Catholic bishops pledge defiance on HHS mandate

posted at 1:26 pm on November 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

If the Obama administration hoped that the election results and the narrow split in Barack Obama’s favor among Catholic voters would force the US Conference of Catholic Bishops into retreat on the HHS contraception mandate, the USCCB’s unity yesterday had to be a bit disappointing.  The current president of the USCCB announced that the bishops would keep fighting the mandate, and while they were open to dialogue, the only option they will refuse to consider is “capitulation”:

A top American bishop said Tuesday the Roman Catholic church will not comply with the Obama administration requirement that most employers provide health insurance covering birth control.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said church leaders are open to working toward a resolution with federal officials, but will meanwhile press ahead with challenges to the mandate in legislatures and in court.

“The only thing we’re certainly not prepared to do is give in. We’re not violating our consciences,” Dolan told reporters at a national bishops’ meeting. “I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation.”

Dolan delivered the final blessings at both major-party conventions this year, and invited both Obama and Mitt Romney to the Al Smith Dinner event last month.  He has worked hard to keep doors open, but without any success in getting the Obama administration to reconsider its religious exemption definition.  When asked whether the USCCB would advise Catholic institutions to conduct civil disobedience by violating the mandate and refusing to pay penalties, Dolan would only say that “It’s still not doomsday yet.”

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told his colleagues, Catholic News Agency reported yesterday, that the bishops had to be in the fight for the long haul — but that the Catholic Church needed to do more “foundational” work to educate its parishioners on the need to protect religious liberty:

The strong protection of Americans’ religious freedom requires a long-term commitment to formation and education, particularly of young people, the U.S. bishops’ leader on religious liberty issues said.

“We are prayerfully resolute in pursuing the project of defending and fostering religious liberty, in the short and mid-term and in the long-term,” said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who chairs the ad hoc committee on religious liberty.

Protecting religious freedom, he said Nov. 12, “requires long-term foundational and formational work.”

The goal in the short term remains the end of the Obama administration’s attempt to impose its own definition of religious practice:

Looking at the immediate future, Archbishop Lori observed that the “political landscape is the same, but so also is our resolve to eliminate the HHS mandate and most especially the four-part definition that it contains of what constitutes religious activity.”

They will probably have more success in the courts and in Congress than they will with the White House.  So far, two federal judges have imposed preliminary injunctions against the HHS mandate in cases involving business owners whose religious beliefs bar them from providing birth control.  Neither case involved religious organizations, which would have a stronger case on religious liberty grounds.  In the latest such decision, the Thomas More Law Center won the injunction on the grounds that the HHS mandate constituted “irreparable injury” to the plaintiff:

The Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life legal group, won the victory for the business and Erin Mersino, TMLC’s lead counsel on the case who presented the oral argument, told LifeNews: “The federal court has found that our clients have a likelihood of success and would be irreparably harmed by the unconstitutional overreaching of the HHS mandate.  This is not only a victory for our clients, but for religious freedom.”

Mersino said the mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

In ruling for the Weingartz Plaintiffs, Judge Cleland emphasized that “[t]he loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.”

The judge added: “The harm in delaying the implementation of a statute that may later be deemed constitutional must yield to the risk presented here of substantially infringing the sincere exercise of religious beliefs.  The balance of harms tips strongly in Plaintiffs’ favor.  A preliminary injunction is warranted.”

The USCCB plans to keep pressing Congress for action, although the results of the election dim the chances for meaningful change in that arena:

In a new interview with the National Catholic Register, Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities and the chief pro-life lobbyist, talked about the next push for the mandate exemption. He believes the upcoming Labor/HHS appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013 afford pro-life advocates another opportunity to push the Fortenberry-Blunt conscience protections.

“So far, we have pursued remedies to the contraception mandate in all three branches of government, and all those avenues remain open,” he said.

Approving the conscience protections will be easy on the House side with pro-life Republicans controlling the chamber, but Doerflinger says he thinks the Senate is still a possibility since there are almost 50 votes for it.

“The election left things largely as they were: We count the same number of votes in the new Senate as in the old — not in terms of party affiliation, but in terms of pro-life position,” he said. “The only time that a conscience measure for the mandate was considered in the Senate it got 48 votes, with very little time to explain the issues. Getting to 50 or 51 votes in the Senate could happen, especially if you can attach legislation to a must-pass vehicle, where you have leverage to trade back and forth, to get policy riders approved. We are not giving up on that and will continue to pursue this agenda.”

If the bishops get thwarted on all of these paths for redress, the final option would to be shut down the schools, health providers, and charities run by the Catholic Church, an option that Cardinal Dolan appeared to leave open.  For a look at how that would impact just the health-care delivery infrastructure in the US, be sure to read my column at The Fiscal Times on that topic from March of this year.  I don’t think the USCCB is bluffing, either — and this is a $100 billion bet that the White House has kept pushing all year long.


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Sleep with the dogs, wake up with fleas on the grill.

Archivarix on November 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Line in the sand.

listens2glenn on November 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Z-z-z-z-z…

KS Rex on November 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Note to America’s Catholic Bishops: Consistently oppose liberal Democrat politicians, like you did this time around, instead of pushing their agenda, like you have for the last 40 years, and you won’t have these kinds of problems.

I am a Catholic, and I am opposed to the mandate, and I fully support the bishops in their fight against it. But they are reaping what they have sown. For 40 years, we have had the bishops tell us that we need to consider social justice and the environment and immigration and on and on in making our votes. For 40 years, whenever abortion was discussed, the bishops have given lip service to being pro-life, but told us we have to look at “the whole package” and not vote on a single issue.

Well, guess what? We’re now seeing the consequences of having these Democrats in power, and the Catholics in the pews have been fed the progressive tripe for so long from the pulpit that they don’t understand what the big deal is.

If the bishops really want to turn this mess around, the first place they need to look is in the mirror.

Shump on November 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Bishop?

newtopia on November 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Bishop!

Shy Guy on November 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Jinx!

Shy Guy on November 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Hey Dolan, you idiot – did you ever think maybe you should have spoken up decades ago when the Catholic nuns and priests started actively supporting every liberal government program the Democrats came up with? Even now, you can’t bring yourself to broadly condemn the use of government power to force what Jesus called to be done voluntarily. Be bold and speak out against the evil of using government power to enforce “fairness” and “charity” in all matters, not just health care, then I might believe you have seen the light. Otherwise, I’ll sit here and watch you and the Catholic church struggle while enjoying my popcorn.

Over50 on November 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Who cares? It’s not like members of the Roman Catholic Church listens to its leaders.

This only gets interesting when the bishops refuse health care coverage to the church’s employees and starts shutting down hospitals. Then it gets real. Until then, it’s just the usual double-talk-no-action from an otherwise say everything, do nothing religous bureaucracy.

newtopia on November 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Bishops=Useful idiots who are slooooowly starting to wake up.

NapaConservative on November 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Catholic voters

Obama 51%

Romney 49%

plewis on November 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Sorry, but the Catholic Church brought this unto itself. The truth is that if there was no HHS mandate, they wouldnt mind Obamacare. They have accepted and cheered on big-government for so long now that its only just when they get to be on the receiving end of it.

Valkyriepundit on November 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Because abortifacients are part of the mandate, evangelical entities have joined the fray. This isn’t simply a Catholic issue.

SoFlaCon on November 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Catholic bishops pledge defiance on HHS mandate

Yeah, well good luck with that. If you could have delivered any sort of Catholic support of Romney maybe you’d have a fighting chance. You folks are just as much under the thumb of this repressive regime as anybody.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Too bad the Church doesn’t recognize that the nanny state is immoral. This shouldn’t be about the HHS mandate. That’s in the weeds. It should be about freedom…from government intervention.

freedomfirst on November 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It was the Catholic Health Associations endorsement of ObamaCare that helped give it the “cover” it needed for the Pro-Life Dims to abandon their pledge to oppose it and vote, instead – for it.

Now yes, I do know that the Catholic bishops SAID they opposed the CHA’s endorsement – and some even were loud in their opposition to it.

If the Bishop’s didn’t endorse ObamaCare – then why did they allow the CHA to endorse it?

And … if the Bishops didn’t have control of the CHA back then – then what makes them think they do now?

They made this bed – they’ll have to sleep in it. They’re right in what they’re saying in that this mandate is wrong – but this is a fight I’ll let them fight. Because …

They are never on the field of battle to stand up for MY rights when they’re taken.

Indeed – it’s not Nationalized HealthCare that the RCC opposes – it’s this mandate. They actually ENDORSE Nationalized HealthCare.

This needs to be as excruciating on the RCC as it can possibly so that they GTFO out of this “nationalized healthcare” non-sense.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

No relation.

Bishop on November 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

This only gets interesting when the bishops refuse health care coverage to the church’s employees and starts shutting down hospitals. Then it gets real. Until then, it’s just the usual double-talk-no-action from an otherwise say everything, do nothing religous bureaucracy.

newtopia on November 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

We’ll be well over the fiscal cliff by the time that happens. All those Obama mooches will have missed a couple of their government checks, a few meals, and will have had their Obamaphone shut off. Somehow condoms for students at Catholic institutions won’t seem as important to the mooches by that point.

And make no mistake, after hearing how the rat-eared traitor is unwilling to compromise but rather use “the leverage” from just winning an election. I want the fiscal cliff, the expiration of the tax cuts, the imposition of the next round of Obamacare taxes, and the looting of Medicare. The only way to wake up the stupid greedy mooches who voted this bastard back in office is a massive wake-up call where their free stuff is no longer forthcoming.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I’ll believe the Catholic Church is actually serious when they excommunicate those members who consistently say they are Catholic while being activists against Catholic teachings. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind.

HotAirian on November 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

The White House will fold as soon as there is significant pushback. That’s why they gave the church an extra year to comply. Their lawyers knew it would take that long for the court cases to be decided. If the courts decide against Obama, he still was able to use the issue for the election. If they decide for him, so much better for him.

Obama wanted this as an electoral issue to buy the young women vote.
And. It. Worked.

If women who work for Catholic hospitals end up paying for their own contraception and abortifacients, it’s no big deal. Win-win for Obama.

marybel on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Catholic voters

Obama 51%

Romney 49%

plewis on November 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I suspect that narrow win for Obama involves the Latino vote. About 30% of American Catholics are Latino, and if they went 70-30 for Obama, that would be enough to give O the victory in that demographic.

JimLennon on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The bishops after Vatican II really dropped the ball on their key roles of educating the faithful. They allowed the fallacy that paying taxes=charity to take root in the minds of many Catholics.
They also were very slow in calling most planks in the Dem platform intrinsically evil.

They now have to explain why paying taxes is not the same as charitable giving. If they can break that mental linkage, we may see a faster movement of Catholics away from liberal policies.

Iblis on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The Southern Baptist organization has pledged solidarity with Catholics and pledged to go to jail before submitting to the HHS mandate.

http://erlc.com/article/on-the-obama-administrations-abortion-rule/

If you doubt the tenacity of Catholics in their commitment, don’t doubt Southern Baptists. This will get to be very, very messy.

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Obooba doesn’t care. They can drop health insurance, pay the fines, and put their people in the exchanges.

Big whoop.

Akzed on November 14, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Shump on November 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

What he said.

IN.

SPADES.

oldleprechaun on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

pound sand.

worry about kids being raped by your perverted cult members.

sesquipedalian on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

You folks are just as much under the thumb of this repressive regime as anybody.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Not entirely. The Church has a big ball it can pick up and take home.

PersonFromPorlock on November 14, 2012 at 1:55 PM

No relation.

Bishop on November 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Sure.

Like when Clinton said that about Monica.

Sure.

Shy Guy on November 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

worry about kids being raped by your perverted cult members. sesquipedalian on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

You mean public school teachers?

Akzed on November 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

worry about kids being raped by your perverted cult members. sesquipedalian on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

What’s your position on sodomists in the Boy Scouts’ leadership?

Akzed on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

pound sand.

worry about kids being raped by your perverted cult members.

sesquipedalian on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Back at ya buddy. How are the bathhouses?

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I’ll believe the Catholic Church is actually serious when they excommunicate those members who consistently say they are Catholic while being activists against Catholic teachings. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind.

HotAirian on November 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Because of what actual excommunication means to the RCC tenets of faith, it does not surprise me that they tread lightly when actually doing so.

That being said, the part of the HHS mandate I found most offensive came from Pelosi-like “Catholics.” They actually made the claim that the mandate was a good thing because it would force the church to “do the right thing” by giving them the excuse to ignore church doctrine. That isn’t how a faith works and I, in fact, question just how good a Catholic you can be when you sit in a pew on Sunday with this kind of disdain for your “faith.”

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I don’t want to hear squat from Catholics.

Most of them voted for Obama. Own it. Get ready to buy those pills and hand them out.

Moesart on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Why do Catholics and other religious bigots hate the poor and them getting their RIGHT to free healthcare?

Meme from the government media (CBS/ABC/NBC/NYT/WAPO/etc.) in 5….4….3….

PappyD61 on November 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I don’t want to hear squat from Catholics.

Most of them voted for Obama. Own it. Get ready to buy those pills and hand them out.

Moesart on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

After you pal. Someone will hold your coat while you stone Stephen.

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

The battle for supremacy in our culture has been joined in the final battles.

The Federal god versus the God of the churches.

The last bastion of opposition to political tyranny.

PappyD61 on November 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I don’t want to hear squat from Catholics.

Most of them voted for Obama. Own it. Get ready to buy those pills and hand them out.

Moesart on November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

After you pal. Someone will hold your coat while you stone Stephen.

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Catholics didn’t even listen to their own leaders.

TEATERMERICA…….it’s a brand new world today folks.

The gop is dead. Amnesty is alive and Obama is victorious.

PappyD61 on November 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Any Christian who supports Obama doesn’t believe their Bible or doesn’t pay attention to Obama’s record.

DavidM on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Ohhh they can talk and whine all they want after they give up their tax free status.

—–
Churches are classified as organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Of the two types of 501(c)(3) organizations, most churches and schools are classified as public charities rather than “mutual benefit organizations.” These organizations are described as:

Organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international sports competition… or for the prevention of cruelty to animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in. or intervene in (including or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
—–

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

The Catholic church, like every other Main institution in this country, allowed itself to be infiltrated by leftists with the intent to bring it down from the inside. That is exactly what has happened. It is great that they have finally woken up and are taking a stand now, but it is probably too little, too late. About half of those remaining in the church calling themselves Catholic (the ones who don’t attend church) voted for the Dog Eater-in-Chief.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

The Catholic church, like every other Main institution in this country, allowed itself to be infiltrated by leftists with the intent to bring it down from the inside. That is exactly what has happened. It is great that they have finally woken up and are taking a stand now, but it is probably too little, too late. About half of those remaining in the church calling themselves Catholic (the ones who don’t attend church) voted for the Dog Eater-in-Chief.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM
——

This is super awesome but not for the reasons you think.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

At some point over the next four years, I expect tonsee Priests drug through the streets by police or federal agents over Oblama’s war on religion. The press and media will be silent lapdogs.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I know Lew Rockwell’s site is hated here but here is a great perspective on the bishop’s stance

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/126325.html

Apocryphally attributed to Thomas Jefferson, the observation that “a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away” is nevertheless true, and should be framed on the wall of every American bishop. The bishops, who have been adamantly opposing the Obamacare mandates which violate Catholic religious freedom, have nevertheless pushed for socialized medicine for decades. They even supported Obamacare itself, provided it was the right Obamacare.
Now, after decades of feeding the beast of socialism, which has now turned on them, who can be surprised? Apparently, a bunch of bishops who seem to have about the same level of knowledge about government and political power as my seventh-grade civics teacher. These are people who have for years been telling us that government should have free rein to control and regulate every aspect of our lives, as long as it meets the demands of “social justice” which for most of these bishops doesn’t mean charity, but simply socialism with a little God thrown on top. Few organizations have done more than the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to pave the way for Obamacare. They made that bed, but now all of us have to lie in it.
And the same old song and dance still hasn’t ended. At their meeting this week, the bishops were attempting to do the same old thing they’ve been doing for decades: Agitating for a bigger and more authoritarian government:
The bishops also complained that the document overlooked issues of tax fairness, budget cuts to the safety net, the economic plight of the middle class, regulation of the financial sector, and greed and criminality in the lending industry.
Yes, clearly what these bishops should be doing is opining on matters of the financial sector and tax fairness.

Here’s a modest proposal, how about the Bishops actually preach the Gospel? I know that’s just crazy talk, but if you’re an American Catholic like me, you know that it’s been literally decades since many Catholics have actually heard any orthodox Catholicism from the pulpit. Forming good priests who preach well requires some actual work on the part of the bishops, however, and it’s hard to do that sort of thing when you’re too busy having junkets where you’re debating the finer points of your personal opinions about sales taxes.
It’s notable the the most sane voices at the conference were the younger bishops who aren’t still living in a fantasy land in which it’s always 1972 and we’re still tinkering our way to utopia:
Yet in a sign of the growing generational and ideological split among the bishops, some of the younger and more conservative bishops wanted to kill the statement because they believe the hierarchy should largely restrict their statements to matters of faith. They also view traditional Catholic social teaching with suspicion, and say the church should emphasize private charity rather than government action to cure social ills.
“I think the best thing we can do is to scrap the document and go home and find some tangible and practical ways to help the poor,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., who dismissed the document as irrelevant.
Maybe if the bishops overall took Tobin’s advice, went home and actually did their jobs, and encouraged the faithful to engage in real charity, we might actually all be better off.
The biological solution will soon solve the problem of the older bishops, but we’ll have a huge mess to clean up after they’re gone. Their legacy is huge government, the destruction of religious freedom, and a Catholic population so rudderless that 50 percent of them voted for Obama, a man who murders toddlers with drones, is militantly pro-abortion, and who has basically declared war on faithful Catholics. Obama should send a thank you note to the bishops for helping make it all possible.

antifederalist on November 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

At some point over the next four years, I expect tonsee Priests drug through the streets by police or federal agents over Oblama’s war on religion. The press and media will be silent lapdogs.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM
——-

This is even more awesome than your last post.

On November 14, 2016, I will print this post out and you can eat it.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Ohhh they can talk and whine all they want after they give up their tax free status.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You were saying?

sadarj on November 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Ohhh they can talk and whine all they want after they give up their tax free status.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

To expand, the tax-exempt status of churches isn’t a benevolent concession given by the government in exchange for a promise not to speak about anything of political import. It is essential to the freedom of religion recognized by the First Amendment. If a church cannot preach and practice its beliefs without exposing itself to seizure of assets by the government, it is not free. The IRS is bluffing, a bluff which so far most churches have been unwilling to call.

sadarj on November 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You were saying?

sadarj on November 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM
——

Churches have had decades to fight the IRS on “which does not participate in. or intervene in (including or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

They have not fought it or opposed it in any way.

Any church who preached for Obama or Romney should lose its tax free status.

The end.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The story of the Church and its cooperation with the State is a great example of going along to get along with leftism. Yes, eventually they will demand more than you want to give.

Abortion at their hospitals will be mandated within ten years if they capitulate on birth control.

PattyJ on November 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Barry isn’t going to bend. He’s opened his big mouth, now let him insert his foot.

As for Congress, the libs will block any attempt to overrule Her Highness of Health Care.

The only option open is going to be the courts.

GarandFan on November 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I fully expect the liberals running the RCC will ultimately cut a deal with HHS, in much the way the church cut a deal with Hitler to keep their churches open in the 1930s Germany.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Shump on November 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Bingo!

Valkyriepundit on November 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Indeed!

When the Church came out in favor of ACA, I wrote a letter to my local Archbishop and told him that I’d no longer be donating to the Church. I still contribute to some of their missions, and I support our local charitable programs – but the Church isn’t getting a dime from me anymore.

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Any Christian who supports Obama doesn’t believe their Bible or doesn’t pay attention to Obama’s record.
DavidM on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

This.

jawkneemusic on November 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

So the Reverend Wright would be first in line – right?

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

So the Reverend Wright would be first in line – right?

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM
—–

Yes.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Any Christian who supports Obama doesn’t believe their Bible or doesn’t pay attention to Obama’s record.
DavidM on November 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

This.

jawkneemusic on November 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM
———-

Fact: Obama getting re-elected is God’s plan.

Fact: you don’t get to apply some ludicrous Bible-friendly test to one candidate but not the other.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I’ll believe the Catholic Church is actually serious when they excommunicate those members who consistently say they are Catholic while being activists against Catholic teachings. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind.

HotAirian on November 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I’ve said it before and will say it again now. The Catholic Church does not need to excommunicate the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, et al. They have already been excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically, just by their support of abortion. There is no further action required under Canon Law. That having been said, while excommunicated Catholics receiving communion is a completely meaningless act, I would like to see their bishops publicly refuse them communion.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

The Southern Baptist organization has pledged solidarity with Catholics and pledged to go to jail before submitting to the HHS mandate.

http://erlc.com/article/on-the-obama-administrations-abortion-rule/

If you doubt the tenacity of Catholics in their commitment, don’t doubt Southern Baptists. This will get to be very, very messy.

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

How will that work?

The mandate is on health care insurance providers to provide these services and products. How are clerical/religious employers going to know when their staff utilize these services.

lexhamfox on November 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

sesquipedalian on November 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Hypocrite. The molestation problem in Public education is dwarf’s the Catholic problem. I’ve never seen a peep out of you about that.

chemman on November 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I’ve said it before and will say it again now. The Catholic Church does not need to excommunicate the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, et al. They have already been excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically, just by their support of abortion. There is no further action required under Canon Law. That having been said, while excommunicated Catholics receiving communion is a completely meaningless act, I would like to see their bishops publicly refuse them communion.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM
——–

Hey look everybody – it’s a bunch of humans claiming to know the will of God. So hilarious.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Any church who preached for Obama or Romney should lose its tax free status.

The end.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Most black churches preach for Obama but of course no one will hold them accountable because they are blacks… There are politicians who go to black churches to make campaign speeches. So be very careful what you ask for communist…

mnjg on November 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Too bad the Church doesn’t recognize that the nanny state is immoral. This shouldn’t be about the HHS mandate. That’s in the weeds. It should be about freedom…from government intervention.

freedomfirst on November 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

The Catholic church has never been about the freedom inherent in the Gospel. They’ve been much closer to the Pharisees of old that sought to control every aspect of life through religious laws. Jesus and Saints Paul and Peter taught that Christ’s sacrifice freed us from that. It is the Protestant church that is responsible for the freedom of the West.

Nutstuyu on November 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Any church who preached for Obama or Romney should lose its tax free status.

The end.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Nothing in the Constitution requires that. Yet another example of the idiots who don’t understand the establishment clause.

Nutstuyu on November 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

When the Church came out in favor of ACA, I wrote a letter to my local Archbishop and told him that I’d no longer be donating to the Church. I still contribute to some of their missions, and I support our local charitable programs – but the Church isn’t getting a dime from me anymore.

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Pity about that, especially since the Church, via the USCCB, never came out in support of Obamacare. Sister Carol Kehan and the CHA, who initially supported Obamacare, were condemned by the Pope who directed the USCCB to rein in the renegade CHA.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Hey look everybody – it’s a bunch of humans claiming to know the will of God. So hilarious.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Abortion which is the killing of babies is against the will of God… There is no argument against this…

mnjg on November 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Hey look everybody – it’s a bunch of humans claiming to know the will of God. So hilarious.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

It’s a very common defensive mechanism to mock those things about which you know nothing or are incapable of understanding.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

How will that work?

The mandate is on health care insurance providers to provide these services and products. How are clerical/religious employers going to know when their staff utilize these services.

lexhamfox on November 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Are you seriously that dumb? The employers will refuse to pay for it themselves. If the staff want to go buy it on their own, that’s their choice.

Nutstuyu on November 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The coming christian persecution in America is going to be epic.

You ready to suffer for your faith?

You better be.

tom daschle concerned on November 14, 2012 at 3:19 PM

On the tax exempt question, a lot of pastors (Catholic and Protestant, black and white) did preach directly for and against candidates on a pre-planned Sunday this year (more than a thousand, I believe), as happens every election cycle. They are encouraged to tape their sermons and send them to the IRS, which many do. They are trying to provoke some legal action so they can test free speech rights in court, but so far the government has not attempted to revoke tax exempt status from any of the participating churches. Most likely they won’t challenge this because the IRS knows it would lose in court.

As for the underlying mandate issue, I agree with someone upthread who said this was orchestrated by Obama’s team to win votes from young women. If they simply announced free contraceptives it would have been a one or two day news item and few people would have even heard about it. This way, by provoking the controversy with Christian churches, they managed to keep the issue in the public eye for the entire campaign cycle and “free contraction” became a battle cry for young women voters.

Even if they lose in court (which they almost certainly will), they won the issue and got what they wanted.

jdp629 on November 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Ah, “contraction” should be “contraception.”

jdp629 on November 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I’ve said it before and will say it again now. The Catholic Church does not need to excommunicate the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, et al. They have already been excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically, just by their support of abortion. There is no further action required under Canon Law. That having been said, while excommunicated Catholics receiving communion is a completely meaningless act, I would like to see their bishops publicly refuse them communion.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I would be very surprised if Pelosi, Biden, Kerry or any of the other prominent Catholic-in-name-only politicians even bother going to Mass any more anyway.

PatriotGal2257 on November 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

If the mandate stays in legal force, will the Church close their facilities so no one else can/will use them, or will they sell them to another organization that will continue to practice medicine but in conformity with the mandate?

Kevin K. on November 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Pity about that, especially since the Church, via the USCCB, never came out in support of Obamacare. Sister Carol Kehan and the CHA, who initially supported Obamacare, were condemned by the Pope who directed the USCCB to rein in the renegade CHA.

Trafalgar on November 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Huh?

Read this or this.

What is the position of the bishops on health care?
The Catholic bishops have advocated for quality, accessible and affordable health care for all for decades. The bishops have consistently insisted that access to decent health care is a basic safeguard of human life and an affirmation of human dignity from conception until natural death. Health care policy should be supported that:
1) Ensures access to quality, affordable, life giving health care for all;
2) Retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them and effectively protects conscience rights; and,
3) Protects the access to health care that immigrants currently have and removes current barriers to access.
Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental criteria is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.

The only reason they came out against the law, was because of changes in abortion funding, which would conflict with point #2. In fact, they hoped that they could keep portions of the law, while rewriting those regarding abortion funding:
Following enactment of the health care reform legislation, the challenges are formidable but in some ways are simpler. Since the battle over the bill is over, the defects can be judged soberly in their own right, and remedies can be advanced in Congress while retaining what is good in the new law.

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM

At some point over the next four years, I expect to see Priests drug through the streets by police or federal agents over Oblama’s war on religion. The press and media will be silent lapdogs. Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

From Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George

“Communism imposed a total way of life based upon the belief that God does not exist. Secularism is communism’s better-scrubbed bedfellow,” he wrote. “The present political campaign has brought to the surface of our public life the anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicitly anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades. The secularizing of our culture is a much larger issue than political causes or the outcome of the current electoral campaign.”

George reiterated a prophecy he shared with a group of priests several years ago: “I was correctly quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” And, he added, concerning the martyred bishop, “his successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization as the church has done so often in human history.”

Akzed on November 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

They have not fought it or opposed it in any way. Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

That’s nothing new:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Akzed on November 14, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I wish people would keep in mind that bishops like Dolan, Chaput, Vasa… haven’t been around for 40 years. Those bishops who caused so much damage are thankfully retiring or dying off. The current bishops are largely Blessed Pope JPII or BXVI appointees and not nearly so progressive as the likes of Weakland, Mahony, Bernadin…

So while you cry, “you should have been doing this the last 40 years!!!” you really aren’t talking to the right people. These men deserve our support, not condemnation for their predecessor’s failures. They are going to need it. Who do you think will suffer the persecution first and the most? Hint…look at the history of Church martyrs. Lots and lots of bishops/priests in there.

God bless them.

pannw on November 14, 2012 at 3:58 PM

How will that work?

The mandate is on health care insurance providers to provide these services and products. How are clerical/religious employers going to know when their staff utilize these services.

lexhamfox on November 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Are you seriously that dumb? The employers will refuse to pay for it themselves. If the staff want to go buy it on their own, that’s their choice.

Nutstuyu on November 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I may very well be dumb but I can read and your response doesn’t answer the question I posed in regards to the comments you stripped out.

Here they are:

The Southern Baptist organization has pledged solidarity with Catholics and pledged to go to jail before submitting to the HHS mandate.

http://erlc.com/article/on-the-obama-administrations-abortion-rule/

If you doubt the tenacity of Catholics in their commitment, don’t doubt Southern Baptists. This will get to be very, very messy.

itsspideyman on November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

So those employers can opt out of providing health cover to their employees as you suggested. It isn’t a freedom of religion/conscience issue then is it?

lexhamfox on November 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

You were saying?

sadarj on November 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I think what he was saying is that the operation of a hospital and the operation of a university are not the free exercise of religion or the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Michigan would both be religious institutions

plewis on November 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Shump on November 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The worst of all is the Campaign for Human Development, which supports every left-wing group in the country.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I wish people would keep in mind that bishops like Dolan, Chaput, Vasa… haven’t been around for 40 years.

pannw on November 14, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Two of the most liberal Catholic cardinals were Bernardin (Chicago) and Dearden (Detroit). They are both on the other side of the grass.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I know Lew Rockwell’s site is hated here

So is Lew by anyone with a quarter of a brain.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Fact: Obama getting re-elected is God’s plan.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Hey look everybody – it’s a bunch of humans claiming to know the will of God. So hilarious.

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Umm, OK.

Personally, I don’t care anymore. Catholics largely support Obama. So they need to own it.

And actually I’d support revoking tax exempt status from churches in general. I don’t see the point.

Tax and spend til it’s all gone. Why fight it anymore?

Esthier on November 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I love when the church gets it right. So many could learn from them.

JellyToast on November 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Umm, OK.

Personally, I don’t care anymore. Catholics largely support Obama. So they need to own it.

And actually I’d support revoking tax exempt status from churches in general. I don’t see the point.

Tax and spend til it’s all gone. Why fight it anymore?

Esthier on November 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

The chances of a schism within the Catholic Church in the U.S. are pretty darn high. It’s all in whether or not a Catholic will show loyalty to the papacy or not. The majority of voting Catholics obviously are rejecting this loyality last Tuesday. It will come to a head. Don’t be shocked to see them leave and start up a heretic “seperate” church in protest. I, for one, won’t miss them.

I also do not think the bishops are bluffing by threatening to shut down all Catholic-run organizations. BUT, you see, Obama desires that end game. It enables him to forcibly take over all those institutions as government-run because they are “too big to fail…” doesn’t it?

Myron Falwell on November 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Spawn and John Stossel(yeah-THAT John Stossel) were born @ the same hospital. It is Catholic and has been around since the 1920′s. It is the main hospital for that area and the ONLY hospital for that small city-which is why I know that Stossel was born there. It WILL shut down rather than compromise its beliefs. It serves a lot of poor people…poor Obama supporters…who will feel the effect of its closing.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Lubbock’s bishop is an Mexican-born, open-borders nut. My guess is that he’s a ‘social justice’ guy as well-and that the only reason he’s come out against the religious mandate is because Lubbock is still pretty conservative.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

If the mandate stays in legal force, will the Church close their facilities so no one else can/will use them, or will they sell them to another organization that will continue to practice medicine but in conformity with the mandate?

Kevin K. on November 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I hope they close them, and if the government tries to seize them, I hope they burn them to the ground.

Actually, I hope they win their court cases and they can continue to stay open. But if they don’t…

cptacek on November 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Hmm, I wonder why the Bishop(s)and Dolan didn’t offer such steel resolve when their preists were exposed as child molesters all those years ago?

greataunty on November 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

The problem here is that everything I read suggests that the Catholic bishops are merely seeking exemptions for religious institutions.

This law – all of it – is poison. Do we really want government handing out exemptions (waivers?) from on high to “save” its subjects from an injurious law government itself created?

The Catholic Church – my church, which I love and cherish – should be fighting to tear ObamaCare down to its foundation. Until that happens, these bishops are just feeding the crocodile.

TouchingTophet on November 14, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I like Dolan, and appreciate the Bishops’ battle on this issue

I wonder about the outcome though. The council of Bishops is gung ho on amnesty. I could see a deal giving a broader waiver for Catholic institutions in return for cooperation of the Bishops on pushing amnesty

Don’t have a clue on this one. I know they do not want to close Catholic hospitals, Catholic control of hospitals. It goes against their faith also.

If we get a solution for Catholics only, I wont be surprised. That is the only religious protestor the administration might want to placate

I am praying they fight for all.

entagor on November 14, 2012 at 6:54 PM

As a Catholic in the NY Archdiocese, I did not hear one word from the Church leading up to the election nor afterwards. Was this just my parish, the NY Archdiocese, or was this the norm in other parts of the country?

diogenes on November 14, 2012 at 7:49 PM

You’ve been dealing the devil for decades and now you suddenly grow a spine on opposing bad laws and a brain on “social justice”?

Do pardon me if I don’t have any expectations for your defiance to last worth jack squat, or to suddenly forgive the record of betrayal of your organization.

MelonCollie on November 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

As a Catholic in the NY Archdiocese, I did not hear one word from the Church leading up to the election nor afterwards. Was this just my parish, the NY Archdiocese, or was this the norm in other parts of the country?

diogenes on November 14, 2012 at 7:49 PM

At my church in Cedar rapids, IA, the priest pretty well said that there was one party, Democrats, that Catholics shouldn’t support. He was quite artful in that he never said the word Democrat, but presented his argument is such a fashion that only an idiot would not understand him.

Having said that, I suspect we have a lot of idiots in our parish…

Kraken on November 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

You’ve been dealing the devil for decades and now you suddenly grow a spine on opposing bad laws and a brain on “social justice”?

Do pardon me if I don’t have any expectations for your defiance to last worth jack squat, or to suddenly forgive the record of betrayal of your organization.

MelonCollie on November 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

When most of the bad apple bishops were replaced with people with an actual spine over the past 10-20 years, yes, that accounts for a legitimate change.

At the rate Benedict XVI is going with appointing bishops, expect them to take a harder stance in the coming decade.

Myron Falwell on November 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

As a Catholic in the NY Archdiocese, I did not hear one word from the Church leading up to the election nor afterwards. Was this just my parish, the NY Archdiocese, or was this the norm in other parts of the country?

diogenes on November 14, 2012 at 7:49 PM

In my diocese in western PA, we participated in the Fortnight for Freedom. Our bishop wrote about it in our diocesan newspaper, and in the edition which came out right before the election, there was a very detailed Catholic voter guide. We have those kinds of voter guides before every election, but this one had a special urgency to it, for obvious reasons.

At my church in Cedar rapids, IA, the priest pretty well said that there was one party, Democrats, that Catholics shouldn’t support. He was quite artful in that he never said the word Democrat, but presented his argument is such a fashion that only an idiot would not understand him.

Kraken on November 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Our pastor also did not mention the word “Democrat” in his homily the weekend before the election, but he asked that we all pray to make the correct decision before we cast our vote. However, I know several people in my parish, some of whom are public school teachers, who were quite willful in casting their vote for Obama.

PatriotGal2257 on November 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM

We are very concerned about how this will affect our son, who attends an excellent Catholic high school. I am making arrangements to move him to a private homeschooling group if his school closes.

The local schools here are very bad (failing as well as unsafe). Closing all the Catholic schools in our town would be catastrophic.

sherrimae on November 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Churchgoing Catholics went for Romney significantly more than for Obama. Just polling “Catholics” will include the “yeah, I was raised Catholic, but I think it’s all b—s— and I haven’t been inside a church in twenty years, except for some funerals and weddings” people.

bmmg39 on November 15, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Kraken on November 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM
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PatriotGal2257 on November 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM
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Thanks for your response folks.
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My parish did have a prayer vigil for the country but it was held in the evening hours. I was eluding to something being said at Mass re. the election. Something for the low information Catholic voters out there. We didn’t even tap dance around the issue of how this past election would effect freedom of religion. I find this particularly disturbing as the IRS has backed off challenges trying to force a showdown re. freedom of speech – religion and tax exempt status. And then there was the Al Smith Dinner in NYC…..

diogenes on November 15, 2012 at 7:32 AM