obama and his minions will be it for the existence of our nation. Our churches will be shut down. Our people will be killed. When FEMA takes over it overides our constitution!! DO NOT GO TO THE STREETS ON MAR 23!!!

  17. Brian says:

    I have given your post consideration. It has merit.
    But I think it’s time to quit worriying about public perception and do the right thing. Couched in a message of peace and love.

    If Marshall Law is a threat, The sooner the better!

    Maybe it’s time Catholics step up for the first amendment and against socialist doctrine.

    Maybe we step up and politicians can step down and get back to their knitting. We can take care of our own affairs. They need to get back to their (politicians) proper affairs.

    I think we make ourselves heard now and leave the rest to God. I think their is nothing more to be gained by guile. Time is not on ourside.

    I think it’s time to be rid of proxy debates and demand Honesty of ourselves and of politicians. Politicians,state your personal beliefs, put them in context of your public policy priorities and the proper role of Government and move on.

    State this candidly, earnestly and matter of factly and move on to the issues that are within the perview of politicans to solve.

    Leave our issues to us. We can blaze a trail for them, not vice versa.
    Nobody likes being preached at by politicians including me.

    Matter of fact that’s one of the tools left over from the 80’s that the Leftist have used to create this whole illusion of power for themselves.

    That’s one thing I’m very proud to say about my Catholic Faith. It is thoughtful and introverted, but sometimes you have to stand up and be heard. I think the time is coming.

  18. AND you think walking right into their “net” is the way to go???
    It has happened in Germany, Russia, China etc. all communist countries. These are not just Americans we are dealing with , they are very evil people and they will put us in concentration camps or labor camps.
    We have history to guide us! So let’s not it be played out again to us.
    WE SHOULD NOT TAKE TO THE STREETS and walk into their trap.

  19. Jim says:

    I will go where I am called to go! Martin Luther King took it to the streets in peace and that is what we need to do. People will need to exercise judgement as to whether to use civil disobedience but we need to offer ourselves, our bodies if necessary. In that we will reveal the wickedness of those who opress us. That is what King did and that is what Ghandi did. Every curse uttered, every stone thrown, every bit of abuse or violence against us will be used by God in our cause. Last night I had a Mayo Clinic pharmacist who was willing to drive 150 miles on his day off to take part in this. It turns out he can do it closer to his home. BUT his willingness shows his commitment and the importance which he places on this. The mandate is first of all an attack on pharmacists!

  20. Duane Lamers says:

    Phyllis, I think you are too fearful. What the White House is counting on (with good reason!) is that Catholics and others concerned about religious freedom will continue to do what they’ve always done: nothing.

    Lots of noise in the public square might actually convince in largely inattentive public that, indeed, the present Obama administration is not able to “unite.” We need enough voters to become convinced that there must be change in November.

  21. Duane Lamers says:

    Randy, you forget that one cardinal did get the axe, in a sense. Cardinal Law was called to Rome to head up the administration of one of the churches in that city.

    Keep women “barefoot and pregnant”? Do you actually think that any men in this country have that power anymore? In the rare instances that it happens, namely on silly programs on the Lifetime Channel, the wives themselves are also to blame. It takes two, you know.

  22. It is a good idea to discontinue our services to any but catholics. The amish do not have those services do not ask for anything, even soc. sec. even tho’ they have to pay into it. They have been exonerated from the health care bill! because they have their own “insurance coverage”. The put money into community funds and when someone needs money for something, they get help from the fund. I think this is a good idea to completely separate ourselves from the gov..However I am wondering how long this adm will let the Amish alone. They are now stopping the sale of raw milk and have mandated that you cannot even give your produce to a neighbor. This will be hard to monitor but Russia did it during their communist regime and I am sure Hitler did it also.
    We have many people who have come out of college that are completely brainwashed and will spy on anyone if needed because they are so adamant about what they think is right. about what the gov is doing.

  23. Jim – you are forgetting Marin Luther lived many years ago -before communism reared it’s ugly head.
    No one was allowed to take to the streets peacefully in Russia or China. Look what happen to the people of China when they tried it. They were bulldozed down.
    Hitler put them in concentration camps/ or killed them.
    These times are much different and I have read where other presidents were hoping a FEMA take over would be on their watch. This time the pitch is higher than ever before and it WILL happen -but if those who are in the streets get taken -they will come after the rest of us in our churches -homes– don’t be a useful idiot and don’t be afraid to be afraid.
    Have you not read of the horrible things that happened recently in Yugoslavia and Africa to those people? We have been so sheltered here until now that we can’t imagine the horror those people went through. It will come here.

  24. We can show our rant by flooding the faxes, phone lines, snail mail, email etc.. It has worked before on other issues HOWEVER I don’t think anything we do will make this adm stop this control over us -and it’s just not catholics. The issue is rights! If they demand this and win, they will go farther and shut down churches and create their own , as Russia did and China—-. Their taking their orders from King Geo. who took over all the catholic churches and created The Church Of England.
    WE should learn from history. If we ignore it, it will be used against us every time.

  25. Jim says:

    Martin Luther King was a leader in the civil rights movement in the 60’s. He followed the use of non-violent resistance to tyrannical rule through mass civil disobedience pioneered by Ghandi who said “I shall resist organized tyranny to the uttermost.” Ghandi developed the model to fight for civil rights and freedom with non-violent protest and civil disobedience as a core. The rally for religious freedom which will take place at noon on March 23 across this nation is based on peaceful, lawful, use of our first amendment rights. Those rights include the right to peaceful assembly and free speech. At some point civil disobedience may be necessary but that will not part of these peaceful expressions. If we encounter unkindness or violence against us God will use that in our favor.I am one of the captains in this movement.

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