One More Soul Publishes HHS Mandate Paper
One More Soul, a lay apostolate dedicated to the family based in Dayton, has produced a tabloid-style publication on the HHS Mandate available in print or online. Obey Mandate or Scripture is a 24-page resource covering the issues and various philosophical, medical, sociological, and economic concerns about the rule, as well as its impact on freedom of conscience, religious freedom, and the Catholic Church.
In addition to essays from bishops, priests, and other writers, the paper includes information about books, organizations, and conferences addressing the same issues.
“It seemed to me that the USCCB’s focus on the religious freedom aspect of the HHS mandate was missing a chance to education people on the foundational aspects of their opposition to it — contraception, sterilization, and abortion,” says Steve Koob, founder and director of One More Soul. “I thought they were missing an opportunity to evangelize, educate, and inform the electorate about these intrinsic evils.”
One More Soul staff collected published essays on what they considered seven core issues, but area priests said they were hesitant about distributing an early draft in their parishes because of the political content. So Koob contacted the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Chancellor, Fr. Steve Angi, about how to make changes to the document for a “nihil obstat” — a certification from the office’s censor that “nothing stands in the way” (the literal translation from the Latin) of its being printed.
The suggested changes, Koop says, were minor and consisted of substituting generic terms for specific names of politicians and programs. When none of the authors objected, One More Soul asked for the “nihil obstat” designation in the hopes that priests and lay Catholics would feel more comfortable about ordering the newspaper.
“When the ‘imprimatur’ arrived in the mail, I just about fell off my chair,” Koob says. Like the “nihil obstat” from the Chancellor’s office the “Imprimatur” (“let it be printed”) from the Archbishiop’s office is not an endorsement of the contents of any publication — it’s an assurance that nothing in the publication is contrary to the Catholic faith. But to One More Soul and to parishes, organizations, and individuals around the country who have bought hundreds or even thousands of copies, it is a big difference between Obey Mandate or Scripture and other publications that don’t have either designation.
The entire publication can be read at the One More Soul web site, and copies of the printed newspaper are available in quantities of 50 to 1000 or more. Many parishes and parish organizations have bought packs of 100, Koob says, but others have bought many more. Several California parishes have bought 1,500 copies each, and a group of families in Toledo have bought and distributed 10,000 copies. “They’re now branching into Detroit and Ann Arbor,” Koop says.
One More Soul will also provide the print-ready files for the publication to any group that wants to print its own copies. “You have to be willing to print about 10,000 or you won’t get a decent price,” Koop says. “But a group in Charlotte, NC, printed 10,000 copies to distribute at the Eucharistic Congress there last month.”
One More Soul sees the publication, Koob says, as about far more than politics, and expects it to be used long after voting day. “It’s not about the election so much as it’s a catechetical tool,” he says. “It’s more for saving souls than it is for getting votes. No matter who wins in November, the mandate will still be here and something will need to be done about it.”
To read Obey Mandate or Scripture, or to order copies of the newspaper, click here. Call (937) 279-5433 or (800) 307-7685 to arrange to print your own copies of the publication. One More Soul is also offering free “protect religious freedom” yard signs at its headquarters on North Main Street. (See Protect Religious Freedom SW Ohio for other locations to pick up yard signs north of Cincinnati.)
Photo by Tom Dalrymple, courtesy Stand Up for Religious Freedom Dayton.
For our story on Legatus awarding Steve and Vivian Koob the Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award in February, click here.
For our story on the HHS mandate web and billboard campaign by Freedom2012, click here.
For our Religious Freedom resources page, click here. For all our past religious freedom stories and guest posts, click on “religious freedom” in the lower menu.”