Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Chris Banescu, Esq.

3/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Orthodox Christians recognize the importance and significance of the battle before us.

Orthodox Christians are grateful for the vocal and passionate public stance of Catholic Bishops and  leaders who categorically oppose Obama's HHS healthcare mandate. Your courage in defending our constitutionally protected religious liberty is making us stronger. Your public and uncompromising witness is giving us hope. 

Cardinal Dolan and Metropolitan Jonah

Cardinal Dolan and Metropolitan Jonah

Highlights

By Chris Banescu, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: HHS Mandate, Religious liberty, Edict, Sebelius, Free Exercise of Religion, Orthodox, Orthodox Bishops, Archbishop Jonah, Cardinal Dolan, Chris Banescu


LOS ANGELES,CA. (Catholic Online) - Orthodox Christians are thankful and grateful for the vocal and passionate public stance of Catholic Bishops and Catholic leaders who categorically oppose Obama's HHS healthcare mandate.  Your courage in defending our constitutionally protected religious liberty is making us stronger.  Your public and uncompromising witness to Christian principles and your passionate advocacy in protecting the life of the unborn is giving us hope. 

We embrace and support you as brothers in Christ and co-workers for righteousness.  As Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah stood side-by-side with Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan in praying together at this year's March for Life , we stand in solidarity with you in demanding the repeal of the HHS mandate and in defense of the religious liberty of all Americans.

It's impressive and inspiring to witness the speed and conviction with which Catholic Bishops and other Catholic organizations responded to the new HHS rule and denounced it as unconstitutional and immoral from the start.  On the same day the Obama administration made the announcement, January 20, 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a press release declaring it unconscionable and a blatant violation of religious liberty. 

"To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.  It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom.  Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty," powerfully stated then cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB.  In a video message recorded by the archbishop he sharply criticized the White House: "Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience.  This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."

Cardinal Dolan was not alone in the immediate and unequivocal public condemnation of the HHS mandate.  Other Catholic leaders also spoke out against it.  "This is nothing less than a direct attack on religion and First Amendment rights," said Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein , chairperson of the board at Franciscan Alliance, Inc., a system of 13 Catholic hospitals. "I have hundreds of employees who will be upset and confused by this edict."  Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic university watchdog group, denounced the "cult of choice" agenda of the Obama administration. "The White House has sold the First Amendment for a few pennies of political support from the ACLU and the abortion lobby," he said.

More Catholic Bishops joined the chorus of opposition very quickly.  Addressing the opening Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of January 22, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, excoriated the HHS rule.  "Never before in our US History has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs.  At issue here as our President of the Conference stated it this past Friday, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty," proclaimed Cardinal DiNardo.

By January 25, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, publicly denounced the "severe assault on religious liberty" and bravely asked Christians in his dioceses to consider civil disobedience rather than violate the Church's teachings.  In his open letter, read aloud in Catholic parishes across the Phoenix diocese, Bishop Olmstead criticized the Obama administration for casting "aside the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty," and called on the faithful to refuse to comply with the unjust law. 

"We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law.  People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. . Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America's cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights."

Similar public statements containing the same calls for civil disobedience and uncompromising stance for Christian moral teaching were also issued by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati and Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay within days of each other.  More Catholic Bishops soon followed with their own individual letters denouncing the oppressive HHS edict.

The tide of Catholic opposition and criticism has grown and intensified since January.  To date all 181 Catholic Bishops who head diocese in America (100% of them) have spoken out and denounced Obama's HHS mandate.  These bishops not only issued public statements condemning the mandate, but many of them read their statements at diocesan Masses or included them in parish bulletins on Sunday.  What an amazing public witness for Christ and righteousness!

Especially encouraging and inspiring is Cardinal Timothy Dolan's fearless and consistent moral leadership in this crisis.  He continues to speak clearly and with authority on the HHS mandate: "This is not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization-although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals.  It is about people of faith.  This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all." 

His unwavering defense of the Christian faith and the religious liberties of all Americans shines forth in his latest letter, co-signed by Bishop William Lori, addressed to his brother Bishops.  "We cannot rest when faced with so grave a threat to the religious liberty for which our parents and grandparents fought. In this moment in history we must work diligently to preserve religious liberty and to remove all threats to the practice of our faith in the public square. . President Obama should rescind the mandate, or at the very least, provide full and effective measures to protect religious liberty and conscience," writes Cardinal Dolan.  This is indeed legitimate Christian authority and faithful servant leadership as reflected in the lives of the Apostles and Disciples of Christ and embodied in the Scriptures!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Orthodox Christians recognize the importance and significance of the battle before us.  We support your steadfast defense of the sanctity of life and the moral teaching of the Christian faith.  We continue to pray for all the faithful and courageous Catholic Bishops fighting to protect all our religious liberties.  May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless, protect, and guide them in the holy and worthy work they're doing on behalf of all Americans, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

-----

Chris Banescu is an Orthodox Christian attorney, conservative blogger, and university professor.  He regularly blogs at www.orthodoxnet.com/blog and www.chrisbanescu.com.
 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


Pope Francis, the real architect behind the U.S.-Cuban thaw Watch

Image of With personal appeals, letters, and hosted meetings, the Vatican and Pope Francis can accurately be called the masterminds behind the recent thaw between the U.S. and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba took the world by surprise, but perhaps one man was not as shocked as the rest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A senior official with the White House reported that Pope Francis made personal appeals to both President ... continue reading


Looking forward to your tax refund this year? Don't hold your breath. The IRS suffers after extreme budget cuts. Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heavily stricken with budget cuts and new tax-related laws, the IRS considers implementing its own temporary shutdown. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress has recently cut the IRS budget by $346 million. The IRS' budget has been cut a total of $1 billion since ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter