'Unified, focused' bishops pledge to continue religious liberty defense


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ABSTRACTCNS STORY: 'Unified, focused' bishops pledge to continue religious liberty defense Home    |    About Us    |    Contacts    |    Products        News Items   Top Stories   News Briefs   Vatican   Origins   Africa   Headlines   Also Featuring   Movie Reviews   Sunday Scripture   CNS Blog   Links to Clients   Major Events   2008 papal visit   World Youth Day   John Paul II   For Clients   Client Login   CNS Insider   We're also on ...   Facebook   Twitter   RSS Feeds   Top Stories   Vatican   Movie Reviews   CNS Blog .   For More Info  If you would like  more information  about Catholic  News Service,  please contact  CNS at one of  the following:  cns@  catholicnews.com  or  (202) 541-3250 .   Copyright  This material  may not  be published,  broadcast,  rewritten or  otherwise  distributed,  except by  linking to  a page on  this site. .   CNS Story: BISHOPS-FREEDOM Mar-14-2012 (550 words) With photo. xxxn 'Unified, focused' bishops pledge to continue religious liberty defense (CNS file) By Nancy Frazier O'Brien Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Declaring themselves "strongly unified and intensely focused," the nation's top Catholic bishops vowed to continue their multipronged defense of religious liberty in the courts, Congress and the White House. The five-page statement titled "United for Religious Freedom" was approved March 14 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Administrative Committee, made up of the USCCB officers and committee chairmen and an elected bishop representative from each of the geographic regions of the USCCB. The bishops opened their statement with thanks for "all who have stood firmly with us in our vigorous opposition to this unjust and illegal mandate," referring to the Department of Health and Human Services' requirement that nearly all employers must provide free coverage of contraceptives and sterilization to their employees through health insurance plans. "This is not about the church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the church -- consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions -- to act against church teachings," they said. "This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one force.......