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Showing posts with label Health Coverage Mandates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Coverage Mandates. Show all posts

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic nonprofit groups, to provide health insurance coverage for birth control.  They and other Catholic organizations use a health-plan known as the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust. 

The Obama regime mandate was to go into effect on New Year's Day  The administration now has until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

We'd like to think that some stirring of right reason, a Catholic conscience formed by family or the Sisters of Charity at Spellman High School, may have played a role in Madam Justice Sotomayor's deliberations.  It is encouraging to see one of Obama's own appointees standing up for the "one eternal and unchangeable law."  We hope, too, that this intervention will encourage massive civil disobedience to the regime's unprecedented assault on freedom of conscience.

The groups’ lawsuit is one of many challenging the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage, but a decision on the merits of the case by the full Supreme Court could have broader implications.  We hope that the Court will ultimately uphold the rights of conscience and religious liberty for all Americans and not merely those Church-affiliated groups bringing these lawsuits.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Archbishop Chaput Rejects Obama's Phony Compromise on Contraception Mandate

To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance).  No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude).  It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).
– Augustine

By Archbishop Charles Chaput

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that prudence is the auriga virtutum, the “charioteer of virtues.”  It’s “right reason in action,” the guide to correctly applying all other virtues.  Rash action, no matter how well intended, violates prudence and usually does more harm than good.  God gave us brains.  He expects us to use them to judiciously pursue the highest moral good for others and for ourselves.

At the same time, the Catechism warns that prudence should never be used as an alibi for “timidity or fear, duplicity or dissimulation.”  Real prudence has a spine called fortitude, the virtue we more commonly know as courage.  And courage, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”

Here’s why both these virtues are vital in the weeks ahead.  On Friday, February 1, the Obama administration issued for public comment a set of revised regulations governing the HHS “contraceptive mandate.”  At first glance, the new rules have struck some people as a modest improvement.  They appear to expand, in a limited way, the kind of religiously-affiliated entities that can claim exemption from providing insurance coverage for contraceptive and abortion-related services under the new Affordable Care Act.

White House apologists and supporters have welcomed the proposal.  The New York Times called it “a good compromise.”  Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL Prochoice America have praised it.  And at least one Washington Post columnist implausibly called it a victory for America’s Catholic bishops.

The trouble is, the new rules are very complex.  And they may actually make things worse.  In the words of Notre Dame Law Professor Gerard Bradley:

“Gauging the net effect of the new administration proposal [is] hazardous.  But one can say with confidence the following: (1) religious hospitals are, as before, not exempt ‘religious employers’; (2) religious charities are very likely not exempt either, unless they are run out of a church or are very tightly integrated with a church.  So, a parish or even a diocese’s Saint Vincent De Paul operations would probably be an exempt ‘religious employer,’ whereas Catholic Charities would not be; (3) the new proposal may (or may not) make it more likely that parish grade schools are exempt ‘religious employers.’  But Catholic high schools are a different matter.  Some might qualify as ‘religious employers.’  Most probably will not.

“It is certain that Catholic colleges and universities do not qualify as exempt ‘religious employers.’ The new proposal includes, however, a revised ‘accommodation’ for at least some of these institutions, as well as some hospitals and charities.  The proposal refines the administration’s earlier efforts to somehow insulate the colleges and universities from immoral complicity in contraception, mainly by shifting — at least nominally – the cost and administration of the immoral services to either the health insurance issuer (think Blue Cross) or to the plan administrator (for self-insured entities, such as Notre Dame).  This proposal adds some additional layering to the earlier attempts to insulate the schools, but nothing of decisive moral significance is included.”

The White House has made no concessions to the religious conscience claims of private businesses, and the whole spirit of the “compromise” is minimalist.

As a result, the latest White House “compromise” already has a wave of critics, including respected national religious liberty law firms like the Becket Fund and the Alliance Defending Freedom.  And many are far harsher than Professor Bradley in their analysis.

The scholar Yuval Levin has stressed that the new HHS mandate proposal, “like the versions that have preceded it, betrays a complete lack of understanding of both religious liberty and religious conscience.”  In reality, despite the appearance of compromise, “the government has forced a needless and completely avoidable confrontation and has knowingly put many religious believers in an impossible situation.”

One of the issues America’s bishops now face is how best to respond to an HHS mandate that remains unnecessary, coercive and gravely flawed.  In the weeks ahead the bishops of our country, myself included, will need both prudence and courage – the kind of courage that gives prudence spine and results in right action, whatever the cost.  Please pray that God guides our discussions.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

U.S. Bishops Say They’re Willing To ‘Go To Jail’ Over HHS Mandate

As the Obama administration and the U.S. Bishops remain locked in battle over the HHS mandate, the question on the minds of many observers is: what lengths are the bishops willing to go to to oppose the mandate? 

The prelates LifeSiteNews spoke to after the Vigil Mass for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24th indicated that they intend to do everything they can to oppose the mandate, including risking imprisonment if necessary.

Read more at LifeSiteNews >>

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of HHS Mandate Against Michigan Company

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that yesterday (12/30/12) Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan, granted its Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order of the HHS Mandate.  The motion was filed on behalf of Tom Monaghan.  

Tom Monaghan
Judge Zatkoff’s ruling effectively halts enforcement of the HHS mandate against Monaghan and his property management company, Domino’s Farms Corporation of which he is the owner and sole shareholder. Domino’s Farms Corporation manages an Office Complex owned by Monaghan and is not to be confused with Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan sold the Pizza company in 1998 and has no active affiliation with it at this time.
The HHS mandate refers to regulations adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services that forces employers, regardless of their religious convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cardinal Dolan: US Bishops Won't Comply with Obama Rule on Birth Control Coverage in Insurance

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks at the conference's annual fall meeting in Baltimore, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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."

Read the rest of this entry at The Republic >> 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

US Bishops’ Religious Liberty Campaign Taking shape

Masses, holy hours, Eucharistic processions, rallies, concerts, and lectures are among the activities planned by various dioceses as part of the Fortnight for Freedom campaign announced by US bishops in April. The campaign will begin on June 21 with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and conclude on July 4 with Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. 

"Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty," the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty said in April upon announcing the campaign. "Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty." 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Henninger: Church Is Still Not State

Catholics are being told to substitute state belief for their religious belief. 

By Daniel Henninger

How ironic it will be if Catholic voters, about 27% of the electorate, put the first Mormon in the White House some 50 years after John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president. More telling, though, about the current state of the American mind will be the fact that after more than a thousand days and events in Barack Obama's presidency, the reason for this result will be an unexpected reaffirmation of an American principle older than the country's first presidential election: the free exercise of religion.

Also telling about the current American mind is that the Democratic progressives who inhabit the administration either didn't see this coming or, more likely, thought that the idea of free religious exercise no longer counted for much among American Catholics in today's political calculus.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rallies for Religious Freedom Scheduled for June 8

The Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society are pleased to announce that the next Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place on Friday, June 8, in cities and towns across the United States.

The June 8 Stand Up Rally builds on the tremendous momentum created by the first Stand Up Rally on March 23.

On that day, over 63,000 Americans came out in 145 cities coast to coast pushed back against the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their consciences.

Now the fight continues with the next Stand Up Rally on Friday, June 8.

Right now the entire Obamacare law, with its oppressive mandates and abortion loopholes, is under review by the United States Supreme Court. A ruling is coming at the end of June.

If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, the June 8 Rally sets the agenda for future health care reform, demanding respect for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

But if the Court leaves Obamacare intact, the June 8 Rally advances our demand that the HHS Mandate must go.

Come out on June 8, 2012—the 223rd anniversary of the day our Founding Father James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, with its guarantee of religious freedom, to the First Congress—and stand up for religious freedom!

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was a peaceful, family-friendly, non-partisan, ecumenical event. For more information, please see the Rally Guidelines and Protocols, below.

133 cities in 46 states, organized alphabetically by state

Monday, May 21, 2012

43 Catholic Institutions File 12 Lawsuits Over the Obama Regime's Assault on Religious Liberty

Kathleen Sebelius, Obama Quisling for Catholic Persecution.
Today 43 Catholic institutions, including the Archdioceses of New York and Washington, D.C., the Catholic University of America and Notre Dame, joined a lawsuit to block implementation of the mandate by the Obama regime that would require them to provide health insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, prescription contraceptives, and drugs that cause early stage abortions.

The Jones Day law firm has filed the suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  (For a complete list of the plaintiffs, click here.)

We deplore the Obama regime's assault on the Catholic Church and its disregard for the Constitution, religious liberty and conscience rights.  Nevertheless, it is wonderful to behold what a whiff of oppression can do to clear political thinking and unite the Church militant in a way that it has not been united for at least a half century.  

Onward, Christian soldiers!

Why the Pope's Army Will Not Kneel to the HHS Mandate

By Dan Burke

Among the sounds of pipes, harps and horns the multitude fell down before the golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar. All worshiped the image save three young men.

The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — and the captivating image of the “fourth man” within the white-hot furnace —  is one most Christians are told as children. However, as adults in an ever-increasingly secular world, the story adopts a more sober tone.

For us Americans, it seems like there has always been a pernicious chorus in the background of our lives asking us to kneel to this or that false hope. Yet, the HHS contraception mandate was the keynote that explicitly brought the idol before the faithful and said “Kneel or else.”
People of God have always refused to kneel and abandon truth. With the fiery furnace in mind, Catholics have gleaned seeds of wisdom from the words of St. Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Standing Against Tyranny - New Video Highlights 60,000 Strong Religious Freedom Rallies Against Obama Mandate

A sleeping giant has awakened and on March 23rd, 2012, over 60,000 Americans gathered in more than 140 cities across the nation to protest the HHS Mandate, which violates the religious freedom of millions of Catholics. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Father Sammie Maletta's Sermon on Obama's Assault on Religious Liberty

On February 5, 2012 Father Sammie Maletta delivered a sermon at St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. This Homily addressed how President Obama is threatening religious freedom and at war with the Catholic Church. Please take a few moments to listen and then go to to fight this assault on freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

Monday, March 19, 2012

With Burning Anxiety

 A concerned reaction to the HHS mandate and its effect on our religious liberty 

By Charles P. Poole, Ph.D.

Editor's note: This article first appeared at Homiletic & Pastoral Review and is reprinted by permission from the author. 
Pope Pius XI wrote to wrote to German Catholics during their "painful trials" under the Nazi regime.
On the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary time, February 5th 2012, the bishops throughout the United States wrote official letters to be read to their faithful at all the Masses of that day. These letters concerned the “alarming and serious matter” of the recent announcement by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (Dept. HHS) that all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health care coverage which includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. This is clearly a direct attack on the religious freedom guaranteed to the Catholic Church by the First Amendment.

This is reminiscent of what happened in the German Reich on Palm Sunday, 1937, when Pope Pius XI dispatched the Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Anxiety) to be read at all of the Masses that Sunday condemning the breaches by the Nazi Government of the Reichskonkordat agreement which it had signed with the Church four years earlier. 

The Encyclical spoke of “the systematic hostility leveled at the Church” and of the necessity of “obedience to our conscience and our pastoral mission, whether We be successful or not, to oppose the policy which seeks, by open or secret means, to strangle our rights guaranteed by a treaty.” The Encyclical continued “Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained.” It recommended “to encounter the obstinance and provocations of those who deny, despise and hate God, by the never-failing reparatory prayers of the faithful, hourly rising like incense to the All-Highest and staying His vengeance.” Of particular significance was the following statement condemning racism:
Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the state, or a particular form of state, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinises them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned by God.
This statement condemning racism was added to the text of the Encyclical by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli who soon afterward became Pope Pius XII, and after the War was unjustly defamed as bearing some responsibly for the Holocaust.

It is clear that there are some parallels between the persecution endured by the Church under the Nazi Regime and the present “alarming and serious matter” protested by last Sunday’s Bishops’ letters. There could be more analogous threats in the future. For example, there is a possibility that the abortion of medically defective babies and the denial of some forms of medical care to the elderly might eventually become mandatory, under the law. Forced Euthanasia for certain conditions might also become compulsory.

Another parallel is that the Nazi government began their persecution with the breaching of the Reichskonkordat agreement between the regime and the Church. Our government now plans to break the solemn concordat which they have with the Church, namely the Bill of Rights, which is an agreement to grant religious freedom to all, especially to every church. A solemn agreement is a solemn agreement! The Church now asks our President exactly what it requested from the F├╝hrer of the Third Reich, namely to abide by the solemn agreement of the Bill of Rights and not to embark on the road to religious persecution.

We are not suggesting or implying that the motivations of the employees of the Dept. HHS are in any manner similar to those that motivated the policies implemented in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. These employees are certainly well-intentioned, and seeking the best for our country. Unfortunately what they plan to implement has the effect of forcing Catholics to act in a manner which violates their religious beliefs and consciences, and hence is a violation of their Civil Rights under the Constitution. This clearly constitutes a type of persecution of our religion. The plan must either be rescinded or be modified to avoid this infringement of Religious Liberties.

The Encyclical came to an end with the hopeful note “as the German people return to religion” to “again resume the task God has laid upon them.” It took the demise of Nazism to permit this to occur in post-war Germany. It is hoped that the American lawmakers will soon “resume the task God has laid upon them,” especially those who profess the Catholic faith and yet have been voting in support of the persecutors.

Note from the author:
I am a physicist and a deacon octogenarian who was approaching nine years of age in 1937 when the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge was smuggled into Nazi Germany to be read at all Palm Sunday Masses. I lived through the era when my scientific colleagues gave the world the atomic and hydrogen bombs. I lived to see the tyrannies of Imperial Japan, and the Third Reich, rise to power, be responsible for the deaths of millions, and eventually meet their fate. I lived to witness a Polish Pope John Paul II preside over the fall of atheistic European Communism. In my sunset years I am witnessing well-intentioned, but tragically misguided so-called democratic individuals, some professing my own Catholic faith, embarking on a systematic campaign of persecution of my Church. I pray that I can live long enough, perhaps, Deo volente, to the centariari level, to witness the eventual ending of the persecution!

Charles P. Poole, Jr., Ph.D. received his BA in 1950, his MS in 1952 from Fordham University, and his Ph.D. in 1958 from the University of Maryland. He was member of the faculty at the University of South Carolina from 1964 to 1994, and is presently retired. Dr. Poole has published 22 books on physics (most listed on  His areas of specialty include: condensed matter physics, superconductivity, and nanoscience.

His wife, Kathleen, died after 52 years of marriage. They had five children, 15 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. In 1993, Charles Poole was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. His websites include: and

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Political Reality Behind the HHS Mandate

President Obama's policies and politics are focused like a laser on the so-called "women's rights" vote -- the feminist and the single women's vote.  According to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQR), feminist voters in the 2008 presidential election created a "new American electorate."  The data support that conclusion.  Unmarried women supported Barack Obama by a 70-to-29 percent margin, and they voted for Democratic House candidates by a similar margin, 64-to-29 percent.  There was a 44-point difference in the voting patterns of married and unmarried women in 2008.  Unmarried women edged out both younger voters and Hispanic voters as the demographic with the strongest support for Obama.

Bishops Pledge to Intensify Efforts Against Obama Administration's "Unjust and Illegal" Mandate

The Administrative Committee of the US Catholic bishops said yesterday that they will intensify their fight against the Obama administration’s “unjust and illegal” contraception mandate.  The full text of their statement follows:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Caesar's Price for Following One's Conscience - $100 A Day Per Employee

But what is the price when Caesar fails to abide by the Constitution?  When does the Congress begin to act against a regime that has no authority to compel the purchase of anything?

By Ben Johnson

The price of following your conscience is high – especially if you resist the mandate to furnish your employees with reproductive products and services that violate your religious beliefs.

According to a report released by the Congressional Research Service, religious institutions that fail to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees could be fined $100 a day for each of its employees.
According to the memo, “The Secretary [of HHS] may impose a civil monetary penalty on insurance insurers that fail to comply with the [health care reform law’s] requirements,” such as failing to provide contraception, sterilization, or abortion-inducing drugs. “The maximum penalty imposed by the PHSA is $100 per day for each individual with respect to which such a failure occurs.”

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Obama Risks $100 Billion If Catholic Hospitals Close

Bishops May Close Facilities Rather than Bend to Contraception Dictate 

Perhaps Barack Obama assumed that religious leaders would simply offer a token protest to his new mandate for religious organizations to provide free birth control, even when contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization violate the core doctrines of their faith. The president might have had reason to expect that Catholic bishops wouldn’t put up much of a fight, considering their support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as ObamaCare, from which Health and Human Services derives the authority to dictate their coverage requirements to employers.

Read the rest of this entry at The Fiscal Times >>

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bishops Vow Continued Fight Over Contraception Mandate After Senate Rejects Blunt Amendment

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement yesterday after the Senate defeated a measure that would have prevented the federal government from forcing employers with religious and moral objections to offer contraception, sterilization and abortafacient drugs as part of their health insurance plans.

WASHINGTON -- The Senate’s 51-48 vote March 1 to table the bipartisan Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467), sponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and 37 other senators, impels the Church to strengthen its resolve to support religious freedom.

“The need to defend citizens’ rights of conscience is the most critical issue before our country right now,” said Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bishop Lori chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “We will continue our strong defense of conscience rights through all available legal means. Religious freedom is at the heart of democracy and rooted in the dignity of every human person. We will not rest until the protection of conscience rights is restored and the First Amendment is returned to its place of respect in the Bill of Rights.”

“I am grateful today to Senator Roy Blunt and the 47 other Senators who cast a bipartisan vote reaffirming our nation’s long tradition of respect for rights of conscience in health care,” said Bishop Lori. “We will build on this base of support as we pursue legislation in the House of Representatives, urge the Administration to change its course on this issue, and explore our legal rights under the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Freedom of conscience has been in the forefront since the Obama Administration issued a regulation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act forcing most employers, including religious institutions, to provide coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, even when they violate church teaching. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Evangelicals, Southern Baptists Rip HHS Mandate

The Family Research Council has announced that 2,500 pastors and other evangelical leaders have signed a letter condemning the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. The signatories said:
The contraceptive mandate with the requirement that there will be no co-pay to the patient means millions of Americans will incur the additional cost for these drugs and devices. Forcing religious entities to do the same, despite objections of good conscience, is a severe blow to our religious liberty. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1779, which passed in 1786, and set the stage for the First Amendment. In it, Jefferson states: "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." Consequently, we ask that you would reverse this decision and protect the conscience rights of those who have biblically-based opposition to funding or providing contraceptives and abortifacients.
“What our forefathers protected is freedom of conscience, freedom of religion. That is -- the freedom to propagate our faith, to take our faith outside the walls of our home, outside the walls of our church and to have Catholic and Baptist charities, and Catholic and Baptist hospitals, and Catholic and Baptist schools that seek to educate within a worldview that is Catholic or Baptist or Lutheran or whatever,” added Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “And we are not going to sit by and allow our God-given rights -- which are acknowledged, recognized and protected by the Constitution -- to be atrophied and to be neutered and to be confined and restricted by the Obama administration.”