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Army censors archbishop's letter on HHS mandate

February 06, 2012

The US Army has instructed Catholic chaplains not to read a letter from the archbishop responsible for the military forces.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese of the Military Services, is one of the many American bishops who have issued pastoral letters protesting the Obama administration’s mandate requiring coverage of contraceptives in health-care plans. The archbishop asked all military chaplains to read his letter, calling for efforts to reverse the administration’s policy, at Sunday Mass.

However, the US Army issued separate instructions, telling chaplains that they should not read the archbishop’s letter. (The Army’s order did not apply to other branches of the US military services.) After negotiations with the military archdiocese, the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, rescinded the order and allowed for the letter to be read. In return, Archbishop Broglio agreed to remove a line from that letter saying that Catholics “cannot—and will not—comply with this unjust law.”


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  • Posted by: ColmCille - Feb. 06, 2012 8:50 PM ET USA

    Exactly. There is simply no way (faithful) Catholics can comply with this law. So, just as early Christians refused to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods and were persecuted for it, now it appears that we will have to refuse to obey a law and be persecuted for it. Thanks be to God for giving us an opportunity to be persecuted for His sake. Blessed are we when we suffer and are persecuted for His Name.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 06, 2012 8:19 PM ET USA

    The secular world will not believe that we mean what we say until some bishops go to prison. That may be necessary. I hope one of them, before the jail clanks, will excommunicate some so-called Catholic politicians who think Catholics will accept this abomination.

  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Feb. 06, 2012 7:30 PM ET USA

    I believe the proper order was to render unto God what is God's, and unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Or as one church sign succintcly summarizes, "Give God what's right, not what's left."

  • Posted by: imanxufan9901 - Feb. 06, 2012 6:41 PM ET USA

    How about a little action from the Bishops against the so called CATHOLIC politicans who push obamacare! pelosi,kerry,etc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that will never happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 06, 2012 6:13 PM ET USA

    Did our soldiers give up their constitutional right of freedom of religion when they joined the Army. If the Army is saying that its members must follow the Commander in Chief, no matter whether his orders are constitutional or just, then it sets a new standard for hypocrisy. Abp. Broglio should ashamed for backing down. He needs to give some careful thought to his real chain of command when moral issues are involved.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 06, 2012 3:41 PM ET USA

    But Catholics cannot--and will not--comply with this unjust law. I hope this also means that Bishops refuse to pay fines and will accept legal sanctions against them. What a witness that would be.