Cardinal Dolan: Keep the Focus on Religious Freedom

Posted by John Jansen (March 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm)

U.S. CapitolThe president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, issued a letter [PDF] to his brother bishops on Friday in which he strongly hinted that the USCCB intends to file a legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate:

[O]ur bishops’ conference, many individual religious entities, and other people of good will are working with some top-notch law firms who feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro bono. In the upcoming days, you will hear much more about this encouraging and welcome development.

As with so many of the public statements issued by U.S. Bishops regarding the HHS Mandate, Cardinal Dolan did not mince words, calling the mandates, at various places, “choking,” “suffocating,” and “strait-jacketing.”

One thing I noticed while reading the letter is that every time Cardinal Dolan used the phrase “religious freedom” — 19 times throughout the three and a half page letter — it appeared in italics.

Make no mistake, His Eminence wants to remind his brother bishops, and everyone else, too, for that matter, that we must keep our focus on the fact that the HHS Mandate is first and foremost an assault on religious freedom, and that is how we need to frame this issue.

To underscore this point, Cardinal Dolan went on to say:

Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a “woman’s health issue.” We will not let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.

Then, on Saturday, at a diocesan convocation on public policy, Cardinal Dolan was quoted by the New York Times as saying:

“It is a freedom of religion battle. It is not about contraception. It is not about women’s health.” He added: “We’re talking about an unwarranted, unprecedented, radical intrusion” into “a church’s ability to teach, serve and sanctify on its own.”

Clearly, Cardinal Dolan is hammering this point home, and we should do likewise.

Whenever we talk to people about the HHS Mandate — whether in person, by email, on Facebook, or wherever — we need to keep the focus where it belongs, and never tire of reminding our fellow citizens that above all, the HHS Mandate is an assault on religious freedom.

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9 Responses to “Cardinal Dolan: Keep the Focus on Religious Freedom”

  1. Terese Rachor Beste says:

    You gotta love our lion-in-Church, Cardinal Dolan. He regularly keeps my spirits up and my will to keep fighting-up and ready. Praise Jesus, we have good men like him on board.

    March 5th, 2012 at 11:13 pm
  2. Tamara Scott says:

    I am so proud of the Catholic Church and Cardinal Dolan for not backing down from the Obama Administration regarding this mandate. My parish priest who was a former Army Chaplain reminded us at Mass one Sunday, of all the fine men and women who bravely sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms in this country. He stated by not fighting this mandate, he would be disrespecting their memory. He told us of times when he had to give last rights to soldiers who were so badly injured or missing body parts, that he was unable to annoint them in the way he was suppose too. His sermon broke my heart. This is what this mandate is about. Please Cardinal Dolan, do not give in.

    March 6th, 2012 at 3:54 pm
  3. Barbara Fredericks says:

    The government seems focused on CONTROL! It wants to control the beliefs of the Church, and the reproductivity of women!
    What makes me differ from man is that I, as woman, am blessed with the capacity of bearing children,a capacity which the government wants so much to take away from me that it is willing to pay for chemical and surgical neutering, risk the ire of many and destroy the First Amendment rights we have of the freedom of the practice of religion.

    March 6th, 2012 at 4:25 pm
  4. Patrick Shay says:

    I thank God that I am alive to see a time when the Catholic Church and Catholics in general are standing up to reclaim their right to religious freedom. I see it as a first step toward once again being one nation under God.
    It’s time to end the senseless slaughter of our children under the guise of a women’s right to choose while totally disregarding the rights of the unborn child.
    I congratulate Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB for their leadership. Bravo…Bravo…
    Let us all raise our voices in prayer for success and to ask God to help us remember come election day.

    March 6th, 2012 at 10:46 pm
  5. Ron Lehr says:

    There is no greater organization on the face of this earth than the Catholic Church. They are working hard to make people understand that ABORTION IS MURDER. If a woman becomes pregnant and makes a decision she does not want the baby, do not abort the baby. Give birth and put the baby up for adoption. There are women on this earth who cannot have children and would be happy to adopt a child. Every human being has the right to life.

    March 14th, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  6. Chris H says:

    I think it is also important to keep the fact that the mandated contraception items are health hazards that are not designed to improve health, but to interfere with healthy biological function.

    Religious objection to pacemakers? Not particularly valid.

    But religious objection to optional drugs that actually harm health? That’s a whole ‘nother story.

    March 14th, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  7. noemi says:

    If am having my fish and fries at a restaurant,sudd enly am told I have to pay for someone elses pork dinner. why? well this is what Obama HHS mandate is forcing us to do, by taking our freedom away.
    One nation under God

    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:36 pm
  8. Why the Bishops’ Lawsuits Are Necessary « Stand Up for Religious Freedom says:

    […] of these lawsuits shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since early March, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been all but guaranteeing that lawsuits […]

    May 23rd, 2012 at 2:39 pm
  9. Fortnight for Freedom Begins Tomorrow « Stand Up for Religious Freedom says:

    […] been steadfastly outspoken against the HHS Mandate’s assault on religious freedom, and their leadership and messaging has been widely praised by Catholics and non-Catholics […]

    June 20th, 2012 at 11:34 am