Bishops Call Day of Prayer, Fasting, Abstinence for Religious Liberty


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ABSTRACTBishops Call Day of Prayer, Fasting, Abstinence for Religious Liberty | Pennsylvania Catholic Conference Home About the PCC Social Concerns Department Elementary & Secondary Education Department Communications Department PCC ASSOCIATE Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association Institute for Public Policy PCC Scholarship Foundation Contact Current Issues Pro Life Legislation School Choice Catholic Advocacy Network ACE-PA Legislative Review Bishops’ Statements En Español Resources Contact elected officials Send letter to editor Capitol Trip Planner Bulletin Inserts Parish Resources Church Documents PA Catholic Statistics Related Sites Subscribe RSS Feeds Via E-mail Advocacy Alerts Catholic education Religious Liberty Life + Dignity of Person Marriage + Family Social Justice Health Care Faith + Politics Home » Catholic education , Faith + Politics , Health Care , Life + Dignity of Person , Marriage + Family , Religious Liberty , Social Justice Bishops Call Day of Prayer, Fasting, Abstinence for Religious Liberty Submitted by J_Shea on Thursday, March 8 2012 The Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania have called for Friday, March 30, 2012, to be a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence for religious liberty. Click here to send a message in support of religious liberty. Below is their letter to the faithful:     Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty continues. Our concern and alarm flows from a mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which punishes the Church for its firmly held beliefs and consistent teaching. This mandate – published in the federal register without change, despite claims of “accommodations” – would force Catholic employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs, sterilization and contraception. Some falsely suggest that the HHS mandate is about contraception. This is primarily about religious liberty and our First Amendment rights to the free exercise of our religion. Make no mistake about it – this government mandate is a step which will inevitably lead to other mandates that continue to strike at the heart of our Faith and the constitutional liberties we have been guaranteed. The mandate cannot stand – it must not stand! This same mandate also, alarmingly, purports to tell churches what type of activities the government thinks are religious. Catholic schools, hospitals, nursing homes and Catholic charities do not qualify for a religious exemption. Why? Because they serve non-Catholics. Under the government’s view, Jesus and his disciples would have been deemed not religious enough. 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. Religious liberty does not belong to the Democrats or Republicans, it belongs to all Americans. Long before these mandates were issued, the bishops in the United States worked for health care reform and universal coverage that respects all human life from conception to natural death and includes language to protect religious conscience and practice of all citizens. 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. Please visit www.pacatholic.org to send a message to your legislators in support of conscience rights. Our.......