March 14 Update on Religious Liberty


In a March 14 Statement, the USCCB first thanked all who have stood with the Catholic Church to uphold religious liberty and have sought to clarify both what is - and is not - at issue; and to identify our game plan.

It's 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. 
  • Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. 
  • Bishops' somehow "banning contraception," when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago.
  • the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything.
  • a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops' Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. 
  • a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing.

It IS about...:

  • the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. 
  • an American issue; not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue.
  • a mandate to act against our teachings.
  • a violation of personal civil rights.

Our Next Steps:

  • education and public advocacy on the principles of religious liberty and their application,
  • continue to pursue legislation,
  • continue to explore our options for relief from the courts.

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Source: March 14, 2012