Msgr. Steenson on Recent HHS Mandate

Almighty God, who hast created us in thine own image:
Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make
no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use
our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of
justice in our communities and among the nations, to the
glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who
liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.

-Collect for Social Justice
Book of Divine Worship, Page 509

As the newly-installed Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, I stand with the bishops and those throughout the Church in protesting recent threats by the Administration to our moral teaching and constitutional freedoms.  I urge all those in association or sympathy with the Ordinariate to pray for justice and to make your concerns known to those in authority.

Recently, the President proposed a mandate that would force Catholic and other religious organizations to violate their consciences by paying for artificial contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, and surgical sterilizations, as part of employee insurance plans. This is in violation of Catholic moral teaching.

Strong nationwide objections were raised. As a result, the Administration put forth a second proposal. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops notes that this proposed “compromise” remains unacceptable. The USCCB has provided excellent resources online to ensure parishioners have the most current information. I ask that you review these materials, contact your legislators as called for and to continue to pray for respect for our basic right to practice our religion.

As Catholics we are called to live out our faith not simply on Sunday, but in all aspects of our lives, and to speak out on behalf of the truth. This is one of those times as we face proposed health care mandates that would violate Catholic teaching and seriously infringe on our religious liberty.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson

February 14, 2012

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