Santa Rosa Bishop Vasa: ‘If they shut me down, they shut me down’

If the Diocese of Santa Rosa is required to cooperate with the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate – it won’t, says Bishop Robert Vasa.

“If they shut me down, they shut me down,” the bishop said March 30 following a speech on Catholic health care at a three-day conference on Catholic health care reform hosted by Life Legal Defense Foundation and the Christus Medicus Foundation. The Archdiocese of San Francisco and the dioceses of Sacramento, Oakland and Santa Rosa were among the sponsors.

However, Bishop Vasa believes the church will prevail on the issue because religious liberty is “enshrined in our Constitution.”

“Precisely because Jesus healed the sick, the church is involved in healing ministry,” Bishop Vasa said in his keynote address to the conference, stressing the Catholic Church’s commitment to health care. “We are involved in this based on the conviction that each person has unique dignity.”

Catholics must unite as they never have before if they hope to prevail against the Obama Administration’s contraceptive mandate – because the alternatives are so bleak, said speakers at the March 29-31 conference at St. Mary’s Cathedral, titled “Make Straight the Pathway: An Integrated and Unified Solution for Catholic Healthcare Reform.”

“I think we have to mobilize our church in a way we never have before,” said William Cox, president and CEO of the Alliance of Catholic Healthcare, an association of California Catholic hospitals.

“This is something we cannot fight unless we are united,” said Richard Doerflinger, associate director, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. [More]


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