HHS Update and Bulletin Inserts from Bishop DiLorenzo

As recently as ten years ago, a majority of American bishops would have been grateful from the Obama administration’s “compromise.” Times have changed.

TO:  All Priests, Permanent Deacon, Seminarians, Religious, Pastoral Ministers, Parish & Diocesan Staff Members:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared the attached updated (English and Spanish) Bulletin Inserts that address the Obama Administration’s final HHS rule of February 10. The final rule maintained in place the same broad mandate and same narrow exception, “without change,” as the rule itself states.

There is much confusion among Catholic individuals and organizations as to what was offered by the President as a proposed accommodation and what can be accepted based on what the President has said. The Bulletin Insert attempts to provide concise answers to those questions and animate the faithful to contact Congress for corrective legislation.

We are happy to make these resources available in “Word” and “PDF” format (PDF only posted online).  I encourage you to distribute the Bulletin Insert and the Cover Note to Leaders (English and Spanish) to your parishes and Catholic organizations and agencies as quickly as possible. Even if legislation should change, the action site noted on the Bulletin Insert can change quickly to adapt to that fact.

 More information can be found at www.usccb.org/conscience. Thank you for your support and God bless you in these important efforts.

 Sincerely yours in Our Lord, +Francis X. DiLorenzo Bishop of Richmond


Contraception confusion in Richmond

According to a Richmond television station, the editor of the Catholic Virginian was quick to cheer the contraception “compromise” announced today by President Obama, as were the sisters at Bon Secours:

NBC12 also checked in with Bon Secours, the Catholic based hospital system in our area. A spokesperson told us they are pleased with the White House announcement. They said it “protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions.”

The bishops, however, are not buying it.

Tim Kaine and HHS Contraception Rule

 Washington Post: Tim Kaine splits with Obama on birth control rule for religious groups

Another Step Toward Liturgical Obedience in Richmond

The Diocese of Richmond’s Office of Worship has issued instructions for Lent and Easter 2012, including the following for Holy Thursday:

The washing of the feet (mandatum) should be celebrated in a way that allows for people to

participate visually. The custom that those chosen for the foot washing be men is still normative and

should be observed unless pastoral reasons dictate otherwise. [Emphasis added.]

While the instruction leaves plenty of wiggle room for female toes, it does provide cover for priests who wish to conform their ceremonies with Rome.

SSPX Moving Seminary to Southside Virginia

It will likely come as a surprise to many Virginia Catholics that the Society of Saint Pius X is moving its American seminary from Minnesota to Buckingham County, Virginia. Ground breaking occurred last October. More here: http://www.sspx.org/district_news/seminary_groundbreaking_10-26-2011/seminary_groundbreaking_10-26-2011.htm