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I cannot but trust in [God's] merciful goodness. His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.
– St. Thomas More
"Whether people are serving the poor elderly, like the Little Sisters
of the Poor, or running a family business, like the Greens, the
government should recognize that human dignity by allowing people to
live out their faith absent a very strong reason...The
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) guarantees this protection. Thank God
- Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, KY, USCCB President
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule (June 28, 2013) on its mandate requiring employee health insurance for contraceptives, including abortion-causing drugs, and female sterilization. The final does not appear to eliminate "the need to continue defending our rights in Congress and the courts," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
Cardinal Dolan listed three areas of concern based on the March 2012 statement of the Administrative Committee, United for Religious Freedom: (1) the narrow definition of "religious employers" that are exempted, (2) the "accommodation" of religious ministries excluded from that definition, and (3) the treatment of businesses run by people who seek to operate their companies according to religious principles. Based on the March 2012 statement, the final rule shows that the first and third concerns still have not been addressed. Additionally, the second area of concern appears mostly the same, except for three relatively small changes that will require more time and analysis to evaluate.
In short, while the administration has delayed implementation of the HHS mandate for certain non-profit entities, moving the enforcement from August 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014, we must nonetheless continue to pray and take action on the religious liberty threats faced by the HHS mandate. We will continue to seek relief from the courts and from Congress for those who object because of religious or moral convictions.
Check out the action alert and contact Congress to include conscience provisions!
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