Wednesday, March 7, 2012

HHS Mandate Updates March 7, 2012

The fight to retain our religious liberty continues to mount. In the media, Catholics are referred to as outdated, anti-choicers, oppressors, and totally barbaric in our treatment of women. This is the Garden of Eden all over again. The serpent taunting Eve, insisting that she needs to be enlightened and will be much better for eating the forbidden fruit. It is difficult to sift fact from the enormous amount of fiction circulated by the secularists. I wanted to give you some updated information and will continue to post new information as it is available. The more we educate ourselves on the situation, the better we will be prepared to act.

Cardinal Dolan

Timothy Cardinal Dolan released a new letter to all U.S. Bishops on March 2, 2012 and it may be found HERE.

Some highlights of the four-page memo:
  • We will once again dedicate ample time at our Administrative Committee meeting next week, and at the June Plenary Assembly, to this critical subject. We will continue to listen, discuss, deliberate and act.
  • We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans. We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it.
  • We are grateful to know so many of our fellow Americans, especially our friends in the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, stand together in this important moment in our country. They know that this is not just about sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception. It’s about religious freedom, the sacred right of any Church to define its own teaching and ministry.
  • In the coming weeks the Conference will continue to provide you, among other things, with catechetical resources on the significance of religious freedom to the Church and the Church’s teaching on it from a doctrinal and moral perspective. We are developing liturgical aids to encourage prayer in our efforts and plans on how we can continue to voice our public and strong opposition to this infringement on our freedom.
  • The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry “without change.” The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.” That doesn’t bode well for their getting a truly acceptable “accommodation.”
  • At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. [...] Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.
  •  ...our bishops’ conference, many individual religious entities, and other people of good will are working with some top-notch law firms who feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro-bono. In the upcoming days, you will hear much more about this encouraging and welcome development.
Ms. Fluke testifies about her right to birth control.
Washington Post
Unless you've been living in a cave (and who could blame you?), you have heard and/or seen the testimony before Nancy Pelosi and her committee teary-eyed individuals, touched beyond compare. Ms. Fluke shared the horrendous burden of paying for her own birth control pills. 

As with all radicals targeting the Church today, Ms. Fluke's story proved to be much more interesting upon further investigation. As reported by Stephen Gutowski:

However, as I discovered today, birth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if "gender reassignment" surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance. She makes these views clear in an article she co-edited with Karen Hu in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.  
It seems that Ms. Fluke is a radical prop embraced by the sex-obsessed left, and not the financially barren birth control deprived law student the media and radical left wing sold her to be. Read the entire article by Mr. Gutowski HERE.
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

Many have been filed lawsuits against the mandate, including Priests for Life. They have asked others to add their names to a Citizens Amicus Brief in Support of Priests for Life vs. Sebelius. You may do so HERE.

President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary

You may contact Ms. Sebelius and tell her to Stop the HHS Power Grab by going to HERE.

Did you know that there is going to be a nationwide rally in defense of religious freedom? Please click HERE to learn more. In Buffalo, it will take place at Senator Schumer's office (contact info. HERE) and in the Diocese of Rochester, it has been reported that one will take place in Canandaigua (further info. will be found in comments on the Cleansing Fire post HERE). 

Did you sign the petition yet? Go HERE to learn more and add your name.

Edited to add: I came across an article written by law professor Robert K. Vischer in First Things. He argues that the current trend to fight against sharia law in some of our states is a fight against religious freedom. The article is very interesting and one I find important to consider as Catholics and other groups are engaged in a fight to retain our own religious liberty.

March 12, 2012: This just in from Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life:

The eight lawsuits so far, arranged by the date they were filed, are as follows:

November 10, 2011 Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius 
December 21, 2011 Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius 
February 9, 2012 Eternal Word Television Network v. Sebelius 
February 15, 2012 Priests for Life v. Sebelius 
February 20, 2012 Louisiana College v. Sebelius 
February 21, 2012 Ave Maria University v. Sebelius 
February 21, 2012 Geneva College v. Sebelius 
February 23, 2012 Bruning v. Sebelius (This is the one whose plaintiffs include the states of Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.)

1 comment:

No2Mandate said...

I recently watch the Gingrich's documentary "The Nine Days That Changed the World" and since then Ive been pondering whether what happened then with Poland has any significance today. With the government mandating birth control coverage we are stepping closer to a dictatorship we need to stand up against this like the Polish people did!