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"This mandate gravely compromises religious liberty"
January 20, 2012

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo issued this statement regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ Jan. 20 announcement that it will not change its mandate that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans:
As shepherd of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I am distressed to learn that the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans is being upheld. This mandate gravely compromises religious liberty.

The contraceptive/sterilization mandate imposed on health plans by HHS violates religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and several federal laws. Forcing all employers to buy coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortion, is a radical incursion into religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

HHS's mandate includes an incredibly narrow exemption for "religious employers" that protects almost no one. Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families, their employees or those most in need.

Today’s announcement that the mandate and its very narrow exemption will not change is deeply disappointing to me. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom.”

I join my brother bishops, fellow Catholics and all people of goodwill who prize religious liberty as a cornerstone of our common life in expressing strong opposition to the HHS mandate.
By Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Comments: 10
Tags: First Amendment, heath care, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Freedom of Conscience, U.S. bishops, United States Conference of Catholic bishops

Comments Post comments  

Posted by FilioScotia 2/29/2012 12:59:24 PM
I appreciate and respect his excellency the Cardinal's positions on what the Obama administration is trying to do, but I have a serious question. An astonishing number of politicians at the highest levels, who're supporting this mandate, profess to be Catholics. When are Bishops and priests going to stop giving Holy Communion to those people? People are refused Communion for lesser offenses. Why can't they be refused for the sin of supporting abortion and requiring the church to provide birth control coverage for employees? I think that would get those politicians' attention, and make them think about what they're doing. They're not just supporting a President, or women's health care rights. They're putting their own souls in danger. I say it's time to refuse giving them the Eucharist.

Posted by gpallen 2/13/2012 1:28:48 PM
We must become a Strong voice unified and guided in the proclamation of Christ teachings. The key in this "Battle" is strength in numbers and oneness in Christ. The lukewarm response and conciliatory reactionary (and often NO response) cannot continue. We must arm ourselves with Truth and facts and brave the open discussions and not be like Peter and run away as to not draw attention to ourselves. I cannot say it better than Alana Ames whom I quote: " ..there are differences but we are together what makes the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and we must stand firmly together in the face of evil. It is time for Christians to go out united in the Truth of Christ showing in humility that no longer will they accept the wrongs the world forces upon them".

Posted by pmcmommy 2/7/2012 5:41:24 PM
This is too little, too late. Where were you and the Catholic Church during the time Obama was pushing this down our throats. You were busy talking immigration! We cannot afford to support the legal people we have here so the Catholic Church decides to promote illegal immigration! No one spoke up to Obama from the Catholic Church. I don't know how any practicing Catholic could have voted for the man, but I do know they will probably do it again. You need to be promoting a moral person for the highest position in our government!

Posted by dwolff 2/7/2012 11:23:16 AM
Many of our faithful are looking to hear your voice and stance against this mandate. May we find a letter coming soon that may be read to us all at our Sunday Masses. Many are asking and are still in the dark as to the contents of this government mandate. Thank you for your leadership in this fight for our religious freedom.

Posted by dwolff 2/7/2012 11:21:41 AM
Many of our our faithful are looking to hear your voice and stance against this mandate. May we find a letter coming soon that may be read to us all at our Sunday Masses. Many are asking and are still in the dark as to the contents of this government mandate. Thank you for your leadership in this fight for our religious freedom.

Posted by Mac 2/2/2012 4:17:52 PM
re Cardinal DiNardo's support of Catholicism and Freedom of Conscience -- good for him, keep it up, and thanks for your encouragement. Mac

Posted by carmen bellavia 1/30/2012 11:02:53 PM
thank you,Cardinal, for your forceful Catholic leadership. God bless you and the Holy Spirit give you the courage,love, and compassion to help the USof A to become a nation of liberty and justice for all.

Posted by Joan in Houston 1/30/2012 10:58:33 PM
In addition to attention to Catholic faith and morals, remember that the Declaration of Independence for the up-and-coming United States of America espoused the "inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Posted by Paula Cole 1/30/2012 8:06:39 PM
Thank you for your statement and may God continue to bless you in His work. I pray all Catholics lay siege to Heaven with family Rosaries, as well as individual, during this upcoming Lent and beyond. In Christ, PC

Posted by FrancisFaustina 1/22/2012 7:19:34 PM
Thank you so much Cardinal DiNardo for letting us know about this. Our country is being led by a very dark government who intends to destroy the Faith. All Catholics and Christians in general MUST stand up and fight the good fight in order to keep our religious freedoms. We MUST PRAY, we must VOTE and we must make our Voices heard! Thank you for leading us in the good fight of the Faith!