California bishops ask faithful to contact White House over ‘contraception mandate’

The California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, has posted the following “Action Alert” on its website:

President Obama’s new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate will force Catholic organizations to violate their beliefs by forcing them to pay for contraception coverage. The mandate is an affront to religious freedom and undermines the efforts of compassionate, faithful people who provide services to everyone – regardless of their faith.

In an unprecedented move, HHS has mandated that all employers provide free contraception and sterilization in their health care plans. People of faith asked to be exempt from the regulation — as they most often are — because the rule is a violation of our conscience. In what was termed as a “balanced response” to these concerns, HHS’s regulations instead narrowly defined a religious employer as one than serves only people of the same faith for the purpose of teaching values.

This does not make any sense.

Under this rule, Catholic hospitals – who serve one in six patients in this nation – are no longer considered to be religious employers because they treat people who are not Catholic. The thousands of dedicated people who serve the poor in our Catholic Charities agencies are judged to no longer work for a religious employer. Teachers in our Catholic schools, who serve all faiths, will no longer be considered to be working for a religious employer.

By its actions, the Administration declares that free contraception is more important than religious freedom — a value that pre-dates the formation of the United States — and is so important that is enshrined in our constitution as the First Amendment.

Please tell President Obama that this is unacceptable, unnecessary and inconsistent with his repeated pledge to respect religious freedom in the health care law and other aspects of governance.

The California Catholic Conference offered the following suggested text for emails to the president:

“Your redefinition of religious employer is totally unnecessary. It insults the thousands of Catholics and religious individuals who, out of the conviction of their faith, serve the ill, the poor and the stranger. The new contraception mandate, by describing a religious employer as one who only serves people of the same faith, disenfranchises the doctors and nurses who – by choice and because of their faith – work in Catholic hospitals, the teachers in our Catholic schools, the dedicated servants of the poor in our Catholic Charities and thousands of others from many faiths who selflessly serve all in need.”

To go to the bishops’ website in order to send a message to the White House, Click Here.


Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 2:24 AM By sync
the bible says the sex and abortions will be the cause of the apocalypse. it is called the tree of good and bad. sex is forbidden, yet humans are always getting pregnant and aborting. that is why in heaven. there will be no more sex and therefore no more sin. that is what president obama and pope benedict is talking about. the holy see has sanctioned condoms and has pardoned abortions. pious catholics, who are sit down christians, will oppose any change or the will of god. the initial catholic rule was made at a time when there were no children and we needed the birth of christ. but today we are facing overpopulation. when will the christians ever listen to god or recognise his messenger of peace, president obama. i am sure that president obama, with all his efforts, sacrifices and bravery will earn eternal life and not those who claim to be pious. amen.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:11 AM By Bonnie de Rutte
Every Catholic needs to do this.If we don,t fight this threat to our religious freedom It will be the beginning of religious persecution like we have never seen in our lifetime in our country.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:21 AM By JLS
Maybe this govt move will precipitate a clear view of the schism.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:33 AM By Sandra
Every Catholic, every Christian, every American should push back and push back hard!

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:34 AM By Ed
Obama’s objective is clear; to eliminate and destroy all Catholic charitable organizations, to include schools, hospitals, etc. He wants these services provided only by the government. Private charities (religious supported or otherwise) provide services more effectively and at less expense than government does. These organizations are a huge embarrassment to Obama’s socialist agenda; therefore, they must be eliminated. The HHS rules are just a means to an end.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 6:15 AM By MIKE
The letter left out abortifacts and voluntary sterilization. This including Obama’s REPEAL of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” is a full out assault on the BIBLE – and the religions of Christians as well as Jews. The USCCB web site is better than the CA Bishops’ web site. Go to the USCCB web site and click on “URGENT ACTION ALERT”.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 6:29 AM By MIKE
OBAMA’s mandate even effects EWTN and all Catholic radio and TV stations. – Any organization that has employees. This is an attempt to replace Christian and Jewish Faiths with the “FAITH of the GOVERNMENT”. After all, the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) contains hate speech against sinful lifestyles that Obama and most Democrats in Congress fully support; – this is the action if Obama and those of his ilk are re-elected.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:52 AM By JanJan
Do you think Muslim institutions would take this kind of government intervention without a fight?

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 8:51 AM By Anita
Why don’t we just vote him out. He wouldn’t even be President if so called Catholics didn’t vote for him. If people understood their faith they would know you can’t vote for a baby killing liberal. I have been saying this for years but the pro abortion catholics defend their position by referring to ‘social justice’. Pure nonsense.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:25 AM By JMJ
The USCCB needs to have a day of prayer, fasting, Adoration, rosaries, Divine Mercy Chaplets & Masses, at least one day a week, AT EVERY DISOCESE, until Obama is converted & he stops his evil of OBAMANISM that he has created.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:25 AM By JMJ
The USCCB needs to have a day of prayer, fasting, Adoration, rosaries, Divine Mercy Chaplets & Masses, at least one day a week, AT EVERY DISOCESE, until Obama is converted & he stops his evil of OBAMANISM that he has created, with the help of Hitler, etc.. SYNC: Just what bible are you talking about & where can we get a copy, just so we can burn it. Sex is forbidden? Only the misuse of sex: such as adultery, using birth control, homosexuality activites, sex with animals or any other creatures or any other things that one can come up with. Maybe Obama might not like sex as it takes away his time for his evil plots; but, just when did he come up with your input? He is talking about US paying for the sins of others, and our Popes never condemned sex, only the misuse of it and they NEVER allowed the use of condoms or the pill, etc.. There were no children at the time of the birth of Jesus? What kind of drugs are you doing? What about all of the young boys 2 years old or younger that were murdered the Obama of that time: Herod? Oh, not in your bible, makes sense, for you. Overpopulation? Where? Unless you are talking about fruit-cakes such as yourself. Yes, dictator Obama will get eternal life, but, if he doesn’t repent & get right with God, it will be with his father, the evil one in hell. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:33 AM By Rich Peterson
What the Govt. is doing, is CLEARLY a violation of the rights of Catholics, and other Christian groups, to practice their Constitutional Rights. Please stoop, Give us back our govt. How loudly do we have to cry our to be heard???

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:51 AM By Abeca Christian
Mr. President are we actually free to form our own conscience in this great Country of our’s or are we to bow down to yours alone. You are so Un-American and Un-Patriotic. I can’t afford to pay for my own children’s medical bills and our own dental high co-pays, yet you are forcing a contraception mandate. Most Folks who know how to abuse the system, get free birth control, fall deeper in spiritual slavery, yet the good hard working Americans can’t afford to take their kids to get a physical, they can make payments of course, but others are getting free birth control. How backyards are we? Wicked is the world that comes to mind! and for the record Mr. President, I am proud of my hard working husband, we may not be able to afford to use the current medical insurance we have, which is a joke if you ask me, since we end up paying most of it anyways, but at least I still have my faith, dignity and values, and you feel the need to take that away too. At least you are trying by your actions and how you are running this country!

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 11:47 AM By sam
125 Imans in 5 states have protested the govt action and threaten civil disobedience if they (govt) tries to impose their rules on faithful Muslims. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central American wrote a “Record of Protest Against Infringement of Religious Liberty by HHS. Let’s pray that all peoples join w/us in open and direct protest of this affront to every faith and to the Constitution assurance of Religious Liberty. For we are all in danger – in attacking the Catholic Church “O” and his regime have awakened a sleeping giant – just as when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The latter caused all peoples of all faiths to come together against an enemy recognized as a threat to our very existence as a people and a nation.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 3:28 PM By Peggy
Nice recommendations from the CCC for what “WE” should do. What are THEY doing? No letters being read in the SF Archdiocese. And what exactly has Archbishop Niederauer said about all this??

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 4:17 PM By Elizabeth
Peggy, AB Niederauer does have a letter….my only question is, will it be read from the pulpits this weekend at Mass?

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 4:45 PM By Janek
Look, 54% of Roman Catholics in America voted for this Marxist in the White House, this empty suite is totally destroying all that is moral and American. We were not allowed to ask anything about his past and anything else about him, the Leftwing mainstream media PROTECTED him to the hilt. He is neither a Muslim or Christian he is an atheist Marxist-Leninist as were his father, mother, grandfather and all his mentors and teachers in college. America voted for him and this is what they deserve, we who knew better i.e. Savage, Levin, Hannity, Ingram, warned us about what we were getting and this is it!!!

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:13 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Sam, 11:47 AM, Let us pray that the “Sleeping Giant” is not waking up too late! During the so called reformation, the worse persecutors of the Catholics were “Catholic” apostates such as Pelsoi, Biden, Kennedys, Roybal (her deceased father is buried as an “Honorary Life-Time Knight, this in spite of his horribly anti-Catholic voting record. He was buried by Abp. Mahony!), and far too many others. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:54 PM By JLS
What are the bishops doing, per implication in Peggy’s post? They seem to be handing over their crossiers to everyone they can, except faithful Catholics.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:58 PM By JLS
Is there a clause in the law mandating filing a report with the govt whenever you stick a bandaid on your kid’s knee?

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 6:11 PM By Gary
This is misrepresetational. Catholic organizations are not required to provide this service because they treat people of other faiths. They are required to because they employ people of other faiths. While it is certainly acceptable and appropriate to mandate employees of other faiths adhere to Catholic values in their professional lives, by refusing to allow this service to employees, Catholic organizations would be forcing employees to buy insurance out of pocket to gain access to a vital service. Employers cannot dictate their employee’s behavior in their private life and denying health services would certainly be a step in a dangerous direction.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:15 PM By Catherine
Peggy, Please see Father John Malloy’s website ‘A Shepherd’s Voice’ and you can read Archbishop Niederauer’s statement on Obama’s HHS Mandate. The statement was released yesterday Feb. 06, 2012.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:36 PM By Cody in Tucson
Peggy – Right on! The response from the Bishop of Tucson has been weak and mostly hidden. He has suggested that his latest ‘hidden’ comment could be used by pastors and if they so desired. I will wait for leadership from the bishop, in other words a strong, very public rebuke in which he condemns Barack Obama by name. Outside of that I will sit on my hands!

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:40 PM By MacDonald
@ Peggy — Archbishop Niederauer has issued a letter not only condemning the new rules, but specifically telling the faithful how they can email, write and call their local reps AND President Obama. It’s right on the archdiocesan website, and will also appear in all parish bulletins this weekend.

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:28 PM By k
Peggy, Archbishop Niederauer’s letter about this is on the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s website. It is dated February 6 so it may be read next week at Mass. He asks for you to contact your representative and the White House and to pray.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 6:33 AM By kaves1
Assuming the Supreme Court supports HHS (very ify) and HHS plan does gets implemented, then I would seriously consider openly withholding a portion of your Federal tax payment.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 6:35 AM By Sandra
michael – you put your great and glorified name to shame.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 10:19 AM By Sam
The other side of this conversation comes to this: St. John Chrysostom, once said “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. “Here’s proof that he was right. In an interview this week with Connecticut Magazine, Cardinal Edward Egan, withdrew his 2002 apology for the Church’s handling of the sex-abuse scandal, which was once read in all New York parishes. A decade after that letter, the former archbishop of New York, and former bishop of Bridgeport, now describes the handling of the priest-abuse crisis under his watch as “incredibly good.” He said of the letter, “I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.” “I never had one of these sex abuse cases.” he said, before adding pompously, “If you have another bishop in the United States who has the record I have, I’d be happy to know who he is.” He also claimed that the Church had no obligation to report abuse to the civil authorities.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 12:20 PM By Don
Don’t take tax payer money to run religious institutions. Is that so hard to understand. What is going on here is unconstitutional. Women in this country have equal rights and protection under the law.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 8:41 PM By Cody in Tucson
The USCCB website has the following posting – “The following U.S. bishops and apostolic administrators have posted statements on the unjust HHS Contraception/Sterilization Mandate and its infringement of conscience rights & religious liberty. N.b.: This alphabetical list is current as of February 6.” The Archbishop of San Francisco and the Bishop of Tucson DO NOT APPEAR ON THIS LIST!!!!!

Posted Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:09 AM By kaves1
Don, since when did use of tax paper dollars negate first amendment rights?

Posted Thursday, February 09, 2012 9:33 AM By Don
For those Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Congress members, clerics, educators, and other history revisionists attempt to indoctrinate Americans with the erroneous propaganda (1) that the Establishment Clause applies only to a state church, national religion, or official denomination and (2) that the Constitution allows financial support for “faith-based” charities, church schools, and other institutions of religion by force of government and involuntary taxation, you probably will not be persuaded even if James Madison were to rise from the dead in order to repeat his words to you, but here is one additional comment: “Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries . . . , there remains . . . a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government & Religion neither can be duly supported. . . . Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance” (James Madison, 1822, Writings, 9:101-102).

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 5:25 AM By kaves1
PA,Scripture predicts a coming apostate Church. I would not take any pride in those who accept homsexual activity or abortion – you may find yourself it this apostate Church.

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 5:34 AM By k
Cody from Tucson, Bishop Niederauer’s letter of February 6 is on the Diocese of San Francisco website. Bishop Kicanas of Tucson’s letter can be found on the Diocese of Tucson website under “Bishop’s monday memo” at the top of the homepage.

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 6:37 AM By JLS
Don, Madison may have eaten too many ergot rife potatoes when he wrote that fantasy. Do you really believe that God approves of an escape hatch for government to be free and clear of any religious influence, say by the Catholic Church?

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 6:42 AM By JLS
Gary, the Church is not ultimately going to grovel to Caesar at the expense of upsetting God. That is what the blood red skull caps worn by bishops symbolize.

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 8:05 AM By MIKE
Gary, you are incorrect. The Catholic Church hires people of different faiths, and serves people without asking them their Faiths if any. When people decide to work for a Catholic organization they know what they are doing – they are not stupid; and they know the rules of employment. The Obama mandate requires that to be exempt we can not serve people of various faiths. The word Charity means Love. Jesus taught us that we must love our neighbors. The highest and best love is to want them to get to Heaven for eternity. Catholics can not support sin – even if this sin is mandated by immoral government officials.

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 5:02 PM By Don
Although Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been leading the national fight against requiring Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and charities to cover birth control in their health insurance plans for employees and students, some Catholic institutions in his own diocese and others throughout New York State have for 10 years been complying with state law mandating precisely that coverage. New York is one of the 28 states that require insurance companies to cover contraception. Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemptions from that requirement, while California, New York and North Carolina have limited religious exemptions, identical to the limited exemptions the Obama administration proposed to put in place nationally.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 2:32 PM By BETH
The Catholic Church has no control over any Government. However no Government has the authority to tell Amercians that they sould violate their religious beliefs. Everyone should read not only the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article I, but also their own State’s Constitution. Most States include freedom of religion clauses. In 2001 the following was amendment was passed in NY “- §3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this state to all humankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his or her opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state. (Amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.)” ABP Dolan has only been in NY since 2009. So what is the point of your post – Don ? ? ? – That there are HERETICS within the Church?- We all know that. Regarding State Constitutions, it is up to the VOTERS of that State only and these have nothing to do with the rest of the Country.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 2:40 PM By JLS
The Church influences governments, and Jesus has commanded Her to do so.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:00 PM By Abeca Christian
The government has changed the tone of how this society treats Christians and family values. The gay agenda has helped with adding new verbiage to our English language to make those with family values seem like they are haters, bigots etc etc. With our taxes paying for abortions, contraception etc, it has changed the values to this society by the desensitizing of sins. The government has imposed and continues to impose it’s gay agenda and their health programs that are not at all about health! They may not tell us directly that we have no rights but they sure have changed the minds of many Americans to conform to it’s agenda’s. They control our money and have not permitted school vouchers for parents so we can decide for ourselves where our tax money will go to what school of choice. We are not free, they have suppressed family values and fooling many thinking we are free to practice our faith, if that is true, why are we constantly having to see what new Proposition is being introduction, we need to make tons of calls and spend a lot of money to support faith based props. Twice we voted to ban gay marriage and now the voice of the majority that voted against redefining marriage, we have been constantly on trial! We have no freedom and our rights are minimal, don’t fool yourself thinking different!

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:28 PM By BETH
Together – – we are the Government. We have met the enemy, and he is us. That is why our VOTES, and those of other moral people of good will are so important. We must WORK to get good people elected. The appointment of Judges are determined by elected Officials that we have elected, or by our own Votes – depending upon the specific type of Court.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:37 PM By Abeca Christian
Beth yes but if we are the government, then I guess the other government is winning from the other side because our voice has not made it in. I consider myself not of this government, I never voted for many of it’s liberal policies, so for some reason, if we are the government, why are my faith based policies not in place? Like I heard one person say before, we are outgunned.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 5:10 PM By JLS
BETH, the government is elected by the media hypnotized voters. Work to get good people elected has been going down the drain now for many many decades. Roses bloom in Heaven daily, but in politics the only thing that blooms daily is rose colored glasses.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:27 PM By JLS
Moreover, BETH, the Catholic Church has total control over all governments. It is the Church who decides their members’ eternal destinies, yet allows them to make their own choices. This is where it becomes difficult to discern: Who is with St Peter, and who is not. The Pope, in saying recently that the Church will become smaller yet holier, implies that there will be not only laity but clergy and bishops who don’t make the cut. It is the Church in the stead of God who is doing the winnowing at this time, the chaff from the grain. A field of a million bushels might yield only a half million bushels of grain, the rest being straw, or only ten percent being grain … the tithe due to God.

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:53 PM By Abeca Christian
But of course we must not give up hope, we must persevere with fortitude, someone will listen and all it takes is one persona at a time and a lot of work.