USCCB President: Today’s Executive Order Begins a Process

May 4, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON–Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President ofthe United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a responseto President Donald J. Trump's executive order signed this morning.

CardinalDiNardo's full statement follows:

"Today's Executive Order begins theprocess of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate. We will engagewith the Administration to ensure that adequate relief is provided to thosewith deeply held religious beliefs about some of the drugs, devices, andsurgical procedures that HHS has sought to require people of faith tofacilitate over the last several years. We welcome a decision to providea broad religious exemption to the HHS mandate, but will have to review the detailsof any regulatory proposals.

In recent years, people of faith haveexperienced pressing restrictions on religious freedom from both the federalgovernment and state governments that receive federal funding. Forexample, in areas as diverse as adoption, education, healthcare, and othersocial services, widely held moral and religious beliefs, especially regardingthe protection of human life as well as preserving marriage and family, havebeen maligned in recent years as bigotry or hostility — and penalizedaccordingly. But disagreement on moral and religious issues is notdiscrimination; instead, it is the inevitable and desirable fruit of a free,civil society marked by genuine religious diversity.

We will continue to advocate for permanentrelief from Congress on issues of critical importance to people of faith. Religious freedom is a fundamental right that should be upheld by all branchesof government and not subject to political whims. As president of theBishops' Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with President Trump thismorning in the Oval Office to address these and other topics."

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Keywords:United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo,President Trump, executive order, religious freedom, HHS mandate, religiousexemption, Congress, federal government, state government, human life, adoption,healthcare, marriage and family, religious diversity, executive branch.

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