Cardinal Dolan Implies That Obama Lied To Him

Cardinal Dolan: Obama Told Me “Protection of
Conscience is a Sacred Duty”

Important Note:  The title is my own and not the actual words used by Cardinal Dolan; however, the title is 100% accurate. Cardinal Dolan, as usual, was very charitable.  John Quinn

by Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Over the last six months or so, the Catholic Church in the United States has found itself in some tension with the executive branch of the federal government over a very grave issue:  religious freedom.  Can a government bureau, in this case the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), define for us or any faith community what is ministry and how it can be exercised?  Can government also coerce the church to violate its conscience?

Obama had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty

This has not been a fight of our choosing.  We’d rather not be in it.  We’d prefer to concentrate on the noble tasks of healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor, all now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church.  And we were doing all of those noble works rather well, I dare say, without these radical new mandates from the government.  The Catholic Church in America has a long tradition of partnership with government and the wider community in the service of the sick, our children, our elders, and the poor at home and abroad.  We’d sure rather be partnering than punching.

Nor is this a “Catholic” fight alone.

As a nurse from Harrison emailed me, “Cardinal, I’m not so much mad about all this as a Catholic, but as an American.”  It was a Baptist minister, Governor Mike Huckabee, who observed, “In this matter, we’re all Catholics.”

And it is not just about sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception. 

Pure and simple, it’s about religious freedom, the sacred right, protected by our constitution, of any Church to define its own teaching and ministry.

When the President announced on January 20th that the choking mandates from HHS would remain — a shock to me, since he had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty — not only you, but men and women of every faith, or none at all, rallied in protest.  The worry that we bishops had expressed — that such government control was contrary to our deepest political values — was eloquently articulated by constitutional scholars and leaders of every creed.  Even newspaper editorials supported us!

On February 10th, the President announced that the insurance providers would have to pay the bill, not the Church’s schools, hospitals, clinics, or vast network of charitable outreach.  He considered this “concession” adequate.

Did this help?  We bishops wondered if it would, and announced at first that, while withholding final judgment, we would certainly give it close scrutiny.

Well, we have — and we’re still as worried as ever.  For one, there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS’ attempt to define the how and who of our ministry through the suffocating mandates.

Two, since a big part of our ministries are “self-insured,” how is this going to help us?  We’ll still have to pay!  And what about individual believers being coerced to pay?

Three, there was still no resolution about the handcuffs placed upon renowned Catholic charitable agencies, both national and international, and their exclusion from contracts just because they will not refer victims of human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and the hungry of the world, for abortions, sterilization, or contraception.

So, we have given it careful study.  Our conclusion: we’re still very worried.  There seem far more questions than answers, more confusion than clarity.

Now what to do?

Our Work With President Obama’s Administration

Well, for one, we’ll keep up advocacy and education on the issue.  We continue to tap into your concern as citizens and count on your support.  Regrettably, the unity of the Catholic community has been tempered a bit by those who think the President has listened to us and now we can quit worrying.  You’re sure free to take their advice.  But I hope you’ll listen to your pastors who are still very concerned.

Two, we’ll continue to seek a rescinding of the suffocating mandates that require us to violate our moral convictions — or at least a wider latitude to the exemptions so that churches can be free — and of the rigidly narrow definition of church, minister, and ministry that would prevent us from helping those in need, educating children, and healing the sick who are not Catholic.

The President invited us to “work out the wrinkles,” and we have been taking him seriously.  Unfortunately, this seems to be going nowhere: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is simply scurrilous and insulting). The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry “without change.” The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets,” which doesn’t bode well for a truly acceptable “accommodation.”

And a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff ended with the President’s people informing us that the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table.  Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent hardly-surprising but terribly unfortunate editorial in America.  The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people, and with those whom the White House now has nominated as official Catholic teachers.

So, I don’t know if we’ll get anywhere with the executive branch.

Our Work With Congress

Congress offers more hope, with thoughtful elected officials proposing promising legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom.  As is clear from the current debate in the senate, our opponents are marketing this as a “woman’s health issue.”  Of course, it cannot be reduced to that.  It’s about religious freedom.  (By the way, the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women.  Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country.  Here in New York State, Fidelis, the Medicare/Medicaid insurance provider, owned by the Church, consistently receives top ratings for its quality of service to women and children.)

Sorry to go on at such length.  You can see how passionately I feel about this.  But, from what I sense, you do too.  You all have been such an inspiration, and I owe it to you to keep you posted.  We need you more than ever!  We can’t give up hoping, praying, trying, and working hard.

Edited for length.


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16 comments to Cardinal Dolan Implies That Obama Lied To Him

  • virginia miles

    The American Catholic Church is under attack by this Obama administration. When Obama spoke at Georgetown University the crucifix was covered behind him. Why would this happen? Sandra Fluke is from Georgetown University. There are enemies within our church.Obama will not defend Israel from Iran. Our holy sites in Jerusalem will be destroyed. This is what this election has rendered plus so much more evil that I shudder to think about it. America is in grave danger.

  • Gerald Ronan

    Garbage, the President is President of all Americans. You do protect yourselves with whimpy language such as “implied.” If you must campaign, I would suggest you get behind a man who will protect the least of us — get out of the political business. Let’s clean up our own house! Let’s put our energies to caring for those unwanted babies. Stop suggesting that our President is FOR abortion — more garbage. Join me on your knees Sunday at Mass; stop the campaigning.

    Hello Gerald,

    Can you clarify this statement. “Stop suggesting that our President is FOR abortion.” That baffles me. Does not his actions and words support abortion?

    On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 2012, Obama said, “I remain
    committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental
    constitutional right.”

    Thanks and God bless,
    John Quinn

  • Jeff

    Your Eminence,

    You are dealing with the trees. Consider the forest.

    I ask that you consider the possibility that this entire problem is not the result of the president going back on his word concerning an exemption for the protection of conscience, but rather from granting to the government in the first place the overwhelming power to dictate to businesses, organizations, and to individual American citizens specific health insurance requirements.

    I pray that this experience will prod the Catholic hierarchy to reconsider your long held assumption that statism is an effective tool for Christian charity. I hope that it is now evident to you that once you invite the monster into the room, you cannot expect it to behave.

    In Christ,

  • Virginia

    We fully support Cardinal Dolon…God Bless him. The Pope was inspired by the Holy Spirit
    when He appointed Cardinal Dolan…Pray my
    fellow Catholics, that’s the only way we will
    get “Real Change”.

  • […] cave in on Pres. Obama’s HHS attackCL: Lefty ‘catholics’ shilling for Pres. ObamaCardinal Dolan Implies That Obama Lied To HimCardinal Dolan Voices Dismay At Handling By White House In Letter Updating Bishops On HHS Mandate […]

  • So many wrongs are being committed, that we have to wonder whats next.

  • Once they remove religion from us we are doomed. That is how Marxists operate.

  • Way to go Cardinal Dolan

    Dan M

  • Of course Obama lied to him! Obama was not raised in a faith tradition that sees anything wrong with lying, if it furthers your purposes, and the thin veneer of Christianity he has attempted to lay over his actual religious orientation hasn’t changed that. The sooner Americans realize that Obama would as soon lie to you as look at you, the better off we’ll all be.

  • More lies.

    Two different liberal contributors to fox NEws have said that contraception prevents cervical cancer. In fact I know a woman who proved the report I had to be accurate. It causes cancer.

    Several Senators on the floor of the Senate insisted that if the Amendment that would end the mandate forcing us to pay for this poisonous stuff would allow the church to refuse to treat others. Aids patients said Barbara Boxer, “Because they do not approve of how they contracted the disease”. Also single Mothers, because they should not be.

    I called Senator Boxer’s office and told her no one takes care of aides patients better than the Catholic Church. that in fact we found after his death that John Cardinal O’Connor actually went at times that the media would not catch him to our centers where aides patients were cared for. He bathed them himself. I asked if they thought Barbara Boxer would do that?

    I pointed out that the Sisters of Life care for women who are with child. We also have Good Council Homes that care for them as well and many others over the country.

    As usual with liberals, no apologies just suggested I contact my own senators. My call was not to change her vote, it was to confront the lies.

    As to the contraceptives, There is some thing there too. Johnette Bankovic had guests on a live broadcast, “Women of Grace”. She pointed out that in 2005 no less than the World Health Organization listed contraceptives as a level one carcinogen along with radium, asbestos and cigarettes.

    Talk about lies. They never stop.


    Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus

  • Wake up little suzie, wake up! I find it incredible to believe that a smart man like Timothy Cardinal Dolan was duped by the master deceiver. With all the Church’s teachings on the ways the devil tempts us, how could the Bishops be so gullible? Even the dummies that voted for Daddy “O” know that he lies and it is okay as long as he gets his way. Moral of the story, “Just a little too little too late.” The time to stand on the Word of God loudly and make the community of Catholics bind together was when the evil Obamacare was on the docket, so to speak. It should never have been passed by the Catholics in Congress or the Senate. The entire bill is evil just like those who promote it…it is dubbed the DEATHCARE BILL. Shame on Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the rest of the wimpy Bishops.
    In Christ,

  • Jude Franklins

    I am a practicing Catholic and a life long Jack Kennedy Democrat.
    I agree with the Cardinal and the headline, as well. Obama has lied to us continuously. He clearly does not care about Catholics except for our vote. His administration is anti-Catholic and pro every kind of abortion. Sibelius at HHS, Pelosi, Kerry and others are Catholic in name only. Joe Biden will not fight Obama. It is time for Catholics to act as a single group and get rid of Obama.

  • Marianne

    Obama did lie to Cardinal Dolan.He wasn’t “implying”, he meant to. He’s been lying to all of us for years only most are blind to the truth until something happens specifically to them that they don’t like. Now their vision is a little clearer. If Obamacare was so great and transparent and the “cure”, why the need to hide what was really in it ? Why did it need to be passed before anyone could know what was in it, as Pelosi said? Did the bishops ever read it before they gave their support to it? Of course not!

    Nothing good comes from “partnering” with the likes of this president ,our government, the U.N. or other liberal, anti- Christian, anti- American organizations. Sooner or later they’ll be done using you then stab you in the back. Now that he has the Catholic vote again by his lies, he is finally being transparent.

    I know many Catholics that feel the Church hierarchy, sadly, has tarnished it’s credibility by not upholding it’s own teachings, by not enforcing Church doctrine to the people, clergy and religious orders. We had a bishop that refused to teach the Catechism in our schools until enough parents spoke up and demanded he quit. He retired instead with no consequences.

    As with anything, there are consequences to our actions when we follow man’s law that conflicts with God’s Law. There seems to be rules for some within the Church and rules for others; just like we see with our government officials.

    I wonder… why is Fr. Pavone removed from his ministry (Priests for Life) and is silenced (over a financial report dispute?)with his bishop yet “Sister” Carol Keehan , who is paid almost $1,000,000 a year is not “silenced” and removed from her religious order?

    Keehan and other nuns and “Catholic” associations are blatantly thumbing their noses at God, Catholicism, the bishops, the Vatican and all practicing Catholics.
    They are in full support of Obama and his socialist agenda of complete government control, they are on the side of evil. And yet…out of charity (?) or poltical correctness ,or fear(?), I yet to hear a bishop call them out and call a spade a spade. Why aren’t they “called back” to their order/ community, and given a chance to repent and get re-educated in the faith or dismiss them from religious life all together? I don’t get it. There is nothing Catholic about their behavior. They obviously disagree with the teachings so why do they get a public platform as a Catholic to teach anti- Catholic behavior? I’m sorry but with all due respect, the bishops as a whole come across very weak to me.

    We don’t need the government in order to educate,heal,house or feed those in need. The Church and government teaching of “social justice” and “universal health care” free everything for all, is not the kind of “social justice” Jesus taught and I think many are ignorant about this. Who doesn’t want to end hunger,poverty,disease,etc? As Jesus said “the poor will always be among us.”

    Being well educated, the bishops can then explain with the trillions of dollars spent on entitlement,social justice and government programs the last 50+ years, why poverty and immorality has increased steadily instead of decreasing? Both institutions have failed in their respective duties; where there is man, there is corruption, greed and the need for power and control.

    We are all sinners and we really need to pray for all our clergy to have the courage to lead and fight to preserve our freedom to practice our faith in every aspect of our life and keep the government out. I pray that the Catholic women that have strayed from the church will have a conversion of heart and really come to understand what this mandate will do long term to our faith and country as we know it.

    Catholic women (and men) that use contraception for whatever reason ,outside of church teaching,is between them and God. That’s where “free will ” comes in. But they have to understand that their choice to go against church teaching does not make it a new health care “right” for anyone else to pay for it just because a majority of people behave a certain way (Catholic and non Catholic) and decide they want something for free!

    Notice how Obama and the dems have to always entice people with “free” for the user but costly to the payer? In this case, it’s beyond monetary cost. It’s religious freedom, freedom of conscience and morals, our souls and society are at stake. For all of you that think government is the free answer to everything, read the history of our Catholic faith. As you will find the TRUTH that if it weren’t for the Catholic Church, western civilization wouldn’t be what it is today. From hospitals,schools,universities,our legal system,missionaries,the arts and sciences,inventions,etc…our government is nothing compared to God and His Church. If Catholics really understood their faith, they would never leave. No matter what.

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