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Daily Message

I've said all along that regardless on how the Court decides, our work remains unchanged. We need to catechize our people about marriage. This change in the idea of marriage has been going on for very long time. So even if the court issued a ruling that we liked, we would still have a lot of work to do in helping our people understand what marriage really is, why marriage is important for the public good, and why it is an essential institution to support social justice- justice for the sake of children.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Archdiocese of San Francisco


HHS Mandate


"Cardinal Dolan at the February 2012 Consistory CNS Photo Paul haringWe are concerned as pastors with the freedom of the Church as a whole—not just for the full range of its institutional forms, but also for the faithful in their daily lives—to carry out the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ."
~ Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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 and President of the USCCB. 

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.

A statewide rally for religious freedom was held in front of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka on June 29 and led by the bishops of Kansas. (Photo: Lori Wood Habiger, The Leaven)

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.

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