SCMC Statement Regarding the HHS

The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church publicly and without reserve support the Catholic Bishops of the United States in opposing the Health and Human Services mandate requiring that all group health plans and health insurance issuers provide the full range of contraceptive methods and services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). We joyfully serve the poor and are deeply concerned about the need for universal healthcare for all Americans, rich or poor, working or unemployed, young or aged. We are, nevertheless, firm in our conviction that no law, even one purportedly aimed at the “common good,” can be seen as “good legislation” if it opposes the moral law, requires persons of faith to betray their consciences, and is in flagrant violation of the freedom of religion clause of the Constitution of the United States.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBCenter) underscores this by pointing out that “the Rule [sic] is creating new law in terms of mandating contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization coverage with no co-pay by the enrollees.” To mandate that faith-based organizations would disregard and contradict their belief in the moral law protecting human life at all stages, by offering health care coverage to their employees that subsidizes the destruction of or interference with the creation of human life is “literally unconscionable,” as Cardinal designate Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has publicly affirmed.

The disconnect between the professed intent of the PPACA and the actual effect the Rule has on faith-based organizations is an obvious and disconcerting one. This mandate is “well beyond the  provisions of the PPACA, and the statutory intent at the time of its adoption” which was “to cover screening and prevention of pathological conditions of women” (in NCBCenter letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, September 27, 2011). Pregnancy has never been seen as a pathological event, but rather a normal physiological process (NCBCenter). Mandating Catholic and other faith-based organizations to provide insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices as well as abortifacients and sterilization would require us to violate our moral consciences and our fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church support our Bishops in our opposition to this. We cannot in conscience participate in carrying out this HHS ruling as it now stands.

Catholic social service agencies, healthcare facilities and schools serve millions of Americans each year. The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church perceive our participation in the various ministries carried out in the Church to be a sacred task entrusted to us by God. Our mission is to build up the Body of Christ in a culture of life through education, healthcare and service to the poor. This federal mandate, on the contrary, threatens the very sanctity of life itself by promoting what the late Pope John Paul II so aptly termed The Culture of Death. The HHS Rule countermands both the Gospel of Jesus, which is a Gospel of Life, and the right of every American citizen to the free practice of religion and protection from any prohibition of the free practice thereof (First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States).

We ask all who cherish the freedom of religion given to us by the Constitution, and who stand in opposition to a federal mandate to provide insurance that covers most forms of contraception, to join the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church in earnestly beseeching Almighty God, Source and Protector of all created life that He will inspire our legislative and executive leaders to reverse this onerous decision that threatens the very soul of our nation.
Praised be Jesus Christ.


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  • Judith Phelan June 9, 2012   Reply →

    Dear Sisters,

    The Lord by His Spirit leads where He wants us to be so came across you site and the letter. Though I am not a Catholic, it is with joy that the Lord has called me to serve HIM. LIFE is sacred even before we are born GOD our ABBA already has us in His Heart. In righteous anger I cry out in prayer and finding this letter we need to bind ourselves who believe in life together to stop this “death decree” through the government. We were not founded on the way we are going now.
    I personally pray that all believer and our Jewish brothers and siters will stand with us to save our FREEDOMS. So in the Name of Jesus I come to stand beside you and you beside me in FAITH to destroy the enemy the satan under our feet.
    Thank you for a place to voice our heart.

    • Claire July 2, 2012   Reply →

      Sheri there are many reasons for a pintcrciag, faithful Catholic to not want to vote for Rick Santorum. His position on war, immigration, and torture, for example, are not in keeping with the Catholic faith. Prior to the administrations attack on religious freedom, I was going to write on my ballot none of the above . Now I will have to hold my nose and voter for the not Obama candidate. As for the rest of your comment what can I say? You have bought in to the lie that the ability to have sex without consequences is a right. The bishops have every right to speak out. The have been given the authority and the duty from Jesus Christ to proclaim the Truth. Oh and Truth is revealed by God and not by opinion polls.Please follow the link in the post. Perhaps if you actually read what the bogus arguments are, you will realize that you have been sold a bill of goods. I am not naive. The so called freedom to treat sex as mere entertainment has had devastating effects on our society especially woman.

  • Tabitha November 3, 2014   Reply →

    Hello Sisters of Charity. My name is Tabitha. I am a mother of two beautiful childern Michaela(16) & Mason(12). They both are loving children. I’m a single parent and try my best to raise them in a good environment. I was divorced from their father in 2010 and solely taken care of them with God’s guidance. They both attend Catholic School & are honor students. Its a struggle but it worth the struggle because it has build a necessary foundation for them both. Since my divorce in 2010, I met a great friend & role model to my children. He also believes in a loving & supportive foundation. 🙂 My dear friend/best friend know that my fiance & I are seeking help and gave me your website to inquire with any help that you can aid. My fiance & I want to have a baby but I was forced from my previous union to have a tubal ligation(tubes tied). The cost to reverse tubal ligation is beyond what we both can afford due to raising two children in Catholic School. If you can help our union bring another baby in this world with a loving family like ours, please let me know…I have no other resources. Thank You for listening to my cry. May God bless everything you stand for. God is Good, all the time.

    • Sister Joan Clare December 18, 2014   Reply →

      We will certainly pray for you and your family. May God bless you with more children – pray to St. Elizabeth who had a miraculous experience of giving birth at an old age.

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