“This is a sad moment in the life of our country…”

“I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience than this ruling. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.

For me there is no other fundamental issue as important as this one as we enter into the Presidential and Congressional campaigns. Every candidate must be pressed to declare his/her position on all of the fundamental life issues, especially the role of government to determine what conscience decision must be followed: either the person’s own moral and conscience decision, or that dictated/enforced by the Federal government. For me the answer is clear: we stand with our moral principles and heritage over the centuries, not what a particular Federal government agency determines.

As Bishops we do not recommend candidates for any elected office. For me personally, I intend to vote on November 6, 2012, for the candidate for President of the United States and members of Congress who intend to recognize the full spectrum of rights under the many conscience clauses of morality and public policy. If any candidate refuses to acknowledge and to promote those rights, then that canddate will not receive my vote.

This is a sad moment in the life of our country where religious freedom and freedom of conscience led to the formation of this new Nation under God.”

– Cardinal Roger Mahony, on the HHS ruling.

Read it all.

And for those who haven’t seen it yet, a similar sentiment can be found in Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan’s video response yesterday, below:


  1. I’ve just written our two Democrat senators about this outrageous situation.

  2. A political miscalculation – WH thought the one year extension ” compromise” would placate dem leaning catholics and protect catholic D’s in congress ( face it folks they wrote off the more conservative catholics all along)

    With continued pressure, expect some backtrack here – at least for the election year – you don’t have to agree with or like Obama but his team understands reelection politics.
    If I was making recommendations to Dolan, I would make sure so called ” moderate” or liberal or democratic Catholics who oppose this ( see Mahony above to start) also get lots of attention in the next days and weeks. ( Dolan can pick up the phone and charm them too :) ) Push for something that outlasts next November folks. Politics is the art of the possible and a real and meaningful religious exemption is possible here.

  3. I am so thankful (and impressed) that Archbishop Dolan is using the new media to get his message out. He has such a great way of explaining things succinctly. A short YouTube video is so easy to share on facebook. Remember way back when, when we were told at confirmation that we were “soldiers for Christ”?, I look at the Catholic bloggers as soldiers for Christ on the internet on this issue.

  4. Never fear. Catholic Democrats will still vote for Obama. After all, they did so with his stance on abortion. They will be given a fig leaf. However, only fools will not see that if he does this now, what will he do when he no longer needs their vote if reelected? I thought Cardinal to be Dolan had a wonderful conversation with Obama just a few weeks ago. Now he actually seems shocked that this is shoved down his throat. Please wake up. The party that has no problem killing 54 million babies could care less about your religious freedom. My prediction, Fig leaf coming for the fools.

  5. Joe Cleary:

    If I have read your comments correctly, you make a lot of sense to me.

    “Politics is the art of the possible and a real and meaningful religious exemption is possible here.”

    There is a possibility for compromise eventually, that is, if some people will refrain from referring to this administration as anti-Catholic.

  6. I hope this opens people’s eyes. There is now no excuse for any Catholic to vote for Obama. He really is anti religion in general and anti Catholic in particular.

  7. justamouse says:

    My husband, as a small business owner, is FURIOUS about this. That he has to provide FREE birth control to his employees –I’m telling you, the man is spitting grenades.

  8. HMS- perhaps I was a bit more cynical then you give me credit. If WH was not being anti Catholic- they sure as heck gave a ” I don’t give a darn about the Catholic Church position ” answer on this one.

  9. I’m sure that somewhere somebody saw Archbishop Mahony’s name and thought that hmm, that can’t be right. I have to oppose whatever he’s drinking.

    I’m not sure the bishops are the very best ones to get out this message. In 2008, it was FOCA. Then Notre Dame. Then Bart Stupak. It’s a seemingly endless series of gaffes, losses, and mistakes for the political pro-life effort. Though, no doubt, the donations keep rolling in to particular Republican outlets.

    The president is a smart politician, I’ll give him that. He’s no Clinton or Gingrich, but given the short-list of his likely opponents he won’t need to be.

    Getting back to the bishops, at some point people hear the refrain of “Crisis! Crisis!” every other month, and twice a week when elections beckon. I’d say the credibility factor is a big challenge for them.

    That being said, the president has dropped from a 15% to about a 3% likelihood for me in November. He’s not a stellar performer in my book. I’m going to have to look hard to find a third party candidate for whom I can darken the box. But I’m not at all sympathetic to the bishops on this. The message, of course. But the degree of alarm, the Cry Wolf stance–not quite.

    “The party that has no problem killing 54 million babies could care less about your religious freedom.”

    That would be both parties, Mark. The GOP set it up in the 60′s and 70′s. They would lose votes if it ever stopped. And just 54 million? Are you sure it hasn’t ticked up to 55?

  10. Ronald King says:

    Why are we in such an uproar? All we must do is follow our collective conscience and stop business as usual. Are we afraid of losing everything we have? If so then we have become the rich young man that Christ loved but who was unwilling to give up his riches to follow Him. This could be a blessing instead of an outrage. We should thank God for this opportunity to break our attachments to the government of this world to meet our needs and bond together in a massive community of sharing our gifts with one another in an expression of solidarity through love rather than a union of anger against someone or some system that you hate. We have within our faith the ability to meet the needs of everyone who desires to be a part of a community that is willing to sacrifice for each other. “Be not afraid.”

  11. Yes Mark, I remember that “warm” conversation Obama had with Cardinal-designate Dolan. And this comes out a month later. Obama is a transaparent phony and deep down despises the Catholic Church and probably most Catholics.

  12. I think this is a calculated decision by the President to punt this one to the courts – that is the purpose of the year extension – to give courts the time to rule on this before any of these institutions have to affirmatively offer/pay for these services. Legally, it will be interesting to see how this ends up changing constitutional law. My prediction is that it will eventually result in a strong decision in favor of religious liberty if the recent discrimination case is any guide.

  13. Barbara, I hope you’re right…but doesn’t that mean the Bishops will have to file a lawsuit?

  14. My understanding is that this rule does not apply to the Church itself but to Church affiliated employers, such as colleges and hospitals so I do not know if the Bishops would have standing to bring the suit. I have read online that there are two lawsuits already pending: one from a Catholic university and I am not sure what denomination or institution brought the other lawsuit. But I cannot imagine that the Church is not looking into a legal challenge now. A suit needs to be brought. If I were a lawyer handling the cases or any future lawsuit, I would consider seeking a preliminary injunction that would stay the effect/implementation of the rule while the case proceeds. I happen to believe this is an issue that should be decided by the courts and not left to the whims of an administration that can change every four years. I also nthink the facts get developed better and notwithstanding the viewpoint of some people here and some exceptions, I think as the cases wind their way through the process, politics has less to do with the resolution. I have alot of respect for our judicial system.

  15. Todd. “I’m not sure the bishops are the very best ones to get out this message” If we had Bishops who had the guts to put some force behind the teaching of the Catholic Church it would make a difference. If they tought the teaching in a clear way not trying to be all things to all people it would make a difference. I think we are slowing moving toward a USCCB that will make a difference in the future as we try to overcome the damage that so many left wing liberal bishops have done in this country over the last 60 years.

    Maybe those who supported the democrats in the past will not awaken to the simple fact that they are being used by evil and return to their faith teaching.

    On the 54 million, that is what is on the pro life sites that track this information. However, there is no doubt that if Obama is reelected, his appointments to the supeme court will insure that the number tops 100 million before he meets his judgement in the next life.

Leave a Comment