Reporting Larry Richert
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Speaking out against the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik says that President Obama “just told Catholics of the United States, ‘To Hell with you’” by ignoring pleas to revoke the provision.
Under the guidelines for the program, all individual and group health insurance plans — including self-insured plans, will be required to cover all FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and even pharmaceuticals that result in abortion.
The problem is that organizations like Pittsburgh’s Catholic Charities, which is run by the Catholic Church, would have to perform abortions and give out contraceptives, which goes against the church’s teachings.
Basically, Bishop Zubik says President Obama is condemning Catholics to Hell, and will not listen to the church’s pleas to revoke this provision; in fact, he thinks it’s intentionally directed at the church.
In September, Zubik urged local Catholics to fight the mandate by expressing their opposition to political leaders; but the administration passed it last week. In a statement posted on the Diocese of Pittsburgh website, the Bishop said in part:
“Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said ‘To Hell with You’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States… ‘To Hell with your religious beliefs, To Hell with your religious liberty, To Hell with your freedom of conscience.’” >> Read the Full Statement
Joining NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s Larry Richert and John Shumway this morning, Bishop Zubik said the message was clear: “We don’t matter.”
Bishop Zubik told KDKA that this issue affects every US citizen — not just Catholics.
“This isn’t simply a Catholic issue and I don’t even think it’s an issue that’s just about people of faith,” the Bishop added. “It is in the first case, an infringement of religious freedom in the United States guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution; but this does cut at the heart of freedom for all of us as citizens. This is a particular issue that is demanding that we do something — all Catholic institutions — do something that goes against our conscience and there’s no recourse to it, apparently.”
Since non-profit groups including the Catholic Church will have one year to “adapt to this new rule,” the Bishop is urging the faithful not to give up. He’s urging the flock to write to their local representatives, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama urging them to reconsider. The diocese even posted a sample letter in the Bishop’s article — along with all of the necessary addresses.
Listen to the full interview below: