What the Holy Father and others are saying about conscience protections…
Here are four powerful statements on the importance of conscience protections. One by the Holy Father the day before the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued their final rule mandating health insurance plans cover sterilization, abortifacient, and birth control and then three in response.
We at Catholic Advocate particularly appreciate the call to action by Cardinal-designate Dolan and Archbishop Gomez. You can click here to visit our action center to answer their call and join your voice with others upset about this attack on our Church.
Pope Benedict XVI
Thursday, January 19, 2012 (note this is the day before the HHS rule was announced)
“…it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.
“Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society…”
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
USCCB website, Friday, January 20, 2012
“Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.
“Let your elected leaders know that you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you want the administration’s contraceptive mandate rescinded.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
Addressing the National Prayer Vigil for Life opening Mass, January 22, 2012
“Never before in our US History has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs. At issue here as our President of the Conference stated it this past Friday, is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty.”
Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California
Friday, January 27, 2012 column for The Tidings A time for Catholic action and Catholic voices
“…It is hard not to see this new mandate as a direct attack on Catholic consciences and the freedom of our Catholic institutions. The mandate does not promote any civil liberties and it does not advance any significant public health goals…
“…Now is a time for Catholic action and for Catholic voices. We need lay leaders to step up to their responsibilities for the Church’s mission. Not only to defend our faith and our rights as Catholics, but to be leaders for moral and civic renewal, leaders in helping to shape the values and moral foundations of America’s future.”