Bishops ready and willing to go to jail over the HHS mandate interviewed several bishops during the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and these bishops said that they would be willing to go to jail over the HHS mandate.

Bishop Sample of Marquette, Michigan (and recently named as the new Archbishop of Portland, said:

I would be willing to go to jail in defense of religious liberty…  We will not simply roll over and accept the mandate.  We have to fight for our religious liberty and we’ll take it as far as we can.

Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said:

We can’t compromise on the principles. If it gets rough, all we have to do is look back at our history. Take a look at the saints who defended our faith and that’s what it’s about.  We have to be strong, we can’t compromise, we have to stay firm on our values because I believe that this is a slippery slope.  This is a point where we have to be ready to maintain a stand. I’ve taken a very strong stand on this position ever since all of this began over a year ago, and I don’t intend to back down.


Archbishop Aquila of Denver said:

Certainly we as bishops are still considering what the options will be if it does go through.  Many of us have already stated that we will not and cannot cooperate with the mandate.  There will be implications on it, whether it means narrowing some of what we do, or continue what we do and not cooperate with the mandate.  But it’s a very real concern and grave concern in terms of religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

About Catholic laypeople, Archbishop Aquila said: 

I just really try to encourage Catholics: stay strong, stay firm, and continue to do what you’re doing.  Continue to fight, because we as bishops can only do so much and it’s going to be important for the laity to follow and to respond.


What will happen if the Obama administration gives a full exemption from the HHS mandate to Catholic schools, hospitals, charities, and dioceses, thereby attempting to separate the flock from the shepherds?  Will the bishops still stand by the Catholic laity in business who don’t receive such a religious exemption?  Will they still be willing to go to jail?  Will the laity be isolated, standing alone?  We should pray for the strength and resolve of our bishops.

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