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HHS mandate defines and limits religion, Pennsylvania bishops say


CNA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Bishops, Priests
Date:
3/13/2012

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ABSTRACTPa. bishops respond to HHS mandate with day of fasting and prayer :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Sacred Arts Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Pa. bishops respond to HHS mandate with day of fasting and prayer Catholics pray in church. Credit: Mazur. Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 13, 2012 / 02:17 am ( CNA ) .- The Catholic bishops of Pennsylvania are calling for a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence on March 30 in response to to the “unprecedented and gross infringement” of religious freedom by the Obama administration’s contraception and sterilization mandate. “On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the Church may be granted the basic right to practice what she preaches, and for our political leaders, that their eyes may be opened to the rights of all Americans, including those of faith,” the bishops said March 10. “We have entered dangerous territory – the government is defining religion and limiting its practice. This is an unprecedented and gross infringement on our religious freedom. We did not pick this fight, but neither will we run from it,” they said. The HHS mandate will require Catholic employers to pay for sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. The Pennsylvania bishops objected that the mandate’s narrow religious exemption tells churches what activities are religious. The exemption does not include Catholic schools, hospitals, nursing homes and Catholic charities because they serve and employ non-Catholics. Though the Obama administration has proposed an accommodation, Catholic leaders say it changes nothing and note that the present mandate is already on the books. The bishops suggested adding fasting to traditional Lenten practices of prayer and abstinence from meat on March 30 in recognition both of the efficacy of prayer and fasting and of the challenges posed in the “attack on our religious freedom.” Catholics in times of need have turned to God through prayer and fasting, practices which “allow us to grow closer to the Lord, inspire us to do His will and invoke His protection in answer to our prayers,” they explained. Religious liberty, said the bishops, “does not belong to the Democrats or Republicans, it belongs to all Americans.” They pointed to their own efforts to secure health care reform that respects human life and includes language to protect religious conscience. “Our fervent entreaties were answered with promises that we had nothing to fear. We cannot now sit idly by and let this happen. We cannot, as a Church, be silent because some have sought to politicize our plight.” Share Email Print Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Digg Stumble More Destinations Related news Catholic woman would rather risk life than follow HHS mandate HHS mandate threatens Little Sisters of the Poor elder care Cardinal Dolan: religious liberty concerns ‘off the table’ for White House Weigel weighs in on HHS mandate during Rhode Island visit Related articles Fasting and Abstinence during Lent Second Vespers with bishops, priests, .......