Catholic Bishop on Obamacare Rule: ‘We Cannot–We Will Not–Comply With This Unjust Law’

Photo Credit: CNS News

Photo Credit: CNS News

As many Americans start to enroll in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges on Oct. 1, the position of Bishop Paul S. Loverde, head of the Catholic diocese of Arlington, Va., on the law’s mandate that nearly all health insurance plans include contraception, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs without co-pays has not changed and is clear: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”

Bishop Loverde made that statement in a joint letter with Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Richmond Diocese to the Catholics of Virginia – some 700,000 of them — on Jan. 30, 2012. Bishop Loverde’s office confirmed this week that, given the mandate has not been changed or rescinded, the bishops’ position has not changed.

Back in March 2012, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) described the Obamacare rule as an “unjust and illegal mandate” that violates religious freedom under the First Amendment, and noted that it affects employers and nearly all individuals — a “violation of personal civil rights.”

On the mandate, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception,” explained Bp. Loverde in the letter. “Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those ‘services’ in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.”

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