Letter from the Bishop Regarding Loss of Religious Liberty (2/1)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people – the Catholic population – and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic hospitals, Catholic colleges and Catholic institutions, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, Catholic entities will be compelled either to violate conscience, or drop health coverage for employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their prosperity stripped of their God-given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect sacred rights and duties. For the sake of future generations, I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also ask you to visit www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation to reverse the Administration’s decision.
You are in my prayers; please keep me in yours.
In Christ,
Most Reverend Timothy A. McDonnell, Bishop of Springfield
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One Response to Letter from the Bishop Regarding Loss of Religious Liberty (2/1)

  1. Katherine Walsh says:

    Bravo… to Bishop McDonnell for providing leadership in this most important matter. The future of religious liberty and individual conscious protection is at stake in a very real and tangible way. Catholic faithfull need to listen, see and respond to what’s going on. I, for one, support individual bishops who have drawn a line in the sand on this matter. I have written to our elected offcials via the vehicle provided on the usccb site. Secular relativism is sweeping the land and the Church MUST provide an alternative view for the sake of all our children. I hope that this matter will be address in tangible pastoral form at our parish Masses either verbally or as an insert into the parish bulletin so that those who do not get electronic information may benefit and have the opprtunity to act according to THEIR conscience! Thank you for relaying this information.

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