Bishops Keep Up the Fight Against the HHS Mandate
Posted by Matt Yonke (March 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm)
In a courageous statement released today, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have vowed to continue their vigorous efforts to stop President Obama’s HHS Mandate.
The statement, released by the USCCB’s highest body, the Administrative Committee, said the bishops are “strongly unified and intensely focused in [their] opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day.”
Concisely stating the crux of the issue which the media routinely and seemingly willfully refuses to acknowledge, the bishops said:
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.
After stating what the problem is not, they made clear the threefold nature of the problem: The HHS Mandate is an unwarranted government definition of religion, a mandate to act against the Church’s teachings and a violation of personal civil rights in the form of the violation of the consciences of employers and medical professionals.
Finally, the bishops reiterated their intent to keep up the fight against this and all other threats on religious liberty and issued a call to action:
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.
Be sure to read the entire statement, and send a message to the bishops through the contact form on the website to thank them for their firm stand for religious freedom. And then get to work helping out with your local Rally, since that’s a part of their call to action!