Cardinal-Designate Dolan: We Cannot—We Will Not—Comply With This Unjust Law

The Administration Is Denying Catholics The
Fundamental Freedom of Religious Liberty

Dear friends in the Lord,

I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

As you are aware, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced two weeks ago that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. 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. In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

Fictitious Picture Used To Illustrate A Point

“We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.”

People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

With prayerful best wishes, I am,
Faithfully in Christ,
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York

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20 comments to Cardinal-Designate Dolan: We Cannot—We Will Not—Comply With This Unjust Law

  • […] and break the Torah. Some go along with it, and they are the shame of the Jewish people. But some resist, and from their resistance comes a restoration of the Torah to the people.Then the king issued a […]

  • @Bill, I just read this article and thought of your comment here. I hope this information clears things up for you.

  • Bill


    The Angelic Doctor did not believe that an embryo was “human” at conception. This shoots down the absurd idea that “the pill” is tantamount to an abortion.

  • Bill

    HV was handed down in the summer of 1968 I believe. I the past forty plus years, I have only encountered one family that obeyed the ban on birth control. The Catholic Bishops are further eroding their already weak influence over their flock. Many people simply don’t take them very seriously.

  • Brett Merlina

    While i left the roman church for the Old Catholics this one instance that i feel i must stand with the Bishop of Rome and the USCCB. As Catholics of whatever flavor we must stand up for the unborn amd protect life, furthermore we MUST preserve our right to religious freedom that so many brave men and women have laid down thier lives to defend. And now with the Army charging CHAPLAINS with the CAPITAL crimes, of TREASON and SEDITION for speaking out against the seditious and traitorious and utterly communist actions of our so called commander and chief. I say enough is enough can realy afford to wait for the next election, I say NO we must IMPEACH!

  • Mary

    Sadly, people are blinded as to what is actually happening with this attempt by the President to make this a “contraception issue” with the Catholic Church. He HOPES people view it in this light only(and sadly the Catholics who practice contraception will support him here). The point is is that THIS IS AN ASSAULT OF OUR FREEDOMS GUARANTEED BY THE 1ST AMENDMENT! WHAT FREEDOMS WILL GO NEXT?? This must be opposed vigorously by all Americans who value this country blessed so much by God! How much more of a wake up all do Americans need?? This President has to go. He does NOT stand for America and everything he has done thus far, if one has eyes and hears and intelligence to realize it! We need much prayer to change hearts closed to the Truth.

  • Gianna

    What is you point in quoting Thomas Aquinas?

    I don’t get it.

  • Bill

    Embryo Project encyclopedia:

    “Summa Theologica delineates St. Thomas Aquinas’s opinion on the moral status of the embryo or fetus and the act of abortion. His discussion of sin, morality, and murder indicates his views on the development of life within the womb. These sections show that Aquinas believed in the progression of life from a “vegetable”-like, unanimated state to an animal life and finally to a human, animated state. Summa Theologica offers no defense of abortion as a permissible act at any stage in the pregnancy, but it does specify that once the fetus has become animated (when he believed ensoulment of the living human being took place), it is homicide to kill it. This measure of ensoulment or delayed hominization (the belief that the embryo or fetus was not a human life with a soul until a particular event after conception) is typically equated with the stage at which quickening took place—defined by Aristotle as forty days for boys and eighty days after conception for girls.”

  • JimT

    I am now including in my emails a post script:

    “Catholics are morally obligated to vote against any political party that attempts to trample on our conscience rights.”

    That phrase is not copyrighted, so feel free to use it in your emails as well.

  • tg

    I support Archbishop Dolan. This is about religious liberty but the media has turned it into a contraception issue. So many Americans are so ignorant, they don’t know the difference or care about what’s happening to our freedom.

  • Joel Fago

    President Obama’s “accommodation” makes it easier for religious employers to rationalize and violate their consciences. The cost will be buried in other premiums. There is no free lunch!

    Contraceptives and abortifacients will still be obtained through one’s employment with religious employers. Unless religious employers are completely exempt, continue to state unequivocally, “We cannot and will not obey!”

  • From Father Richard Perozich, Escondido
    He describes it perfectly.-


    Media advertisements frequently speak of identity theft, and of one solution called Lifelock. A man’s identity is his name and what belongs to him, linked by our social security number in the public forum. Because of attempts to steal identity and all the assets linked to it, we add passwords to all our accounts which are linked to our identity. Still, thieves use lies, deceit, accusation, temptation, and seduction to get us to reveal our information, to abandon our security, and to take what belongs to us, robbing us of our identity, our assets, our lives. Lifelock and similar programs are advertised to watch over and to protect our identity when we may not be able to do so or when we are unaware of unscrupulous tactics of thieves.

    My physical identity is God’s gift to me. I am a man, oriented toward woman for procreation and mutual support toward eternal life. My spiritual identity is Christian given to me by my baptism. The assets that come with this are divine faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance; also the presence of the Holy Spirit in my soul to form my conscience by telling me to “do this and shun that”, so that I am not guided by my own thoughts or emotions or those of others. My identity is being nurtured by the Bible, the Church as its authentic teacher and interpreter, by the sacraments, particularly penance and Eucharist, by my prayer in which I life up my heart to God for healing, attention, affection, approval, and love.

    There are thieves in the world trying to steal my monetary assets by appropriating my identity and presenting themselves as me. They try to get my social security number, my bank account number, my passwords, my signature and other things associated with my identity. They use seduction, lies, temptation, deception, and accusation to move others or me in order to defraud me of my identity and all that is attached to it. In the business world, companies such as Lifelock promise to help me to guard my identity and all the assets that accompany it for the protection of my power, possessions, and the prestige of my identity.

    There are thieves in this world trying to steal my soul, that animating force, which gives me life, which is my identity given to me by God. The devil is the thief of souls. Jesus calls the devil the “Father of lies”. He is called “Satan” which means tempter. He is called the “accuser of our brothers” in Job and in Revelation. He is the seducer of Eve, and the deceiver of all. It is through his envy that death entered into our human existence (Wisdom 2:28). He wishes to rob us of our identity as children of God and our inheritance of eternal life.
    Satan has tempted, deceived, lied to, accused, and seduced others to follow him while at the same time they claim to be following God. Jesus tells us that we know others by their fruits, which are the results of their work and the means that they use to obtain their goals.
    Identity theft of the soul often is done slowly so that the victims, you and I, ignore the theft until it is too late, and we have lost everything. The devil’s techniques are temptation, lies, seduction, accusation, and deception. In modern socio political parlance, these involve the unscrupulous tactics of theft such as those attributed to Saul Alinsky in syaing anything is fair to destroy the victim in order to steal what I want. Three common techniques that have stolen spiritual identities from Catholics are desensitization, jamming, and conversion.
    Desensitization is a constant presentation of the deception through television, radio, magazines, school indoctrination, victimhood, rights, fairness, equality, and justice. Catholics have had their identities threatened through the presentation of abortion, sexual license, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia in news, talk shows, legislatures, using the parade of “victims”, a woman’s right to choose, “reproductive rights”, women’s health, right to control her own body, born that way, right to “marry the one you love”, sex parades, political – social – academic indoctrination, sex clubs at schools and even Catholic universities, television characters. After showing so much of this, the thief lies, deceives, and seduces the person into signing over his identity to support the lies and deceptions. Evil becomes commonplace, and the identity begins the slow transfer of loyalty away from God to conversion to the devil and support of the evils.

    Jamming is the technique of bigotry which demeans the dignity of a person, his statements, his right of self expression through accusation in order to make the person feel bad, to feel he has wronged or offended another and thus reduce him to silence so that the opposition can continue stealing the identity through the transfer of spiritual assets away from God over to a new god and new beliefs. Some words that reduce us to silence are: bigoted, homophobic, unthinkingly conservative, far right, patricarchal, medieval, hateful, misogynistic, etc. An honest person so accused reacts with horror at himself and shuts down logical thinking at that moment.

    Conversion is the final result of desensitization and jamming done through seduction, temptation, deception, accusation, and lies. The victim has lost his created identity and his spiritual one as well. It has been stolen from him with the cooperation of his surrender.
    The thief must first present himself as a victim, unfairly marginalized by the majority for a behavior or trait which is claimed to be inborn and the thief’s given identity which cannot be changed without doing violence to him. Men and women with same sex attraction have their masculinity and femininity stolen from them by practicing or promoting homosexuals to convince them that they are born that way with no hope of change. Once converted, they become thieves of others’ souls.

    Women with unwanted or difficult pregnancies are seduced and lied to into thinking that the new life in their womb is theirs to dispose of, only tissue, not a baby or human, without a soul. With enough pressure from legislators, medical staff, the women are converted and lose their identities as women, wives, and mothers. Some repent; others become thieves of souls themselves.

    People who do not have the same economic assets as others are tempted to think that others got it from illegal advantage or gain, and that all should have the same assets by stealing from those who have more, giving it to the state who will then apportion it according to the thieves’ will. They are converted to envy, occupy movements, and live perpetually as victims in unhappiness over others’ good fortune.

    The HHS mandate forcing the Church to provide for birth control and abortion only has power because self proclaimed Christians such as President Obama and those Catholics in name only such as HHS director Sebelius, congresswoman Pelosi, vice President Biden, numerous senators and congressmen have lost their Catholic and or Christian identities, have been converted, and now hold power.

    Where is Lifelock? It is in Jesus Christ and in His Holy Catholic Church’s magisterium where in the bishops united with the Holy Father teach, guide, and sanctify their flock. Holding fast to the church when one has doubts and seeking her teaching to clarify, the presence of Jesus in word and sacrament will keep safe the Catholic from identity theft. It is not a passive purchase like the business model of life lock, but demands humility, vigilance, faithfulness, and obedience. Let Jesus and His Church be the Lifelock for your Catholic identity against Satan and those he has converted who steal souls.

    2Peter 2: then the Lord knows how to rescue the devout from trial and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who follow the flesh with its depraved desire and show contempt for lordship. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to revile glorious beings, … But these people, like irrational animals born by nature for capture and destruction, revile things that they do not understand, and in their destruction they will also be destroyed, suffering wrong as payment for wrongdoing. Thinking daytime revelry a delight, they are stains and defilements as they revel in their deceits while carousing with you. Their eyes are full of adultery and insatiable for sin. They seduce unstable people, and their hearts are trained in greed. Accursed children! Abandoning the straight road, they have gone astray, … These people are waterless springs and mists driven by a gale; for them the gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, talking empty bombast, they seduce with licentious desires of the flesh those who have barely escaped* from people who live in error. They promise them freedom, though they themselves are slaves of corruption, for a person is a slave of whatever overcomes him. For if they, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of [our] Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down* to them. What is expressed in the true proverb has happened to them, “The dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A bathed sow returns to wallowing in the mire.”

    Fr. Richard Perozich

  • n generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.”

    Well said- why have the Bishops, the clergy not stood up and protested while the sacred rights of those united in Catholic marriage having taken indissoualbe vows for life have been left alone abandoned by the church when their spouse makes the choice to force unilateral divorce upon them? Why have the Bishops been silent on this virus that has spread through the Catholic church?

    families destroyed, children left emotionally, spiritually, financially wounded. according to studies most children of Divorce abandon the faith that abandoned their family in their time of need as they grow up. More and more couples think throwing away their spouse is an option once the rose colored glasses wear off and the sacrificial work of loving another imperfect human begins. The sanctifying love that generations of Catholics in the past Knew was the purpose of marriage- learning to Love sacrificially AS Christ himself .

    Rare is the priest, the Bishop who stands up and states publicly what our magisterium teaches- namely that to make the selfish choice to force Divorce upon your spouse- often for no more reason than the “emotional feelings” have been allowed to wither- IS A Grave sin. a selfish choice.
    When spouses commit to each other in sacred Catholic marriage they need to know that the Church community will stand by them when times get hard. They need to know that their sacred rights and duties will not be taken away. the first amendment rights are denied.

    Allowing the State to have full control in this situation is evil, spouses have their life savings taken away, their children forced to go between homes, the innocent spouse has done nothing to deserve having their life , their children’s security and trust ruined.

    Bishops we need you to address this evil that affects unfortunately so many of the flock since no-fault divorce became Law 40 years ago. please end the silence from the pulpit.

  • Tuyet Kieu

    I’m with you, dear Bishops and faithful Catholics; we cannot and will not comply with this unjust law. Religious liberty and freedom of conscience have to be for all.

  • Randal

    Hello Bill,

    No, the issue is not your giving your astute wisdom on our nation’s foundational tenets. What is the issue is life and death and our liberty to protect it. As men, do you not want to protect life? As Catholics, do you not want to see that all human life is protected? Contraception kills the very idea of life before it even starts. Do we offer “meds” and shrug our shoulders, pay for it and leave our brother to die in his ignorance? Let us not strain the camel and shallow the gnat. What this mandate tries to inculcate is wrong; intrinsically evil. If you don’t believe that then you are at the least an ill-formed or stubbornly obstinate Catholic and may you soon know the Truth. This not only a curbing of a religious practice but a slap in the face to our core belief to attempt to make us cower to a bully administration that wants to bring about change by first destroying. It is the way of the godless communists. It is all they know.

  • Tim

    I believe the issue is not whether Catholics are free or not free to abstain from the use of contraception but whether or not all citizens, not just church employees, should be forced to pay for such things through their insurance premiums or fines if one has no insurance. However, I believe the bishops argument on religious liberty alone is terribly shallow. Based on their argument, the Supreme Court would have to overturn Reynolds vs. U.S. and reinstate polygamy as a religious right. They may soon do it anyway as the argument for gay marriage contains all the elements for a right to marry multiple spouses.

  • Anthony

    Just hire competent saintly Catholics in hospitals

  • Br. Christopher Sale

    Catholics should not vote for Obama. This man is trying to divide the Catholic church.

  • Bill

    There is no assault on religious liberty here. Catholics are perfectly free to abstain from using contraceptives, but institutions that hire non-Catholics have to offer the meds.

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