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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.


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