The following statement by Bishop Blaire was posted on the Diocese of Stockton’s website on May 24.

I wish to clarify some misunderstandings related to my comments about the HHS Mandate.

First of all, I stand solidly with my brother bishops in our common resolve to overturn the unacceptable intrusion of government into the life of the Church by the HHS Mandate. In March, the Administrative Committee issued a statement of commitment to persuade the Administration to eliminate this interference, the Congress to overturn it or the courts to stop it. I contributed to and voted for this statement, and continue to support it, including its call for legal action as was announced on Monday.

The fundamental issue is the freedom of the Church to carry out her mission as given by Christ. Religious Freedom protects the right of the Church to define herself and her ministries. It is totally unacceptable to have the federal government decide that our religious ministries are not “religious.” The continuing effort of the government to intrude itself by re-defining Catholic ministries as somehow less religious or less Catholic because they employ or serve those without regard to their creed is unjust and a violation of religious liberty. The government should not intrude itself in forcing the Church and her institutions to violate her long standing teaching to provide essential health care to her employees.

From my perspective, the recent legal challenges by dioceses and Catholic entities throughout the United States, as well as discussions with the Administration, and the advocacy of Congress, all have one essential goal: to defend the right of the Church to define herself and to preserve the identity and integrity of the Catholic ministries exercised through her institutions.

I am convinced we need to continue to seek to persuade others to join us in this just cause through reasoned, civil and respectful discussion. Our defense of religious liberty is advanced when there is open discussion about the best strategies to promote our common goal.

I look forward to the discussions at the Bishops’ meeting in June which will offer us an opportunity to agree on next steps to achieve our common and essential goal of ending this violation of religious freedom.

“The freedom of the church is the fundamental principle governing relations between the church and public authorities and the whole civil order.” (The declaration on religious liberty, 13, Second Vatican Council)



Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 12:59 AM By Harry
Bishop Blaire is concerned that some ‘very far right’ groups (who are they?) will use the Obama administration’s HHS blunder to defeat Obama in November. They will indeed, as well they should. Obama’s heavy handed action certainly raises grave doubts and fears regarding his fitness for high office, and he must be judged by his actions. Also dialog and discussion etc., is of no avail with this administration. The people involved with Obama are virulent anti-Catholic bigots, who have no interest in negotiating in good Faith. They are motivated by an aversion to Christianity and their m.o. is deception. The Church must pursue legal and political paths to combat them. If bishop Blaire had been as vigilant when the administration co-opted the liberal elements of the Church (remember Doug Kmeic and Catholic Health Care) in its efforts to pass Obama care, in opposition to the bishops, we might not now have to worry about the right co-opting the Church to oust Obama.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 5:09 AM By Juergensen
“reasoned, civil and respectful discussion” ~ You know, like what the bishops have undertaken with all those abortionist “Catholic” politicians. It’s really worked wonders there, hasn’t it?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 5:36 AM By Robert Bushlow
For the time being, perhaps the USCCB could request that Bishop Blair, or any Bishop or Shepard of The Church, to refrain from making comments which could cause or be perceived as causing damage to the solidarity of the Bishops and Clergy on this most important issue of Freedom of The Church from Government intrusion.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 6:16 AM By Dan
Sounds as if Bishop Blaire got a spanking from Archbishop Dolan.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 6:23 AM By OSCAR
Too bad this CA Bishop opened his mouth in the first place. The liberal press will not print or acknowledge his retraction/clarification. – But then perhaps Bishop Blaire knew this ? Now he has an obligation to work doubly hard to insure that Catholics in his CA Diocese do not vote for pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-Consititutional (against freedom of religion) politicians – at Federal, State and Local levels of government. He also needs to teach commutative justice per the CCC.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 6:50 AM By David
So when does Blaire turn 75 for forced retirement? Based on job performance, he needs to keep his mouth shut, teach the people in his Diocese to read the CCC, and not judge other Bishops in the USA. Just what does he think the Gospels support – – abortion, gay marriage, class warfare, and not paying debts? Does he not think elected politicans drive this Country? CCC – “2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible. This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.” If one is not against Obama, they are FOR Obama. This Bishop fools no one.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:06 AM By Nan
If Bishop Blaire had only spoken about “FREEDOM of RELIGION” to the Press, he would not have been able to have been this badly misquoted. He should direct all inquires about the law suits to each Diocese or Organization that filed the suit. It is very prideful to think he is an expert and knows everything about other Bishops business. The Bishop can not have it both ways. Either he is for or against Obama and like politicians.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:15 AM By Fred
Just who does the good bishop Blaire think is responsible for this attack on the Church? Is it the Obama he supports, or is it aliens from outer space? Too bad that Blaire is so blinded by his long-term support for Dems that he can no longer distinguish right from wrong. It is often better to keep silence so that others only think you a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:17 AM By Bob One
Thanks to the editors for a well done series of articles on the religious freedom issue. This may be the most important issue of our time as a nation. The issue is not about contraception and the church will lose the fight if we make it about that. This is about religious freedom like we have never seen in this country since its founding. It is important that we define what is a Catholic ministry and not the government. That is a basic right. It is also a right that has been taken away from us in California where the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that our basic institutions; hospitals, charities, etc.were not religious institutions and therefore must provide insurance that includes coverage for contraceptivie medicines. We, all of us, need to keep our eye on the religious issue and not muddy the water with other issues dear to our hearts.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:37 AM By Bud 
Where have you been Bishop Blaire? Your cat is out of the bag now! The press just loves this. Quoting Vatican II just irritates me all the more since the objective long preceeded the council.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 7:49 AM By Andrea
Someone needs to remind Bishop Blaire that he can not unring a bell. He is doing great damage. Further as long as they are in accord with the CCC, Bishop Blaire and the USCCB have no authority to tell other US Bishops what they should and should not do within their own Diocese. HIs agreement is not required of other Bishops. Seems he has much work to do within his own Diocese – unless all Catholics are faithful to the CCC in full. Apparently this Bishop supports Obama’s relection. Either you support him or do not based upon his public record, public statements, and public actions. You can not have it both ways. Also read “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger on the internet.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 8:04 AM By grampsc
When will the clarification of the clarification be issued?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 8:17 AM By Dottie
So Bishop Blaire is going to try to influence all other US Diocese and Catholic Organizations (last paragraph above)? What happened to the sin of PRIDE? Has he read all 43 case filings, and if not is he declaring himself to be a Sharnak (mind reader) like Johnny Carson?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:16 AM By JLS
Bob One, champion of contraception, you need to realize that ideas do not exist without substance. You cannot have freedom for the Church without the substance of Her content, namely that She absolutely opposes contraception. Did you study religion under someone from the Vichy France regime?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:20 AM By JLS
As soon as there is an outcome, Bp Blaire will claim credit for it … no matter what it is. Some people vote for whom they think will win. It makes them feel good, just like they did in their high school days.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:25 AM By Life Lady
Okay, I am holding my breath and waiting for the Jesuits to publish this statement in their rag, America. Services are scheduled for Wednesday, St. Anne’s in San Diego, interment at Holy Cross immediately following.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:30 AM By CATHOLIC VOTER
It is ultimately the CA Bishops fault that they lost law suits recently in CA due to rotten Judges. Blaire needs to be told that because he and several other CA Bishops have done such a rotten job of catechesis, rotten Politicians get elected, rotten laws get passed, and rotten Judges get appointed and elected. Catholics should never vote for Politicians who support immoral lifestyles – and this gets back to catechesis. Bishops can not neglect Catholic teaching over time which INCLUDES Catholic VOTING – and then expect new and different results in Court at the last minute.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:32 AM By rosaryfixer
It is evident that Catholics have fallen down on the job. We have failed to pray and fast for our bishops, on a daily basis. We get the bishops we pray for-and that means the ones we presently have. It would be interesting to hear what other Christians do for their ministers. From what I’ve heard on some of their programs, they keep their ministers at the front of their list of people to pray for. Maybe we should do the same…Satan loves to bring down a priest or bishop to scandalize the Faithful and end his ministry of Word and Sacrament. One less to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to hear our Confessions, etc. etc.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:33 AM By Prof.Helen
Bishops should aspire to be Holy men not businessmen nor God forbid politicians. Cal evil EVIL even when it’s wearing a Democrat label. Otherwise risk confusing the lambs.”It’s a wollf RUN.”

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:48 AM By JoeCee
Can’t Bishop Blaire exercise his own “freedom of conscience” and speak his mind? Doesn’t Blair have a right to express his beliefs? I hope he does not cave into the slavery of his “brother bishops'” anti Obama campaign. We need a balancing voice in the USCCB and especially California’s CCCB.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 9:53 AM By Richard
While I agree with the basic positions of the bishops on the HHS mandates. I also agree that the administration (Obama) has been ill advised by Kathleen Sibelius on this issue. However, the lawsuits are at this time premature. A lot of political discourse and compromise still has to occur. When that does the lawsuits will probably be unnecessary. Bishop Blaire was correct when he stated: “I am convinced we need to continue to seek to persuade others to join us in this just cause through reasoned, civil and respectful discussion.” I am saddened that some of the comments here are not so.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 10:05 AM By Juergensen
Notice how the USCCB never “misspeaks” in a manner favorable to orthodoxy?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:08 AM By lisag
Some Bishops don’t get it. Obama policies have increased unemployment, California democratic controlled government has increased unemployment and sent many to other states where policies are less punitive. Where do Bishops thinks their donations come from? If Americans including Californians are not working and our governments are going broke, what will happen. If the push is for universal healthcare, unlimited programs for all immigrants, and nothing can be cut, how long before it all blows up? Why can’t the Catholic Church be against politicians who work against the family, the Church, and foolishly spend money?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:10 AM By JLS
There is such an amazing difference in quality between the writings of bishop saints in contrast to the drivel that comes from most of today’s bishops.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:16 AM By Catherine
California Catholic Daily should be greatly commended for providing the faithful with this well done series of articles. Rome knows how bad it is and they are waiting for the laity to speak up. This series of articles has provided a forum for the laity to speak up and the response has been excellent. Pope Benedict XVI has asked our shepherds to become holy. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my Commandments,” Jesus did not say to St. John the Baptist, “Stop criticizing Herod for marrying Herodius, we do not want to come across as anti-Herod.” California Catholic Daily, May God bless you for your excellent perseverance in bringing the truth to the faithful. “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and trodden on by men.” Matthew 5:13 Douay-Rheims Bible

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:25 AM By Just sayin’
Sounds like somebody made Bishop Blaire make this statement. That would be a good sign. But didn’t Bill Donohue of the Catholic League say on TV recently that he knows the bishops and most of them are Democrats? Let’s pray, and let’s lobby, against anything that liberal bishops and Obama might pull to give BHO the Catholic vote Nov. 6.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:43 AM By 4unborn
Bishop Blaire, proclaim that Catholics cannot and will not obey the HHS mandate!!

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 11:58 AM By JLS
The Pope has called the bishops to holiness, and a chief Vatican cardinal has called them to get off their administration ponies in order to achieve this episcopal holiness. Holiness is what one expresses in action and word which stems from their beatific condition: the more beatitudinal one is, the more one’s acts and words reflect the holiness which is God’s. The Pope is thus telling the bishops to reflect God and not the futility of man without God … and obviously for good reason is the Pope saying it to all the world … a public motivational speech directed to the bishops with the whole world watching to see what happens. Has anyone heard even a peep from even one bishop in response to this call from the Pope?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:23 PM By Maggie
rosaryfixer, yes we must all pray for our Bishops and Priests. But we are also called to admonish sinners – even if it is one or more of them. Faithful Bishops need to remove ‘blind’ Bishops such as Blaire from USCCB Committees so that his recommendations do not assume Obama or Obama’s minions will keep their word – Satan will love that. Already Catholic adoption agencies under the strong arm of Obama and his followers have had to close. All talk and no action is a reciepe for another Nazi type persecution. Let Blaire do as he sees fit in his own Diocese only.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:44 PM By Anna
We did not misunderstand what you said. We heard you loud and clear. You clearly do not understand the faithful will not stand by and let you continue to co-opt the Church to the left. We follow God. And we can only follow a morally correct formed conscience. What happened to yours, Bishop Blaire?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 1:53 PM By tom byrne
I read recently that California bishops have avoided lawsuits to keep the infamously leftist Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from from gumming up the nationwide campaign against the HHS mandate. Is that true? Is it wise policy?

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 2:46 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
9:33 AM By Prof.Helen Hi professor Hitchcock, remember me from HLI Conference days? As a former Republican Officer, I think your statement should have been “Cal evil EVIL even when it’s wearing a Democrat or Republican label.” I saw and fought plenty of EVIL in the GOP! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 2:49 PM By John Feeney
Richard, compromise is the scourge of truth.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 2:51 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
11:10 AM By JLS, You just wrote a mouthful, especially when you compare the writings of Bishop St. Athanasius the Great with most of their drivel. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M.. Fisher

Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 8:36 PM By Cody in Tucson
When I heard the Bishop Blaire story late last week I said to my wife “I’ll bet Cal Cath will have something on this Monday morning”. YOU HAVE EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS!

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 9:26 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Kenneth, you saw plenty of evil in the GOP? I’m you realize that evil is everywhere around us, even, I hate to say it, in our beloved Catholic Church. Temptation is everywhere, and evil abounds most especially among the powerful, the political, the privileged. But grace abounds as well, and it is our job as children of God to seek always the good. Sometimes we must seek the lesser evil, a recurring challenge when we exercise our rights as American citizens and join a political party. Once in a very rare while, there are points to be made on both political sides of the aisle. Were you to have known Democratic politicians as I have known over the years, I fear you might be shocked back into the Republican party. Some of the finest, most honorable people I’ve known in my life are active in the Republican party, some serving in Congress at this moment. Check out Tom McClintock, for example, whom I’ve known since he was a child. Many others come to mind. There is a huge difference in the ethics and standards of the two parties and what they stand for, as well as the people who are drawn to them. Our democracy will become a demoncracy if our fellow Americans keep falling for slick politicians who talk purty but lack character, which ultimately means they lack the ability to lead our nation well.

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:43 AM By Victor M. Fierro
Our Lady of Guadalupe be with us as you were with the CRISTEROS.

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:30 AM By max
all this quibbling about whether the democrats or the republicans represent GOD better is tiresome. let’s all move to vatican city, where it’s a theocracy and no problems exist at all…except the banking thing…and the butler who just got arrested…and the swiss guard who murdfered the other one…and…

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:01 PM By John F. Maguire
The fundamental issue here is the Apostolic Liberty of the Catholic Church — in Bishop Stephen Blaire’s words, “the freedom of the Church to carry out her mission as given by Christ.” This mission, we know, includes the promulgation of Catholic social doctrine in all its aspects, not least in its aspect as the true measure of ideological errors, be they errors of the right, the center, or the left. Happily, there is no Catholic Bishop in the United States who does not recognize this ideology-critical function of Catholic social teaching. Indeed, from within the horizon of this common doctrinal commitment, the Catholic episcopate works to assist the laity in serving the common good of persons and institutions. This same common good, I submit, can only be cognized by the exercise of right reason, which is why rejection of the norm of right reason is symptomatic of right-deviationist websites no less than left-deviationist websites.

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 6:29 PM By Rose
Hugh from Bavaria. You are absolutely correct re Bishop Blaire. I live in the Stockton Diocese and know Blaire’s positions well. He has never publicly stated a view of anti gay marriage, anti homosexuality, anti abortion, etc. It is important that all you bloggers know where Blaire is coming from so you can fully appreciate the damage caused by Blaire.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:44 AM By Dan
“Can’t Bishop Blaire exercise his own “freedom of conscience” and speak his mind? Doesn’t Blair have a right to express his beliefs?” JoeCee, if and when they undermine the efforts of other bishops in the defense of the faith, the answer is simply, NO. His job is to teach and defend the faith, and that’s it. Some bishops teach and defend the faith with courage in the face of great adversity. Others cower at the thought of taking on those who threaten the Church’s life and ministry. It is up to the strong bishops to assist the weak in such critical times, and I have a feeling Bishop Blaire was given such assistance. I am glad for his apparent change of heart, and hope he finds his courage this June.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:34 AM By DAVE
No Cardinal or Bishop should speak publically unless it is 100% in accord with Church teaching. His first obligation is to teach everything in the CCC within his own Diocese. Thank you ROSE May 29, 2012 6:29 PM for sharing your first hand experience regarding Bishop Blaire. It might help if you write to the US Papal Nuncio in Washington DC regarding his lack of teaching the true faith. This helps in not promoting bad Bishops to Cardinal, and helps them determine not to extend bad Bishops past age 75.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:34 AM By Rick DeLano
All I know is that if Barack Obama is re-elected then same sex marriage will be imposed on this nation, and all necessary legal predicates for persecution of Christians will be in place. See Canada and the UK for an advance peek.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:48 AM By MIKE
Maquire – I agree with your post of May 29, 2012 12:01 PM. That is why in its wisdom the Catholic Church has given us the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” – in order that we may all know the truth of our Faith without human error, which can be accidental or on purpose. It’s too bad that many US Bishops do not actively promote the reading of the CCC. All Catholics must adhere to the CCC including but not limited to Bishops, Priests and Nuns. The Catholic Faith is not right or left when following the CCC. Catholics are not right or left but – Catholic, or Catholic heretics, or Catholic Schismatics.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:03 AM By Juergensen
Maguire: Unlike in your Democratic political world, there is no “right, center, and left” in the Catholic Church. The Church is not a political institution whose power resides with the people; it is a divinely established hierarchical institution whose power and Truths derive from God and whose members are either of two types: they accept the teachings of the Church and are in Communion with it; or, they don’t accept teachings of the Church and post banalities on the Internet trying to mislead Catholics into voting for Obama again.

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:46 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
9:26 AM By Maryanne Leonard, Your above comments make no sense to me at all. Of course I have known outstanding Democrats and Republicans. Congressman Doyle who gave me my political start when he asked me to go the California Young Democrats Convention to fight the Communist efforts to take over that Party was one, Congressman Bill Danneymeyer was another, and yes Cong. Tom McClintock is another, and their are many others in the GOP; however I cannot think of anyone currently in leadership in the Democrat Party that I could recommend. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:52 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
12:01 PM By John F. Maguire, Far too many of the bishops give lip service to “the ideology-critical function of Catholic social teaching”! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:39 PM By JLS
Maguire, the Pope told the bishops to get holy; he did not tell them to get more mind boggling.

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:35 PM By John F. Maguire
(1) Left, right, and center are relative terms — every major political party can be analyzed, however inadequately, by some kind of rough-and-ready reference to such terms. I say “analyzed inadequately” advisedly: Catholic social doctrine is the true measure of all ideologies, be these ideologies left, right, or center. In this same connection and by the same token, Catholic social doctrine is the true measure of all politically oriented WEBSITES, be these websites tendentially left, right, or center. So no, Mr. Juergensen, in this thread what I’ve emphasized as crucial — namely, the ideology-critical function of Catholic social teaching — is crucial indeed, that is, from the point of view of the securing and developing the common good of persons and institutions. Catholic social teaching then is the means — the only effective means — of disclosing the truth about ideologies and their obfuscations. (2) In other threads, Mr. Juergensen, I’ve defended the Catholic tradition on voting ethics as supra-partisan — supra-partisan for the good, the evident, and the solid reason that the Church of the Word Incarnate is essentially SUPRA-POLITICAL.

Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 3:07 PM By Abeca Christian
Rick Delano I agree