Since the January 20th announcement by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) of the upcoming enforcement of
regulations requiring mandatory coverage of contraceptives,
sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs with no conscience
protection, State Deputy Dave Helmstetter and the Ohio State
Council have received numerous requests for advice and guidance
from councils across the state on how to respond to this
alarming issue. As State Pro Life Director, the State Deputy
asked me to provide guidance for members and local councils.
With this in mind, I would first like to address what the edict
means for Catholics and Catholic institutions, then provide
resources to help guide your response to this edict in the hopes
of overturning it.
States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has written an
article entitled, "Six Things Everyone Should Know About The
HHS Mandate" View it here:
The mandate does not exempt
Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals.
The mandate forces these
institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for
things they consider immoral.
The mandate forces coverage of
sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as
Catholics of all political
persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate.
Many other religious and secular
people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate.
The federal mandate is much
stricter than existing state mandates.
So how do we, as loyal members of the Knights of Columbus,
respond to this organized attack on our religious liberties?
First of all, become informed, and then take action! Consider
Learn how the USCCB has vowed to fight this coercive HHS
mandate. Visit the Conscience Protection page at:
There, you will also be able to view a short video of USC.C.B.
President Cardinal Timothy Dolan where he responds to a
misleading February 1 blog post by the White House.
2. Hear an incredibly powerful homily given on February
5 by Fr. Sammie L. Maletta, Jr., pastor of St. John the
Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. Fr. Sammie's thoughts
cut right to the heart of the current crisis of religious
liberty. This is one item you will definitely want to pass on
to everyone you know! Hear it here:
Watch an insightful video of Fr. Robert Barron as he comments
on how anti-Catholic and un-American the HHS
4. Visit the Supreme Council website:
www.kofc.org. You will find some very informative articles
and videos, e.g., an article by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William
E. Lori entitled, Envisioning Religious Liberty. In it,
Bishop Lori outlines how our U.S. bishops, assisted
by the faithful, will work to combat current and future threats
to religious freedom. You'll also find Supreme Knight Carl
Anderson's February 15 op-ed piece in National Review
The HHS Mandate: One Battle in a Two-Front War.
5. Obtain a PDF copy of Forming Consciences for Faithful
Citizenship from the U.S.C.C.B. at:
www.faithfulcitizenship.org. It is chock full of ideas and
suggestions, including how to contact your legislators in
Washington in several different ways from writing letters to
phone calls and even personal visits.
6. Support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
via an Action Alert from the National Committee for a Human Life
Amendment (NCHLA). You can send an email to Congress here:
7. Sign up for future Action Alerts from the USCCB:
Pass on the above information to all Catholics and members of
other Christian denominations.
9. Pray the following prayer for our elected officials and those
affected by their work:
Gracious and loving God, let your Spirit be with us (me) today.
Hear our (my) prayers, and increase in us (me) the will to
follow your Son Jesus. Help us (me) to draw on the resources of
our (my) faith as we (I) use the opportunities of our democracy
to shape a society more respectful of the life, dignity, and
rights of the human person, especially the poor and vulnerable.
We (I) ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever
State Pro-Life Director
February 24, 2012