In a statement made by Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, the college joins with the bishops and the many Catholic organizations in protesting the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate, which forces individuals and organizations to violate their religious principles by providing drugs that cause abortion, as well as contraceptive and sterilization coverage to employees.
“Christendom College is proud to lend its voice to the general outcry throughout our nation to this ugly assault on religious freedom, perpetrated by the Obama Administration,” O’Donnell says. “We are very grateful for the leadership by Cardinal-designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan, our own Bishop Paul Loverde, and the Virginia Catholic Conference in this crucial matter.”
The College has been battling this issue on the state level in Virginia since 2009 and still has not received a satisfactory answer in its demand for religious exemption in the area of contraception coverage.
O’Donnell says that the HHS Mandate is an issue that will affect not only Catholics, but also all Americans.
“Even an atheist can see that this is wrong,” he says. “This mandate is basically saying to Catholics in the United States, ‘you can no longer be a good American citizen and a practicing Roman Catholic.’”
O’Donnell recalls the famous statement by Martin Niemöller who commented on the inactivity of German intellectuals during the persecutions in Nazi Germany:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
“The American people need to be united against this attack on the very principles on which our great nation was founded,” O’Donnell says. “Our founding fathers came to America for this right to religious freedom. Their children should not be denied it.”