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Religious freedom battle 'daunting,' but bishops urged to persist


MATT HADRO

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
11/12/2014

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ABSTRACTReligious freedom battle 'daunting,' but bishops urged to persist :: 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 Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint 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 Religious freedom battle 'daunting,' but bishops urged to persist Archbishop William Lori at a Nov. 12, 2012 press conference for the USCCB Fall General Assembly. Credit: Michelle Bauman/CNA. Follow By Matt Hadro Baltimore, Md., Nov 12, 2014 / 05:05 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- The leader of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee encouraged his fellow bishops not to lose heart, but to place their trust in God, in the ongoing battle for religious liberty. “Sometimes it might seem that fighting or struggling against threats to religious liberty is a daunting task,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged, but we know that “with God all things are possible.” “And we realize that with prayer is the ultimate source of our wisdom and our strength and our pastoral love in these struggles,” he stressed. Archbishop Lori addressed the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov 11, giving an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, which he chairs. He listed current affairs that the committee is keeping a close eye on, which include new state proposals requiring all health plans to cover abortions with no religious exemptions. In a similar case in August, California’s state Department of Managed Health Care declared that employee health plans at two Catholic universities limiting abortion coverage were in violation of state law. The state’s Catholic conference had deplored the action, saying it “directly targeted” Catholic institutions and calling it “government coercion of the worst kind” and a “flagrant violation of their civil rights.” Archbishop Lori singled out that case as one of particular concern to the committee. Also among the laws and regulations being monitored by the committee is the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs. The federal mandate has prompted lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court issued a ruling affecting some of these cases over the summer, upholding the right of closely-held corporations owned by individuals with religious objections to the mandate, such as Hobby Lobby. However, more than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. “That’s keeping us all pretty busy,” he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops’ religious freedom committee. In addition, Archbishop Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by “laws redefining marriage.” Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on .......