US Bishops stand together in opposition to HHS mandate

Dear Brother Knights,

Bishop William Callahan and I traveled to Rome February 6-20 for the bishop’s visit ad limina apostolorum–to the thresholds [of the tombs] of the apostles [Peter and Paul]. We were there with the bishops of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Concelebrated Masses were held at the basilicas of St. Peter, St. Paul outside the Walls, St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Two more Masses were held at St. Peter’s: one at the altar over the tomb of Blessed John Paul II and another at the altar over the tomb of Blessed John XXIII. The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict XVI. After introductions and pictures the priests and seminarians accompanying the bishops were dismissed and the bishops of Wisconsin had a conversation with the Holy Father.

Bishp Callahan & Pope Benedict

Bishop Callahan meets with Pope Benedict

Another highlight of the trip was the public consistory held at St. Peter’s on Saturday, February 18. During this ceremony thousands of people witnessed the creation of 22 new cardinals, two of whom were from the United States: Edwin O’Brien, the new Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; and Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and formerly the Archbishop of Milwaukee, and currently the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

All the cardinals and bishops from the United States who were in Rome are worried about the federal government’s intrusion into the Church’s freedom to maintain practices consistent with her moral teaching on contraception and abortion. This is a constitutional matter for which we knights are called to remain in solidarity with our bishops. Please read again Bishop Callahan’s letter on the matter from late January and write letters protesting the ruling. You can find more on this at

Have a blessed Lent. May God bless you and your families.

-- Fr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain