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The nation’s Catholic bishops have released a new statement in which they say they are unified in their vow to fight the Obama HHS mandate that requires religious employers to purchase birth control and coverage for their employees that includes drugs that may cause abortions.
The U.S. bishops are strongly united in their ongoing and determined efforts to protect religious freedom, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement LifeNews received.
The Administrative Committee, chaired by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, is the highest authority of the bishops’ conference outside the semi-annual sessions of the full body of bishops. The Committee’s membership consists of the elected chairmen of all the USCCB permanent committees and an elected bishop representative from each of the geographic regions of the USCCB.
Second, we wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is 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. This is not about the
religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished
beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops’ somehow “banning
contraception,” when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two
generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do
anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its
faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a
matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’
Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for,
but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican
or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.......