Think the HHS Mandate Won’t Hurt Non-Catholics? Think Again.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, first recognized as a Pontifical Institute by Pope Pius XI on July 9, 1854, is a religious congregation dedicated to the care of the elderly poor. According to their website, this mission means that the sisters “welcome them into our homes, form one family with them, accompany them from day to day and care for them with love and respect until God calls them home.”

In the United States alone, the Little Sisters operate 33 homes where the elderly poor are cared for. They also carry out their apostolate in some additional 30 countries around the world. The Sisters are mendicant — they beg for their funding and resources — and yet despite the financial difficulties inherent in such a charism, the order continues to carry out its important work. They make no distinction among those they care for. They are of every race and creed. They also employ support staff from across the spectrum of belief.

Which means that they have no chance at an exemption from the HHS mandate. They will be forced to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs, or face crippling fines.  Neither option is viable for the Little Sisters, so those who will be penalized are their employees, and more importantly, the elderly so in need of their care.

This past Sunday, the Little Sisters of the Poor were invited to speak at Masses in our area. Their message? If something doesn’t change, they will be forced to leave the United States, as they have left other countries (such as China) where religious persecution has made it impossible for them to operate ethically.

When the sister speaking at the Mass I attended mentioned this, it both made me angry and broke my heart. When did we become a country mentioned in the same breath as nations known for oppression, human rights violations, and an environment hostile to freedom of conscience?We’ve all been fighting this battle against the coming darkness for quite some time, but something about this small, unassuming nun telling the parish that they would be forced to discontinue their care for the elderly poor, and even worse, to leave the country altogether, really drove it home. This is what it has come to. We are no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have become something else.

This is not the America I grew up in. This is not the America I want for my children. I want to recommend a course of action, some concrete thing that people can do to put a stop to this madness, but like the relentless evil of legal abortion that came before it, there’s only so much that can humanly be done. The only thing for it is to keep praying, keep fighting, and keep teaching our children what America was, and should be again.

Please remember the Little Sisters of the Poor in your intentions, as well as the elderly poor in their care who have no place else to go. If you have the means to do so, I encourage you to support their efforts financially. The work they do is not only an essential corporal work of mercy, it is a bright spot in a dark and troubled world. It is my fervent hope that they will be able to continue to provide comfort, care, and aid to the elderly poor. What a tremendous blessing it is for them to be present at the hour of death for so many who would otherwise be alone, singing the Salve Regina, praying with the dying, and giving to them, as sister called it, “a celestial sendoff when God calls them home to Himself.”


Categories:Feature Featured Health Care

  • Tommy Marshall

    “If something doesn’t change, they will be forced to leave the United States, as they have left other countries (such as China) where religious persecution has made it impossible for them to operate ethically.”

    Forced to leave? Operating ethically? I don’t understand why the only alternative that Catholic opinion-makers give on this matter is to close up our schools, hospitals, and orphanages. There is an even simpler answer and one which is bound to work: Civilly disobey.

    Don’t pay the fine. Don’t give out birth control and abortifacients. Don’t comply. Let Federal agents threaten to come and start hauling doctors, nuns, and priests away from the bedside of sick patients. One picture of the ensuing chaos on Drudge and Huffington and the entire Church will be granted a waiver.

    If I see leaders of my Church throw their hands up and say, “Oh well!” and close, all because of Obamacare, which almost all of the USCCB was supporting publicly — except for the part that made their complicity with the law immorally — only then will I have lost hope.

    The very fact Church leaders are opting to close rather than civilly disobey leaves me disheartened.

  • Toni Helm Chadwick

    The real reason this part of the mandate is being pushed so vigorously is to force non government controlled hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and charitable institutions to close their doors. The only way government can completely control (enslave) the population is to control all survival necessities. Don’t forget they have already told people they can’t by fresh food and meats from independent farmers.

  • Joseph Barros

    My wife worked for Franciscan health and Catholic health initiatives 5-10 years ago and her health insurance covered these things and none of you fake Catholics noticed!!!!! It has always been!!!!!!!!!!

    • abadilla

      Isn’t that sad?

    • Sarah Foley

      Lol first of all as someone who accused a whole group of people of being “fake Catholics”….. You displayed a pretty “fake Catholic” mentality yourself…..judgement without warrant (or judgement of a people rather than acts). But I digress….. I would hope a lot of people realized that (as I did and was angered by it back then. But many people were not aware either due to their own ignorance or lack of access to that field. Does that really matter now? People are beginning to realize this is an issue, and try don’t want to sit back and do nothing while our hospitals an institutions are forced to close their doors.



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