• Sally Scuderi
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    I am thrilled that this happened with such a wonderful response from the faithful. I just have one question, which I know you will not answer. If all forms of BC are going to be paid for by the INSURANCE companies, then won’t the premiums go up for RCs who carry insurance? So, in essence those who do not believe in BC will still have to pay for it, except this time, it will come out of the pocket of the faithful.

  • Sharon Ann Weidelman
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    This still digs even deeper into the usurping of Religious Freedom from the Churches and people of the United States of America.
    From what I heard the President say is Catholic entities will tell their employees who to contact in our insurance companies for contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs they request. This is not fitting and proper for our government to mandate of our church.
    Please stand with us!
    Sharon Ann Weidelman

  • Denise
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    I have the same question as Sally. BC and abortifacients will still be in the policies…just under “free”…nothing is free. NOTHING…not even salvation…so they will still be paid for tax dollars, higher premiums and we still have the same dilemma….they are telling us that we must still provide for BC’s and abortifcacients….except now you are playing a shell game by the current administration…which shell will you find the BC’s and abortifacients and other immoral procedures? Please, Cardinal-designate Dolan and all bishops…please, please! don’t quit on this…please!

  • Janet
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    In addition to the concern that we will still be paying for these things, there is the concern about who provides them.

    The Church cannot provide the means to contraception, sterilization, or the morning-after pill. When we provide a policy that offers these things, we are providing that means, whether the funds are directly from the Church or not.

    When we provide a policy and the insurance company instructs the policyholder that now they can have “free” contraception (and the rest), we are then giving the employees a policy that includes these things. Obama’s words make no difference to what is actually happening.

    Please keep up the fight. Our souls depend on this.

  • Pat Taylor
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Sally – you are precisely right. This is a Wag the Dog – let’s focus attention on the Insurance Companies in our speech rather than RCs, but ultimately if the insurance companies have to pay for this who is going to absorb the cost – the customer, by increased premiums. Does this man think that the American People have no logic? I am very sad and pray that we will find the right person to lead this country.

  • Steven
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Please reject this compromise Cardinal Dolan! You will see it is nothing more than a trick.

  • Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for your excellent response to the White House assault on the free exercise of religion. As a Boston Catholic, I encourage you not to back down or accept the false “compromise” this administration is offering. We have never needed our bishops more than we do at this moment in history. Do not be afraid. We are under the protection of Our Lady Help of Christians. May God bless you and all who are successors to the apostles. May every one of you be worthy Shepherds.

  • Kathleen Turntine
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    I am so thankful for the leadership of Cardinal-designate Dolan and all our bishops. I am frustrated listening to the news which seems to say that as long as Catholic women get their birth control, this issue will die down. I’d want to scream at the TV ,” There are practicing Catholic women out there who follow the church and do not use contraception”.

  • James Hennen
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    I wonder when, as do millions of the ‘unwashed’ Catholics sitting in the pews each Sunday, our bishops/cardinals are going to begin the process of excommunicating those ‘c’atholics of either political party, or of national persuasion for their unabashed support of abortion in direct opposition to all Catholic teachings and beliefs. For any human being to claim they are personally opposed to (insert your hot button here) but will not allow that personal conviction to enter into their decsion making proceses shows me that they have NO personal code of ethics, morality or religious beliefs. You and I lie, politicians ‘mis-speak’. You and I cheat on our taxes, politicians ‘mis-state’ their income. You and I are expected to make decisions based on a set of religious, moral or ethical principles, politicians can be personally opposed and yet support that which is religiously, morally or ethically wrong. These small ‘c’ catholics show up at Masses like photo opportunities and if, like when then Archbishop Raymond Burke refused to give the Holy Eucharist to then presidential candidate John Kerry for Kerry’s open and vocal support of abortion, these poltical types are refused Communion, the USCCB begins the condemnation of the offending prelate, rather than demand ALL Catholics be one in ‘communion’ with Church teachings. OBiden, Pelosi, Dodd, Milkulski, et al, and a host of the Kennedys have all used the Church for political gain but refuse to abide by the same teachings you and I sitting in the pews each Sunday must abide by. I will NOT hold my breath waiting for our leadership to act. By excommunicating those who openly challenge and defy Church teaching, we are NOT judging their souls, only their anti-Catholic actions, which is what we must do each day of our lives, judge between good and evil. If they do not hold to Church teachings and doctrine, then by that very act, they must NOT be allowed to participate in Catholic activities unless and until they repent of those anti-Catholic stances.

  • Fr. Raul Rosales
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Nothing is free except the grace of God. Nothing has changed except the the rhetoric. The President has done nothing except trying to confuse and deceive by distracting and using the Insurance companies as targets since most have less empathy for them. Sally is right on our premiums will go up and other benefits will disappear as will higher co-pays as church institutions find ways to offer affordable healthcare to employees. Yes out of the pocket of the faithful. I pray that His Excellency Archbishop Dolan and others are not swayed by this ridiculous and disrespectful response by the Obama White House. It has been very evident that they have chosen to attack the Catholic Church,” 99% of women use contraception.” They have no remorse it is intentional.

  • William Vrazel
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    This so called accommodation is smoke and mirrors. It is no different from the president’s first mandate. By having the insurance companies offering these provisions in essence is saying to its employees that the church is not telling you all of what is offered by your insurance. You also get these provisions that are free. It matters that our Catholic teachings are not undermined by government mandate whether it is free or not. The teachings of our Catholic faith should not be restricted, but free to follow, teach, and lived individually, and examples set by its institutions. The Church is our moral compass and should never waver even if a majority of Catholics use birth control. The doctrines of our faith should not be restructured to accommodate the government’s idea of what is right and moral by slick gimmicks that make a mockery of our religion. The teachings of the Church stand for good, and the salvation of our soul. Is president concerned about that? Our Catholic families are praying for you and all our spiritual leaders to seek and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to be strong in faith and resist this infringement on our religious freedom.

  • Francine Fosselman
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Kathleen Sibelius emphatically insisted today that premiums will go DOWN, not UP, because “preventive” measures improve overall health, resulting in less costs for the insurance companies. However, I find a flaw in her explanation, because I fail to see how being fertile makes you less healthy in the first place.

  • John Calabro
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for your strong witness and leadership. I do not believe that Mr Obama can be trusted. We must all stand together, and refuse to accept the unacceptable.

  • Jeanne Fjelstad
    February 10, 2012 Reply

    All Obama did is symantics…..what is the meaning of the word is????? Sound familiar ?I’m ready for civil disobedence. I pray for you Archbishop Dolan!!!!<3<3<3 God Bless you!!!!!!

  • Lee Sadler
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I would agree with Sally, The bottom line is that the “change”or “solution”we are being fed requires us to set aside our religious belief and liberty. This smacks of a great conscience loop hole so that we can conveniently carry on our lives without worry of accomplice to sterilization or abortion.

  • Irene
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I was very concerned by the initial ruling, but I am quite satisfied with the Administration’s new compromise. I think it does an excellent job of balancing the interests of all involved. I do not personally agree with the “official” Church teaching on artificial contraceptives and, like most Americans, I support women’s access to safe, effective contraceptives. But I also firmly believe that my fellow Catholics who think differently than I do should in no way be forced to pay for contraceptives. The initial rule was an erosion of our religious liberties, but the compromise does a good job ( or as good a job as possible in a pluralistic society) of protecting everybody’s rights and interests.

  • Patty Zarraonandia
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    Thank you and the Bishops for standing up for religious freedom. The latest attempt by the administration at a compromise is not a compromise at all. You will still be paying for birth control and the “morning after pill” through higher premiums. There is also the matter of any employer of conscience who cannot subscribe to the administration’s health care mandate. I hope you can also stand up for us as well. If this is not stopped now, the next step will be abortion. There can be no compromise on the core principles of our faith. Thank you again for speaking for those who don’t often get heard and for those who never get the chance to speak.

  • John J Bray
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    Prior to my retirement 2 years ago I was the Personnel Director of one of the Archdiocese of NY Childcare agencies. During that time we provided health insurance to all our full and part time staff with apartial contribution by them. However, the policy had an exemption from the coverage of birth contol, sterilization and abortion. THis was standard in all our contracts and was in keeping with the teachings of the church. I believe all our sister agencies and programs had the same mandate.

    Why not offer a similar health plan now and offer the rider covering such exceptions to Catholic teaching. The insurance companies can calculate the costs to them of such a rider and any staff who wish such a rider could opt for it and pay the full cost of such rider without a contribution by the agency.

    This would keep us from violating our moral teachings yet offer coverage to those who chose same without any funds contributed by the agency.

    Submitted for thought and comment.

  • Dolores Gebus
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    There has not been a solution to the shredding of our constitutional rights. The mandated preventative medical coverage has simply been shifted. As Sally S. observes, now the individual faithful and not the Church organizations will have to pay for contraception and abortifacients. I hope Archbishop Dolan and the USCCB will continue to defend our Constitutional rights. Are not we, the faithful, the Church?

  • Gene Sullivan
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I have a feeling that Mr. Obana’s proposal for “free” contraceptive care is a bit of smoke and mirrors. We all do know that when a vendor says “free shipping” that we are really paying for the shipping in the product price. Insurance companies are not charities … contraception will be paid for by those paying premiums and the employers’ portion of the policy cost. Sorry, but hs porposl reminds of the 3 card monty scam.

  • John Graham
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    Dear Eminence … keep up the good work! Why are our Catholic colleges (Manhattan, Fordham, etc.) involved with insurance companies that provide contraceptive coverages? Why can’t they come into our Archdiocesan self-insured policies? Why doesn’t someone also indicate the harmful side effects to birth control in order to broaden the discussion for the health of women? Will the adoption of children by same sex couples through our Catholic Charities agencies be the next battle royale? Please continue to fight the good fight and please continue to present — logically and profoundly simply — the issues and what our Catholic faith teaches … the best is yet to come. John Graham

  • Nicole Meringolo
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    God bless all our clergy for standing up for what is right..and for leading all of us in this fight againgst our freedom to practice our faith. Since when did birth control and abortion become a woman’s “right”? Since when did birth control and abortion become an issue of woman’s “health”. The government of these United States was founded by those who fought for religious freedom. Now the government is telling us not to be Catholic, our beliefs are outdated. Now is the time for all of us to be strong and to be faithful ti the Word of God as Catholic Christians.

  • michael macelletti
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    thank you for your statements which so strengthen our cause in this very serious battle with the government to be able to adhere to our conscience in regard to birth control. however, i do not understand why people like sister carol keehan of cha, and even the president of notre dame, are allowed to remain in their positions when they repeatedly opposerankri razon our catholic beliefs.

  • Lynn Hamilton
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    Archbishop Dolan,
    As a Christian in the USA I want to thank you for standing up against Obamas war on our religious freedom. I am not Catholic, however, I have always admired the Catholic church for it’s reverence for God, His principals and standards.
    I believe that if the Catholic Church stands firm against this threat that Obama will back down. I also believe that if the Catholic Church leads this stand that other denominations will support and follow with the same stand.
    I for one will! This is not just a threat on religion in the US it is a direct assault on God Himself and His word. We are to live by His word not by man.
    The countless thousands of people before us have paid with their lives to uphold the standards that God has laid before us. We not only owe it to those who did, but can do nothing less to uphold those standards ourselves or pay the consequences of inactivity.

    Again, Thank you for your strong leadership and continued reverence of God’s standards.

    Lynn Hamilton

  • Mark Zyble
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I am very impressed with the efforts by the USCCB to stop the current presidents administration from forcing people who work for religious organizations, to violate their core religious beliefs.

    I am concerned that this president and his administration will provide hollow or empty promises to the faithful and the leaders of the USCCB, to help them look favorable in the eyes of the Catholic voters in America, but will still end up forcing the faithful to have to violate their core beliefs in order to retain employment.

    Please be very cautious when dealing with this administration as their motto and strategy appears to be “say what they want to hear” while continuing to do what they intended to do in the first place.

    May God Bless you in this very worthwhile effort.

  • Dr. Frank Marotti
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I think yes. We as Catholics will still be paying for abortions.

    Last night I watched a PBS program on the young Freedom Riders of 1961. Afterward, I grew very sad. We, as Catholics, should be using the same tactics to combat abortion. We have not done enough. The result is 53 million “terminated” children since Roe v. Wade.

    I think that we as the faithful generally lack the courage to stand up for our convictions. Why aren’t our university campus ministers “firing up” young people to participate in massive non-violent civil disobedience? We are like the German villagers during WW II who lived in the shadows of the Nazi death camps, but buried their heads in the sand.

    Imagine–the mass murder of 53 million innocent “inconvenient” unborn children, and we Catholics vote for pro-abortion politicians, participate in abortion, or simply shrug our shoulders. God must be very unhappy with most of us. Where is our Gandhi? Where is our Martin Luther King? Where is our Batolome de las Casas?

  • James Nolan
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    I am encouraged that Catholic leadership has taken a strong stand against this mandate issued by Obama under the new authority given to government by the Health Care Bill. Too often the church is fooled by the words of the left. This new offer from Obama is just another deception. Nothing is free. The money will come from the insurance premiums paid by Catholics.

    The fact that the Heatlh Care Bill gave this authority to the government is the reason we must elect a new president that will repeal the bill.

  • Don Panella
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    Yes, technically the cost of providing birth control would be spread out over all the customers of a particular health plan, but as Obama points out, birth control actually saves a health insurance company money in the long run as it is cheaper and safer than an abortion and treating complications from hormonal irregularities (and many would argue that taking birth control would be morally preferable to having an abortion). On the positive side, now the employees of Catholic institutions will be able to make their own moral judgement about how to take care of their bodies instead of having that choice imposed on them by their employer.

  • Chris
    February 11, 2012 Reply

    It has become clear that the Bishops have decided to play politics with the healthcare of their employees. The only immoral action is the actions and stances of the Bishops as they attempt to matter in an election year. With 28 states alreayd demanding this level of coverage from the Church as well as the majority of Catholic Law schools provide such coverage to their law students, one must question the motives of the Bishops to bring up this moot issue.

    Maybe if the Bishops stay out of the political arena, lapsed Catholics like myself may return.

  • Kathy M
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Although this reproductive “healthcare” services mandate is an asault on all people of conscience, it is a direct attack on the US Catholic Church. Please consider Our Lady of America’s request for all our nation’s Bishops to enthrone her statue in her National Shrine, to be a safeguard for our country. Please do this. Please let our Patroness, Mother and Queen save our country in the way Her Son expressed through her message!

  • John Proffitt
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    There is no accommodation. There never was any intent on the part of HHS or Obama to make any accommodation. They just hoped that, as in the past, the people would not notice that the Emperor was still naked.

    In the past, the Catholic Church was able to tailor health care coverage for it employees that provided appropriate health care while not providing services that the Church deemed to be intrinsically evil. With the proposed “accommodation” the Catholic Church will be mandated to provide health care plans that specifically include coverage for drugs, services and procedures that it deems to be intrinsically evil.

    It is the height of hypocrisy to pretend that the Church’s religious liberty is being preserved by transferring the cost of the coverage of those drugs, services and procedures to the insurance company. Even if I believed that those costs would not eventually be passed through to the Church by increasing the cost of the remainder of the premiums, the Church is still indirectly participating in the the evil by offering the services as a part of it’s health care package.

    So, no Mr. President, we will not be a part of your “accommodation” that is nothing more than a game of smoke an mirrors so that you get your way. Evil is evil – always and everywhere – and we will continue to resist evil, even when it is practiced by members of our faith who should know better.

  • Sandy H.
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I am a Catholic convert, 16 years ago. I truly love the Mass, and the Eucharist, and all the beautiful gifts that we receive through the Catholic faith. My thoughts on this mandate with the administration, are that we should not make any deal with them, no matter what. Catholics should stick to their guns, all or nothing. If we make any kind of deal with this administration, no matter what it is, I feel the Catholic Church will be selling their souls down the river. It is like dealing with the devil. No insurance for anyone at religious institutions, hospitals, universities ect. that cover anything even close to contraceptions, abortion ect. None, nada, nothing!!! If there is some kind of compromise, that allows it to people who are not Catholic at these institutions, I will be rethinking my life in the Catholic faith….any deal, or compromise, in my opinion, will bring down the Catholic Church, I will find some other place to go. All or nothing, and this all is just my statements and opinions!!

  • g murphy
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Thank you, (Cardinal) Dolan, for speaking out about the contraception insurance mandate and insisting on a conscience exemption for Church institutions. But what about Catholic employers in secular industries? Won’t the bishops include them in those they speak out for? Catholic employers will also be ruined if they are not granted an exemption. And what about Catholic employees in general, in every industry? Would we be materially cooperating with evil if we purchase insurance policies that include contraception, and even abortion, services?
    Thank you,

  • Kate Farrell
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I am so relieved after reading His Excellency’s letter of February 10, 2012. My parish here in Monmouth Beach NJ has discouraged any kind of solidarity against this atrocious assault on our consciences. I would like Arch Bishop Dolan’s email address so that I may share a disturbing thread of emails regarding this issue from our church leaders. The priests here, Father Bob and Father John, have remained diplomatically silent, as we did not hear response from the pulpit this weekend.
    Again, I am so happy someone in faith feels the same way I do about this. There is a larger issue of religious freedom and personal conscience, which has been swept under the carpet due to political correctness that is threatening our God-given rights. I appreciate, as always, the Catholic Church remaining morally sound. I only wish my local parish was with us. Thank you.

  • Irwin
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Does our President think we are all stupid????? Or just us Catholics????? We sir are NOT STUPID!!! Your “change” means nothing. There is no free lunch and there are no free abortion services.

    All that is needed is an OPT OUT for any employer for those services from their policy. Period. No subterfuge. No politics.

    I hope & pray our Bishops continue to lead on this matter!!

  • Alex Majthenyi
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    There is no real change!

    In plan A: You paid for birth control.
    In plan B: The insurance company pays for birth control and you pay the insurance company.

    I hope and pray that our bishops will stay firm and refuse to compromise.

  • John Martin
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    You have made it clear that we are Americans and have the constitutional right to establish our Catholic religion the way we want it. America guarantees us this liberty because we are American Citizens.
    You have made it clear that you stand with Americans in this and are not like some of the non-Americans who have Catholic religious beliefs – I know of one person who says the Catholic Church is a people, a nation, and that since becoming Catholic he looks at his Social Security Card as his “green card” to allow him to live and work in the United States. He is much like that bishop a number of years ago who said, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession… Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people… aliens and exiles” (He says the Church really is a Nation in the world, like the USA, but was not established by the world).
    While Diognetus would not recognize American Catholicism from what he was told about the Church, he was not American, so he would not understand that America is above all, being the first cause of religious liberty, and that as Americans, Catholicism can be whatever we choose it to be in America.

  • Brian
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Hello Archbishop,

    Thanks for all you do! Keep up the good fight!

    May I humbly suggest – Now is a great time for the Bishops to tell the world why we oppose contraception, e.g. Because it objectifies and degrades women (and men)!

    Folks need to know that it is the Catholic Church that TRULY stands up for the dignity of women !!!

    All the best to you, dear Archbishop!!!

  • Deborah Geary
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I am disheartened in the visceral focus of the Church in opposition to the Federal rule on access to birth control pills. I was raised Catholic, and with each passing year I am further and further from remotely considering myself a Catholic. I remember (then Father) Dolan as a parish priest for a while near Annapolis MD. I had a lot of respect for him and hoped he would bring a more compassionate realism to the Church.

    Where is the focus on the hungry and needy. Why so much focus on abortion,
    homosexuality and on birth control. This is not 12th centure Rome and you are losing parishioners. You will continue to do so if you do not preach a realistic gospel.

    Every woman (and man) has the absolute right to control his or her own body. The Church has failed to recognize that — and I could not be more disappointed.

  • Larry Hoying
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I really do not see how this could possibly be interpreted as “A step in the right direction”! How in the world can this be any different from what was being done before the President’s speech on the subject? Is something a sin if I do it but okay, and not a sin if I watch someone else do it for me? Common…we’re not that stupid!

  • Elaine Staton
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Sally, well stated. I have to say I am surprised that Cardinal-designate Dolan does not see how this “compromise” is so much smoke and mirrors. As the Catholic institutions will be paying a premium to the insurance companies for coverage of FREE birth control, sterilization, and Ella and Plan B…that the insurance companies will pay for. I certainly cannot see how this resolves our conscientious objections in ANY manner. Catholic leadership cannot back down on this issue and simply pretend that President Obama has given any respect to our Catholic faith and has done any favors for us.

  • Walter Hoying
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I don’t know what part oif birth control you are against Obama has not changed a thing with this latest mandate. You proclaim to be voice of the church but st5ill think this is a good thing Obama has done. I only hope you have a change of heart before ytou meet your maker.

  • Patricia A. Gisselberg
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    Working in the world of managed care and insurance for many years, I do not see the difference in positions….just smoke and mirrors for the uneducated on how insurance works. Here is an exaggerated analogy:

    Initial Position: You must provide “poison” to all your employees.

    Accomodation: Monies will be collected from you to pay for the poison supplied to your employees (i.e. your premiums) but someone else will store and provide the poison to your employees so that you do not have to administer the poison yourself.

  • Eugene Buglewicz
    February 12, 2012 Reply

    I am not impressed with Obama’s response. There is no “free” healthcare, and there is no Constitutional right to “reproductive services”. When did this become a function of government? I just pray the Bishops will not give in. This issue is too important to allow the Federal Government to prevail.

  • Mary
    February 13, 2012 Reply

    Archbishop/Cardinal Dolan

    Obama cares not a wit about what you, the bishops, the Catholic Church or for that matter, the Pope think about his mandate.

    Obama’s only wanted to win back Sr. Carol Keehan (who helped him move Obamacare over the goal line) and he has done just that with his accommodation. In a Feb. 10 press release Sr. Keehan proclaims: ” The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions.

    CatholicCulture dot org has a stark chilling analysis of what’s behind the curtain. I think it will know your red hat off (if you’ve gotten it already). It ain’t pretty. The enemy is inside.

    Please read the bishops’ tougher response to the Obama ‘compromise’ mandate at CatholicCulture dot org.

    God love you.

  • David Ritchie
    February 13, 2012 Reply

    Since Obama’s “walkback” on the contraceptive mandate last Friday,liberals have been claiming the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause is satisfied because they would force someone else to bear the expense that the Church refuses to bear on conscience grounds. Perhaps the Free Exercise Clause could be assuaged if the insurance company truly would not pass on the cost to the Church (although the company almost certainly would somehow pass that cost onto the Church), but there are two parts to the Religion Clause of the First Amendment! Forcing the insurance company to support the Church would itself constitute its own violation of the Religious Establishment Clause.

    Specifically, to get out of the Free Exercise morass his overreaching has created, the President would require insurance companies to bear the Catholic institutions’ Obamacare responsibility as an employer to pay for contraceptive services. Every other employer (except for other consience objectors) would be compelled to pay those costs, but not the Catholic Church which Obama would “establish” as benefitting from a special rule imposed upon insurance companies. I have not seen anyone on the talking head shows yesterday morning raise this issue, but it is a clear flaw in the Obama plan that needs to be pointed out. Insurance companies cannot be mandated to pay for a church’s responsibilities….not even to get Obama out of a jam.

    Who’d a thunk it? Obama establishing the Catholic Church. Surely, not Michelle Obama who is distressed by all the power Irish Catholics have in Illinois Politics!

  • Linda Daily
    February 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Archbishop, I hope that read carefully the comments of the “community of loving disciples” that you’ve created. Someday they will turn on you.

  • Joanne Cook
    February 13, 2012 Reply

    Writer Steve McCann says it all:

    The recent ruling by the Obama Department of Health and Human Services forcing religious institutions to provide either directly or through private insurance not only contraceptives, but abortion pills and sterilization is not a matter of so-called women’s rights, but a means of setting the precedent and foundation to force organized religion to be subservient to the state.

    Read more:

  • Kimberly M. Pollock
    February 13, 2012 Reply

    I am so thankful to you, Cardinal (almost?) Dolan. Please do not back down on this issue and do not compromise. This is not a Catholic issue;v it is a First Amendment issue. I have listened to the video on USCCB and I heard you on Fr. Groeschel’s program. You are gifted because you calmly discuss the issue and make the point with clarity. Please continue to stay the course.

  • Nick
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    The Government could pay for the benefits offered by insurance companies. It is more than reasonable to think it could, because the Government has, many times in the past, created large amounts of money to pay off debts and pay for various necessities.

    It is an irresponsible practice, because it harms the global economy, but it is one way the Government could avoid forcing people who are against the health mandate to pay for the health mandate. It is the lesser of two evils, though not the only other option.

    You know what the other option is: No evil services in the mandate at all. But it is very unlikely that this will happen, for a number of reasons, such as pressure from the public. Still, God’s Mercy is Omnipotent and we gotta trust in Him to take care of everything.

  • Heather Wilson
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    “And they will know we are Christians by our love”. What is more likely, reading these comments in this blog, is “and they will know we are Catholics by our self-righteousness, intolerance, hypocrisy and arrogance.” Jesus might call you all Pharisees and warn the rest of us about you. I converted to Catholicism more than 40 years ago. With deep regret I can no longer be a part of a Church that has been so thoroughly and completely politicized and co-opted by right wing extremists and racists. Where was the moral outrage at two illegal wars? Sanctioning the torture of prisoners? Rampant poverty and homelessness caused by out of control financial institutions? Cover-ups (that continue as we speak) of predator priests? The self-righteous, hate-filled and thinly veiled racist disrespect for our President is shameful and embarrassing (as an American and former Catholic). The fact that the USCCB is fanning the flames of Fox News and other hate-mongerers is reprehensible. President Obama is not “waging a war on religion,” “assaulting religious liberty” or any of the other divisive claims being made. As usual, President Obama is the only adult in a room filled with screaming children who don’t stop to take a breath and try to work with him. Instead it is all about demonizing him. It is outrageous that the USCCB does nothing to help people understand the complexity of the issues, nothing to encourage rational or thoughtful discussions trying to look at issues from the perspective of others (also known as empathy – a generally good, moral concept I would think). It would be helpful if the USCCB would help people in the pews deal with the fact that they live in a country where there are many different viewpoints and beliefs and that Catholics need to show respect for others (and maybe especially the President), even if they do not agree with him. Seems pretty basic. But then again, people in the pews unfortunately follow the leader and clearly the USCCB has little respect for the fact that there are thousands and thousands of individuals employed by Catholic institution of various kinds who are not Catholic or do not share the Catholic beliefs regarding contraception. Oh well. Too bad for them. Their beliefs/religious freedom does not matter. Get the point? It is not about religious freedom. It is about applying the law equally to all people. I must admit I feel a tremendous amount of relief in renouncing my conversion to Catholicism. It was becoming increasingly impossible trying to defend the indefensible – to others, but more importantly in my own heart.

  • Theresa in Alberta
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    I really really REALLY enjoying listening (and watching) you with Father Benedict on EWTN on sunday Feb 12. Stand strong because whatever the US government mandates, us Canadians are not far behind.

  • Barry K Ward
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    Thank you for leading what I hope is the beginning of the Faithful standing up to a government/culture in America which more and more has decided that human rights are granted by government rather that God. God Bless you all.

  • Hector
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan;
    We need for the church to lead us in the fight against Obamacare. The reason is that any Catholic who owns a business and offers insurance benefits to his or her employees will not want to be supporting abortions and any other abortive and contraceptive services by paying them through insurance premiums for insurance policies. From a responsible and consciencious and Christian perspective it would be the same as paying for them directly. We are at the edge of a precipise and we cannot allow Obama to push us over the edge. These are the sins of omissions which we pray about at the begining of every mass we attend. Father Pio (St. Pio of Pietrelcina) said that the most common sin found in this world (besides Pride) was Hipocracy. We cannot confuse Christian Charity for the so called “Social Justice” of Democrats hiding behind the vail of Marxist socialists. They are not one in the same. You have had to live within socialism or communism to realize the difference.
    Thank you for having the courage to stand up to Obama. God bless you.

  • Maria
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and Eternal Life by John Hardon SJ

    ” I make bold to say that the Catholic Church, the real Roman Catholic Church, will survive only where her bishops are courageous enough to proclaim what the followers of Christ have believed since apostolic times. But the bishops are frail human beings. They need, Lord how they need, the backing and support of the faithful under their care. ”

    We are with you, your Excellency!! We have your back. We thank you for your courageous witness to the Truth. Go get em.

  • Maurice F. Curran
    February 14, 2012 Reply

    I applaud Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan’s strong and clear leadership against the President’s imposition of the sterilization, contraceptive, and abortion-inducing mandate as part of “preventative medical care” under the Obama Care law. The First Amendment of our U. S. Constitution protects all citizens against the federal government mandating that any citizen violate its religious beliefs. The practice of sterilization or using abortion-inducing drugs or contraceptives violates the Natural Law and the Moral Law adopted by the Catholic Church for over two thousand years. Who gave President Obama the right to tell the Catholic Church, or any other church or follower of the Freedom of Religion decree of the U.S. Constitution, that their fundamental constitutional protection to follow their religious belief and code has been preempted and taken away by his presidential decree? Not the Constitution; not the U. S. Congress; not Secretary Sibelius; not Planned Parenthood; and not the New York Times. As Archbishop Dolan has forcibly and unconditionally pronounced, this is a fight to to the death. President Obama and his cohorts may impose fines in the millions of dollars and may even try to imprison those who resist the Obama mandate on the grounds of civil disobedience. No doubt President Obama thinks that this firestorm will quickly pass and his stamping out the First Amendment will have no repercussion in the 2012 general election. If he is sadly mistaken in his usurpation of our religious freedom, he will reap the whirlwind, and he has only himself to blame.

  • Jonathan S
    February 15, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you leading us in the fight for religious liberty and holding strongly to an unpopular dogma of the Church. Know that the faithful are praying for you and for all our bishops.

  • Ron Gizzarelli
    February 15, 2012 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan, Thanks you for fighting the subtle forces of evil in our government. It is a constant erosion of our morals, values and religious freedom that is being perpetrated.

    I was reading the final letter in ROMANS 16: 17-20, and it couldn’t be any
    truer today! Please carry on your important work in Christ Jesus name.
    Amen. Ron

  • Karen
    February 15, 2012 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    I do hope that we can fight this contraceptive mandate by the “government”, but I have to say, it is the “Bishops'” FAULT. You all wanted the OBAMA “all-inclusive” “health” care crap and now guess what we have?

    We knew who this “man” was BEFORE he was elected. If the Bishops’ had gone out and told the Catholic population to vote “PRO-LIFE” and ONLY Pro-Life we “may” not have voted this “man” into office – 54% of Catholics (I see an Obama bumper sticker on car in line at Catholic HS!!!!!). Then right after he was in office he turned around the Mexico City policy and started on the Obamacare heath care “reform”. He hired Sabilius (KS governor – we knew who she is!).

    Really, the only “reform” we need is to get the government out of “government”, “healthcare” and “education”. These three things, government puts tons of $$ into and guess what? They keep rising way above all other expenditures, wasting 100’s of billions in $$. We are taxed to the hilt and trying to pay for Catholic HS and college have been VERY difficult. I’m scared that our family will eventually lose our health care and any “pre-existing” conditions will force us to not have health care.

    Government is intrusive, over bearing, and we cannot have a guarantee that they will be “nice” to us. Look, we have 5 Catholics on the Supreme Court and that still doesn’t help us.

    My other problem with the Bishop’s is this: What would their attitude be if the people of Mexico were all Muslim? Would they want them coming over the boarder in hoards as the people of Mexico do now? Mmmm. I don’t think so. Think about that. I do want people to come to US, but legally. I have in-law from Venezuela and it took her forever to go through all the hoops to come and then to become a citizen.

    Anyway, I’m not impressed with the USCCB. Pedifile priests and the “bishops” that allowed them to carry on (including in my parents’ parish) have turned members of family away from going to church – not going to other denominations, just not going to Catholic church! Grrrr.

    I’m thankful for a faithful Bishop where I live and 2 good priests in our parish. That is all that I can ask for as of now.

  • Theresa Clemoms
    February 15, 2012 Reply

    I hope you realize how many Protestants are also looking to the Catholic church to lead the way in this debate. The simple fact that we have so many denominations and so few cooperative leaders that it is impossible for us to have a united front in the face of such adversity. This is also the reason that the C atholic church leads the most effective pro-life movement in the U.s. today. As one Christian to another I must say thank you for showing us the way. We must always strive to follow in the footsteps of God and the righteous. Each day our individual rights are slowly being diminished and most of us remain silent. We cannot afford to be silent any longer. Thank you.

  • Nancy Gibson
    February 15, 2012 Reply

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan for stqnding up for our Catholic beliefs. We all need to pray for our country and even more for this president.

  • Leslie M
    February 16, 2012 Reply

    I’m another Protestant who thanks God for you and other Catholic leaders who are standing up to the growing anti-Christian mindset in our country. Keep up your good work. We’re all rooting for you.

    February 17, 2012 Reply

    I am an american first and catholic second and I have been very disappointed to see how the religious community is trampling the 1st amendment and bashing our president for his attempts to uphold it. Our country was based on the separation between church and state. Religious freedom is a given in this country which I have never contested. The church has been one of the luckiest institutions in this country for centuries, by their continued tax exempt status. At a time when our country is experiencing such financial hardship I feel a true and loving church community would be stepping up to do their part to help, especially if they expect to voice their views in the political arena. If you expect to have your voices heard than you need to start by offering up your tax exempt status and financially contribute to this country before your voices should be heard. Church income and property tax payments alone would offset federal and state deficits enormously. It’s time the church puts its money where its mouth is.

  • Steve McPartlin
    February 17, 2012 Reply

    Heather Wilson:

    It seems to me that you have more of an issue with your country than you do with your Church.

    Steve McPartlin

  • Pamela
    February 17, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence, I am not Catholic but wanted to add my gratitude for your efforts to protect religious freedom. When I first heard about this mandate I was appalled. Not only on a moral basis, but on a constitutional basis overall. What gives the government the authority to dictate such mandate? How could they mandate this of any organization/business/insurance company? The issue really isn’t limited to the Catholic faith – it effects ALL citizens in this country.

    No one objecting to this is taking away anyone’s access to contraception. Just trying to rescind a mandate which exceeds constitutional authority.

    Keep up the good work!

  • BostonPat
    February 17, 2012 Reply

    Your Emminence Cardinal Dolan,
    Please know that local prayer groups praise God daily for your appointment as President of US Bishops. We are praying as Our Lady in Medjugorje is asking us every month in her messages….”Pray for your shepherds”…..We wanted you to see the latest posting on and the piece on Sister Carol Keehan who is responsible for ObamaCare being accepted… the author states: “Follow the money”…..
    God’s care and protection for you and your brother bishops…..You will be in our prayers, sacrifices and fasting intentions this Lenten season…..

  • Aida Cordano
    February 17, 2012 Reply

    Your Excellency —

    Thank you for your courageous stand regarding the HHS mandate and religious freedom. I know there are many, many Catholics who are grateful for all that you are doing.

    With my continuing prayers for you —

    Aida Cordano
    San Mateo, CA

  • Vency
    February 19, 2012 Reply

    Bravissimo Your Eminence Cardinal Dolan. Your leadership is remarkable. Thank you for fighting vigorously for the principles of freedom of religion embodied in the first
    amendment of our Constitution.
    I pray for Heather Wilson who decided to change her mind and leave the Church of us weak sinners. The very first Pope, St. Peter was weak and a sinner. But the Church is Holy and keeps us sinners in her tight loving and caring holy embrace.
    By the way, there has not been , to this date, a single racist statement or remark made by the Holy, Roman Catholic Church or USCCB about our President Obama.
    Heather please reconsider coming back to the true Church. I will pray for you, a sinner.

  • John Manchester
    February 20, 2012 Reply

    We must be very vigilant and vocal. As you have seen over the last week, this issue is still very present in the daily news coverage. But … be careful of the almost subliminal shift that the Obama administration and his liberal minion press is trying to achieve.

    They are trying to shift this debate to a national referendum on contraception. They especially want to try to force the Catholic Church into an open public debate on contraception. No Christian Church (or any real Church) should allow itself to be forced into a public defense of any of its teachings. We know that both Moslems and Jews refrain from eating pork as part of their traditional beliefs. Are these religions asked to defend their beliefs in a public forum? Are Hindus asked to defend their abstinence of slaughtering beef for the ingestion of meat? Never!

    Christians are entitled to their beliefs and should not even engage in a public debate. Unfortunately, many Christians do not know or understand the teachings of their own Church with regard to abortifacient contraception* and other issues of human life. And we need to do something about that.

    (* Most do not know this characteristic of “the Pill” see

    We, as Christians, (by-and-large) had a strong role in putting Obama in the White House. This is a very sad truth. It is, however, a sin that can be redressed. How do we do that? We do it by knowing what our beliefs are … and … by standing strongly for our beliefs … and our Church! For, as they say, if you do not stand for something … you stand for nothing!

    “fighting for Life”
    John W. Manchester

  • Heather Wilson
    February 22, 2012 Reply

    To Steve McPartlin – with regard to my country, I have a problem with right wing extremists like Santorum who has the audacity to judge President Obama’s theology, or the angry haters like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. I have a real problem with what they have done to spread misinformation and divisiveness. But I left the Church when I realized how it has become politicized, inserted itself in the electoral process (for example when the archbishop of St Louis grabbed headlines saying he would not give Senator Kerry communion). I also was thoroughly disgusted when Sr. Margaret McBride was excommunicated for her role in a life saving medical procedure that was deemed an abortion by the bishop in Phoenix. This good and kind, decent woman was excommunicated. Have any of the hundreds (thousands?) of priests who raped children been excommunicated? One? Nope. So Steve, I have a much bigger issue with being a part of this Church. The Church is in a huge uproar now regarding this contraception issue – sanctity of life etc – I get it – but the silence was quite deafening last September when Troy Davis, likely an innocent man, was put to death. So much for the sanctity of his life. . The inconsistencies, the lack of regard for women, making political statements and forcing letters to be read from the pulpit that assert a political agenda – it makes you wonder which Super PAC bought the Church? It is sad.
    And to Vency – thank you for your prayers. I am sure you are sincere. Obviously I know I am a sinner, I understand the church is imperfect due to all the imperfect people in it. I worked for a very long time within the Church (even taught religion in a catholic school for many years) but have had to come to realize I have no power to affect any change, as a woman it is highly unlikely I would be heard. Revering life as I do, it is way too short to be spending precious time and energy continuing to fruitlessly work for change from within.

    And with regard to racist remarks – I was not accusing the USCCB of making them – they are rampant throughput the posts on this thread and others – anti-Obama rhetoric from the fox news play book. What I resent is the fact that the USCCB seems to collude with and promote divisiveness with rhetoric such as a war on religion, an assault on religious liberty etc. It is not about that at all – it is about living in a pluralistic society where not everyone shares the same beliefs but everyone has to follow the same laws. Instead it is blown into his whole huge drama.
    Enough. Again – thanks for yOur prayers but I can’t imagine ever coming back. Just as I thought very long and hard and with much prayer regarding joining the church those many years ago, it has been a gradual , prayerful and sad process of recognizing I can’t be a part of this anymore. I am ashamed of what the church has done and continues to do.

  • Sandy H
    February 27, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,
    More and more I hear about obama, I truly fear for all Americans, and our freedoms in all areas, if this man is re-elected. Please, please, I beg of you not to back down on this matter, no compromise at all. period!!! All religions will suffer the consequences if we give in to the bullying of this regime. It seems as those he is more worried about apologizing to the islamic extremist about the mistakenly burning of the koran, than what the conscience and views of his own people are, in America. I have a suggestion, and it is from scripture. Jesus who healed the mute boy, and the disciples could not heal him, so they called upon Jesus to do it, and the scripture says…..Mark 9:28&29 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”….fasting and prayer was mentioned by Jesus many times. My suggestion for you to consider, is to have a National day of fasting and prayer in the Catholic Church, over this matter, and all religions can join in if they so choose. We need some strength, and spiritual help in this matter, and what better time, during Lent, to set aside a day, for fasting and prayer, for this matter. I hope you will take my recommendation to heart. I pray for you for strength, and perseverance. Stay strong, and don’t back down, our spiritual lives are at stake here. Thank you and may the Lord Bless you always!!

  • David Casper
    March 1, 2012 Reply

    Heather Wilson:

    I agree that the bishops have not taken as strong or as public a stance as they probably should have on many issues. But mistakes made on the part of the bishops is no reason to renounce the Catholic Church as a whole. Belonging to the Church involves believing in her doctrines, especially such things as the True Presence in the Eucharist. Could you actually justify disavowing your belief in the Eucharist for any reason whatsoever, let alone mere human imperfection? If the Eucharist actually is Jesus, then how can you grow closer to Jesus by leaving the one faith that possesses the Eucharist?

    Your reaction here is similar to the reaction of Martin Luther when he observed things that were going wrong in the Church: he decided to leave the Church and start his own.

    The proper reaction to these problems is that of St. Francis of Assisi: rather than leaving and renouncing the Church, he sought to transform it from the inside out through prayer and hard work (and it worked).

    I am ashamed of certain things in the Church’s history as well, and of things the Church is doing now. But the fallen, imperfect humans in the Church are transcended by the Church herself, because she is the Body and Bride of Christ. Leaving that is to leave Christ, and to leave the pure, unfettered intimacy you have with Him in the Holy Eucharist. Distancing yourself from the Church Christ founded is no way to draw nearer to Him. I pray you will reconsider, and seek reconciliation. We need passionate people such as yourself to help transform these shortcomings into areas where the Church shines and excels above all others. Here, where you see a problem, is your moment to act to correct that problem, not to throw everything away wholesale.

  • Heather Wilson
    March 2, 2012 Reply

    David Casper – thank you for your very kind and thoughtful response. I managed to function as a “cafeteria” Catholic (take what I like and disregard the rest) for many many years. For whatever reason, I just can’t/won’t anymore. The peace I have felt since finally saying thus far and no further is that grace-filled peace that you know comes from beyond your own being.
    If I am appalled by the hypocrisy of the Church hierarchy, as I am, how can I possibly continue to collude with it by taking what is dear to me (the Sacraments) and putting aside the rest? I can’t put it aside anymore, I won’t. I am certain my leaving the Church has zero impact on changing anything – just as staying wouldn’t make a shred of difference either. However, for my own integrity, it makes a huge difference in my own heart. I am no Saint Francis. Regardless, the likelihood of a lay woman ever having even a remote possibility of correcting problems or being heard by the church hierarchy is almost laughable. I can’t think of one woman, in recent memory, or even not so recent, ever making any changes to the Church “from within.” Can you?
    Thanks again David. I appreciated your comments.

  • Thomas
    March 3, 2012 Reply

    If everyone held the same blind devotion and defensive stand for Jesus Christ as some seem to have for President Obama, we would not be on the verge of moral and economic collapse as we are today. But then, President Obama would not have been elected president by the same standard.

  • Thomas
    March 3, 2012 Reply

    “The foolish man of little faith may say it is a natural animal instinct to reproduce, degrading man to the level of a thoughtless beast. How foolish can intelligence render a man? For animals have no conception of love nor emotions, no pleasures derived from their day to day witness of their children as they grow and interact in their parent-child relationship; they cherish no memories and they know no guilt for wrongful acts a husband or wife may commit in offense to their loved one. They have no thought or desire in the willing commitment of a relationship with their beloved. Is it not true that man well knows his being is above all creation? Although many of My children have abused this precious gift I have bestowed upon them, there has never been a child conceived that was not My child. There has never been a soul brought into the world that I did not love, and never a child I did not wish to share in eternal life. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. It is because of these I have so long ago proclaimed, for every human life I will demand an accounting; even from animals I will demand an accounting of human life and from man I will demand it, for each and every one is My child whom I love. Yes, I love you.”

    Excerpt from “Meaning of Life”

  • Dr. John P Sprucinski
    March 4, 2012 Reply

    I am appalled by your, and the majority of the “Catholic” hierarchy, talking a false witness position as to freedom of religion with the latest HHR . As a church and religion there is no threat to your brand of belief. False positions like yours foster the comments of irrational fear such as Sandy H has expressed and does us all a disservice. You know your position is a lie and yet you continue with it – that is why the Catholic church and members of it like you drive individuals away from God rather than closer. Kindly stop the lies!!!!

  • Villa Ricca
    March 5, 2012 Reply

    Citizenship will always comes first.

    Religion can not interfere with Citizenship Rights.

    Religion is like a social club where you go to play ping-pong and chat with friends who have similar interests. So Freedom of Religion is having the right to exist for prayer. We have the right to built our churches, go for the services, organize to help the needy and gather anytime to pray. Any Religion must fit into the law of the land and stay out of Citizenship Rights just because Citizenship is a Right not a choice so it comes first.

    You can’t say that your Religion prohibits you from paying taxes and denying you from having that right constitute an attack of Freedom of Religion. Religion cannot ever interfere with Citizenship matters because this will be an attack to your freedom. That’s the real danger, which is an attack to the Constitution.

    Villa Ricca
    Catholic Person

  • John V. Thomas
    March 9, 2012 Reply

    The President is attempting to force faith based institutions to provide insurance coverage for drugs and services that are not in accordance with firmly held beliefs. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmum addressed the issue directly: “The Free Exercise Clause at the very least was designed to guarantee freedom of conscience by prohibiting any degree of compulsion in matters of belief.” The discussion about the pros and cons of contraception or abortion inducing drugs or sterilization are not relevant to the broader issue of the Constitutional protections Americans possess. We are not a “democracy” but a “constitutional republic”. Our citizens are protected by the rights outlined in the Constitution. The reason that the leaders of many faiths are joining with Catholic leaders is that they do not want the government to force any religion to violate the tenets of their faiths.

  • ira blacker
    March 11, 2012 Reply

    I know it may be hard to believe sir, but as a Jewish non religious person, I wholeheartedly support your position. The “lord of the lies” in Washington has no business putting his nose into the culture and dogma of the Church or any religion. It is in fact a violation of the constitution, but what does Pinocchio in DC know about that, as he has 20 lawsuits against him at the moment or usurpation of his power.

    I am for your position as it clearly is your right to “tend your own flock” and not for the government to meddle in. If people do not stand up now, what freedoms will we lose next? I am fully aware that many of your followers even practice birth control. However this is not a matter over birth control or abortion, but one of religious freedom. If I am to have my right to observe how I choose, then I must value yours.


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