Monday, January 30, 2012

The Bishop of Boise Speaks Out

The Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, +Michael Driscoll, has spoken out against the Obama administration's frontal assault on the Catholic Church and the First Amendment.  A letter from the bishop to the Catholics of Idaho was read from the pulpit on Sunday.

The bishop's letter starts out by stating the problem succinctly and forcefully (emphasis in original):
On January 20th, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule mandating that contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization be included at no cost to the insured in all health care plans.  This means that health insurers will be forced to include these immoral "services" in their health plans and that every employer, including Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, charitable organizations, and and social service agencies, will be forced to provide and pay for this coverage that is a clear violation of Catholic teaching.
The bishop urges us to contact our legislators and ask them to work for the reversal of the mandate.  For the record, here is a list of Idaho's congressional delegates and how to reach them at both their D.C. and local offices (for an email form, click here):

Senator Mike Crapo (R)
U.S. Senate
239 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-6142

251 East Front Street, Suite 205
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 334-1776

Senator James E. Risch (R)
U.S. Senate
483 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2752

350 North 9th Street, Suite 302
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 342-7985

Congressman Raul Labrador (R)

1st Congressional District
U.S. House of Representatives
1523 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6611

33 Broadway Ave., Ste. 251
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 888-3188

Congressman Mike Simpson (R)

2nd Congressional District
U.S. House of Representatives
2312 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5531

802 W. Bannock, Suite 600
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 334-1953

In his last paragraph, Bishop Driscoll states:
As Americans and as Catholics, we are blessed with religious liberty which safeguards our right to live our principles and moral convictions.  Our civil laws should fully recognize and protect our right, obligation, and opportunities to participate in society without being forced to abandon or ignore the central moral convictions of our Catholic faith.
This is why we have the First Amendment, folks: not to shield the delicate eyes and ears of atheists from crosses, creches, or Christian utterances, but to protect the province of religion against government invasions like this mandate.  The time has come -- indeed, it is long overdue -- for us to fight for our faith.

Pray for the bishop and the priests of the Diocese of Boise, and for all bishops and priests, who are in the front lines in this war.    


  1. Nice to see that your Bishops are taking the initiative and showing some backbone. Pay attention, Canadian Bishops.

  2. Shirley, I think it has been well said that Obama has done the Catholic Church in the United States a positive favor by launching the present attack: it has served to galvanize the bishops.

  3. I'm going to take the pessimistic route here: too little, too late.

    The US bishops could have done something more effective before the whole health care bill came to be (not that the Canadian bishops are any better). I was initially hopeful (only slightly) that things might have been turned around after the bill was passed. Not now.

    Feel free to castigate me, Anita. I've not been the most virtuous of Catholics lately, and thusly would deserve it.

  4. TH2, there can be no doubt that it is awfully late in the day for the bishops to be speaking up. There is no question that, due to letting so much slide for so long, we are now forced to fight back from a position of serious moral weakness. But it is far better that the bishops should speak up now, late as it is, than not at all. I think our disaster would be immeasurably worse had the bishops remained silent in the face of this new mandate.

    Of course, this can't be the end of it. The opposition needs to stand firm.

  5. so far 115 US Bishops have spoken out, with a good many requiring their responses read at Sunday mass. See

  6. Excellent. I am not under the impression that our bishop required his letter to be read at Sunday Mass (Father did not say so, and I have heard that it went unmentioned at some parishes), but I hope those pastors who have not read it will do so this Sunday.

  7. Next up: an attack on the Church's tax-exempt status.