Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik: 'To Hell' With New Contraception Rules

The Obama administration is requiring church-affiliated employers to provide health care plans that cover access to contraception.

Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik Friday joined a growing segment of religious leaders speaking out against the Obama administration’s new law that requires religious employers to offer health plans covering free contraceptives.

In an open letter titled "To Hell With You," Zubik today characterized some of the mandates in the administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a "slap in the face" and an attack on religious freedom.

Zubik specifcally refers to guidelines that require all individual and group health insurance plans, including self-insured plans, to cover FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals "that even result in abortion,"  Zubik writes.

"The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it," Zubik wrote in the letter posted on the Pittsburgh Diocese website.

The church opposes contraception and pharmaceuticals such as the "morning-after" pill. 

Under the law, Zubik believes many Catholic institutions would be affected, including local , nursing homes and hospitals.

Zubik writes:

Practically speaking under the proposed mandate there would be no “religious exemption” for Catholic hospitals universities, colleges, nursing homes and numerous Catholic social service agencies such as Catholic Charities. It could easily be determined that the “religious exemption” would not apply as well to Catholic high , elementary schools and Catholic parishes since many employ non-Catholics and serve both students and, through social outreach, many who do not share Catholic religious beliefs. Such a narrow “religious exemption” is simply unprecedented in federal law.

Zubik's letter urges to contact their local political leaders and lists several names and numbers for the White House, Pennsylvania Congressmen and Senators. 


What do you think about the new mandates in the health plan? Tell us in the comments.

Maciek January 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
A lot of women use contraception.
bnhasak January 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Catholic doctrine should be followed (if chosen to be followed) by its followers, but the Catholic church doesn't just employ Catholics. Those that choose to use the contraception have to right that in their own hearts if that is their choice. The Bishop is to lead his flock, but can't mandate what is right and wrong for his employees. I also agree that those who live in glass houses should be careful when casting stones. With all the VERY immoral happenings that went on in the Catholic church over the last decades, I think paying for insurance to cover contraception is the least of their issues. I also think as a man of the church he should stand up for what he believes, but not in such a disrespectful manner. Politics and religion have become so uncivilized and downright ugly. Discourse, education, and compassion have gone out the window when the Bishop says "to hell" to the president of our country. I typically admire and respect Bishop Zubick, but the manner in which he handled this is distasteful to say the least.
Philip Buettgen January 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think it is time to use the Millions of dollars the Church is using to bring back those that have left the Church and rather spend it by hiring the ACLU to bring suit against the Government for Conflict of Interest. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE is most evident in this monster Obamacare and it seems that the Liberals are trying not to let their OX be gored. Time for the Clergy to take off the Collar and put on clothes suitable for the street fight that needs to be fought. Has the Church lost its Backbone? Is it not time to stand up for Truth? Is it not time to stop the assault on the Church? Where are the Knights of Columbus in this fight? The time to mobilize is now.
Shelagh C September 25, 2012 at 12:51 AM
If Bishop Zubik doesn't believe in the use of contraceptives, then he shouldn't use them. However, since there are no women in positions of power in the Catholic church, the church has no right to dictate to women what they can and can't do with their own bodies. We're not children who need men to make the decisions for us.
Pam Laico November 08, 2012 at 04:11 PM
He should be more concerned with the cover up of Catholic priests who have molested young boys and then were permitted to continue their role in the church. One of which was my brother who was molested at St. James church in Wilkinsburg 31 years so by Fr. John Wellinger.


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