Monday, February 13, 2012

Letter of Bishop Duca Of The Diocese of Shreveport on HHS Birth Control Mandate (Full Text Read At All Masses )

Update- I want to use this post to link something that has come out today from the USCCB. See

I had the rare pleasure of as an altar server assisting Bishop Duca yesterday in a somewhat

bittersweet Mass in one our rural Parishes that we had to close. Rural North Louisiana population has just taken a hit over the years .

However I got a chance to hear him read his own forceful letter on the HHS mandate that was read at all Catholic Masses in The Diocese of Shreveport this weekend.. The Bishop informed me was not sure how quickly it would hit the web site but he was kind of enough to email it to me. me . More thoughts on this later . He did a give a brief update that is not part of the this letter since the President issues a purported "compromise" . His remarks were much in league with the rest of the Bishops as to that.

February 8, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
By now you have probably heard that on January 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final order which changed the list of “preventive services” which is to be a part of all insurance policies.

This unprecedented action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will force most employers, including Catholic institutions and Catholic employers, to offer and pay for coverage that will now include sterilization, contraceptive drugs, (which includes “morning-after pills” that may cause an early abortion) and other services which are contrary to Catholic moral teaching. As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be faced with the unthinkable and untenable choices to violate our consciences, drop healthcare coverage for our employees or suffer substantial fines for non compliance. The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply. It is true that there is a religious exemption but the definition is so incredibly narrow that our Catholic hospitals, Catholic schools and Catholic Charities would not be exempt.

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. This has become a critical moment in which we must protect our religious liberty here in the United States. We cannot allow the federal government to require the Church to follow a course of action contrary to Catholic teaching that the government has decided is reasonable and moral. This new coercive ruling, if not reversed, will define our future religious freedom in this country. If not reversed then the question must be asked about where will the federal government’s next intrusion be into our religious life? Will it be to add abortion to the list of preventive services in the future? Will it be to mandate the content of moral education in our schools? Will it be to mandate the rules governing the hiring of our employees of schools and Church administration? We must work together to change this ruling.

What can be done? Be assured that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will be working to have this law dismissed on a national level. What can we do? First as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Second, we must make our voices heard in opposition to this unjust law.

Our voices must not be heard in anger but rather with voices respectfully expressing an uncompromising committed statement about our opposition to this ruling. I would recommend visiting the web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ( to learn more about this serious assault on our religious liberty and to find ways to contact your representative in Washington. In next month’s Catholic Connection, our diocesan magazine, I will publish a fuller article on this matter and will supply a list of resources and concrete ways to make your voice heard.

With a united and committed voice we will be able to change this ruling. During this Mass pray for our success. Hope in the Lord.
+Michael G. Duca
Bishop of Shreveport


SJ Reidhead said...

This is getting crazy. I listened to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on CSPAN about 30 min ago. We are approaching this the wrong way. They want a new entitlement for poor women. I think this is about trying to find a creative way to finance it and getting caught. The nasty Republicans in the House and Senate are not going to approve a new entitlement, so they are trying to get it some other way.

I think this has been over-played as church state and should have been attacked as entitlement and government over reach.

Also, this is a pre-emptive attack on Santorum. Watch this be part of the campaign against him if he is nominated.

The Dems aren't even looking at this as church-state but FREE FREE FREE!.

The Pink Flamingo

James H said...

I have not really thought of it from the entitlement aspect but that makes some sense. Why would they be spending so much capital but yet that "Free" thing is big. This might be a first step

Anonymous said...

Do Catholics really believe that their employees who work for them are getting or demanding benefits for free? It never ceases to amaze how evil and dispicable people can get and call it religion.

James H said...

" Anonymous "

Its the Govt that using the word Free a good bit. As the Church is pointing especially in this case the word "free " is misleading

Anonymous said...

It is you and SJ Reidhead that is saying that employees who WORK for the Catholics are trying to get something for "FREE, FREE, FREE". I now have better sense than to ever work for Catholics, after seeing this deceitful effort to avoid fair employment practice, but I can assure you that my medical insurance does not come free. And whether my health care involves contraception, or not, is a matter that is between me and my doctor, and my employer better not stick his nose in such personal business.

James H said...

" Anonymous "

I guess my point is nothing is really Free. Which the Bishop are partly pointing out.IN the end it comes out of our premiums

Anonymous said...

If people had good sense, they would just go to work for WillyKingdom and let Shrumpert shut the doors, if they are going to claim that they are "giving" medical insurance to employees for free, and that it is the moral imperative of the employer to be sticking their noses ito the personal private medical care of the employees.