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Category Archives: Religious Liberty

Dolan Urges Catholics to Become More Active in Politics

3-5-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Elections, Religious Liberty 0 Comments
Dolan_red

Twice this past week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan urged the laity to be more engaged in political life. His remarks follow his return from Rome where he was elevated to the College of Cardinals.

Prior to his public comments, the Cardinal wrote on his blog (3/1/12) that faithful Catholics should continue to oppose the HHS mandate: “We need you more than ever!  We can’t give up hoping, praying, trying, and working hard.”

Then this past Saturday (3/3/12), Cardinal Dolan addressed the annual diocesan public policy forum in advance of lobbying efforts at the state capital in Albany, New York. As The New York Times reported in their article:

“Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told Roman Catholics on Saturday that in an era when the church was fighting the government on several fronts, they needed to make their voices heard more clearly in the political sphere.”

We applaud Cardinal Dolan for articulating what we as the laity should be reminded at this critical moment for our church and our country.

This is why we founded Catholic Advocate: To defend the settled issues of our Church’s teaching, including the right to religious liberty. Towards this end, we work hard everyday on your behalf.

We take seriously what Pope Benedict XVI said to the Pontifical Council of the Laity during the “Witnesses to Christ in the political community” gathering on May 21, 2010:

“It is also the duty of the laity to participate actively in political life, in a manner coherent with the teaching of the Church, bringing their well- founded reasoning and great ideals into the democratic debate, and into the search for a broad consensus among everyone who cares about the defense of life and freedom, the protection of truth and the good of the family, solidarity with the needy, and the vital search for the common good.”

Pope Benedict’s words encouraged us as we wrote in The Washington Times last year that Catholic voters hold the power to change elections.

Our bishops’ are an important voice, but when we, the laity, join with theirs’ we make a sound so loud it cannot be ignored.

 

13 Catholic Senators Vote Against Religious Liberty

3-1-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 1 Comments
Church and State

Today, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 51 – 48, defeated the effort led by Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri) to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act as an amendment to pending legislation. Thirteen Catholic Senators joined the majority.

“By consenting to the disastrous HHS mandate, the U.S. Senate has taken the unprecedented step to deny our religious liberties instead of defending the Constitution,” said Matt Smith, president of Catholic Advocate. “It is disappointing to witness a group of senators misled on this issue at the expense of one of our key founding principles.”

The following is a list of how the 24 Catholic Senators voted on the Blunt amendment:

  1. Senator Mark Begich (Alaska, D) – Opposed
  2. Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska, R) – Supported
  3. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida, R) – Supported
  4. Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa, D) – Opposed
  5. Senator James Risch (Idaho, R) – Supported
  6. Senator Richard Durbin (Illinois, D) – Opposed
  7. Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana, D) – Opposed
  8. Senator David Vitter (Louisiana, R) – Supported
  9. Senator John Kerry (Massachusetts, D) – Opposed
  10. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland, D) – Opposed
  11. Senator Susan Collins (Maine, R) – Supported
  12. Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri, D) – Opposed
  13. Senator John Hoeven (North Dakota, R) – Supported
  14. Senator Mike Johanns (Nebraska, R) – Supported
  15. Senator Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire, R) – Supported
  16. Senator Robert Menendez (New Jersey, D) – Opposed
  17. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York, D) – Opposed
  18. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania, D) – Supported
  19. Senator Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania, R) – Supported
  20. Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island, D) – Opposed
  21. Senator Pat Leahy (Vermont, D) – Opposed
  22. Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington, D) – Opposed
  23. Senator Patty Murray (Washington, D) – Opposed
  24. Senator Joe Manchin III (West Virginia, D) – Supported

“Faithful Catholics should take the opportunity to thank those Senators supporting our religious liberties,” added Smith. “It is our duty as laity to hold those who did not support our values accountable and vote our conscience when the time comes.”

The full Catholic Advocate Congressional Scorecard is available at http://scorecard.catholicadvocate.com/.

The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary (in the case of individual coverage) without penalty.”

Catholic Advocate Launches “Consultation” Web Video

2-27-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 0 Comments

Urges people of faith to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act

Catholic Advocate launched our latest effort to defend religious liberty by calling on people of faith to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience act through a web video. The video entitled “Consultation” is targeted toward the potential activity in Congress on H.R. 1179/S. 1467 in the coming weeks.

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On Presidents’ Day, the Knights of Columbus remind us about the source of our liberties

2-20-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 5 Comments

A powerful new Knights of Columbus commercial recalls the enduring trust in God that has defined our country. Please watch and share.

Nurse to Member of Congress defends religious liberties

2-19-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 3 Comments

Thursday, February 16, 2012 a group of Members of Congress took to the floor of the House of Representatives to discuss the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. Watch these great remarks by Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), a nurse, on how the HHS mandate is a religious liberty issue that affects all of us.

Respect for Rights of Conscience Act Press Conference

2-16-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 0 Comments

Today, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, author of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, along with a bipartisan, bicameral group of Members of Congress, speaks out against the HHS mandate that intrudes upon religious liberties and violates Americans’ rights of conscience.

Watch the press conference below:

If you have not yet, visit our Action Center to contact your senators and representative to urge them to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

What they are saying about the “compromise”…

2-12-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 2 Comments
Church and State

Our bishops, Members of Congress, scholars, and the media are all commenting on the religious liberty “accommodation”, or rather lack thereof, announced by the White House Friday, February 10, 2012. We’ve compiled some of the best for you to stay informed and share with your family and friends. As you will see, our work is just beginning.

“…we note that today’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services. We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.” (emphasis added)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops February 10, 2012 statement (more…)

Media Misreports Bishops’ Position

2-11-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 0 Comments
Obamacare

We are already seeing news stories this morning misreporting the bishops’ statements reacting to the White House mandate modification announcement Friday, February 10, 2012.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement is lengthy. Here is what you need to know:

“…we note that today’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services. We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.”[emphasis added]

Click here to visit our action center to immediately send an e-mail to your senators and representative.

Have you signed up to be a Parish Leader yet? Click here to join the largest lay grassroots effort on this issue.

White House Fails to Address Religious Liberty Concerns

2-10-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 1 Comments
Contraceptive_Pills

“Our religious liberties are an inalienable right not a privilege that can be changed on a whim,” said Matt Smith, Catholic Advocate president. “Our faith-based institutions should not be forced by this administration or any in the future to violate their beliefs.

“We are disappointed that today appears to be an attempt to fix a political problem in an election year. As some media outlets are reporting, White House staff was reviewing polling data before the HHS mandate was released on January 20. Their thinking was focused on 269 days from now and not the 220 years of our Bill of Rights.

“If the President is serious about protecting religious liberties, than he should signal to Congress he will sign into law the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act so no executive branch action or future action can trample on our rights in the same manner.”

Speaker Boehner – Obama Admin. Attack on Religious Freedom “Will Not Stand”

2-9-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 0 Comments

Speaker John Boehner took to the House floor on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 to stand for religious liberty. Watch his remarks:

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