‘To Hell With You’ Catholics – Conscience Under Siege

WASHINGTON (CNS) – A week after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told individuals and institutions who oppose contraception “to hell with you,” as one bishop put it, members of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy were mobilizing their followers to fight.

Bishops across the country – including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla. – were preparing letters to be read at all Masses during the Jan. 28-29 weekend.

But one of the most strongly worded reactions to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Jan. 20 announcement that religious organizations could delay but not opt out of a requirement that all health plans cover contraception and sterilization at no cost came from Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, in a column titled “To hell with you.”

Sebelius and the Obama administration “have said ‘To hell with you’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States,” Bishop Zubik wrote. “To hell with your religious beliefs. To hell with your religious liberty. To hell with your freedom of conscience. We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under.”

He called on Catholics in the Pittsburgh Diocese to “do all possible to rescind” the contraceptive mandate by writing to President Barack Obama, Sebelius and their members of Congress about this “unprecedented federal interference in the right of Catholics to serve their community without violating their fundamental moral beliefs.”

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., enlisted the aid of St. Michael the Archangel in fighting “this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our faith.”

In a Jan. 24 letter to Peoria Catholics, he directed that the prayer of St. Michael be recited “for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America” during Sunday Masses at every parish, school, hospital, Newman center and religious house in the diocese.

The prayer reads in part: “Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil” and “cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

“I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance,” Bishop Jenky said in the letter.

“While it is primarily the laity who should take the leading role in political and legal action, as your bishop it is my clear responsibility to summon our local church into spiritual and temporal combat in defense of Catholic Christianity,” he added. “I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us.”

“We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law,” declared Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix.

9 thoughts on “‘To Hell With You’ Catholics – Conscience Under Siege

  1. In my opinion, voting for a pro-choice candidate is a serious sin.
    There are several U.S. Bishops who have publicially said this. For example: Fabian Bruskeritz

  2. Finally the moment has arrived. The Church in America is painfully discovering that, lo and behold, the Democrat Party is not the friend it thought it was! For far too long, many lay Catholics, and clergy have been a part of the enthusiastic cheering section for the Democrat Party. How many times have we opened up the papers to see our leaders smiling and shaking hands with politicians who have voted for abortion, and same-sex marriage, many professed Catholics? Is it any wonder that confusion has ensued or that the present Administration has taken Catholics for granted? What signals were given a few years ago, when the Boston Archdiocese gave a “state” funeral, televised on national TV, to Ted Kennedy? A “Catholic” who never missed an opportunity to promote and vote for abortion rights? I can’t tell how difficult a time I had explaining that “show” to my college age son! Even the most recent polls are showing that the majority of Cathoilcs think that religious institutions should fully pay for contraceptive services! The time has come for business as usual to end. Each and one will have to decide whether they stand with Christ and His Church or with “Caesar.” The battle lines are drawn, which side will you be standing on?

    Michael Mattes

  3. The Bishops have no one to blame but themselves. Decades of coddling Pro abortion Catholic politicians, like the Cuomos and the Kennedys, celebrating with them at the Al Smith dinners, have led us to this. Covering up child molestation for years has left the Church weak,and divided and morally bankrupt just when the Church needs strong moral leadership to fight against government persecution. May St.Michael help guide the faithful.

  4. According to FOX News, Obama telephoned Bishop Dolan before this policy announcement. Clearly, Obama has calculated that Church leaders will—like so often—make nicey nice with pro-abortion politicians so long as they are talking about “Social-Justice” issues.
    Has anybody ever talked to an ex-Catholic? They often feel that when they were Catholic they got confused messages.
    However, after they left their faith and “Found Jesus” they got clear messages such as “Abortion is wrong so do not vote for it.”
    They never heard such crisp messages like this in their Catholic Days

  5. I find it hard to believe that all you commenters never used birth control yourselves.

    Also, making birth control easily available and covered by insurance is one of the best ways to actually reduce the number of abortions. This policy will reduce the number of abortions.

    You know what’s NOT proven to reduce the number of abortions? Making it illegal. Abortion rates in countries where abortion is illegal are the same as in countries where it’s legal.

    But you right wingers likely don’t actually care about bringing down the number of abortions. All you want to do is pay lip service to your principles.

    Those of us who actually do care about this issue and have taken time to research and think it through, see the larger picture.

  6. I am protestant but I have always been grateful to my Catholic friends and to the Catholic church for their strong pro-life stand. Kudos to you all and please stay strong. I have never understood how so many Catholics can be democrats though???

  7. Us Catholics are the victims…. victims of the the enemy with-in and the enemy with-out … ever since before the sandal the good angel turned very bad has been hustling the original forbidden fruit and then after harassing the original Church of Christ! pride and envy still does us in!