A(nother) Conscience Plea from Catholic Bishops to Congress

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

In asking Congress to move to enact conscience protections that would safeguard Constitutional freedoms against the increasing encroachment on religious freedom, most notably the Obama administration in its health-care law, Baltimore’s archbishop William E. Lori warns of a: “new, more grudging attitude in recent years toward citizens whose faith or moral principles are not in accord with the views of the current governing power.”

He cites the the Department of Health and Servies abortion-drug, contraception, sterilization employer mandate for its “coercive element” that “remains unchanged.”

After offering an analysis as to why it is still problematic, Archbishop Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, writes:

I fear that the federal government’s respect for believers and people of conscience no longer measures up to the treatment Americans have a right to expect from their elected representatives.  The new approach even threatens to undermine access to quality health care, by telling providers as well as those who offer or purchase insurance that they need to drop their participation in the health care system if they want to preserve their religious and moral integrity. 

A restoration of full respect for one of our Nation’s founding values is urgently needed.  I urge you in the strongest terms possible to incorporate the provisions described above in the upcoming legislative proposals to fund the federal government.

If the White House were serious about religious liberty, this letter would not have had to be written. 

Here’s the letter.

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