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Archbishop Chaput urges Americans to 'wake up' on religious freedom


CNA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
5/24/2013

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ABSTRACTArchbishop Chaput urges Americans to 'wake up' on religious freedom :: 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 Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments 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 Fr. Robert Barron 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 Russell Shaw 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 CNA Blog Home » News » US Archbishop Chaput urges Americans to 'wake up' on religious freedom Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. File Photo /CNA. Philadelphia, Pa., May 24, 2013 / 01:02 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia says Americans need to awaken to threats against religious freedom given the new revelations about IRS targeting of religious groups and the continued burdens of the HHS mandate. “The day when Americans could take the Founders’ understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up,” Archbishop Chaput said in his May 24th column for CatholicPhilly.com. “Selective IRS pressure on religious individuals and organizations has drawn very little media attention. Nor should we expect any, any time soon,” he said. “But the latest IRS ugliness is a hint of the treatment disfavored religious groups may face in the future, if we sleep through the national discussion of religious liberty now.” Although the IRS controversy initially focused on allegations the agency selectively targeted conservative-leaning “tea party” groups with burdensome demands, more incidents against other groups and individuals have been brought to light. Anne Hendershott, a Catholic professor and writer, has said her Internal Revenue Service audit focused on her writings critical of President Obama and the 2010 health care legislation. She said the audit discouraged her from criticizing the president. The IRS asked pro-life groups to provide large amounts of paperwork. The agency asked the groups to promise not to protest Planned parenthood or to say whether they planned to educate the public about both sides of the abortion issue. An IRS employee in 2012 allegedly leaked a confidential donor’s list from the National Organization for Marriage to the Human Rights Campaign, a backer of “gay marriage” whose president was named national co-chair of the Obama campaign. Archbishop Chaput said the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services similarly pressures religious groups. Although the Catholic bishops have long supported access to adequate health care coverage, he said, “health care has now morphed into a religious liberty issue provoked entirely – and needlessly — by the current White House.” He said the Obama administration, despite “a few small concessions,” refuses to withdraw or “reasonably modify” the mandate requiring insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. Archbishop Chaput said the mandate “violates the moral and religious convictions of many individuals, private employers and religiously affiliated and inspired organizations.” He said the mandate “can only be understood as a form of coercion.” “Access to inexpensive contraception is a problem nowhere in the United States,” the archbishop said. “The mandate is thus an ideological statement; the imposition of a preferential option for infertility. And if millions of Americans disagree with it on principle – too bad.” He said that these controversies show that the debate on issues of sexual morality needs “a parallel and vigorous defense of religious freedom.” The U.S. bishops’ confer.......