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Leading US prelates denounce Obama 'compromise' mandate

Catholic World News - February 13, 2012

Archbishop Charles Chaput and Cardinal Roger Mahony issued stinging attacks on the White House “compromise” plan for a contraceptive mandate, while the president of the US bishops’ conference asked whether Catholics are willing to sacrifice for the faith, during a weekend of heated debate on President Obama’s health-care plan.

Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput, writing in the local newspaper, said that the Obama administration’s plan, “including its latest variant, is belligerent, unnecessary, and deeply offensive to the content of Catholic belief.” Catholics will not be tricked by “evasive and misleading allusions” to a compromise, he said. “The HHS mandate needs to be rescinded,” he said flatly.

In making his argument, Archbishop Chaput added that the administration’s plan appears as part of an overall strategy that menaces religious freedom. “It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy,” he said. “It has been too long in the making.”

Cardinal Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, said that he is “outraged” by what he called the “incredulous contortions” that the White House had made to justify his “compromise” plan. “I am insulted that you would think that Americans who value and treasure our Constitutional freedoms would even question your overreaching infringement on individual freedom of religion and freedom of conscience,” he told President Obama.

Cardinal Mahony said that the revised plan unveiled by the White House on February 10 “actually makes the entire matter far worse.” Reaching the same conclusion as Archbishop Chaput, he told Obama: “Every effort must be undertaken to reverse your ill-conceived revocation of our Constitutional rights.”

Before leaving New York for Rome, where he will receive a cardinal’s red hat from Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Timothy Dolan reminded the readers of his archdiocesan newspaper that the red color of a cardinal’s robes symbolize “our readiness to shed our blood for the strengthening of the faith, the peace and tranquility of the people of God, and the liberty and growth of the Church.” Although he did not refer directly to the continuing struggle with the Obama administration, Archbishop Dolan did say that all Catholics may be asked to make real sacrifices for the integrity of the faith:

Are you ready to shed your blood? Every Christian disciple should aspire to be brave enough to do so.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Feb. 13, 2012 10:28 PM ET USA

    I find Archbishop Dolan's comment about his readiness to shed blood just more hyperbole from a man who last November was fawning over Obama's promise to respect Catholic consciences. What is this talk about shedding blood when he won't even take on the Catholic governor of his state who is in favor of same sex marriage and living with a woman who is not his wife. Take care of things at home Archbishop before you get dramatic about shedding blood.

  • Posted by: impossible - Feb. 13, 2012 8:19 PM ET USA

    Perhaps Cardinal might suggest that prior to shedding our blood, we might actually adopt a clear Faithful Citizenship, eliminating the "single issue" red herring and the "other serious reasons" for choosing the pro-abortion, anti-Catholic anti-constitutional republic candidates and actually voting them out in November.

  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Feb. 13, 2012 7:17 PM ET USA

    Sounds like Obama's betrayal has woken this man up a little bit. Yes, I am ready to, Your (soon to be? too early for the honorific?) Eminence.

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