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HHS decision stifles religious freedom
Bishop Gerald Barnes
Bishop of San Bernardino
By Bishop Gerald Barnes
Diocese of San Bernardino
It was announced last week by the United States
Department of Health and Human Services that religious institutions will be
required under new healthcare law to provide their employees with drugs and
procedures that are in opposition to our belief as Roman Catholics in the
sanctity of all human life. The decision, as we understand it, puts our Catholic
hospitals, schools and public ministries in the very difficult position of
having to violate their consciences in order to comply with the law.
This appears to run counter to the ideal of
religious freedom that has always been present in our nation.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to make
our voices heard when we see injustice in laws and public policies. In fact, our
faith calls us to be Faithful Citizens and stand up for the values of the Gospel
today. We can do that, in this case, by contacting our federal elected leaders
and communicating our concern about this violation of conscience protection and
religious liberty. The Catholic Legislative Network (found at
) will be providing specific information about
advocacy efforts on this issue. I also ask you to pray with me that the dignity
of every human person is honored and protected not only in this issue but in all
of the decisions that face our elected leaders.
God bless you.
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