Catholic church prepares for ‘assault’ on liberties


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ABSTRACTCatholic church prepares for ‘assault’ on liberties - AltoonaMirror.com - Altoona, PA | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - The Altoona Mirror Mobile: mobile.altoonamirror.com Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | MirrorMoms.com | Polls | Home News   Opinion   Blogs   Sports   PSU   Life   Sections   Extras   CU   Real Estate   Ads   Jobs   Classifieds   Videos What's Trending » Local News Local News Local Business Obituaries Agriculture Pennsylvania News National News International News Weather News EXTRAS SUBMIT News VIEW news videos / News / Local News / « Drivers pump less Workers to probe water main...»       Catholic church prepares for ‘assault’ on liberties March 24, 2012 By Zach Geiger and Amanda Gabeletto ( zgeiger@altoonamirror.com and agabeletto@altoonamirror.com ) , The Altoona Mirror Save | Comments ( 80 ) | Post a comment | The Catholic Church is preparing to face an "assault" on religious liberty in the form of a mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Pennsylvania bishops have already formulated their plan of attack, church officials said. Their solution does not involve a full-fledged strike, but a more peaceful form of retaliation: a "Day of Prayer" scheduled for Friday, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown spokesman Tony DeGol said. "Clearly, the bishops of Pennsylvania feel that we have to continue to speak out in favor of protecting our religious liberty," DeGol said. The mandate, commonly referred to as the HHS mandate, requires all employers to pay for contraception as part of their health benefits. While churches may be exempt, other institutions, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, would be mandated to provide money for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, DeGol said. Central Pennsylvania residents have already called Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark L. Bartchak, asking if he will take a stand against the mandate, DeGol said. And while all of Pennsylvania's bishops signed the letter in support, more national attention is needed to resolve the issue, he said. A news conference was held at the Jaffa Shrine Center late Friday afternoon before the 27th annual Precious Life Spring Banquet. Religious leaders of various Christian groups presented a united front to stand up in support of religious liberty. The news conference highlighted the issue, which was also noted during nationwide rallies Friday under the banner of "Stand Up For Religious Freedom." Monsignor Michael Servinsky, Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; and Gary Dull, pastor of the Faith Baptist Church, Altoona; Ruth Graham, d.......