Catholic World News

California bishop urges faithful to sign up for health insurance

March 19, 2014

In a letter read at all Masses on the Second Sunday of Lent, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino urged the faithful of his diocese to sign up for health insurance.

“As you may know, the Affordable Care Act requires that all legal residents of the country carry health insurance by April 1,” he said. “Failure to comply with this law will result in fines that increase progressively each year.”

“It is true that our Church has raised objection to elements of the law that relate to contraception and abortion services that might be provided,” he continued. “We continue to address these issues with lawmakers and through the courts, which l fully support.”

“However, these factors do not mean that we, as Catholics, should disobey the new health care law,” Bishop Barnes added. “If we happen to have an insurance plan that includes services that are objectionable to our faith, which most plans in California do, our response is to not utilize these services … The Affordable Care Act is now part of civil law and as faithful citizens we are obligated to follow it.”

“In conclusion, I would urge those who have not yet signed up for health insurance to do so before the end of this month.”

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 20, 2014 12:02 PM ET USA

    Well, another Obama supporter in the episcopacy, sounding off for Obamacare. Surprised? When will these bishops learn that there are times to NOT speak?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 20, 2014 9:07 AM ET USA

    Has he urged the illegal aliens ... sorry... the undocumented Democrats, to obey our laws? That's what it says in the Catechism, and it's a precept aimed directly at immigrants.) Require them to come here the way respectable immigrants do, with visas as permanent legal residents, or not come at all? I would like to see an analysis of why Obamacare is unjust because it crushes subsidiarity; and I would like to see, towards just laws, respectful compliance & toward unjust laws, open rebellion.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 20, 2014 8:26 AM ET USA

    Me and Cy went to the circus. Cy got hit by a bowling pin. We're going to fix that darned circus. We'll buy a ticket and won't go in! The bishop's liberal-progressive gospel is advocating "buying a ticket" to Obamacare, contrary to the position of the Church for its affiliated institutions. Is it any wonder that the faithful are confused about the gospel?

  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 19, 2014 10:08 AM ET USA

    I don't see what signing up for Obamacare has to do with any Catholic Bishop's main concern: the salvation of souls. And in the present shape and form it may actually be detrimental for one's eternal salvation.