To the ramparts, cries Bishop Bruskewitz:

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz has issued a blistering letter calling on Roman Catholics in the Lincoln Diocese to fight a federal decision requiring all employers to provide health insurance that pays for birth control, female sterilization procedures and “the morning after” pill.

He socks it to Obama’s secy of health and human services:

“The present secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a bitter fallen-away Catholic, now requires that all insurance, even when issued privately, must carry coverage for evil and grave sin,” Bruskewitz wrote in the letter, which he instructed parish priests to read aloud to their congregations at Mass this weekend.

She’s been literally excommunicated, in fact:

Sebelius is among a number of Catholic politicians in the United States who have been banned from receiving Holy Communion because of their positions on abortion.

She was banned by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., because, as Kansas governor, she vetoed strict anti-abortion legislation that her advisers told her was unconstitutional.

Bruskewitz confrere in Omaha is pushing the subject:

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha has written a letter to be distributed to pastors next week, said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the archdiocese. Priests were asked to read the letter to parishioners or include it in their church bulletins.

The letter will ask Catholics in the Omaha Archdiocese to pray about the issue and to contact their congressional representatives to pass legislation overturning the rule.

“The bishop’s letter will state how this order negatively impacts the church in the U.S.,” McNeil said. “It’s a violation of religious liberty and our First Amendment rights.”

The bishops are putting out a ““call to action” to try to overturn the rule, McNeil said

I love that “call to action” business.  It resonates, somehow.

The government plan has a wrinkle:

The insurance rule, which does not require abortion coverage, exempts churches and other institutions whose primary purpose is to foster religious belief and that mainly employ people who hold those beliefs.

U.S. bishops, however, wanted a broader exemption that includes Catholic hospitals, universities and church-affiliated social services agencies.

They want to peel off the hospitals, which is where so much of bioethics hits the road.  They’d like to do away with the Catholic presence there and in social service?  Or denude it of Catholic identity?