February 6, 2012
Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, sent a written message of support to St. Gianna Physician’s Guild over the weekend encouraging Catholics to sign the organization’s online petition (www.StopTheBirthControlMandate.org) to protest the assault on religious liberty that is happening under ObamaCare. The petition has steadily gained momentum since its launch last August seeing the number of signatures more than double since January 20th. This is after the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement confirming that the mandate would go into effect as scheduled on August 1, 2012. An extension of one year was given to Catholic institutions and other entities to comply. This mandate does not provide a conscience clause for institutions and others who believe contraception and sterilization are immoral.
Stop the Birth Control Mandate petition asks that the Obama Administration and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, withdraw immediately all references to contraception and contraception counseling from the “Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services” under The Affordable Care Act. Moreover, it petitions the administration to provide a conscience clause to protect the religious freedom and beliefs of Catholics.
In his letter Cardinal Burke declared:
I wholeheartedly express my solidarity with the Stop The Birth Control Mandate petition promoted by St. Gianna Physician's Guild protesting the recent decree by the Department of Health and Human Services of our federal government. I encourage Catholics to sign the petition and thus unite their support of Holy Mother Church by protesting the most grievous violation of the right to religious liberty for Catholics in the United States.
Cardinal Burke has long had the reputation of providing guidance in areas of faith and morals through his willingness to make public statements to encourage the Faithful.
“The petition sends a clear message to the Obama Administration that this contraception mandate is wrong, discriminatory and violates the religious rights of Catholics all across America,” stated the Guild’s President, Thomas McKenna. McKenna noted that already more than 150 Catholic bishops across the country have written letters decrying the mandate. “It is inspiring to see the bishops speaking out with such determination and moral clarity in encouraging the faithful to oppose the mandate. St. Gianna Physician’s Guild applauds their leadership,” McKenna continued.
The petition has provided Catholics and people of all faiths an outlet to express their outrage in what many feel is an act of government tyranny. The petition was posted on the Archdiocese of Denver’s web site and has resulted in parishioners collecting signatures after weekend Masses.
St Gianna Physician’s Guild (www.StGiannaPhysicians.org) was founded to unite and encourage Catholic physicians, as well as others in the health care profession, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way and to inspire sanctification in their lives. The petition can be signed at: www.StopTheBirthControlMandate.org