Watch ABC40 News Live!   (View)

Bishop McDonnell Urges Local Catholics to Speak Out Against HHS Mandate

Springfield, Mass. (WGGB) — A Bishop with the Springfield Diocese says they will not comply with the new federal health care coverage mandate concerning birth control, calling it “unjust.”

 In a letter to be read at all Masses in the Springfield Diocese this weekend, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnel is urging local Catholics to protest the law.

 The Obama Administration has given employers one-year to comply with the Department of Health and Human Services’ new requirement, which mandates free contraception and sterilization benefits to employees covered by a company or organization’s health plan.

All four Catholic bishops in the state of Massachusetts will be sending letters to parishes urging the faithful to protest the law.

 In his letter, Bishop McDonnell refers to the implementation of the federal law as “an alarming and serious matter that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.”

“The federal government, which claims to be ‘of, by, and for the people,’ has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people – the Catholic population – and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful,” the bishop wrote.

 ”We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law,” the letter continues. “People of faith cannot be made second class citizens.”

 In urging local Catholics to respond, Bishop McDonnell states, “In generations past, the church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect sacred rights and duties. For the sake of future generations, I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.”

 He also recommends that Catholics visit the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to learn more about the law and to find out “how to contact Congress in support of legislation to reverse the administration’s decision.” A link to that site and, after Sunday morning, to a copy of the Bishop’s full letter can be found at www.diospringfield.org.

  • momma

    Ok had about all I can take of the catholic church. Are you planning on supporting each and every child that is born due to your church teachings of birth control? Oh wait I guess you want more kids for your sick priests to use. I promise to stay out of church you stay out of healthcare decisions that have nothing to do with the church. Our spiritual well being may just depend on birth control.

  • Faith

    Well I can not believe that someone would leave a comment and be so malicious.The Catholic churxh has been working hard to protect the rights and the values of The churxh and You turn around and deliver a low blow about our priests and the sex abuse scandal.Be clear that in every religion and race there will be scandal however to put down the entire denomination is just ruthless and ignorant.I am as I always have been a proud catholic.

  • http://www.marysadvocates.org Bai Macfarlane

    The US Bishops are readying to refuse to comply with ObamaCare laws that mandate paying for services that are a violation their religion. As spiritual fathers, they find it unconstitutional to be forced to pay for something that is immoral, according to their own religion.

    Why don’t the same Bishops come to the defense of natural fathers who have been forced to pay for something that is immoral?

    In no-fault divorce, millions of innocent reliable fathers and husbands have been forced to pay for being immorally removed from their own children’s lives. Fathers are forced to pay state agents, such as guardian ad litems, court psychologists, and court fees. Their wages are garnished to support their children and wife in a separate household in which these fathers are–for no moral reason–forbidden to live.

    I hope the Bishops’ ultimatum is not too little too late. For nearly forty years, the government has been forcing reliable Catholic spouses to pay for something that is immoral. So, why wouldn’t the government expect the same coercion to go unchallenged by the institutional Church?

    Bai Macfarlane
    Director of Mary’s Advocates
    Inviting Catholics to invoke the intervention of the Church against no-fault divorce

  • Justice

    To Bai – Amen to THAT!

  • Lucy

    People are emotional on both sides of this issue but I have sat for a week waiting for some one to challenge this notion that practicing artificial birth control is moral dogma or doctrine of the RC Church. It is not, no pope has taken to the chair of Peter which they are required to do and declared practicing artificial birth control, forbidden. In his encyclical Gaudium et Spes (Joy and hope) Paul the 6th said it was against, in his serious opinion, the natural law but he never, never declared it a moral doctrine of the Church;therefore it is a matter of conscience. I find it amazing that the bishops who are so hesitant to make any statement about anything chose to come out against the health benefits of women when it is a matter of conscience.