Before the recent meeting of the U S Bishops in Baltimore last week becomes ancient history, I want simply to call your attention to the final statement of the bishops as a body.  During our session we had the opportunity for a comprehensive look at the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the HHS mandate that continues to offer us no relief from the burden the administration has placed on the Church and others to provide means to cover insurance for artificial contraception, some abortifacients and elective surgical sterilizations.

The Bishops have been in constant dialogue with the Administration trying to convince them of the obligation under the first amendment to rectify their mandate.  We continue to urge legislation with the Congress and we have a series of court cases, some of them ripe for litigation.  With undying hope, we continue these efforts with our best hope being in the courts where already some cases brought by individuals and groups have seen some success.

At the end of our executive session, Cardinal Dolan presented a statement mainly on this but including reference to  all the other issues we discussed last week.  As he concluded his reading of the statement, the body rose in applause and what was intended as a statement of the president became a statement unanimously endorsed by the whole body of bishops.  It is only one  and a half pages long.  You can read it here or on the Bishops website, usccb.org.  Please read it.  I call upon all Catholics in our diocese to endorse it and to let their elected representatives in Washington know of our support.

 

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