January 24, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops says religious freedom
is facing a serious threat in America.
At the center of it all, is a health care mandate
that would require employers and insurance companies to offer contraception, sterilization and abortion inducing drugs
.Msgr. Timothy Dolan
U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, President“It's requiring almost all Americans, even those with ethical or religious objections to pay for this coverage.”
In this video, produced by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dolan says the mandate does have an exemption, but it's limited. In essence, he says, the health care plan violates religious freedom, virtually ignoring the rights of those who oppose it. Msgr. Timothy Dolan
U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, President“The administration offered a very narrow religious exemption to some employers such as Churches, but the government will still require almost all Americans to pay for this coverage, even if it violates their consciences. That is a foul ball, by any standard.”
Even though churches are exempt, church related institutions, like schools, hospitals and charitable organizations are not. The mandate had been under review, but most recently, the Health and Human Services Department announced that all employers must comply by August 1, 2012. Church related institutions though, have a year longer, until August 1, 2013.
Some believe the year extension is more of a political move
, to try and avoid high tensions during an election year.
In fact, just a day before the announcement, Benedict XVI met with a group of American Bishops during their ad limina visit at the Vatican. There, the pope said he was concerned over seemingly growing hostility against Christianity in the U.SBenedict XVI
January 19, 2012“When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey.”
Dolan says American Bishops will fight against this mandate. He's also urging all Catholics to join them.