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Religious Freedom Reaffirmed; US Bishops Unanimous
Zenit.org ^ | June 14, 2012 | USCCB.org

Posted on 06/17/2012 1:28:42 PM PDT by Salvation

Religious Freedom Reaffirmed; US Bishops Unanimous


Reiterate Protest at Mandate to Cover Abortifacients, Contraception

ATLANTA, Georgia, JUNE 14, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reaffirmed by a unanimous voice vote Wednesday a recent statement of the USCCB Administrative Committee regarding the federal government mandate that would require religious employers to provide free insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization and contraception.

At the end of their hour-long discussion of religious freedom in the United States, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of USCCB, asked the body of bishops if it would be willing to declare its approval of “United for Religious Freedom,” the unanimous statement of the Administrative Committee issued on March 14. Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, seconded Cardinal Dolan's motion, which was put to the body by a voice vote and unanimously affirmed.

The document identifies three basic problems with the mandate: “an unwarranted government definition of religion,” “a mandate to act against our teachings,” and “a violation of personal civil rights.”

“United for Religious Freedom” is available on the USCCB Web site at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/march-14-statement-on-religious-freedom-and-hhs-mandate.cfm



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; hhsmandate
The document identifies three basic problems with the mandate: “an unwarranted government definition of religion,” “a mandate to act against our teachings,” and “a violation of personal civil rights.”

And that's just the beginning!

1 posted on 06/17/2012 1:28:48 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All

March 14 Statement on Religious Freedom and HHS Mandate

PDF version United for Religious Freedom

A Statement of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

March 14, 2012

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered for its March 2012 meeting, is strongly unified and intensely focused in its opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day. In our role as Bishops, we approach this question prayerfully and as pastors—concerned not only with the protection of the Church's own institutions, but with the care of the souls of the individual faithful, and with the common good.

To address the broader range of religious liberty issues, we look forward to the upcoming publication of "A Statement on Religious Liberty," a document of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. This document reflects on the history of religious liberty in our great Nation; surveys the current range of threats to this foundational principle; and states clearly the resolve of the Bishops to act strongly, in concert with our fellow citizens, in its defense.

One particular religious freedom issue demands our immediate attention: the now-finalized rule of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would force virtually all private health plans nationwide to provide coverage of sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—subject to an exemption for "religious employers" that is arbitrarily narrow, and to an unspecified and dubious future "accommodation" for other religious organizations that are denied the exemption.

We begin, first, with thanks to all who have stood firmly with us in our vigorous opposition to this unjust and illegal mandate: to our brother bishops; to our clergy and religious; to our Catholic faithful; to the wonderful array of Catholic groups and institutions that enliven our civil society; to our ecumenical and interfaith allies; to women and men of all religions (or none at all); to legal scholars; and to civic leaders. It is your enthusiastic unity in defense of religious freedom that has made such a dramatic and positive impact in this historic public debate. With your continued help, we will not be divided, and we will continue forward as one.

Second, we wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church's hand and with the Church's funds. This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops' somehow "banning contraception," when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops' Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.

So what is it about?

An unwarranted government definition of religion. The mandate includes an extremely narrow definition of what HHS deems a "religious employer" deserving exemption—employers who, among other things, must hire and serve primarily those of their own faith. We are deeply concerned about this new definition of who we are as people of faith and what constitutes our ministry. The introduction of this unprecedented defining of faith communities and their ministries has precipitated this struggle for religious freedom. Government has no place defining religion and religious ministry. HHS thus creates and enforces a new distinction—alien both to our Catholic tradition and to federal law—between our houses of worship and our great ministries of service to our neighbors, namely, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the students in our schools and universities, and others in need, of any faith community or none. Cf. Deus Caritas Est, Nos. 20-33. We are commanded both to love and to serve the Lord; laws that protect our freedom to comply with one of these commands but not the other are nothing to celebrate. Indeed, they must be rejected, for they create a "second class" of citizenship within our religious community. And if this definition is allowed to stand, it will spread throughout federal law, weakening its healthy tradition of generous respect for religious freedom and diversity. All—not just some—of our religious institutions share equally in the very same God-given, legally-recognized right not "to be forced to act in a manner contrary to [their] own beliefs." Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2.

A mandate to act against our teachings. The exemption is not merely a government foray into internal Church governance, where government has no legal competence or authority—disturbing though that may be. This error in theory has grave consequences in principle and practice. Those deemed by HHS not to be "religious employers" will be forced by government to violate their own teachings within their very own institutions. This is not only an injustice in itself, but it also undermines the effective proclamation of those teachings to the faithful and to the world. For decades, the Bishops have led the fight against such government incursions on conscience, particularly in the area of health care. Far from making us waver in this longstanding commitment, the unprecedented magnitude of this latest threat has only strengthened our resolve to maintain that consistent view.

A violation of personal civil rights. The HHS mandate creates still a third class, those with no conscience protection at all: individuals who, in their daily lives, strive constantly to act in accordance with their faith and moral values. They, too, face a government mandate to aid in providing "services" contrary to those values—whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves—without even the semblance of an exemption. This, too, is unprecedented in federal law, which has long been generous in protecting the rights of individuals not to act against their religious beliefs or moral convictions. We have consistently supported these rights, particularly in the area of protecting the dignity of all human life, and we continue to do so.

Third, we want to indicate our next steps. We will continue our vigorous efforts at education and public advocacy on the principles of religious liberty and their application in this case (and others). We will continue to accept any invitation to dialogue with the Executive Branch to protect the religious freedom that is rightly ours. We will continue to pursue legislation to restore the same level of religious freedom we have enjoyed until just recently. And we will continue to explore our options for relief from the courts, under the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws that protect religious freedom. All of these efforts will proceed concurrently, and in a manner that is mutually reinforcing.Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our First Freedom—religious liberty—which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition. Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength—for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.




2 posted on 06/17/2012 1:31:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archbishop [Lori]: 'Fortnight' about religious freedom, not politics
Religious Freedom and the Love of God
Bishops, That is a Pretty Nice Tax Exemption You Have There. Wouldn’t Want Anything Bad ...
Fortnight for Freedom
Baptist Leader Endorses Catholic Campaign

Fortnight for Freedom
June 21-July 4

 

fortnight-for-freedom-montage

3 posted on 06/17/2012 1:33:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!


4 posted on 06/17/2012 1:36:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

For the record: where were they when it could have been prevented? Some of them were supporting “universal health care.”


5 posted on 06/17/2012 1:54:05 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand
For the record: where were they when it could have been prevented?

I don't think it could have been prevented. Obama was going forward with this mandate no matter what.

6 posted on 06/17/2012 2:11:43 PM PDT by mtg
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To: the invisib1e hand
where were they when it could have been prevented?

They?

Some of them were supporting “universal health care.”

Some?

Got any specific names in that quiver? Although it's probably imbedded in your DNA, generalizing isn't a character trait to be proud of.

7 posted on 06/17/2012 2:16:26 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; the invisib1e hand

Gentlemen,

This is like Lepanto. May I suggest that the issue of whether the USCCB is late to the fight be laid on the table until the fight is over?


8 posted on 06/17/2012 5:07:36 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg

May I suggest the leadership be tested for fitness?


9 posted on 06/17/2012 5:35:14 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Well documented. Do your own homework. Also, as a friendly piece of advice, you might want to look up the definition of “generalization.”


10 posted on 06/17/2012 5:42:33 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Are you a Bishop?


11 posted on 06/17/2012 5:43:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: mtg

What triumphs when good men do nothing?


12 posted on 06/17/2012 5:45:36 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: Salvation

`


13 posted on 06/17/2012 6:01:54 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("In Christ we form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1200612.htm

Blaire: Catholic Church has long sought ‘decent health care for all’

Bishop Blaire (CNS/Bob Roller)

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee said that “long before the current battles” over health care reform and the federal contraception mandate, “the Catholic Church was persistently and consistently advocating for this overdue national priority” of universal health care.

“Since 1919, the United States Catholic bishops have supported decent health care for all and government and private action to advance this essential goal,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He issued his remarks Feb. 14 in response to a statement made a day earlier by White House press secretary Jay Carney, who said at a press briefing: “I would simply note with regard to the bishops that they never supported health care reform to begin with.”

“This is not the case,” the bishop said...


14 posted on 06/17/2012 6:02:54 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: the invisib1e hand
Perhaps some have not noticed.

Not that's a lot of FR history!!!


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href="http://www.sundayscripturestudy.com/this_week.html">An Affront Catholics Agree On [Liberal and Conservative Catholics Against Obama Mandate]

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(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say

15 posted on 06/17/2012 6:51:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
We're not talking about the Pope here, we're talking about the USCCB. And we're talking about what they didn't do before obamacare became their cause celeb. At a glance all your links simply echo the PR dust-up that they themselves initiated.
16 posted on 06/17/2012 6:54:55 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: Salvation

You can go to ArchNY and find out for yourself what Timothy Dolan’s position on “universal healthcare is” — he’s made sure it was read in every parish or posted in their bulletins — if you were inclined to know, that is.


17 posted on 06/17/2012 6:57:13 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand
"Some of them were supporting “universal health care"

That position hasn't changed - they ALL still support that. They just don't want the contraception mandate.

18 posted on 06/18/2012 8:38:17 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

They don’t all believe it must be provided by the government, however — Bishop Nickless comes to mind. However, he apparently is a voice in the wilderness. The Kennedy Catholics among them are clearly quite comfortable sacrificing the liberty of the population at large by outsourcing charity to Caesar.


19 posted on 06/18/2012 2:28:29 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: jjotto
“Since 1919, the United States Catholic bishops have supported decent health care for all and government and private action to advance this essential goal,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Interesting find for two reasons: first, "Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development" sounds suspiciously like "Campaign for Human Development", that of documented Saul Alinksy ties; and the next reason because those words are nearly identical to Cardinal Dolan's "the Church has been advocating universal healthcare for nearly a hundred years." Sounds like the rock-star Cardinal is a fellow traveler and IMHO there is no other conclusion to draw besides that, whatever else he is, he is a socialist.

20 posted on 06/18/2012 2:35:55 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Universal health care, but not necessarily as provided by the state. Pope,Leo made it clear that health care was first of a matter for the person,the family and church. The principle of subsidarity underlies the Church’s positions on health, education and personal welfare.


21 posted on 06/18/2012 4:32:08 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: RobbyS
The principle of subsidarity underlies the Church’s positions on health, education and personal welfare.

In theory. I wouldn't say it does to the USCCB.

22 posted on 06/18/2012 4:37:13 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand
What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Subsidiarity, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

23 posted on 06/18/2012 5:04:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Maybe you should ping Cardinal Dolan with that.


24 posted on 06/18/2012 5:09:11 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand

What is it that you dislike so about Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB?

You are a Catholic, aren’t you?


25 posted on 06/18/2012 5:30:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Why a ridiculous question. I simply quote the man, take him at his word, point out the glaring failure of USCCB to say anything beforehand about the travesty that became "obamacare", the blatant, irresponsible hypocrisy that says, effectively, "we're OK with state control of the healthcare industry -- we just want to be exempt", and all you can do is ask why I "don't like him"?

Why are you so blind in your devotion?

26 posted on 06/18/2012 5:35:38 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand
What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Subsidiarity, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

This link should work. Sorry about the other one. Do you understand this principle?

27 posted on 06/18/2012 5:40:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: the invisib1e hand

I don’t see any link up there to that point of yours. Perhaps you can supply more specific information.


28 posted on 06/18/2012 5:44:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: the invisib1e hand

The USCCB is not even a synod, but a gathering of the country’s bishops. Its opinions do not bind its members, nor the laity of this country. They deserve as hearing and respect, but only on account of their several offices as bishops.


29 posted on 06/18/2012 9:37:29 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

The state—rather the law— DOES “control,” or rather regulate the health industry. Historically, of course, the States have the police power. What is bad about this law is that the federal government is now claiming the authority that once lay with the States, and that authority is royal. The Chief Executive is acting like a monarch, and he is not.


30 posted on 06/18/2012 9:42:56 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Salvation

If Dolans own words (as circulated several times to parishes) don’t convince you, what is the point? It’s more convenient for you to fault the argument than the evidence. I find that very much like the mindset that refuses to acknowledge any uncomfortable truths about Barak Obama. I never understood that mind, and I never will. Again, do your own homework


31 posted on 06/19/2012 5:29:03 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: the invisib1e hand; Salvation

For the record: where were they when it could have been prevented? Some of them were supporting “universal health care.” >>

I agree, the bishops were reticent when Obamacare was proposed while pelosi could say anything with impunity like “we have to pass the bill before we read the bill.”

I find that some bishops and priests often side with democrat positions especially with social justice and immigration issues and will work to continue the CCHD which funds the more leftist, socialist and progressive agencies in America.

About 10 yrs. ago, I went to my county election commission to look up some voter registrations and noticed that many priests and nuns in my town and the towns surrounding me, about 30 in all were registered DEMOCRAT!


32 posted on 06/19/2012 4:29:51 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: the invisib1e hand
For the record: where were they when it could have been prevented? Some of them were supporting “universal health care.”

The Catholic bishops have been demanding socialized medicine since 1919. They have supported all kinds of government measures that trampled on the rights of their fellow citizens, in the name of "social justice." Now that their ox has been gored, they suddenly want the support of those fellow citizens in the name of "religious freedom." They're right to demand religious freedom, but it may be a hard sell, given their past shenanigans.

33 posted on 06/21/2012 1:46:41 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney ( New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. Buy from Amazon.)
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To: Coleus
I agree, the bishops were reticent when Obamacare was proposed while pelosi could say anything with impunity like “we have to pass the bill before we read the bill.”

that's a very good point. obamacare was ushered in and promoted by Catholics.

I will go one step further and reiterate what i've been saying for 4 years now: Ted Kennedy delivered the Catholic vote to the Empty Suit in order to have socialized medicine, as prototyped under Kennedy's tutelage in Massachusetts, nationalized. He probably stipulated that Catholics be put in charge of administering it, in a textbook example of the Road to Hell being paved with good intentions.

As for the motive behind Kennedy's obsession to make socialized medicine a reality, I can only speculate...perhaps it was his attempt to assuage a guilty conscience. Perhaps it was given him as penance when made a confession following a party on Chappaquiddick Island.

34 posted on 06/21/2012 4:08:28 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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