Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured My USCCB Staff On How to Interpret Catholic Teaching!

Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to his brother bishops earlier this week where he revealed a shocking conversation that recently took place at a meeting between White House and USCCB staff:

At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers

Let’s break this down so we don’t miss anything about the context or gravity of the situation:

1. This meeting was prompted because the White House decided to curtail and violate the religious freedom of the Catholic Church and individual Catholics.

2. The White House refused to consult with Catholic bishops while originally formulating and issuing this mandate. President Obama misled Cardinal Dolan when he promised the Cardinal he would be happy with the White House’s final decision.

3. The White House has continually lied about and misrepresented the opinion and position of the U.S. Bishops in this process (claiming, for instance, that they were always against Obamacare and that Catholic Charities USA supported their false accomodation). They have continued to act in bad faith.

4. The White House has also chosen to ally itself with liberal, left-wing Catholic dissenters like Sr. Carol Keehan throughout this process, thereby snubbing the U.S. Bishops and all faithful Catholics.

(Are you still there? Because now it gets really good….)

5. After all of this, when the White House finally gets around to inviting staff authorized by the USCCB to negotiate on behalf of them, the White House says what to them?! First, they issue an ultimatum saying all compromise is off the table. So what on earth are they supposed to talk about if the White House refuses from the outset to compromise in any way, shape, or form? The cynical answer is the White House, once again, simply wanted to establish the appearance of dialogue while offering zero substance.

6. Then, the White House proceeds to lecture the USCCB staff about how to interpret Catholic teaching! Can you imagine anything more offensive? Telling Catholics how to be Catholic? They show them a copy of the America editorial as if a) the staff has not already read it and b) the U.S. Bishops give a fig what the editors of America think.

7. Let’s read Cardinal Dolan’s line again:

The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.

In other words, what we have here is NOT a failure to communicate. What we have here is an Administration and White House officials who believe they know Catholic teaching better than us. And who have the hubris to lecture us about what our faith teaches.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:

As a study in ideology and power, the anecdote [of the White House meeting described above] is chilling, compounded by all the recent claims by Democrats and liberals that Catholics who actually abide by their faith are opposed to modernity. Such prejudice is supposedly defunct in contemporary America, except when it’s practiced against religion.

And not just any religion – Catholic religion.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t take kindly to my elected leaders lecturing me about what my faith teaches. Talk about the height of hypocrisy. Talk about an offense that cries out to the ballot box to be answered definitely.



  • Roy Gacasan

    I am a centrist and always weighs both sides of an important issue. In this case of the “HHS Mandate” Obama has shown that he did not hesitate to lie and to create a false front to mislead before he quickly acted to trample over our religious freedoms which are protected and guaranteed by the Constitution. The issues of economy and job security are now less important to me. These issues matters no more if Obama continues to rule rather than govern. Anyone now opposing Obama has my vote!

  • Jimofct

    There is an old saying that has been attributed to propaganda. That is “tell a lie often enough and many will accept it as truth” There are also those who believe a Lie is ok as long as it promotes an objective being sponsored and advanced by the liar. This is an explanation for the radical Obama administrations approach to “Transforming America”.
    Legislation wanted can be achieved by bribing congressional members to vote for a proposed bill only a few are allowed to even read. Pelosi boldly stated “you will have to pass it to know what is in it”.
    Cost estimates can be fabricated to hide the consequences of the law if passed. CBO now has doubled the cost estimate for “Obamacare”.
    Lies as to the specific impact upon the citizens to be subject to the mandates in the law and/or the powers to be granted to government appointees or employees of departments of government to promulgate rules that have mandates with power of law.

    Individual and religious freedom will no longer be an American citizens constitutional right under the Obama vision of a “Transformed America”.
    There must be an end to this administration and its radical policies.

    Hopefully, the electorate has recognized that they were deceived and will overwhelmingly defeat Obama’s reelection attempt in 2012.

  • AngelaMerkel_for_President!

    Screwtape, I think you misunderstood the quote. It is Obama who is being compared to the Soviet dictators, and OUR Church and our bishops who are being compared to the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Personally, I think what Obama is doing is benign compared to what the Soviets did to the Russian Orthodox Church. If Stalin was a mass-murderer, then Obama is a college football player who is drunk and trying to start a bar fight.

  • Jackie T.

    I am horrified that so many Catholic leaders of ministries are still “so conflicted” when it comes to re-electing Obama. My prayer is that every priest in every parish lets their people know exactly what Obama stands for. If this doesn’t happen, we will be stuck with Obama and his terrible administration for another four years and by then our wonderful America will be only a memory. I don’t believe that people like Pelosi can call themselves Catholics, yet stand for abortions and partial birth abortions, plus leaving a baby who the butchers scissors missed and are born alive,in a corner to die without any nourishment or love, without finding them loving homes. Most of these babies have nothing or little wrong with them. Our daughter and her husband adopted a special needs baby whom we all love so very much. She is our shining star, the special one. The answer I’ve received when trying to talk to some of these “Catholics” about abortions, is always, “Yes, but there are other issues”. They don’t understand that one cannot bypass murder for other issues, no matter how important they may think they are. Frankly, there is not one good thing about Obama. After 3 years with him, our country is bleeding to death. Now, he is taking away our freedom, piece by piece and not only Catholics but other Christians as well, feel conflicted when it comes to whether or not to vote for him? God help us all! God bless Cardinal Doyle. We have to pray that the bishops and priests listen to him and stop worrying about offending someone so they remain silent. The Jews and all the Christian denominations are behind us in fighting Obama because of the demands he has made on us. Now it is up to our clergy to speak up. Obama has shown the world who he truly is. Now the ball is in our court to make sure those who are still going to vote for him or who are “feeling conflicted” will understand that there is a God and one day we will stand before Him. What will they answer when our Lord asks, “Why did you kill my babies”?

  • michigancatholic

    What we are seeing over and over again in the media, in politics & in the culture right now are perfect examples of Stages 2-4 of Kohlberg’s moral development scale. Pick them out when you see them. It’s very instructive, sometimes humorous and sometimes downright shocking.

    As Catholics, we’re supposed to aspire to higher levels of moral behavior for the love of God, who is the ultimate Good. I’m going to repeat something, but for good reason: repeated CONFESSION is THE privileged means for learning moral development and advancing from one stage to the next, to the best of one’s ability . It’s something we all need to rise to the challenge of our own moral agency which is a gift from God, and our heritage as sons and daughters of God. This is serious business. It’s not a hobby; it’s not a game; it’s not a personal choice that we make from a menu.

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