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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... 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, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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