Need help on HHS Mandate

In another Catholic room I go to I stated that the food pantry moved out of our parish because of the mandate. Some challenged me to proof because he states it applies only to employees and not to those receiving charity. Can some provide me with proof?

To add further: donations of food comes from Protestant churches, private individuals and private businesses. And some of the volunteers at the food pantry are nonCatholic.

Does the charity employee 50 or more people?

You’re the one making the claim so you must have a reason for your statement. There’s your proof. E.g., “My pastor told me that’s why” or “The director of the food pantry said that’s why.” If all you knew is that the food pantry moved and you assumed the reason without any evidence, then you should say so.

And the person was right that employers provide health insurance to their employees, not to customers, clients, etc.

[quote="wondrousgnat]Some challenged me to proof because he states it applies only to employees and not to those receiving charity

But the issue isn’t about health insurance. The HHS mandate exemption requires the purpose of the organization to be the inculcation of religious values. Maybe someone had a concern that the presence of the food pantry would allow someone to claim that the purpose wasn’t inculcation of religious values. If so, that might be why they moved it elsewhere – so that they could continue to claim that the exemption should apply to them…?

The food pantry had been there for about ten years. The priest stated in mass that that was the reason it moved. Some of the volunteeers, including the head, are nonCatholic. They receive donations from private companies, private individuals and Protestant churches. They get much of their food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB). They also get their food from private companies, department stores, bakeries, grocery stores, etc. Most of the volunteers there are nonCatholic and sometimes corporations have an annual event of volunteering there.
Sadly, Nestles requires us to throw away any of their food that we get rather than donate to the hungry. I don’t know why.

Hmm… offhand, I can’t recall whether the exemption covers volunteers, or only employees. I recall that employees must be of the same religious group as the organization, though.

Sadly, Nestles requires us to throw away any of their food that we get rather than donate to the hungry. I don’t know why.

Legal liability and the chance for bad publicity. No company wants its brand name splashed across the media in a food poisoning case… :wink:

I don’t think your priest would lie to you. And if he said that’s why, that’s probably why.

The fact is that the diocese does employ more than 50 people, and the presence on the diocesan payroll of people who serve the general public will make the entire diocese lose its exemption. Expect a lot of things to close.

This article has a list of the rules for the exemption in it. There are 4 rules, and ALL 4 must be met to get the exemption. And yes, it has restrictions for both the employed person and the person to be served. All the parties have to be Catholic for a Catholic charity.

I am in no position to take issue with your priest. Perhaps you remember only part of what he said.

The HHS Mandate is NOT binding on church social ministries until sometime next summer.

Perhaps your parish had a contract that needed to be renewed, Say October 2012 to October 2013. If so, the HHS Mandate which becomes binding next summer could affect that decision.

But whether it becomes binding also depends on the results of the several law suits before the courts.

As I understand the HHS Mandate, I could be wrong, it applies to Health Insurance which is provided to employees. Volunteers do not get paid and are not provided Health Insurance.

To get a solid answer to your question you should contact the priest to get more detail why your food pantry closed.

The HHS mandate will not be on this year’s tax returns. But it will be on next year’s tax returns. It will take time to change everything around before August. You must know this. Whatever changes are going to take place will happen over the next 6 months or so.

Non-eligible teachers will be let go at the latest in May or June so that they can find other employment. It would be immoral not to tell them any later if you’re not going to keep them. They’ll need to be ready for the teaching job hiring season this summer. People who run the catholic schools will be aware of this even if most lay catholics are not.

I believe that ineligible employees operating under expiring contracts that deal with the general public will not be re-employed. I expect that new contracts that serve the general public will not be sought or accepted. It will no longer be beneficial to dioceses to do so.

Some diocesan businesses like bookstores may be legally separated from dioceses through sale to individuals who can manage them privately. There will be interesting things happening this year. Watch.

Don’t count on those lawsuits. They’re likely to take longer than the few months we have, AND Obama is going to name the next couple of supreme court justices. [You can probably say goodby to overturning Roe vs. Wade too.]

To the original poster: I have no doubt that your priest told you the truth. You can verify with him if you wish. But there is no reason he would have made that up, none whatsoever. It’s most likely true.

To Grateful Fred: It also matters who the clients of the charity are. In order to get the exemption, clients have to be primarily Catholic. The HHS gets to decide what “primarily” means. Clientele matters as much as employee in this. This is why many outreaches like food banks and soup kitchens will close.

Not to argue, iloveangels, but to seek more clear understanding. IF I have it wrong, please explain:

As I understand the HHS Mandate, an employer MUST provide contraception coverage to its employees. I do not see how this employer responsibility would appear on income tax returns.

[FONT=Arial]The issue regarding the HHS Mandate and the Church comes from our first and foremost Freedom in the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]The Catholic Church, as well as other churches, is “an establishment of religion.” Congress makes laws and the President carries them out. The HHS Mandate is how this president wants to carry out the law. The First Amendment does not allow him to do that when that law affects the how the Church carries out it’s understanding of religion.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Religion is and always has been worship AND social service. Christ Himself fed and healed people of all faiths and no faith at all. Providing social service is the free exercise of religion. And no President can prohibit the free exercise of our religion by tell the Church what it can and cannot provide to its employees, especially when it goes against the tenets of our Faith.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]I am sure you know this and agree, but I state it for those who may be following the issue.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]As you stated, the HHS is taking it upon itself to decide who the Church can serve or not serve. This is a direct violation of the free exercise of religion.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I do not know The Church’s plan beyond the law suits that have been filed. A court could order an injunction to allow The Church to not comply until the cases have been settled. That seems most reasonable as there are many prior cases on many issues where injunctions have been granted.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I do not know if certain Bishops or parishes would order the closing of social service units PRIOR to a direct order from the federal government. The Church might choose to resist such an order.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Many Church social services apply for and receive federal funds to carry out social servies. The HHS could retaliate and “sequester” those funds. If that happens, many social service units would cease operating. The services would still be needed and the federal government would then exert MORE CONTROL by setting up alternative units. More federal control means LESS FREEDOM.[/FONT]
This fight is worth fighting. I fully support our Bishops.[/FONT]

If an employee does not comply with Obamacare or avoids Obamacare, the penalties are classified as taxes and will be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s not expected that this will be able to stand in court because of reinterpretation of the constitution, thanks to years of legal monkeying around with it. It will take something more technical to interrupt what’s going on. Some nice suits exist, but many of them have been tossed out of court already. There are still some trying though. Probably they won’t make it in time. We have months, NOT years. The time for concern would have been last spring, but most Catholics weren’t in the mood to listen to reason last spring.

And pay the penalties? Do you know what those penalties are???
$100 per day per person for non-compliance, which is offering insurance that does not cover abortion. That’s $36,500 per year per person.
$2000 per person per year for avoidance, which is dropping all insurance entirely and making the employee pay for their own. In addition, the employee will pay extra penalties meant to punish them too.

Keep in mind that this is not just about going to jail. This is about having properties closed and confiscated and whatever the IRS thinks it can do if we stone-wall them. No, I don’t think we’re going to resist for long. Somebody may try it just to see if they’re serious. Trust me, they are.

Many of these things are going to be sold, change hands or just plain shut down. Get ready. The whining and blaming is going to be ferocious.

I support the Church, but Catholics have to face reality here and think about this. All this wishful thinking and platitudes, and voting for the wrong people, and being misinformed, and not knowing what the Church teaches, and acting like the general population, and pontificating things they don’t even practice themselves, has got to stop.

As I understand it, prior to Obamacare abut 85% of Americans had medical coverage to some degree; 15% did not. Some of that 15% could very well afford it and some cannot.

Obamacare will require that 15% to purchase medical insurance, I believe starting in 2014. Obamacare will provide a sliding subsidy to those families earning up to $88,000 a year. So those making $40,000 will have to buy with a larger subsidy while those who earn $88,000 will have a smaller subsidy. The average income is about $50,000.

As you correctly state, those who do not buy medical insurance will have to pay the “tax,” perhaps $2,000 each year they refuse to buy.

So the decision is: should one buy a $10,000 medical insurance (family of 4) with say a $3,000 government subsidy, net $7,000 cost or should that person just suffer the $2,000 tax? Either way, that person will have to pay either a premium or a tax. The subsidy given him comes from OUR taxes, so we are helping him. [Note my numbers are just an example to show the point]]

But the HHS Mandate is a requirement that all employer provide medical insurance policies that cover contraception. Religious Employers cannot opt out, that is, provide a policy that does not cover contraception. More services provided means more cost. So the Church is then forced to pay for a service we believe to be immoral. The fact that many contracept anyway is not relevant. The Church should not be required to pay for immoral behavior. If you must contracept, do it on your own dollar. The Church states rightly that the government has no constitutional authority to require the Church to provide a medical insurance policy that covers contraception because that requirement goes against the First Amendment.

No. You don’t understand. $2000 is the penalty the RELIGIOUS employer pays if they drop all insurance to avoid paying for abortion. Do you work for the CHURCH?

Proof of what? I don’t understand the question.

My initial thought: Maybe you good Catholics could move your ‘Year of Evangelization’ up one year and joyously preach the Gospel at the same time you minister to the poor?

I have to admit that this bothered me in some of our Lutheran charities - we sometimes don’t take the time to evangelise while we’re tending to the earthly needs of our neighbors. Should we not also tend to the spirit? And perhaps, should not this be our primary purpose?

HHS mandate. That’s the topic of this thread.

Perhaps I do not fully understand and I might be wrong. I am seeking clarity whether it confirms or corrects my understanding.

I do not work for the Church. But I am most grateful to be a lifelong practicing member of the Church. This is so because its teachings make great sense to me. Even the ones I find difficult to follow at times. That is my sin and no reason for the Church to change.

Religious Freedom is the freedom to worship AND to provide social services in ways the Church sees fit. The Catholic Church has done a great job of it these past 2,000 years.

The HHS Mandate seeks to impose limits the First Amendment prohibits. If this Administration is successful in limiting the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT FREEDOM America has fought for since the early 1600s when we first arrived here, then the government is well on its way to limiting ALL our Freedoms.

It is fight worth fighting for. I served nearly 24 years in the US Air Force defending our Freedoms. We all should stand for what is right and protest excessive government control.

Sorry, I wasn’t clear.

By changing the primary reason for a Catholic from ‘serving the poor’, to ‘evangelizing the poor’ - perhaps it is possible that the charity would fall under the religious exemption to the HHS mandate.

Maybe so, but I think they would lose all of their government subsidies. I thought that people who work for places like Catholic Community Services weren’t allowed to evangelize because they were accepting government money. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

This birth control thing is so easy to solve. All Obama would have to do is make birth control coverage optional instead of mandatory. Most insurance companies would probably choose to cover it anyway because they know it is cheaper to pay for birth control than to pay for babies. An organization connected with the Catholic Church wouldn’t have to include it in their coverage if they were self-insured.

If they were not self-insured, they could probably find an insurance company that chose not to cover it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit