Last week Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan lashed out at the Obama Administration for forcing religious organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. The rule would force Christian organizations to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion drugs to workers even though this violates Catholic Church teaching. The new rules are so strict that most Catholic institutions will not qualify for an exemption.
Even Pope Benedict warned of the “grave threat” to religious freedom in United States before the Obama Administration approved the new rules.
Now the Obama Administration is forbidding Catholic chaplains from reading a letter from the leader of the US bishops.
Business Insider reported:
The emerging conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration may have a new front: in the U.S. military itself.
The Catholic Church is fighting mad about an HHS ruling that would have them buy insurance for things they consider sinful–contraception, sterilization and abortion.
All the bishops in the country sent out a letter to be read in their parishes promising that the Church “cannot-and will not-comply with this unjust law.”
Even Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who is in charge of Catholic military chaplains sent out the same letter. But after he did, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains sent out another communication forbidding Catholic priests to read the letter, in part because it seemed to encourage civil disobedience, and could be read as seditious against the Commander-in-Chief.
More than one Catholic chaplain who spoke to us off the record confirmed that many chaplains disobeyed this instruction and read the letter anyway.
Others sought further instructions from their Archbishop. Now after much behind-the-scenes bureaucratic wrangling, a new version of the letter will be read, one that was edited of the language about “unjust laws.” A new statement issued this afternoon from Archbishop Broglio’s office acknowledged the interference this way:
Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants. Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter. Additionally, the line: “We cannot-we will not-comply with this unjust law” was removed by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience.
Don’t expect the state-run media to report on this story.
It doesn’t fit their narrative.