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California bishop questions strategy against HHS mandate

May 24, 2012

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has expressed concern about the strategy of filing lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate.

“I do think there are probably some different concerns with how it is being done,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, who recalled Catholic Charities of Sacramento’s unsuccessful legal challenge to a similar state mandate.

Bishop Blaire added that “there is a concern among some bishops that there ought to have been more of a wider consultation” on the USCCB’s response to the mandate.

“The question is what is our focus as bishops and that we have opportunity to clarify our focus and that we are all in agreement on focus,” Bishop Blaire continued. “I think there are different groups that are trying to co-opt this and make it into political issue, and that’s why we need to have a deeper discussion as bishops.”

Bishop Blaire “worried that some groups ‘very far to the right’ are trying to use the conflict as ‘an anti-Obama campaign,’” reported Kevin Clarke, associate editor of America Magazine.


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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2012 10:56 PM ET USA

    Good Idea. Talk more about thinking about possibly doing something... maybe.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - May. 24, 2012 8:33 PM ET USA

    Well, Well! Bishop Blaire of the great Catholic state of California now thinks we should reconsider our suits against Obamacare. His reaction sounds very reminiscent of the Bishops who thought we should hide on the abuse issues. As Catholics we should stop hiding. The issue is both political and religious. If he cannot see that, he needs to resign his post. With the destruction of the 1st Amendment, so goes the other freedoms. This bishop, even in past statements, shows no backbone.

  • Posted by: LCRich - May. 24, 2012 8:13 PM ET USA

    I wonder what you think, Bishop Blair, about whether these groups "very far to the right" are acting in compliance with the teachings of the Church? I find many points in the Catechism that tell us we must work to change unjust laws. Do you not see the HHS Mandate as unjust? I seems to me that as chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development you would be very concerned about the fact that the Mandate adversely effects Domestic Justice and Human Development.

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - May. 24, 2012 6:10 PM ET USA

    Father, father you are counseling caution when keystone principles of our faith are being ignored by this godless administration. That is a mistake. It may already be too late to stop this secular wave but, we should try. This is a federal issue and therefore very different than what happened in California. There is ban against an individual state doing anything for or against a religious body. There is a ban on the federal government.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 24, 2012 5:17 PM ET USA

    And...the Archdiocese of Boston did not join the suit, either, and it's pro bono, so it won't cost anything!

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2012 2:31 PM ET USA

    Apparently another Bishop who is concerned people might think he is not an enthusiastic supporter of the Democratic Party.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2012 2:22 PM ET USA

    Isn’t it interesting that Bishop Blaire is now so concerned about the USCCB’s legal actions against HHS turning into a political issue and an anti Obama campaign, when just a few weeks ago Bishop Blaire was at the forefront and publically denouncing the Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. What hypocrisy. Seems to me that perhaps Bishop Blaire is part of the “very far to the left” group, who don’t like the strong current stance of the rest of the Bishop’s on HHS. The HHS issue IS an issue about President Obama and his radical anti religious administration. Through various “new legal boundary” initiatives such as HHS, Mr. Obama has shown that he and his administration are waging an all out war against the Church. They are a clear and present danger to the Church and all traditional Catholics, especially if given another four years in office to continue their anti religious activism. Thankfully the USCCB is standing tall and taking their responsibilities as Bishops and defenders of the flock seriously. Unfortunately the same can not be said of Bishop Blaire who apparently believes in continued appeasement - in the face of an anti Catholic enemy who wants to subject the Church and Catholics to the dictates of their godless whims and beliefs. Where is Bishop Blaire’s moral compass?

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2012 10:40 AM ET USA

    Bishop Blaire is concerned, not about "the right" or even the "far right," but of groups "VERY far to the right" having an agenda. Why is that, do you suppose? And how would he characterize himself? Left? Middle? No agenda at all? Is it only "the right" that has an agenda, Bishop Blaire? President Obama started this fight IN AN ELECTION YEAR. Would Bishop Blaire have us wait until after the election to respond to this assault on our liberties by the most pro-abortion President in history?