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HHS Mandate - Nothing Has Changed
Email from Archdiocese of Washington | 13Feb2012 | Donald Cardinal Wuerl

Posted on 02/13/2012 6:05:36 PM PST by ConorMacNessa

February 13, 2012

Dear Friends,

Last Friday President Obama attempted to respond to the strong objections that have been raised by the Catholic Church and other faith communities to the Department of Health and Human Services’ unprecedented mandate that would force religious institutions, in violation of their religious beliefs, to provide and pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization. Unfortunately, the “accommodation” that the President announced still presents grave moral concerns and continues to violate our constitutionally protected religious liberty.

The administration’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, particularly in the definition of who is and who is not a religious employer. Despite last month’s unanimous Supreme Court decision upholding the right of religious institutions to choose whom they appoint to teach their faith and carry out their mission, the administration remains unwavering in its attempt to assert control in matters of religion. Our Catholic schools, social service organizations, hospitals and universities are no less Catholic than our churches, but apparently, these institutions are not considered to be Catholic enough to meet the definition required by the HHS mandate for a religious exemption.

As for the insurance-related provisions themselves, the federal mandate remains essentially unchanged. The only “fix” offered by the President was to propose that insurance companies, instead of religious institutions directly, be required to cover procedures and products they find objectionable at no cost in their insurance policies. Regardless of how it is characterized, shifting the cost of these drugs and procedures to insurance companies does not make their requirement any less objectionable or lessen the infringement on our religious liberty and rights of conscience.

For example, President Obama’s announcement does not provide any accommodation for the Archdiocese of Washington. Like many large organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, this archdiocese does not purchase group health insurance from insurance companies. In order to provide insurance consistent with our religious beliefs, our health benefit plan is a self-insured plan that extends coverage to 3,600 employees. This means that the archdiocese is the insurer and the archdiocese covers all claim costs. There is no insurance company involved. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the HHS mandate, self-insured organizations like ours are treated the same as regular insurance providers. This means that like Aetna or Blue Cross, the archdiocese and other self-insured religious organizations would be required to both provide and pay for drugs and procedures we consider morally wrong in our employee health plans.

Even for religious institutions who are employers and who purchase group health insurance from insurance companies, the problem created by the mandate remains unresolved. Those institutions will still be compelled to purchase insurance policies that provide free abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization. Since these additional drugs and procedures will be automatically provided by the insurer by virtue of the insurance policy (even though not expressly listed in the policy), it is no response to our moral concerns to say that religious employers will not have to pay for them because their insurance companies will. Catholic institutions will be forced to pay for and maintain policies that enable their employees to receive insurance coverage of products and procedures that violate our religious convictions.

At this point, it appears that nothing has really changed. Religious employers are still being compelled to provide insurance plans that offer free abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives in violation of their religious freedom.

What is at stake here is a question of human freedom. The authors of the Bill of Rights enshrined freedom of religion as our nation’s first and founding principle. We should not be reduced to petitioning the government for rights that the Constitution already guarantees. The only complete solution to the problem that this mandate poses for religious liberty is for Congress to pass legislation to protect our freedom. The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act is one of several bills that have been introduced for this very purpose.

We cannot become complacent or allow ourselves to be distracted by incomplete proposals presented as definitive solutions. The Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty is working on a formal response and action steps. In the weeks and months ahead, please continue to pray and share this information with others so that we may reverse the effects of this misguided regulation.

In the hope that this information is helpful and with every good wish, I am

Faithfully in Christ,

Donald Cardinal Wuerl

Archbishop of Washington

Archdiocese of Washington

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: contraceptionmandate; waronreligion
Cardinal Wuerl's response to the mendacious "compromise" offered by Obama.

Etiam non princeps sed usque ad genua, Principis Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

1 posted on 02/13/2012 6:05:42 PM PST by ConorMacNessa
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To: Salvation; little jeremiah; narses; wagglebee; JustAmy; Billie; GodBlessUSA; Lady Jag; yorkie; ...

Etiam non princeps sed usque ad genua, Principis Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

2 posted on 02/13/2012 6:09:12 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

He’s absolutely correct.

None of this was an error or “rookie mistake” by Obama either. This was part of a calculated attack on social values and religious beliefs.

Dick Morris has made an excellent point: Abortion is no longer a winning issue for the Left, because the country is not more pro-life than pro-choice. So, they are attempting to bring contraception up as a new issue, under some ridiculous theory that Republicans are going to try to limit access to contraceptives.

Think back to the debate where George Stephy was the ABC/DNC moderator...remember when he brought up contraception and even Romney dismissed it?

Where do you think that argument came from? Georgie is a paid operative of the Democrat Left, just doing his job.

3 posted on 02/13/2012 6:26:46 PM PST by bigbob
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To: ConorMacNessa
The left is laughing at everyone who is sucked into debating church and state when the fact is that birth control pills have nothing to do with health care.

Team Obama is high fiving up and down the west wing halls listening to everyone being duped by the red herring they have thrown to the media bottom feeders.

Mandating the health care insurers cover birth control is akin to mandating that auto insurers cover the purchase of new tires.

4 posted on 02/13/2012 6:38:30 PM PST by Baynative (Please check this out -
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To: bigbob
" None of this was an error or “rookie mistake” by Obama either. This was part of a calculated attack on social values and religious beliefs. "

I promise you that once this firestorm is concluded, in favor of Christians (represented by the RC church), it will come up again.

Quite soon.

Next iteration will invoke either Santeria or Islam.

After all, if the government can't force Christians to go against their teachings, how can you argue that sacrificing animals, living under a veil, or beheading apostates according to those savage tenets can be denied?

Of course saving lives and ritually taking lives, living in sunlight and living in darkness, are absolute opposites, but the argument will not respect that and those merely observing the debate will not accommodate that.

No, " None of this was an error or “rookie mistake”

Winning this battle virtually assures loss of the war.

5 posted on 02/13/2012 7:03:52 PM PST by norton
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To: ConorMacNessa
Bishops Reject Obama's 'Accommodation' - President's political hemorrhaging to continue.
HHS Mandate - Nothing Has Changed (donald Cardinal Weurl)
WH: We Are Done Negotiating With Catholics
Notre Dame Faculty to Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’
White House: No More Compromise on Contraception
Obama's anti-religious implosion
Lew: Obama's latest stance on birth-control mandate final, puts issue to rest (CAPTION)
Pat Buchanan: 'Obama is trampling on God's turf' (Video)
W.H. official: Contraceptive rule stands
Obama chief of staff: No more compromise, contraceptive rule is done deal
Bishops Reject White House’s New Plan on Contraception (Obama continues his "War On Religion")
Faith/Pro-Life Leaders to Challenge Mandate by Praying and Risking Arrest in Front of the WH
Catholic Bishops: Don't Revise, Rescind
Obama's contempt for the Constitution
How the Catholic Church Became Cool Overnight

Chuck Colson Reacts to Obama’s “Compromise” on Required Abortion Care for Church Employees
US Bishops: Obama's 'Compromise' Has No Clear Protection...(Needless Government Intrusion)
Protests Continue Over Insurance for Contraception, Abortifacients (Feds Under Increasing Pressure
Bishops to Obama: No dice
Paul VI: “danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities ...”
Michael Moore Goes On Anti-Catholic Twitter Rant, Distorts Contraception Debate
Religious controversy burns Obama again (the rookie Hussein is in WAY over his pay grade)
Another Catholic college vows it will ‘not violate conscience’ on Obama mandate
Lutherans join chorus of voices slamming HHS contraceptive mandate
The Obama HHS 'Compromise' Switches the Tiger for the Lion (Not all Catholics buying Obama's bull)
Hannity on now with Priests, Pastors and Rabbis. Please watch
EDITORIAL: Obama’s free abortion pills
U.S. bishops ‘express concerns’ about Obama mandate ‘accommodation’
What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling (Albert Mohler Opinion)
Bishops Renew Call To Legislative Action On Religious Liberty
Southern Baptist leader: Obama gave Christians ‘the dismissive back’ of his hand
Obama's Act of Tyranny
Bishops Were Prepared for Battle Over Birth Control Coverage
'Accounting gimmick' -- Obama compromise still threatens religious liberty, leaders say
Bishops ‘concerned’ over reworded mandate; other Catholic leaders slam as ‘insult to injury’
Obama Bows to Pressure, but His Religious 'Accommodation' Even Worse

Don't Be Deceived! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!
Obama’s Contraceptive 'Compromise' Doesn't Pass the Smell Test ("It doesn't change a thing")
Compromise or Accommodation, it’s still unacceptable. (updated from Catholic Vote)
Pres. Obama’s “Plan B” compromise, Sr. Keehan, and the Magisterium of Nuns
Land Says Obama Mandate Most Anti-Catholic Government Action in 150 Years
Motive, Means and Opportunity: Obama’s Assault on Catholics
(Exempt Catholics) Joe Biden, Bill Daley warned of contraceptive backlash
(Tim) Thomas makes second political statement (Stands With Catholics)
Southern Baptist leader: If Obama mandate isn’t changed, Christians will go to jail
Over 150 congressional leaders demand repeal of HHS mandate
Boehner vows to overturn Obama’s birth control coverage rule
Boehner: Congress to overturn birth control policy if Obama does not reverse course
O'Brien says Archdiocese of Baltimore won't offer birth control coverage
Archbishop of San Francisco says Obama ruling strikes at religious freedom
How Obama Lost the Catholic Vote
‘I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in Pres. Obama’s war on Catholics. Wherein Fr. Z rants.
Unholy War
Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate
Santorum: Obama Hostile to Christians
Understanding Oppostion to the HHS Mandate (Part 1): Why the Church Won’t Pay for Contracept

The Bishops Chickens Coming Home to Roost.
65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate
Doug Kmiec Writes Obama: 'Friendship Will Not Permit Me to Disregard Duty to Faith and Country'
Catholic Outcry Over Obama Administration's Birth Control Decision Could Factor In Presidential Race
Standing with the Bishops [Catholic Caucus]
Updated: *167* Bishops (More Than 90% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
Outrage!… Military Tells Chaplains What They Can and Can’t Say About HHS/ObamaAssault on Religion
Updated: *153* Bishops (Over 80% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
An Affront Catholics Agree On [Liberal and Conservative Catholics Against Obama Mandate]
Army Silenced Chaplains Last Sunday
Catholic Military Archdiocese & Chaplains interfered with last Sunday by Pres. Obama’s Admin
The Anti-Catholic President v. the Catholic Bishops
Sen. Rubio introduces bill to reverse Obama birth control mandate
Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, Bishop Kevin Rhoades says
Protestants and Jews declare to White House: We stand with Catholics
Checking the Air Outside [Bp. Zubik's follow up to Obama's “To Hell with You”]
Mohler [Southern Baptist] Says Insurance Mandate Not Just 'Catholic' Issue
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Concerning Recent Tyranny (With Pictures!)
Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Bishop David Zubik confronts Obama
Obama’s ‘war on the church’

Pope hits out at 'radical secularism'
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
Bruskewitz: Fight Insurance Ruling [Sebelius a "bitter, fallen away Catholic"]
Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
Liberty for the Amish & Quakers but not Catholics. . .
Contraception mandate prompts Peoria bishop to instate St. Michael Prayer (Catholic Caucus)
Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict
Speak honestly: abortion is ‘the killing of tiny human beings in the womb’ – Denver bishop
Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For ‘Assertive Action’ to Defend Church
(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say

6 posted on 02/13/2012 8:26:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: norton

I don’t think we will lose either the battle or the war. This is a Constitutional matter. Freedoms can not be taken away this way.

7 posted on 02/13/2012 8:27:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ConorMacNessa; JPG; Graewoulf; VinceASA; Monkey Face; RIghtwardHo; pieces of time; Warthog-2; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

8 posted on 02/13/2012 8:29:54 PM PST by narses
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To: ConorMacNessa

Glad to see Cardinal Wuerl step up to the plate!

9 posted on 02/13/2012 10:41:39 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: bigbob
You are correct, the single fact that must be pounded over and over is "Attack on religious liberty"

There are a number of protestants on this list that are rubbing their collective hands in glee over this assault on the Catholic Church, not realizing that they are next in line.

10 posted on 02/14/2012 2:32:13 AM PST by verga (Party like it is 1773)
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