FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2012
Contact: Patricia M. Chivers
Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience
Threatened By HHS Mandate
Atlanta– A matter of “grave moral concern – freedom of religion and freedom of conscience” was addressed by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory in a letter that was read at all Masses in parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta this past weekend.
In his letter, Archbishop Gregory said, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.”
The letter continues, “In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.”
Along with Catholic bishops throughout the United States, other religious leaders, and fellow Americans, Archbishop Gregory will work to remove this unjust regulation.
Archbishop Gregory asked Catholics to “pray that wisdom and justice may prevail, and work together to restore our religious liberty.” Archbishop Gregory’s letter in English and Spanish is attached to this press release. For more information, go to the website www.usccb.org/conscience or contact Pat Chivers at email@example.com or 678-480-6865.
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