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A Radical Incursion into Freedom of Conscience

On January 20, 2012, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a mandate forcing virtually all employers and insurers in the country to include coverage (without co-pay or cost-sharing) for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs – even if the insurer, the employer, plan sponsor, or the individual objects to such coverage. 

    

Read the LETTER FROM BISHOP McMANUS




                                                                    
RESOURCES:
 

Dr. Christopher Kloft from Worcester Diocese on Vimeo.

Article:  "What's Behind the HHS Mandate?" by Gerard Bradley 

CATHOLIC BISHOPS CALL FOR PRAYER FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY - USCCB Press Release 3/16/12

Download the text of the National Prayer Card, Prayers of the Faithful, and more here!

Cardinal Dolan Voices Dismay at Handling by White House in Letter Updating Bishops on HHS Mandate Controversy - 3/2/12

BULLETIN INSERT:  Clarification from USCCB on the supposed "accomodation" of 2/10  PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY!             
Click here for the BULLETIN INSERT in SPANISH                                                                       

FAQs about the HHS Mandate for Contraception/Sterilization Coverage: An Attack on Rights of Conscience (USCCB) This is a very helpful quick summary describing what the HHS Mandate involves.  It makes an excellent bulletin insert.  Please publicize widely!

Updated (3/1/12) ACTION ALERT from The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) urging support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. 

       How to Contact Your Elected Officials

       Local and D.C. addresses and phone numbers of U.S. Senators and Congressmen

"Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action on Religious Liberty" - USCCB Press Release 2/10/12

"Six MORE Things Everyone Should Know About the HHS Mandate" - USCCB Media Blog (2/13/12)

"Six Things Everyone Should Know About the HHS Mandate" - USCCB Media Blog (2/6/12)

"Six Things..." - Spanish version

"Amish, Ok. Catholics, No." - USCCB Media Blog (3/9/12)

"White House Misrepresents Its Own Contraceptive Mandate" - USCCB

Visit the USCCB Religious Liberty/Conscience Protection page for additional backgrounders and information on how to take action.  Please share this link with others!

Read the PRESS RELEASE and view the VIDEO from USCCB President, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan 

Address of Pope Benedict XVI to the U.S. Bishops of Region IV on their ad limina visit, emphasizing threats to religious liberty (1/19/12)

Visit The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

The American Papist Blog at CatholicVote.org has links to all the bishops' statements on the mandate representing 100% of dioceses throughout the U.S.!  The are also tracking a growing list of religious institutions speaking out against the mandate here.
     
Watch "The Con: The Attack on First Amendment Rights of Conscience" - a video from Americans United for Life                        

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How's this for evangelization?
 










Sign outside of Immaculate Conception Church, Worcester, MA
Photo used with permission.


                                                             ARTICLES:

"Bishop Calls Contraception Mandate Unjust" - The Catholic Free Press - 2/3/12

"Mandate is Sad Reminder for Priest" - The Catholic Free Press - 2/9/12

NEW! "The HHS Mandate: Is the Battle About Religious Freedom or Contraception?" - National Catholic Register - 3/26/12 

NEW!  "Contraception mandate violates federal law, say legal experts"- Catholic News Agency - 3/24/12

NEW!  Where are the Women? - Helen Alvare

"Coming Soon: No More Catholic Hospitals and Free Abortion-Inducing Drugs" - Another Look at the HHS Mandate's Ramifications - National Catholic Register, 3/8/12

"Federal Mandates and the Crushing of Religious Freedom" - Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, 3/9/12

"Cardinal Dolan Backs Respect for Rights of Conscience Act:  Contact Your Legislator Now" - National Catholic Register, 2/22/12

Bishop Lori Tells Parable of the Kosher Deli and the Pork Mandate in Congressional Testimony - USCCB, 2/16/12

"Ideas Have Consequences..." - Matthew Bowman, 2/24/12

Archbishop Chaput: Obama HHS Mandate “Insulting, Dangerous” - LifeNews.com - 2/13/12

Associated Press Interview with USCCB President Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan - 2/14/12

"Christian and Religous Leaders Oppose HHS Mandate" - by Joseph Pronechen, National Catholic Register, 2/8/12

 "The High Cost of Conscience" - by Tom Grenchik, Life Issues Forum, 2/3/12

READ:  "Contraception, Why Not" by Professor Janet Smith

Humanae Vitae - Pope Paul VI, 1968

“HHS ABC Rule: Anybody But Catholics has Religious Freedom”
- Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, USCCB Director of Media Relations

"The High Costs of 'Free' Birth Control" by Richard Doerflinger, Life Issues Forum. Will contraception really be "free" under this coercive mandate? 

Sebelius' Contraception Mandate and the Media - by Joan Frawley Desmond, The National Catholic Register, 1/28/12

Literally Unconscionable by Marge Fenelon – Catholic News Agency

Obama admin: birth control mandate is final; bishops vow to fight by Kathleen Gilbert, LifeSiteNews, 1/20/12
 
The Jesus Mandate vs. Obama’s Mandate by Bishop William Lori, chairman of U.S. Bishops’ committee on Religious Liberty, 1/27/12

Sisters of Life Statement Regarding the HHS Mandate


                                                                            PRAYERS:                  

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts,         
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

How to Pray the Rosary


Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care
Father, in Jesus our Lord, we praise and thank you for your most precious gift of human life
and for forming us in your divine image.
Keep us, the dwelling place of your most Holy Spirit, ever healthy in body and soul.
Jesus, Divine Healer, pour your grace upon all those afflicted with illness or disease.
Protect from all harm those who are vulnerable due to sickness, suffering, frailty,
poverty or age, whether elderly or unborn.
Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of all who serve human life in medicine and science,
so they will protect the dignity of each person,
from conception to natural death, and remain faithful advocates of all entrusted to their care.
Grant those who are called to serve as health care providers renewed conviction in their ministry,
and increased wisdom to treat the whole person, and not merely the illness.
Protect the right of health care providers to serve their patients without being
forced to violate their moral and religious convictions.
Guard them against discrimination, that they might be free to follow you faithfully
while fulfilling their professional duties.
Grant our lawmakers the wisdom and courage to uphold conscience rights
for those called to the ministry of healing,
and help them resist the pressure to become collaborators in the culture of death.
Give us strength to be bold and joyful witnesses to the truth that every human life is sacred.
In your goodness, guard our freedom to live out our faith and to follow you in all that we do.
Father, we ask this in Jesus’ name, through the Holy Spirit. Amen. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

Memorare Army:  Prayer Campaign for Religious Freedom