Bp. Sample: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”

His Excellency Alex Sample, Bishop of Marquette, has made a powerful statement in the face of the Obama Administration’s open attack on the Catholic Church, the 1st Amendment, and the religious freedom of all Americans. My friend Fr. john Boyle at Caritas in veritate receives my biretta tip.

Bishop Sample: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law”

Bp. Sample

The Most Reverend Alexander K Sample, Bishop of Marquette, has published a letter to be read at all Masses this coming weekend. It comes in the wake of the Obama Administration’s decision to force all employers, including Catholic employers, to offer health coverage that includes sterlization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception thereby denying Catholics and the Catholic Church the freedom to practise and live according to their religious beliefs.

WDTPRS kudos to my old friend Bp. Sample.

He better be careful or he’s going to wind up moved to … Chicago.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Ryan M says:

    If he’ll keep speaking Truth like this, please send him here! We’re sort of on the market for Cardinal George’s successor already.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Please, Father, do not wish Chicago onto this good Bishop. I am afraid that we are entering into a time when the bishops will be persecuted as they were under the Arians, when the governments, such as the emperor and governors and even some Arian bishops, turned against the True Church. So many bishops were imprisoned. We take these good men for granted and should not. They need our prayers and fasting more than ever. We cannot forget how the Church was split under Arianism, as I think it will be under relativism and all the other Modernist heresies within the Church today. God bless Bishop Sample.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Now, that’s why they’re called Excellency.

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Chicago in a decade, after Denver, por favor.

  5. John V says:

    Excerpts from the statement by Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh:

    “. . . Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said ‘To Hell with You’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States.
    •To Hell with your religious beliefs,
    •To Hell with your religious liberty,
    •To Hell with your freedom of conscience.
    We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded, ‘in effect, the president is saying that we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.’
    . . . .
    It is time to go back to work. They have given us a year to adapt to this rule. We can’t! We simply cannot!
    Write to the president.
    Write to Secretary Sebelius.
    Write to our Senators.
    Write to those in Congress.
    . . . .
    This mandate can be changed by Congressional pressure. The only way that action will happen is if you and I take action.
    Let them know that you and I will not allow ourselves to be pushed around (or worse yet) be dismissed because of our Catholic faith.
    Let them know that you and I will not allow our religious freedom to be compromised.
    Let them know that you and I will not allow our religious liberty to be rescinded.
    Nobody, not even the president of the United States or anyone who represents him, has the right to say to you and to me as U.S. citizens, as Catholics, or as both: “To Hell with You.”
    The president and our elected leaders need to hear from you and me and to listen to us NOW.”
    . . . .
    The Bishop’s whole statement is here.

  6. Scott W. says:

    I’m not seeing this mentioned on the Diocese of Marquette website. It is kind of a messy site (to me at least) so I may have missed it. I’d just like to double check the source.

  7. CarpeNoctem says:

    I just got this exact same letter sent out of my own chancery, under my bishop’s signature, to be read this weekend as well. Sorry to burst the bubble, but this looks like a form letter from the USCCB.

  8. benedetta says:

    Wonderful statement by this caring Bishop! This resonated very much with me:

    “Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build
    America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,
    only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights.”

  9. CarpeNoctem says:

    Ok, I need to retract my statement a bit, it’s not the exact same letter from my bishop, but it is pretty close.

  10. It appears that my Archbishop, Dennis Schnurr, has issued a very similar letter. Which, to my mind, is a very good sign!

    It means they are working together, and they are more interested in acting quickly than worrying about the use of the same text. Who cares? They’re acting, that’s what matters.

    Keep praying for our bishops, because I would not be surprised if the Obama Administration is holding back a concession, which he will offer grandly at the 11th hour, in hopes it will mollify the bishops. It’s easy to see how that could play–either they go for it, or they are divided or confused.

    My advice to my Archbishop was for all the bishops to meet in Washington, publicly adopt a strategy of total defiance, and then go, en masse, to the White House, and say:

    “We’re here to turn ourselves in. We will not obey, so arrest us now.”

    I firmly believe the Obama Administration does not want to have to arrest bishops and priests and nuns; they do not want to have to file charges or tax liens, because we refuse to comply. They want us to go along voluntarily.

    Well call their bluff! Make them arrest us. Make them seize our property.

  11. rodin says:

    The admirable Bishop Sample’s statement is a far cry from the acquiescence of Archbishop Niederauer of San Francisco to the governance change at Catholic Healthcare West to accommodate the problems associated with Obamacare. He has determined that it is …”consistent with the church’s teachings….” How long are the sheep to be left to the care of this 76-year old shepherd?

  12. Lily says:

    I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that this issue is getting to be played out so publicly and so forcibly. It is, in a sense, making up for all those people, all those years, who watered down the church’s teaching on contraception and led the faithful to believe that the Church’s teaching had changed or been softened, somehow. Prayers for the bishops!

  13. capchoirgirl says:

    My bishop, Bp. Frederick Campbell (Diocese of Columbus, OH) is also sending a similar letter, to be read at Masses this weekend.

  14. capchoirgirl says:

    Fr. Martin: Exactly! I’m glad that so many bishops are coming to the fore on this. I don’t care if the letters are similarly worded…it’s the fact that people in the pews are going to hear about it, NOW.

  15. My Archbishop directed that his letter be read in every pulpit this weekend. It shall be read here, and distributed in the bulletin.

  16. Kerry says:

    When Katha-leeeeen-sibeelius said Catholics “have a year to comply” there is an unspoken “or else” in there. Or else what Katha-leeeeen? You will awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a righteous anger.

  17. NoTambourines says:

    An update at Caritas in Veritate clarifies that this was a model letter sent out by the USCCB:

    Compare the message from the Bishop of Toledo, Ohio:


  18. Rob Cartusciello says:

    We should be grateful for the opportunity to Obama administration has given us to bear public witness to the faith.

    “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10

    “Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” – Luke 6:22

  19. momoften says:

    …and why has Sebelius NOT been excommunicated? Or should I say when?

  20. AnAmericanMother says:

    The bishops Belling, Booking, and Candling a few of these ‘catholic’ politicians might get their attention.

    In a good cause, there is nothing wrong with some good and effective theater (as opposed to giant puppets).

  21. Tom Piatak says:

    The letters being issued by Bishop Sample and others are very encouraging. I am glad that the bishops are not going to take this lying down. But I agree with the comment above about Sibelius. If Sibelius does not get right with the Church, something like this should be the result:

  22. AnnAsher says:

    It is so awesome to hear forceful words from several Bishops and keep hearing more. Very inspiring behavior. I can see a storm coming. I think it adds to the insult that BO insists we offer these “provisions” free of charge, no deductible! I have deductible for everything abs often true health procedures aren’t covered at all. But we’re to cover reversing health free of charge?

  23. chcrix says:

    One should remember though, that it is not just the rights of believers that are being violated here. The idea that the government can tell one what kind of health insurance one is permitted or required to buy is preposterous. As someone once said ‘we must all hang together or we will all hang separately.’

  24. carl b says:

    Denver needs an ordinary….

  25. kat says:

    There is a link at the Archdiocese of Detroit website under “Bishops condemn health care mandate” to an interview on WJR with Abp . Vigneron, discussing this issue. It takes a short wait until the interview starts to play, so be patient : )

  26. Just to be clear: Bishop Sample obviously read my post pretty soon after it went up and his secretary contacted me to say that the Bishop did not want to receive the credit for this letter, which is why I updated the post. Isn’t it wonderful to discover that the USCCB is co-ordinating a concerted response to the HHS department and that bishops are acting in unison? This is how it should be. I only pray that this will not simply be bluff. A certain other episcopal conference made their faithful protest to their government about same-sex unions a few years ago, only to cave in afterwards… Will we carry out our threat of disobedience?

  27. Sword40 says:

    I, for one, will support any resistance against the Fed Govt. when it comes to these unconstitutional regulations. Darn, now I have to get to Confession before Sunday Mass for the thoughts that are going through my mind.

  28. pm125 says:

    Vigil Mass to see whether … here, too. Hope and pray to God, and through His Angels, Saints, and Holy Mary, for a groundswell of support from the heretofore confused and misled. The USCCB are the Church’s heroic help.
    (We can Move On from the naysaying over the past. The sports world, entertainment field, educators, POLITICIANS and others with the same scandals all do.)

  29. Andy Milam says:

    Frs. Z and Fox,

    I know both bishops. Sample from his days hanging around St. Agnes and Schnurr, because I grew up in the diocese of Sioux City.

    It is really, really good to hear that these holy bishops are standing up for what is important morally. We often times forget that there is more to being Catholic than just fulfilling our obligations. Being Catholic is a way of life and that way of life is under direct attack.

    We are not American Catholics, but rather we are Catholics in America. A subtle distinction? Perhaps, but one which is necessary. Far too often we forget that the smallest adjustment in language can change the way an entire group of people look at themselves. This adjustment needs to be made, IMHO! I am an American by birth, but I am a Catholic from all eternity.

    Bishop Sample and Archbishop Schnurr, as well as every bishop in the United States needs to hear from every faithful Catholic that this is not acceptable and they need to rise to the occasion. Catholicism is not a piece of clothing like the shirts we put on and take off, it is our means to salvation. We cannot lose sight of that. All the Church teaches is our path to salvation. We stray from one teaching and our path is compromised. This applies to proper Sacramental/liturgical application and it also applies to protecting the innocent (the unborn and infirmed; the aged and those who cannot otherwise take care of themselves).

    Pray for our bishops. Pray they have the strength to stand up against this tyranny. Injustice is injustice, even if it comes from within. It cannot be tolerated and it must be snuffed out, by proper means. May God have mercy on the pro-abort’s soul. They will need it.

  30. irishgirl says:

    Andy Milam: well said!
    ‘We are not American Catholics, but rather we are Catholics in America’ Yes! Exactly!
    We have to stand up as one with our shepherds and tell this evil administration that we are the sleeping giant NO MORE! We will rise up, and tell him and his minions ‘We’ve had it with you and your attacks on us! We will vote you out come November!’
    Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the US, come to our aid!
    St. Michael the Archangel, unsheathe your heavenly sword and help us!
    St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, and St. John Fisher, pray for us and help us to be as brave as you were against tyrannical rulers!


  32. Darren says:

    Bishop O’Connell of Trenton, NJ has the same letter on our diocesan website. (Slightly different greeting)


    Let’s see if this is read on Sunday.

  33. rodin says:

    For Chcrix–
    Benjamin Franklin’s statement, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately” was made at the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 and meant that if they did not band together in the fight against the British, they would all be hanged separately.

    From Answers.com

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