The following comes from a May 23 blog posting on the website of the Washington Post.

One day after a group of bishops sued the Obama administration over a mandate for employers to provide contraception coverage, a California bishop says he and some other bishops are worried that the church’s campaign against the mandate is becoming too political and could hurt the Catholic Church.

Bishop Stephen Blaire, of Stockton, Calif., said in an article in America, a left-leaning magazine published by the Jesuits, that a wider range of views need to be heard when the bishops meet next month in Atlanta. Said Blaire:

“The question is what is our focus as bishops and that we have opportunity to clarify our focus and that we are all in agreement.

I think there are different groups that are trying to co-opt [the mandate debate] and make it into a political issue, and that’s why we need to have a deeper discussion as bishops.”

The article added that Blaire is “worried that some groups ’very far to the right’ are trying to use the conflict as ‘an anti-Obama campaign.’”

Thus far leading bishops have attempted to present a united front in their campaign against what they call a government assault on religious liberty. Church culture frowns on “brother bishops” criticizing one another, so it’s been hard to glean what the real range of views are. Thirteen of the country’s 195 dioceses were involved in the lawsuits filed Monday, as well as some prominent universities from across the Catholic spectrum.

Several key leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Cardinal Tim Dolan of New York and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, have made the religious liberty issues their top current priority. They have focused heavily on the mandate, which requires most employers to provide coverage of reproductive services, whether directly or by requiring their insurance companies to do so.

“The Catholic Church has not picked this fight,” Wuerl wrote in an op-ed for Wednesday’s Washington Post. “We are simply trying to defend our — and other faith groups’ — long-standing rights. While the administration wants to regulate religion, we are not trying to force anything on anyone.”

It’s unclear how far dissent over this issue will go. A recent editorial in archdiocese’s newspaper, criticized America magazine for not focusing enough on traditional marriage and not hewing more closely to priorities of the bishops’ conference.

To read original blog, Click here.



Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 5:03 AM By Juergensen
Bishop Blaire is “worried that some groups ‘very far to the right’ are trying to use the conflict as ‘an anti-Obama campaign'” ~ Don’t worry, Your Excellency, no one in their right mind thinks your USCCB is “anti-Obama”.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 5:53 AM By MIKE
Bishop Blaire has not done a great job in CA (along with some other CA Bishops). CA has more pro-abortion politicians, pro-gay marriage politicians, polticians who support relativism (no right and wrong), politicians who waste taxpayer dollars making it impossible to pay State debt load (CCC 2411); – – – than any other State in the USA. When the CA Bishops have a State with moral results they can point to – – – then they can make recommendations to others. Until then, they need to mind their own Diocese. The leftist Bishops in CA have dominated far too long and look at the mess we are in. Elected politicians determine the legal morality of the USA, along with Judges they appoint. Blaire has no knowledge of how this Country works, or merely wants the immoral anti-Catholic Socialists to remain in control.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 6:01 AM By Fritz
The bishops slept thru Roe vs Wade. Now some of them want to pull a compromise with evil as in radfical muslim and communism AKA OBAMA and friends

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:02 AM By Gordon Campbell
The Jesuits as WELL as dissident nuns should have been investigated by the Pope and his emmissaries and disciplined or suppressed.I’m so tired of these dyed in the wool Leftists who place politics ABOVE Christ.I was taught by them in High School and a more rigid unbending and YES I will say it- disdainful,haughty, proud group of men I have NEVER met. I am bitter about the experience as it was ONE factor that caused me to simply walk away from the Body of Christ for 20 years until my son was born and I had the epiphany of reconversion and stumbling back into my Father’s arms Who was waiting for me in the road.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:33 AM By Bud 
California bishop says he and some other bishops are worried that the church’s campaign against the mandate is becoming too political and could hurt the Catholic Church???? It should become political to the extent of who we support in the election. Why wouldn’t it? Pardon me, but I am getting sick and tired of both impotent fauning bishops as well as politicians in California! Worse yet, their drivel is appearing in the “Jesuit” publication. Sorry they are wrong and should be backing their brother bishops. How much longer do they want to sit arouind and talk about it???? Where have they been? Buying Chrystal Cathedrals and accepting the insults of Holy Redeemer Church????? Baloney.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 8:49 AM By Catherine
Your Excellency, Bishop Stephen Blair, You are compromising the Catholic faith. Please read the messages of Our Lady of Akita. With all due respect and love for you as a leading shepherd, it is not the duty and responsibility of the faithful to convince you that your are compromising the faith. It is the responsibility and the duty of the faithful to tell you that you are compromising the faith. Our Lady of Akita wept at the thought of such compromise. Your Excellency, Is it your desire to be a source of such sorrow? Our Lady of Akita has asked the faithful to “Pray for our Pope, our Cardinals and our Bishops and our priests” – On October 13th the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Our Lady of Akita warned the entire world with these words, “The work of the devil will even infiltrate into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. We are praying the rosary for all of our Cardinals and our Bishops and our priests to listen to Our Lady of Akita and to listen to Pope Benedict XVI the Vicar of Christ on earth and become holy.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:05 AM By Life Lady
Consider the source of the original statements made by Bishop Blaire and you will find those wolves in sheep’s clothing (the CA Jesuits) salivating and wringing their taloned hands at the chaos they create thru that rag “America”. People, think about that, and be at Peace. The Good Lord Jesus will take into consideration everything that is happening. Our job is to be faithful, and to trust in God. We can pray for our bishops before their meeting, and pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten them all in their conference, so, let us all start our novenas for them. The battle continues, and our weapons remain the same, the rosary, and holy Mass. Pax Vobis.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:05 AM By JLS
The Jesuits may be the intellectual powerhouse of the bishops, but that intellectual prowess is blowing three sheets to the wind.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:28 AM By Sandra
Jesus said “you are either with me or against me”. We need to circle the wagons with those of us who are totally in line with the magisterium of Our One and Holy Catholic Church and push back on all dissenters. All are welcome to represent Him who obey and trust in the Lord.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:40 AM By Thomas
“Your Excellency, Bishop Stephen Blair, You are compromising the Catholic faith. Please read the messages of Our Lady of Akita.” AKITA? Isn’t that some Japanese breed of dog? Or is it now dogma? It’s amazing to me how some Catholics quote alleged apparitions to make their points……ANYBODY can claim to have an apparition.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 10:25 AM By Debbie
When good men do nothing, nothing gets done. Other Diocese do not need to consult CA Bishops. What kind of control is Blaine pushing? Is this ploy by Bishop Blaine similar to the ploy by Cardinal Bernardin which resulted in the acceptance of more abortions in the US and helped to push Socialist and Liberation Theology (covetousness and hatred) in the USA? The reason CA Bishops keep losing in Court is because they don’t teach the entire truth about the Faith. Take care of your own Diocese Bishop Blaine – for your first and main duty. When that is obviously successful we will turn to you for advice – but not until then.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 10:33 AM By Alexandra
Compromising with Obama is compromising with evil. And since he knows how government works and holds the power – he will always decieve you. Bishops should know that they can never trust the devil. He has already lied to them. Obama already signed the HHS mandate into law. You do not compromise afterwards. CCC – “1759 An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention” (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas,).

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:07 AM By Gordon Campbell
WONDERFUL post,Catherine.Thank you.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:23 PM By Delilah 
There is no right or left in religion, those are political terms. You are either orthodox or heterodox. Those who support Obama are definitely NOT orthodox.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:41 PM By Anna
Perhaps the good Bishop should spend more time praying than speaking. The Church is not being co-opt by the right, it has been taken over by the left. Try following God instead. You might find it refreshing.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:49 PM By JLS
Akita refers to the apparition of Our Lady, Blessed Mary Ever Virgin. It is a Church authenticated apparition. Like all authentic apparitions there is nothing in it that conflicts or contradicts Catholic teaching. There is no new revelation in any authentic apparition, because all revelation from God concluded with the last Apostle. Even the apparations at Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima contain no new divine revelation. You can read the “master plan” which covers it all in, mainly, the Book of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation). The apparitions relate current and/or coming events in a more concrete manner … they point our eyes to see beneath the surface and the deceptions we run into on sometimes daily bases. So, Thomas, instead of proclaiming your ignorance, why don’t you get humble and study up on what Catholicism has always taught and continues to teach. The saints and doctors of the Church have provided way more in this respect than anyone can ever thoroughly read. But you do not have to read everything, because Catholicism boils down to being very simple, because we are made in the image and likeness of God, who is simple and not complex. He guides us from the complexity that came about at the Fall and into the simple light of Jesus Christ. Use faith and the reason you need will come to you both naturally and supernaturally.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:50 PM By JLS
Sandra, circling the wagons flies in the face of the Great Commission.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 5:37 PM By Nani
Thomas, I’m not sure where your anger originates from, but I do pray for your tortured soul. “APRIL, 1984 — Most. Rev. John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata, Japan, after years of extensive investigation, declares the events of Akita, Japan to be of supernatural origin, and authorizes throughout the entire diocese the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita.”

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:09 PM By Thomas
@ Nani, well, I’m glad I don’t live in that diocese, then, because I find it silly to quote alleged apparitions when dealing with real life problems, or with theology.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 8:08 PM By JLS
What I’m trying to say, Sandra, is that “circling the wagons” is a strange thing to say on the day after Pentacost, when the apostles came out from their hiding places and began the evangelization of the world. It cannot be done from inside a “peace circle” (especially the first one that shows up when googled).

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 7:36 AM By Sursum Corda
Gordon Campbell’s penetrating remark hit home for me. I too had a long association educationally and otherwise with the US Jesuits, and excepting some very hold (but usually marginalized and exiled) individual Jesuits, who were evicted from high school or university work for their Catholic beliefs, most of the Jesuits in leadership and closely supporting roles are much like your description, Mr Campbell. It is a deep sadness to observe them, because so many of them are very unhappy, empty, and often border on the paranoid out of fear that they will lose their positions of authority and influence—often to another Jesuit. We have to pray for them that they have the experience of conversion, such as Mr Campbell, through the gift of your child, you came to experience and discover. God bless you and your family.

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 7:52 AM By Ted
Look at the voting profiles in California, and you’ll see that Catholics there lack leadership. It’s especially true in the San Francisco and Los Angeles archdioceses.

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 9:03 AM By impossible
In the early 1900’s the precursor of the USCCB was formed to jump on the progressivist bandwagon. The political mess we are in is largely attributable to the Bishops placing their trust in socialism instead of reading the Encyclicals with honesty and integrity. They read encyclicals like Democrat socialists read the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. This combination of cafeteria-Americans and cafeteria-Catholics has been our downfall. Anti-Obama? We better bet our Nation’s life on the need to defeat Obama in November.

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:31 AM By Sandra
Amen JLS. Did you read my entire post? Not everyone can write as eloquently as you–but I think my point is there.

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:52 PM By JLS
I did read your excellent post, Sandra. I did not really mean to criticize it. My alleged eloquence failed, in that I was only trying to pick on the part about circling the wagons. I have not yet seen a good thread of argument on this idea, and keep trying to bring it up. Even though I imply otherwise, there is a time and place for circling the wagons. I’m simply trying to convey that the Church has sufficient influence today to aggressively evangelize instead of run for the hills. It’s a version of “Damn the torpedos, and full steam ahead” (John Paul Jones, Commodore Perry, Admiral Farragut, General GPT Beauregard, Stonewall Jackson, Hannibal, George C. Scott, George Washington, General Custer, Sitting Bull, the Tennesee Rifles, Johnny Horton, Annie Oakley, Lord Cardigan, Billie Bob “Bonzai” Throckmorton, and many more not to mention John Wayne).

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:54 PM By JLS
Thomas, why are you mocking God, in your implication that His grace is not sufficient for you, and that yours is sufficient for Him?

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:04 PM By Mark from PA
Except for here, I have never heard of Our Lady of Akita. I know of several people who have been to Medjugorje and were inspired by that but never knew of anyone going to Akita. This place isn’t really known here. I don’t think Catholics have to believe in the apparitions of Akita and Medjugorje, it is up to the person if they want to believe in such things.

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:01 PM By Dana
My pastor gave us this web address in this week’s newsletter… Maybe you’re all familiar with it? It has everything you want to know on your bishops, diocese etc. Also, there were some wonderful posts here…especially Catherine, Gordon and Sursum. I find it interesting how we all respond to Our Lady in such varied ways…my old pastor goes to Lourdes every year as a volunteer priest, and Richard Ritchee is so ardent in his love for Our Lady of Fatima, and Catherine with Our Lady of Akita, and many of us it’s Our Lady of Guadalupe…so many titles but all are just one person…our sweet loving mother. She meets us where we are and helps us in our baby steps of faith to meet her son and on to the Father. Also, in the family, I’m reading a book by Frank Sheed right now called ‘Theology and Sanity’ and it’s bringing me great comfort in this growing horror that is unfolding before our eyes, every day some new shock, some scandal or attack on the Vatican, and on us. If you’re not too busy, this is such spiritual nourishment. I confess I love hearing beautiful, wonderful praise about how holy and huge and absolutely fabulous our God is!!! And it is such a treat to have someone show irrefutably how it’s insane not to believe in Him!