Cardinal Dolan Says Battle With Obama Gets His Irish Up – Tells Catholic Bishops – ‘We Did Not Ask for This Fight, But We Will Not Run From It’

Photo by Marcus Santos for the New York Daily News

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he “was disappointed but not surprised” by the Democrat majority’s rejection the amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri that would have added “conscience protection” language to the Obamacare legislation.  “We still have a lot of hope that it could be revived in the Senate,” he said at the Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville,

The New York Daily News reported:

He framed the issue as an “unwarranted government intrusion” into the Church and said constitutional scholars and legal experts suggested taking the fight to court.

“We’re going to take them up on that because they know a lot more about it than we do,” Dolan said.

Dolan said he was angered by the administration’s suggestion that the Church follow its more liberal members.

“We kind of got our Irish up when leaders in government seemed to be assigning an authoritative voice to Catholic groups that are not the bishops,” he said. “If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops.

Thirteen of the church’s “more liberal members” (all Democrats) aided Obama in his war against the church, by voting against the conscience amendment. The list, here.

On Friday, Cardinal  Dolan sent a letter  to all the Catholic bishops of the United States reasserting the conviction of the Catholic Church that it will not yield to the Obama administration’s command -that Catholics and Catholic institutions must violate the teachings of their faith by purchasing and providing health insurance plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients.

Terence P. Jeffrey of CNS News reported on the letter:

“We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans,” Cardinal Dolan wrote his brother bishops.

“We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it,” he said.

“Since January 20, when the final, restrictive HHS Rule was first announced,” Cardinal Dolan wrote, “we have become certain of two things: religious freedom is under attack, and we will not cease our struggle to protect it.”

Although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the cardinal’s letter on its website on Friday and issued a press release about it, neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times nor any other American newspaper that appears in the massive Lexis-Nexis database of news sources published a story about it in any of their Saturday editions. Nor, as of the early hours on Sunday, had any secular newspaper that shows up in a Google News search published a story about the letter.

Could it be that they’ve been a little too preoccupied by their efforts to canonize the future patron saint of promiscuous freeloaders, Sandra Fluke?  I suspect so. The Cardinal’s defiant letter, however has a much more significant message than anything the 30 year old professional reproductive rights activist/agitator had to say.

“As pastors and shepherds, each of us would prefer to spend our energy engaged in and promoting the works of mercy to which the Church is dedicated: healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor,” said O’Connor. “Yet, precisely because we are pastors and shepherds, we recognize that each of the ministries entrusted to us by Jesus is now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church.”

Cardinal Dolan then said that the so-called “concession” President Obama had offered in February—that he would order insurance companies working with Catholic institutions to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients to the workers at those institutions for free—did not solve the problem.

“For one, there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS’ attempt to define the how and who of our ministry,” wrote the cardinal.

“Two, since a big part of our ministries are ‘self-insured,’ we still ask how this protects us,” he wrote.  “We’ll still have to pay and, in addition to that, we’ll still have to maintain in our policies practices which our Church has consistently taught are grave wrongs in which we cannot participate.

“And what about forcing individual believers to pay for what violates their religious freedom and conscience?” he wrote. “We can’t abandon the hard working person of faith who has a right to religious freedom.

“And three,” he said, “there was still no resolution about the handcuffs placed upon renowned Catholic charitable agencies, both national and international, and their exclusion from contracts just because they will not refer victims of human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and the hungry of the world, for abortions, sterilization, or contraception.”

The cardinal revealed that President Obama had invited the bishops to work with the White House to “work out the wrinkles” on his proposed accommodation. But that effort failed to make progress as the White House showed no flexibility on the core issue.

“At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table,” wrote the cardinal. “They were informed that they are. So much for ‘working out the wrinkles.’”

The cardinal said that the bishops would continue to seek a legislative remedy to the administration’s attack on religious liberty and would also pursue protection of religious liberty through the federal courts.

“Perhaps the courts offer the most light,” he said, pointing to the Supreme Court’s recent 9-0 decision against the Obama administration in the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the administration tried to tell a Lutheran church who its ministers would be.

“Given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times,” the cardinal wrote.

He closed the letter by noting to his brother bishops that religious freedom now faces a threat not from a foreign enemy but from within the United States.

“Brothers, we know so very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans,” he wrote. “There have been many threats to religiousfreedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without. This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom.”


7 thoughts on “Cardinal Dolan Says Battle With Obama Gets His Irish Up – Tells Catholic Bishops – ‘We Did Not Ask for This Fight, But We Will Not Run From It’

  1. Would that he stood up for the freedom of all Americans to buy or not buy whatever they want, not just the Church.


  2. Yes, and would that he and other bishops had spoken out about the dangers of voting for this viciously pro-abort resident in the run up to the 2008 election, he wouldn’t have gotten a majority of the Catholic vote. The bishops have much to answer for. I’m still sore about it.


  3. I understand that his responsibility is only to his faith, but even with that in mind especially, the shortsightedness here is really astonishing. It’s because they have unfortunately commingled government into church mission, and the Democrat agenda therefore as well.
    I expect the church to cave at its first (well, second) convenient opportunity.


  4. Dear Cardinal Dolan (aka STUPID),

    You’ve been fooled once with Obamacare. Are you that stupid that you don’t recognize Obamacare, not as health care, but as an attack on your religion. Wake the H*** up!


  5. Lauraw, you’re right – it is astonishing that so many of them had no problem with universal health care as it didn’t infringe upon religious liberties. I’ve never understood why the the Church would put so much faith in government – it’s like making a pact with the devil. Any “conscience clause” is only going to last as long as a non-totalitarian government that respects religious liberties is in place. That leaves out today’s Democrats. They couldn’t see this coming?

    But, now that they’ve been burned, all we can do is hope and/or pray that they’ve learned their lesson.


  6. This is what’s called “asymmetric warfare”: the government is allowed to tell religion to stay in the shadows, and religion is not allowed to practice its beliefs.

    This not just a Catholic issue; every church should stand with the Cardinal on this one. As far as the Church goes, I’ll say, “better late than never”.

    I would expect a statement from the Mormon Church. Here’s their stand:

    “Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.
    . . . .
    [Latter-day prophets] counsel on the matter is clear: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion.”

    Islam is generally opposed (i.e., forbids) abortion. They believe that the soul enters into the body at about 4 months into the pregnancy.

    “… abortion after 120 days is totally unlawful and tantamount to murder. Some Fuqaha, however, have given a dispensation only in the situation where the mothers life is in certain danger. As far as abortion before the 120 days have elapsed is concerned, it will still be unlawful, though the sin will be of a lesser degree, and it will become permissible if there is a genuine and valid reason.”

    However, as there’s no single authority, what’s allowed and what isn’t is a matter of local mores.

    Even stronger:

    5. Surah Al-Ma’idah’:
    “32. For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”

    This will certainly come as a surprise to the millions of Muslims who have only read the Reader’s Digest version of the Koran.


  7. Dolan and a lot of other priests who were so easily tricked into supporting ObamaCare should be required to go back to school and take a course in “How to Tell if a Politician is Lying to You.” It would probably come as quite a shock to their system to find out that, should the politician be breathing, chances are greater than even that he/she is probably lying.

    It might even be a bigger shock to Dolan to know that a good percentage of the priests he “oversees” have in fact been comingling catholicism and communism for decades now. He really does need to get out into the pastures occasionally and find out what’s going on in the churches he’s supposedly leading.


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