Bishop Blase Cupich has posted the text of a letter he wrote to those who work in catholic ministries that might be effected by the HHS mandate. Unlike Bishop Robert Lynch's recent statement, Bishop Cupich wrote directly to those workers who, understandably, might be worried that the ministries where they work could be closed down or that their access to health insurance might be cut-off. The money quote:
In visiting with many of you about the issue of insurance coverage, I know you have been concerned by calls for the Church to shut down her organizations or withdraw health coverage to those who serve in our various institutions as a protest to regulations that may infringe on our religious freedoms. These kinds of scare tactics and worse-case scenario predictions are uncalled for and only unnecessarily disturb the hardworking and dedicated people who are employed by the Church. I am confident that we can find a way forward, and this latest response of the government appears to provide some new openings, which we need to explore and for which we should express appreciation.
What +Cupich and +Lynch's comments have in common is a desire to focus on fixing the remaining problems rather than manipulating the issue of the mandate for an ideological agenda that sees no hope of agreement with the Obama administration. Both bishops are to be commended for this approach, which seems to be the attitude of the USCCB as well, if Cardinal Dolan's clarification of the USCCB statement is to be made sense of. It is a time for cool heads and casuistry.