The response to the January 20 announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandating private health insurance programs to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives (including those that can induce an abortion) has brought new life to the expression. Everybody is weighing in on this.
First, the bishops:
- We had the initial reaction of the Conference, followed by a video message from Cardinal-designate Dolan, president of USCCB.
- At the National Prayer Vigil for Life (another decidedly "here comes everybody"-style event), both Cardinal-Designate Dolan and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB's Pro-Life chairman, both raised the issue in their homilies.
- Cardinal-designate Dolan also ran sharply worded op eds in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
- Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, chair of USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, ran a piece on the Washington Post's On Faith blog.
- Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington issued a statement and posted a video message online.
- Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta wrote a letter to all parishes (in Spanish too) and hit the local airwaves.
- Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh got a lot of attention with his provocatively-titled column, "To Hell With You."
- Retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington appeared on FOX News, explaining that in order to qualify for a religious exemption, Catholic charities and health care providers would be forced to turn away non-Catholics, something opposed to our faith.
- Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo did a Q&A on the matter.
Letters, statements and other messages also came from:
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans; Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien, administrator of Baltimore; Archbishop Roger Scwietz of Anchorage, Alaska; Bishop Richard Malone of Portland, Maine; Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa; Cardinal DiNardo; Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Illinois; Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana; Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington (who also issued a joint letter with Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond); Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York; Archbishop Jose Gomez and Cardinal Roger Mahony on Los Angeles; all of the bishops of Michigan (courtesy of the Michigan Catholic Conference); Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis; Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose, California; Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri; Bishop David Kagan of Bismark, North Dakota; Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island; Bishop Peter Christensen of Superior, Wisconsin; Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita, Kansas; Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona; Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware; Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa; Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; Bishop John Noonan of Orlando, Florida; Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas; Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan; Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina; Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey; Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton, New Jersey; Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Oregon; Bishop Lawrence Brandt of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky; Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota; Bishop Felipe Estevez of St. Augustine, Florida; Bishop Frederick Campbell of Columbus, Ohio; Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati; Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester, New York; Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah, Georgia; Bishop George Coleman of Fall River, Massachusetts; Bishop Glen John Provost of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Bishop Roger Foys of Covington, Kentucky; Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, California; Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin; Bishop Michael Driscoll of Boise, Idaho; Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu, Hawaii; Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami; Bishop Michael Sheriden of Colorado Springs; Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota; Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas; Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Iowa; Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida; Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland; Bishop John Gaydos of Jefferson City, Missouri; Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, Texas; Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida; BIshop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg, New York; Bishop Armando Ochoa, administrator of El Paso, Texas; and Bishop Timothy McDonnell of Springfield, Massachusetts.
And not just bishops, an array of other organizations, as well as both Catholic and secular media have weighed in on the topic:
- The Catholic Health Association had this strongly worded statement and have since followed it with another.
- Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, said this.
- Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, offered this statement.
- America Magazine offered an initial reflection, as well as a full editorial on the matter.
- Our Sunday Visitor ran a full editorial as well.
- Michael Gerson writing for The Washington Post calls the rule the most anti-Catholic law since the 1800s. E.J. Dionne pretty much takes the bishops' side too.
- USCCB's own Sister Mary Ann Walsh took the bishops' argument to the Huffington Post.
- National Catholic Reporter even excoriated the administration over it and has said some supportive things about the bishops.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that the rule is probably not going to pass muster with the Supreme Court.
- Other secular outlets to run editorial content favoring the Church's view have included The Atlantic (particularly good piece), Detroit News, and National Journal.
- National Review has run at least three separate bits of commentary.
- National Public Radio ran this piece, with good soundbites from Bishop Zubik and Archbishop Wenski.
- Meanwhile CNN muses on an increasingly pertinent question. (Great quotes from Cardinal Wuerl here.)
- And as NPR noted, even the Evangelicals have taken up this issue, as evidenced by this response from the Baptists.
- There have been innumerable other blog posts and op eds worth reading.
- And this petition on WhiteHouse.gov already over 9,000 signatures. (Be sure to sign it!)
Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress blog encapsulates all of this by noting that the silver lining of this rule has been how it's brought about a so much unity in an often fractious Church.
A true "here comes everybody" moment.
Note: Catholics wishing to take additional action on this matter can go here for more information and an action alert.