St. Mary Roman Catholic Church at 210 West Main Street, Manchester, MI 48158 US - Diocese of Lansing Responds to HHS Mandate
|Diocese of Lansing Responds to HHS Mandate|
By now, all men and women of faith know that the United States Department of Health and Human Services has declared that health benefit plans must include coverage for sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs. This unconstitutional and unconscionable mandate is to take effect in stages during 2012 and 2013.
The Catholic Church in the United States will never comply with this mandate. Told that the federal government has allowed a one-year grace period during which the Church can adjust itself to this mandate, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York responded that the Church does not need a year to determine whether it would comply. He is right. In offering this supposed mandate, the federal government misreads the Constitution of the United States. It equally misreads the determination of Catholics.
This nation is built upon the three-legged stool of the First Amendment. Our precious freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly underlie everything this nation is, and everything this nation has ever accomplished. Religious liberty gives the freedom to preach the Truth. And the truth is that pregnancy is not a disease. Nor is the natural fertility of a woman a disease.
Through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Michigan Catholic Conference, we are exploring a number of options, including litigation and Congressional reform. As these efforts move forward, Catholics should make clear to their elected officials the crucial importance of religious liberty, and they should pray daily for those who have the responsibility for making these decisions.