Orthodox Bishops Protest Government Healthcare Mandate

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops –
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.

In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops

Comments

  1. Father Mark Hodges says:

    Axios! This is VERY encouraging. Our bishops speaking out in society on such a crucial issue is truly the voice of the Church, exercising Her call to be the conscience of society and the voice of Christ to the world. Axios to those who proposed and championed this!

  2. Robert Mahoney says:

    They may be too little too late.

    Maybe, next time, there is a Socialist/Marxist running for President, and all the Evangelicals\Protestant’s are warning you about him, you might want to listen. (Speaking of Bishops, not website owner)

    Granted, the E/P may not celebrate the feast of the holy innocents, but then again if they did, I doubt highly that their memberships would be supporting a political ideology that does everything in it’s power to continue to slaughter innocents.

    Irony, it’s what makes life interesting.

  3. Carol Guess says:

    Mr. Hodges you should respect the bishops. The Bible clearly teaches powers are placed by God. Is it possible it was His will for us to suffer this in order to know better? We as Christians are to accept the leader we get and try to continue to insist our laws are respected.

  4. fr. Dismas, OP says:

    Blessed be our Orthodox brothers! Your support in this matter is most uplifting, and your prayers and actions are a Godsend.

    fr. Dismas, OP (Catholic)

  5. Mark Schutzius says:

    Carol,

    I don’t think that Mr. Hodges was posting disrespect to the Bishops–‘Axios’ is a Greek word which means ‘Worthy’ and is a common acclamation among Orthodox circles when communicating ecclesiastical approval–formally at an episcopal or priestly ordination, but informally for approvals in general to Bishops.

    I agree, ‘powers’ are indeed ‘placed by God’ and it’s byproduct is ‘authority.’ Bishops have authority; for example, in the Gospels it says that our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ gave the Apostles the “power” to “bind and loose” and the “authority” to “tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon all the power of the enemy.” Since the Bishops throughout history are the successors to the Apostles, they share in this power and authority and that’s a wondrous gift for all humanity.

    As for suffering, we suffer ‘power’ to varying degrees in life; though I’m not sure how this will make us ‘know’ Him better? The journey toward ‘Union’ with God is a difficult one; and on that journey, we truly begin to know Him. At least, this has been the experience of the Fathers and Saints of the Church.

    Regarding the respect due to leaders and laws, let me say that Christians (regardless of denominational/non-denominational status) cannot and should not accept a leader who promulgates and legislates unjust laws upon the people–unborn babies are people, sodomy does not produce babies. Roe vs. Wade and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) are examples of such immorality. Did you know that the repeal of DADT specifically targeted the ‘Sodomy’ Article 125 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice? Did you know that the repeal of Article 125 was specifically authorized in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama? Did you know that Article 125 defined Sodomy as “Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense?” Did you know that this behavior prior to the repeal was punishable by Court Martial? Sadly, it gives the term “Military Working Dog” a whole new meaning! No, for my part, I cannot respect such laws and will fight to repeal them. I will also fight against and vote against those government executives, legislators, and judiciaries who promote these injustices and evils as the law of the land–nor should you or anyone else if you are a Christian or person of good will.

    Just my two cents–for what it’s worth.

    Mark.

  6. Christopher Schaefer says:

    c. 5,000 signatures collected in past 2 days, only c. 5,000 more needed for it to be delivered directly to Pres. Obamba via White House website: “Rescind the HHS Dept. Mandate Requiring Catholic Employers to Provide Contraceptives/Abortifacients to Their Employees” http://wh.gov/kl3 Note that this is not just a Catholic issue, but is a question of whether the govt. can override the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Even those who do not agree with all teachings of the Catholic Church should find this mandate extremely disturbing.
    This should not be confused with a woman’s “right” to contraceptives. Anyone can purchase such items. It’s a question of whether a religious institution must pay for something that violates its teachings. Because of their religious beliefs the Amish have long been exempted from military draft and now are exempt from participating in Obamacare. So why are Catholics being singled out???
    I applaud the Orthodox Bishops for joining thier voices with the Catholic Bishops in opposing this assualt on religious freedom.