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Cardinal Dolan Speaks Out on HHS Mandate Accommodation

Posted by Matt Yonke (February 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm)

Cardinal Timothy DolanCardinal Timothy Dolan has released a statement today on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops declaring that, as things stand, President Obama’s recent “accommodation” policy regarding the HHS Mandate will not satisfy the USCCB’s concerns about religious liberty.

Dolan listed three key areas of concern: the narrow understanding of a religious ministry; compelling church ministries to fund and facilitate services such as contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization that violate Catholic teaching; and disregard of the conscience rights of for-profit business owners. These are the same concerns articulated by the USCCB Administrative Committee in its March 2012 statement, United for Religious Freedom.

From his statement:

The Administration’s proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries. It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education, and Catholic charities. HHS offers what it calls an “accommodation,” rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our Church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.

Despite the fact the accommodation amounts to nothing more than the same shell game the administration has been playing since the Mandate was first announced, the bishops have remained steadfast in their commitment to work with the administration until a compromise that truly respects religious liberty can be reached.

Read Dolan’s full statement right here and check back to this blog for more as the situation develops.

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