HHS Mandate Information
Bishop Doherty’s comment on Federal Law Suits filed on May 21, 2012
Sometimes the truth sounds so dramatic that we doubt it can be true. Trust me, the Health and Human Services regulations taking effect do threaten the religious freedom of Catholic ministries. The regulatory impacts define more than who pays for medical or pharmaceutical interventions. The regulatory language is a governmental attempt to limit the mission of the Church.
So the threat is double: to force upon the institution behaviors that we reject on moral grounds, and to surrender to government the power to define the nature of the Catholic Church.
Regulatory deadlines affecting our religious activity are fast approaching. Government offices have not responded to the substance of our complaints. Lawsuits are one way for us to be heard. One does not have to imagine that these are done from anger or disrespect. Legal action is a language that government hears and understands – and we want to be sure we are heard, and that responses are on the record.
I support the efforts of the forty-three Catholic entities which have filed suit. Among them are dioceses, universities, health ministries and Catholic Charities offices. Because they represent a cross-section of Catholic ministries in the United States, I do not think that it is necessary to file in our own name. (For your information, there are one hundred and ninety dioceses in the United States.)
As late as yesterday, news commentators could not understand why our institutions refused to accept the President’s ‘accommodation,’ as it was called in February. Two reasons: first, it did not change the substance of the regulations, and, second, most of us can not lay off the costs and provision of contraceptive means to a separate insurance business. Why? Because we are self insured. We do this because it is good stewardship of Church resources. Being self insured means that we contract an agent to handle insurance paperwork, but we ourselves gather premiums and distribute funds as health care claims are submitted by those who work for us.
The details can distract some people from the core issue: religious freedom. It is not about contraceptives or which insurance structure we choose. It is about the ability to freely conduct and govern our ministries according to our religious mission and conscience-based moral standards.
To stay informed on these issues, I recommend that you see the reports and updates athttp://www.usccb.org/, the Catholic News Service at http://www.catholicnews.com/, and our own The Catholic Moment via a subscription or http://www.thecatholicmoment.org/.
Conscience Rights, Religious Liberty Violated by
- The fortnight for freedom has ended however please keep writing congress and the Senate on this important issue. You can find out more through the links listed below or by going to the USCCB's website by clicking here.
Sweeping HHS Contraceptive Mandate
- The USCCB and Bishop Doherty have issued responses to the recent HHS Mandate. Please take time to read through the links to find out more.
A response from the USCCB released by the bishop's office.
Bishop Doherty's Letter on HHS from the Catholic Moment.
Fr. John's Article in the Parish Bulletin
More Resources on HHS and Conscience Protection from the USCCB.
- Make sure to send an email or contact your local Representative and Senator urging them to take action to protect Religious Liberty and Conscience Rights.
Contact Representative Dan Burton
Contact Senator Dan Coats
Contact Senator Richard Lugar
General News & Announcements
- SLDM is now on Facebook! Please take a moment to add SLDM Church as your friend and to like St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church at our group page here.
- A LINK to Bishop Doherty's columns in the Catholic Moment can now be found in the quick links section. The Bishop's columns are always interesting and informative so make sure to check and see what our shephard has to say!