All 180 diocesan US bishops have issued a statement about Pres. Obama’s attack.

The young papist, Peters Fils, has been tracking the response of the US Bishops to Pres. Obama’s attack on the 1st Amendment and, specifically, on the Catholic Church.

He has good news.

All 180 diocesan bishops have issued a statement concern Pres. Obama’s attack.

Now he is also tracking the list of Catholic institutions which have reacted against Pres. Obama’s attack through the HHS mandate.

This was unthinkable just a few years ago.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tcreek says:

    A suggesting for the next order of business for the bishops:
    Apologize to the American people for supporting 2 issues (for which they had no competence) just prior to the economic recession that led, in major part, to the recession.

    Below are the first sentences from 2 articles on USCCB Economic Justice webpage.
    Action Alert: Calls Needed To Support ~ HOUSING TRUST FUND ~
    June 16, 2008
    Please call your senators today, urging them to support the Housing Trust Fund championed by Senators Christopher Dodd and Jack Reed in the Senate Banking Committee.
    [and Barney Frank in the House]
    Letter to Congressional Leaders on ~ ECONOMIC STIMULOUS ~ Legislation
    Joint letter from CHA, CCUSA, and USCCB
    September 18, 2008
    Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, and Leader Boehner:
    As Catholic organizations united by our common faith and committed to the principles of Catholic social teaching, we urge Congress to enact policies that will stimulate our struggling economy and assist low-income families and individuals facing added financial hardship as this economic downturn continues.
    [the bishops “assisted” in hurting low-income families]

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    I would like to think, though I am not that optimistic, that the Bishops will learn from this to stay out of “social justice” issues, back off the “social justice” mantra, and get back to the basics that have been ignored for 45 plus years in this country. Had they and the Priests in their charge spoken about sin, birth control, abortion, homosexual behavior etc perhaps the moral decay that is now associated with catholic would not exist…and perhaps there would be more Catholics than catholics elected to represent us.

  3. Girgadis says:

    I would add divorce to your list of basics. I can’t remember the last time I heard that word mentioned in a sermon.

  4. pm125 says:

    The laity who are predominantly unaware of the politics endangering their Church need short, sweet, at least bi-weekly messages that they can understand and use in the coming months of liberal ‘insult, insinuation, and mind games. Sort of combo catechesis/short responses to liberal words. Bulletin inserts ……..

  5. philologus says:

    Quid pro quo?

  6. RichR says:

    Our good priests in College Station have been homilizing lately on previously difficult subjects and being very up front about Catholic teaching in these areas of marriage. It seems Obama’s attack has been an occasion for lower clergy to rally the troops behind their bishops.

    I guess a watershed moment like this has some good. It is drawing a clear line in the sand. Will the laity (whom Catholic marriage teachings affect more than clergy) rally behind their leaders or quietly turn their backs embarrassed by their own spiritual neglect?

  7. PostCatholic says:

    Just a note: The Province of Washington includes the Diocese of St Thomas.

  8. acroat says:

    Our pastor has a list of items included at every Mass during the prayers if the faithful…end of abortion, divorce, artificial contraception, homosexual acts etc. Our parish is within a stones throw of an International airport so I often wonder if there is a “travel alert” warning CNO’s not to attend mass at our parish.

  9. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Deo gratias.

  10. Michelle F says:

    I don’t think the situation is as good as Thomas Peters thinks it is. I don’t know about most of the other 179 bishops, but my bishop’s statement is not a condemnation of the HHS mandate. It’s not even on the diocese’s main website. His statement is on the diocesan newspaper’s website, with no reference to it on the diocesan website. I had to go looking for it to find it.

    My bishop cites “…the intense dismay of the Catholic Health Association, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic universities and many other commentators….” Then he asks us to pray “…that wisdom and justice may prevail and religious liberty may be restored,” and recommends that we visit the USCCB’s website “…to learn more about this severe attack on religious liberty and how to contact members of Congress….”

    It’s not any real condemnation, and I’m embarrassed nearly to tears by it when I look at what some of the other bishops have said.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    I think in large part we have Pope Benedict XVI to thank for this show of unity. For several years now His Holiness has been delivering the Christian message with clarity and urgency, and encouraging a strengthened Catholic identity. The Bishops know the Holy Father will stand with them on this, and that must give them increased confidence. (The episcopal appointments he has made in the US haven’t hurt, either.)

  12. MominTexas says:

    That is good to hear, RichR. I don’t think I’ve made it to the homily in the last 5months, the way my kids have been, and if I have, I’m so busy minding them I end up tuning out poor Fr David!

  13. DisturbedMary says:

    May our God keep Obama stubborn like pharaoh.

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    It’s remarkable and very welcome to see this kind of unity among our bishops. I’ve been Catholic 27+ years and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s only sad that it took something like this to do it. Nevertheless, we have unity on this now.

    I believe that the changes we’ve seen just lately in the Church were preparation for this event. It may have surprised most of us in the pews, but I’m fairly certain that the Church had prepared for it and has been watching for it. The mobilization was amazing, given my experience with the Catholic church, who moves like a half-dead slug most of the time.

    There apparently have been several very good blogs keeping track of the statements of the bishops. I’ve been watching American Papist, who is Thomas Peters.

    The other night, I was reading recent articles at the Witherspoon Institute, which is a think tank of sorts at Princeton University. One of those articles, written by a Catholic, talks about how we got to this place. It’s called “The HHS Mandate and Legal Precedent.” It appears that Catholic Universities have been being harassed for some time by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and that’s part of what motivated the belief on the part of the administration that this HHS Mandate might “fly.” The article is here:

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    BTW, Fr Z, American Papist is on your blogroll too.

  16. Kerry says:

    Has anyone else thought about what further strategies must be taken if an Obama Supreme Court (sic.) pack with his compliant clerics decides against The Church and conscience, ruling that “Negros, indeed, may be treated as property”?

  17. And may our god grant Mr. Obama an enjoyable retirement come mid January, 2013, along with Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Sabelius.

  18. wmeyer says:

    Complacency is at hand. My bishop’s statement was ordered read one Sunday, and has by now been forgotten by the Spirit of Vatican II folks, for whom it was simply an unwelcome intrusion. A one shot response will accomplish nothing. What is needed is for the bishops to require of all priests to remind us each week, and to comment in homilies, as well. Further, this is a perfect time for the bishops to point out the need for good catechism, true to Church teaching, and to press for change in the schools and CCD classes.

    We have 40 years of negligence to repair–the work will be heavy, and the need for commitment severe.

  19. wmeyer says:

    Hieromonk Gregory: I second your prayer for retirement of all on your list, and at least several more. I would add, may O’s retirement be quieter and less meddlesome than that of Carter.

  20. Supertradmum says:

    People need to get out and work in the local political arena. I did this for years. Nothing will change unless people work for change, and that means us lay people. The bishops need out support by getting local voters to not back Obama. If you are working in a parish in catechesis, this can be done through the section on the social teaching of the Church. If local lay people do nothing, the bishops are not to blame.

  21. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum: In general, I agree, but must take issue with your closing comment. The bishops must lead, and to greater or lesser degree, the laity will follow. Yes, we are responsible to take action, but in a liberal parish, with liberal priests, the challenges are huge, and if the bishop is silent, or worse, approves the societal and political trends, the job becomes all but unapproachable.

    If the teaching is and has been deficient, and the message from the clergy at every level is mild, feel-good stuff, then those who do not actively search for news through sites such as this one cannot be condemned for believing they are doing what is needed. The laity have been lulled for decades. To make large changes, strong messages must be announced, not once, but at each Mass.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, I agree with you 100%. I am just concerned that the old Catholic bad habit of “letting father do it” hides the reality that local political action on the part of Catholics is essential. We cannot blame bad leaders when we stand before God at our particular judgment. The fact that all 180 bishops have at least made a statement is ammunition for all of us to use in some way. God bless.

  23. irishgirl says:

    But I’m just one person; what can I do?
    I’m not an ‘organizing whiz’.
    I’m not overly political, though I do vote (I often wonder at times if it ever makes any difference, with constant ‘career politicians’ and no new blood in the pipeline to take their place).
    All I can do right now is pray. I live a hidden life (or at least try to). I don’t bother anyone. I’m not an agitator.
    Not everyone is up on social media or the ‘new evangelization’ (what was wrong with the ‘old’, that there has to be a ‘new’?)!
    Most of us ordinary Catholics ‘live lives of quiet desperation’ in this horrible world, and only hope that we can save our souls in the end!
    This world is temporal….TEMPORARY!
    Heaven is eternal!

  24. Supertradmum says:

    irishgirl, I am sorry, but we must take responsility for the world in which we live. If lay Catholics had rebelled in 1973 against Roe v. Wade, we would not be in this mess. If ordinary Catholics help local voters understand the issues, helping organize talks, working with the priests in the parish, taking good Catholics to the polls on voting day, etc. any change is possible. We are not out of the world, unless one is a contemplative nun or monk but in the world. That is our job as lay people, not dancing about the altar, but changing the world. I know you are intelligent and good from your comments, but have you read St JoseMaria Escriva on our responsibilities as laity? We must be the leaven in the world. If you are a hermit, or have some sort of consecrated life which does not involve the public, then you can pray and fast. We must all do our part. To curl and die is not being the Church Militant. We must do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which include “instructing the ignorant”.

  25. irishgirl says:

    Supertradmum-I’m not ‘curling and dying’….I’m just ‘one person’, that’s all. And I’m not ‘dancing about the altar’, either.
    I know about Saint Jose Maria Escriva and Opus Dei. But that’s for smart people with university degrees [no offense], not for ‘non- degree’ people like me.
    I’ll be a member of the Church Militant by being in the background, out of the limelight, being Moses on the mountain. That’s my ‘thing’.
    You can be Joshua on the battlefield, mowing down the Amalekites. That will be yours.

  26. Re: politics, you don’t have to be an organizer or a charismatic candidate to be participating in local politics. You can show up for stuff at your local party headquarters or when candidates are campaigning in your town. (Local as much as national. You probably have more impact on local political events.) You can answer phones. You can put up a sign in your front yard. You can go door to door with petitions down a few streets. Heck, you can donate money.

    Mostly, stay informed. Tell people the truth about your views in a calm way. Then they will know that: a) more people disagree with them than they thought, b) more people agree with them than they knew, or c) there are good arguments for your position.

    This isn’t easy, necessarily, but a lot of it (the second paragraph) is just the basics of good citizenship. It’s a shame and a disgrace that basic good citizenship has been made hard by some, but all the more reason to keep at it.

    The problem is that our society has experienced a sort of tipping point. When I was growing up, I could be pretty sure that the old lady down the street and the young kids my age all believed X and Y and Z good things, even if they didn’t agree on other issues. Now a lot of people don’t agree on those things, or they don’t know in their guts that you and I and Uncle Josey all do still agree. So we have to be a bit more outspoken, because ordinary decent values don’t go without saying anymore.

  27. That said, prayer is probably very helpful, too, because this society doesn’t have nearly enough of it and people need prayers. But if you’re not cloistered or cripplingly shy or really really an invalid, you can combine prayer with politics.

    For example, irishgirl, I see that you occasionally post on the Internet about issues. So you are doing something political; you just didn’t know it. :)

  28. Johnno says:

    “May our God keep Obama stubborn like pharaoh.”

    God never had to do anything… The Pharaoh hardened his own heart by virtue of seeing God as a threat to his own man-made divinity! Hence when God said, “I will harden His heart”, he was referring to the situation in the same way as if I said to you, “I probably won’t go with you to that person’s house. I will just tick him off.” This is not because I will do something to tick him off, but rather just my presence showing up to someone who considers me an enemy and a rival will tick him off without me having to really do anything! The Pharaoh knowing that it was some other ‘god’ sent there telling him ‘a god’ what to do, was furious at the very idea and thus hardened his heart out of pride and arrogance.

    Likewise with Obama! Who are these Catholics standing in the way of telling him what is right and moral? We ought to keep track of the 10 things that will plague his administration in the coming year! Like the Pharaoh before him, Obama too is eerily pursuing a population control agenda and the desire to make people subservient slaves to the State and its head. I can imagine some of the propaganda fostered upon the Hebrews in Moses’ time also included incentives and accommodations for keeping their population down! I’m certain that there were even Hebrews amongst them that were useful idiots to the Pharaoh! Not to mention that as the Book of Exodus alludes to when the Hebrews threatened to expose the fact that Moses killed an Egyptian slave driver, that the Hebrews were themselves divided, and also worshiping the gods of the Egyptians, which is why God had to display his authority over the gods of Egypt, and also on numerous occasions when they turned from God to worship idols, thus wandering in the desert to break the hold of the idolatry of Egypt upon them by resorting to having to eliminate the older generation who were attached to these things from the younger generation who grew up without them. In fact the Hebrews when times were tough were also turning back to the ‘social welfare’ of Egypt by saying that at least in Egypt they had a place to stay and food to eat and would gladly become slaves again in return for these things.

    The parallels between the time of Exodus and the situation in current day America are amazing! It’s literal history repeating itself! Like God screaming out at us to take note! The U.S. bishops must unite as the Hebrews did under their leaders and begin the confrontation! And what better time for these things to take place than during Lent itself as we prepare for the true Passover?

  29. wmeyer says:

    The trends in society have been fostered by the progressives, and they have used every tool at their disposal. John Dewey laid out the plan for converting public schools to institutions of indoctrination (and the Church’s own schools succumbed to Dewey’s influence, as well, albeit not until decades later.) Progressives have voted in Congress as a bloc, while conservatives have voted their conscience. Progressives have taken incremental victories on all manner of small changes until, having achieved critical mass, they presented us with Obama.

    It may not be too late for the Church in America, if the bishops will uniformly turn away from the rationales derived from social justice and reapply Church Doctrine. This means, among other things, that all bishops must refrain from casting votes for Obama, Pelosi, Biden, et al. If they cannot take that small step, what chance is there they can leads us to a genuine renewal of the faith in this country?

    Failure looms large; the crisis has nearly passed. If we lose, we lose big-time. Recovery will take decades, if it is even possible, in a totalitarian state. Shall we become the Western China? This is quite literally the question before us all.

    The laity must be taught and led. This is the job for bishops and priests to fulfill. Some percentage of the laity can assist, even in the teaching, but the dissidents must be purged from positions of influence, at every level. RCIA and CCD must present only true teaching, and must no more misguide the faithful.

  30. AnAmericanMother says:

    irishgirl, supertradmum,
    I can see where you’re both coming from – and you’re not as far apart as you think.
    You have to think of it not as “politics” per se, but as evangelization – making sure that Catholics are heard in the public square despite all the efforts to shut us up and lock us in the closet . . . . not everyone is tough-skinned enough to go toe-to-toe with, say, an ardent lesbian-feminist pro-abortion advocate, but thankfully there are not very many of those around. They are just extremely noisy all out of proportion to their numbers.
    Your average neighbor or fellow parishioner or person at the grocery store can hear truth when it’s delivered in a soft, thoughtful tone, almost as a question. Coming from a family of actors, singers, and courthouse rats, I’m the opposite of shy and retiring . . . but the gentle approach is more effective and when the chips are down I don’t get loud and insistent – I get soft and conciliatory. More flies with honey, etc. etc.
    And – irishgirl – don’t sell yourself short. A university degree is, after all, just a piece of paper. Maybe it’s only true in the South (I doubt that though), but just off the top of my head I could name half a dozen people with a high school diploma (if that) who are wise, articulate, and persuasive. Some of them are my family members, some of them just friends. One of them who has now been gathered to his fathers was a Superior Court judge (no law degree – he began his working life as a barber, and he “read law” as an apprentice back when that was still allowed.)
    And St. Jose Maria Escriva is deep – but not difficult. He speaks very plainly about some complicated things, and he takes some thinking. But I just put some samples of the text of “The Way” through a readability index calculator and it came out between 5th and 8th grade level with a readability score between the high 50s to low 80s.

  31. “This was unthinkable just a few years ago.”
    Wow. Right….Un.Think.A.Ble.

  32. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, Dewey single handly destroyed the American school system.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    handedly, not my day

  34. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum, he laid the foundation, but has had (literally) millions of helpers. And per Msgr. Wrenn, the same effect began to infect the Catholic schools.

  35. Marcus de Alameda says:

    supertradmom and wmeyer
    Thanks for your great comment posts. You are hitting on all 12 cylinders (big motor).
    We as lay folk are called to go out and live and spread the gospel. When the adversary is attacking on the front lines we must answer the call to battle.

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