My bishop’s letter on the HHS ruling

The letter below was read at all the Masses in the Diocese of Brooklyn this weekend.


  1. In the Diocese of Peoria our bishop has directed all institutions under his authority to insert a recitation of the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel at the end of the general intercessions at all masses in the diocese. With the introductory comment that this is for freedom of religion in the United States. I haven’t heard of any other diocese doing anything like this — are there any?

  2. naturgesetz says:

    It hasn’t been done in Boston. But it could catch on around the country — even if bishops don’t require it.

  3. Good luck getting anywhere with Shumer and Gillibrand. They are deeply committed to the left.

  4. Today our priest gave an amazing sermon on healthcare united to faith going back to Christ healing the body and the soul and the long history since then of no separation between these two in the long proud history of Catholic hospitals and other organizations. It was wonderful and at the end had a very loud and very long sustained applause. After mass, many met out side with the priest to thank him and to encourage him to continue and to speak out boldly on this threat by Obama and his administration. He promised we would hear a lot more. In our bulletin, there was much more with links to orgainzations fighting this evil attack on our religious liberty and also to the USCCB site where the latest myths and lies on the topic have been posted with each one being dispatched. Should we start to give Obama thanks for doing what nothing else has seemed to be able to do and that is unite the Bishops into a solid front of anger and distrust about the party of death. I think some were blind, but now they see.

  5. I was happy to see that your bishop admitted that “we have failed to teach the truths of the Catholic faith clearly and convincingly,” because I agree. In my entire adult life I have not heard one homily dealing with the immorality of artificial contraception and why it is immoral. While I hope that the bishops and the rest of us will be able to get the ruling rescinded by whatever means possible, I hope even more that the bishops start figuring out how to pass on the teachings of the faith with clarity and conviction.

  6. Chris Sullivan says:

    Is is really true that the mandate includes insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs ?

    I thought that abortion inducing drugs such as RU486 were not included.

    At worst, the mandate covers emergency contraception such as PlanB which the Connecticut Bishops approved for use in Catholic hospitals. I did some research on emergency contraceptives and the claims that they prevent implantation do not appear to be scientifically correct.

    God Bless

  7. We had a missionary priest at our parish this weekend who celebrated the Masses. But we heard nothing last week about the situation. Nor was there anything in our weekly bulletin.

  8. Think about what is being done — it is mandated — it is an infringment of our religious liberties guarenteed by our Bill of Rights. That is is the issue.

  9. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Chris, according to the USCCB website:

    Claim: “Drugs that cause abortion are not covered by this policy: Drugs like RU486 are not covered by this policy, and nothing about this policy changes the President’s firm commitment to maintaining strict limitations on Federal funding for abortions. No Federal tax dollars are used for elective abortions.”

    Response: False.The policy already requires coverage of Ulipristal (HRP 2000 or “Ella”), a drug that is a close analogue to RU-486 (mifepristone) and has the same effects.[i] RU-486 itself is also being tested for possible use as an “emergency contraceptive” – and if the FDA approves it for that purpose, it will automatically be mandated as well.

    Dcn. G.

  10. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Worse than that: for the first time in history, the government is insisting that a religious group violate its own teachings and collaborate with something it has long considered gravely immoral. If church-run charities, hospitals or schools choose not to do that, or not offer health care coverage at all, they will be punished by being forced to pay an assessment. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that this could force some institutions out of business.

    This is something every person of faith — no matter what your faith — should find alarming.

  11. If he gets a second term, and Church-affiliated organizations simply refuse to comply, it will be fascinating to see if HHS actually begins the punitive assessments. If they do, I assume that some of the Catholic hospitals, schools, charities, etc. will not pay them. Then what happens? This will lead us to a major crisis.

  12. The left is now stating that the Bishops are all Republicans — which is not even close to being true. Gov. Martin O’Malley was on CNN this weekend and this was his defense.

    “CROWLEY: So, my question to you in the final 90 seconds we have, has President Obama damaged the Catholic vote as far as Democrats are concerned? And you, as I understand it, are Catholic.

    Gov. Martin O’Malley : I am Catholic. And I think, Candy, there has been a little bit too much hyperventilating over this issue. It’s one of those issues that they want to use…

    CROWLEY: Well, it came from Catholics themselves in the hierarchy.

    Gov. Martin O’Malley : Well, some, and most of those members of that hierarchy are also Republicans. And if you look at 28 states, Candy, this is not about abortion, it’s about covering contraception as part of the health care coverage, mandatory basic coverage. Twenty-eight states already require this, and in Europe countries that are…

    CROWLEY: But you’re not thinking about the state, the federal government, telling a religion what it must cover in a health care policy.

    Gov. Martin O’Malley: Well, there is an exemption for churches themselves. The exemption does not necessarily extend to institutions like hospitals or universities that employ people of all faiths. But these same rules apply in countries like Italy which have overwhelming numbers of Catholics, and yet we did not see the reaction in those countries to these sorts of things.”

  13. if this line of reasoning is used by this administration, will this mean that Quakers and other conscientious objectors will not be able to opt out of active duty in the military?

    This isn’t rhetorical, I am sincerely asking the question.

  14. We do not hear about moral issues or other “grave” sins because “many” priests do not want to offend anyone’s conscience. The coffers would run dry.

  15. We are not Italy. Or Europe. Or China. We are the United States of America.

  16. One foot on the slippery slope starts the slide….
    Your question is a good one. My uneducated answer would be that it’s not out of the question Janet.

  17. You are right, Janet. As a taste of the future, the military censored the letter sent by the Catholic Military Bishop on the HHS mandate to be read at masses in military installations.

  18. There is a House of Representatives version of the bill as well, H.R. 1179. There are more than 100 cosponsors, and the list is growing each day.
    Keep up the calls to your Representatives – the message is being heard.

  19. Deacon Brian says:

    I have read a few of these letters – from the Bishop of Nebraska, Archbishop Dolan, and Archbishop Myers. These letters can be found on the Diocesan websites. One big problem is that many Catholics do not look at their Diocesan websites. Also, some pastors do not place the letter in their bulletin – or read the letter to their congregation (at Masstime).

    The letter from the Bishop of Nebraska clearly states that it is obligatory for the letter to be read aloud at all Masses of his diocese. All Bishops have to make certain that all the faithful under their guidance are aware of this health/conscience issue.


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