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A letter from Bishop Trautman regarding the HHS mandate and the U.S. bishops' response

Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L.
Bishop of Erie

February 08, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

You are aware of the public controversy that has erupted over the Obama administration’s support of compulsory health insurance funding for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients. The bishops of the United States have taken a strong stand against this move and I ask that you take the time to read this important document which clarifies why this is such a dangerous ruling.

Earlier this month, the White House published a blog purporting to respond to some of the main concerns people have voiced about this mandate. The bishops of the United States have written this point-by-point response to each claim, indicating the errors contained within the blog.

I want to underscore the fact that this is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, but rather a fundamental, constitutional issue. At stake is our own constitutional right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Please understand that this issue is much broader than contraception. In addition to the fact that we are morally opposed to contraception, sterilization and abortifacients, we must stand against this ruling in order to preserve the civil rights and the conscience rights of Catholic Americans. There can be no compromise when it comes to truth.

I ask that you take the time to read this document and understand the issue and all of its implications. Now is the time to act.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L.
Bishop of Erie

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