Archbishop to U.S. Troops: Obamacare Reg 'Is a Blow to Freedom'
his Jan. 28 telephone conversation with Army Secretary McHugh, Archbishop Broglio was able to extract from the secretary an admission that it had been wrong for the secretary to try to silence the Catholic chaplains. The archbishop decided that the line in his letter that said Catholics cannot and will not comply with the "unjust law" of the HHS regulation would not be read aloud in Catholic Masses by the chaplains, but that the rest of the letter would.
The line stating "we will not ... comply with this unjust law" did remain, however, in the printed letter that was distributed at Masses said by Army chaplains and it remains in the copies of the letter posted on the website of the Archdiocese for the Military.
"Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop's letter," said the statement by the archdiocese. "Additionally, the line: 'We cannot--we will not--comply with this unjust law' was removed [from the reading of the letter] by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience.
"The AMS did not receive any objections to the reading of Archbishop Broglio's statement from the other branches of service," said the archdiocese's statement.
Archbishop Broglio's letter minced no words in telling Catholics in the Armed Forces that the federal government was not only violating their constitutional rights through the new Obamacare regulation but was also violating the constitutional rights of all Catholics, while harming the freedom of religion generally.
"It is imperative that I call to your attention to an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith," wrote the archbishop.
"The federal government, which claims to be 'of, by, and for the people,' has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people-the Catholic population-and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faith," wrote the archbishop.
"It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle," said Archbishop Broglio.
The archbishop made clear that the regulation seeks to force not only Catholic institutions but also individuals, employers and insurers to provide and/or purchase immoral services.
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees' health coverage the includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception," said Archbishop Broglio. "Almost all health insurers will be forced to include these immoral 'services' in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies."
Archbishop Broglio declared that the Administration's regulation was an "unjust law" and warned that Catholics would resist it.
"In so ruling," he wrote, "the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying Catholics our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty.
"And, as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to choose between violating our consciences or dropping health care coverage for our employees (and suffering the penalties for doing so)," said the archbishop.
"We cannot-and will not-comply with this unjust law," he wrote.
When she finalized the regulation last month, HHS Secretary Sebelius said she would give religious non-profit organizations-such as Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable institutions-until Aug. 1, 2013 to "adapt" to the new regulation and comply with it. For Catholic business owners, insurers and individuals the rule will take effect this Aug. 1.
In comments on the regulation submitted to HHS in September, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called it an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty" and urged the administration to completely rescind it. "The HHS mandate should be rescinded in its entirety," the bishops said.
In November, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, personally made the Catholic Church's case for rescinding the regulation to President Barack Obama.
Over the past week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has repeatedly defended the regulation, saying at one point that it did not raise any "constitutional issues."
A spokesman for the Army's Office of the Chief of Chaplains told CNSNews.com that the office sent an email out to senior chaplains around the world a week ago Friday asking that Archbishop Broglio's letter not be read during Mass last Sunday but only be mentioned during Mass and then handed out afterwards.
- - -
CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Like National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, CNSNews.com is able to provide its services and information to the public at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our thousands of donors and their tax-deductible contributions.This article is reprinted with permission.
Keywords: Army chaplians, Obamacare, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Military chaplains, Health Care Law
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather
- Supreme Court to decide if prayer before town meeting is permissible
- All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark
- Nebraska Bishop: Gosnell clinic was 'reminiscent of Auschwitz'
- Why even if you lose, playing Powerball isn't such a bad bet after all
- Cheap cigarette outlets in U.S. may be funding terrorists
- Shocking report reveals 38 men, 33 women are raped each day in the military
- Father Frank Pavone: Houston Abortionist Killing Babies Born Alive
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?