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Religious Liberty - Conscience Protection

  • Date:
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision requiring Catholic employers to fund the coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs is morally objectionable to the Catholic faith. This directive brings the issue of the religious independence to the forefront, particularly in light of the requirement that insurance policies to be supported under the Affordable Care Act—including those of religious organizations and institutions—cover contraceptive and other life-ending services and procedures.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt's recent letter written to inform and invite Catholics to respond to the HHS decision is available below as a pdf in English and Spanish. It was distributed to all parishes in late January with the suggestion that it be read at Masses or reproduced in parish bulletins.

On February 3rd, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published a list of responses (available below as a pdf) to the White House blog, which contained inaccurate and misleading information on this morally objectionable issue.

The USCCB published “Six Things Everyone Should Know About The HHS Mandate” and “Six More Things Everyone Should Know About The HHS Mandate” that further clarify the aforementioned HHS regulations. These are also available below for download in pdf form in English and Spanish.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference also has information on this issue.

The USCCB's Conscience Protection page contains additional information on the U.S. Catholic bishops’ stance on religious liberty, conscience protection and the HHS ruling regarding mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

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