Ecumenical group fears HHS mandate will create ‘immense injustice’ to needy


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ABSTRACTCatholic San Francisco Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 LOCAL Headline News SUBSCRIPTIONS On The Street Datebook Features Parishes Education Family Life Vocations Obituaries More News NATIONAL/WORLD World National State Church/Vatican People News Briefs SPECIAL REPORTS COMMENTARY Editorials Archbishop Columnists Opinion Bishop McElroy Bishop Justice LETTERS FAITH FOCUS Links This Sunday Reflection Scripture Catholic Teaching ENTERTAINMENT Movies Books Radio Stage Audio Visual Arts TV ADVERTISING Advertise with CSF CSF Rate Card Promotion Schedule & Deadlines Place Classified Ad Advertising Specifications ABOUT US Contact Us Mission Statement About Us History of CSF Subscriptions Publication Schedule Awards Shopping Donate Archbishop Digital Paper On The Street Datebook Subscriptions Links Classified Ads Business Directory Archdiocese of San Francisco Website National • •   •   Printer Friendly Ecumenical group fears HHS mandate will create �immense injustice� to needy April 18th, 2012 PITTSBURGH (CNS) – The Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, one of the largest regional ecumenical agencies in the United States, urged the Obama administration to broaden the religious exemption in the federal government’s mandate requiring that most health plans cover the cost of contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can induce abortion. As it stands now, religious employers who are morally opposed to such coverage may be forced to shut down various ministries, including outreach to the poor, which would result in an “immense injustice” to those in need, the organization said in a statement. It said the mandate violates the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom and also called “health care for all” a “moral imperative.” The statement, released April 13 at a news conference at the organization’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, was signed by the leaders of several church bodies, including the Catholic Church. “Our deep concern over this mandate does not arise from the varying convictions we have on the moral content of this mandate, but from our common commitment to the right of religious freedom that all people of faith expect to enjoy in this country,” the statement said. “The Constitution of the United States guarantees every religious institution and its affiliated bodies the inalienable right to define its own identity and ministries and to practice its own beliefs, not just its freedom of worship,” it added. The signatories included Bishops David A. Zubik and Lawrence E. Brand, who head, respectively, the Latin-rite dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg and Father Eugene Yackanich, interim ad.......