U.S. Catholic bishops say religious freedom waning, pledge to fight

By Reuters Staff
November 15, 2011

(Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York addresses the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, Marylalnd November 14, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Catholic bishops have said  that religious freedom had been whittled away by same-sex marriage, abortion and healthcare legislation, and vowed to ramp up efforts to protect it. At a meeting of 300 bishops gathered for the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the newly appointed committee on religious liberty announced plans to respond to legislation it says comes between citizens and their Catholic beliefs.

That includes Alabama’s recent crackdown on immigration, which prevents undocumented citizens from receiving religious services, said committee member Reverend William Lori, the bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Monday.

Other examples included a New York town clerk who faces legal action for refusing to administer same-sex marriages after New York state last summer became the most populous state to legalize gay marriage. And, in Illinois, Catholic charities are considered discriminatory for not placing foster children with same-sex couples, Lori said.

“The services of the Catholic Church are more crucial than ever,” Lori said. “But it’s becoming more difficult for us to deliver these services.”

The bishops singled out the U.S. Department of Justice’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, and the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, as challenges to religious liberty.

The conference included presentations from committees on “the promotion and defense of marriage” and “pro-life activities.”

Lori also noted an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services that says it is unconstitutional for the department to contract the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of human trafficking.

The conference would not use grant money to provide contraceptive and abortion services to victims, the suit says.

via Catholic bishops say religious freedom waning | Reuters.

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2 comments

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The Catholic Church has complete freedom to practice their religion. What they don’t have is the freedom to use tax money to force their beliefs on others, or the freedom to have legislatures pass laws that codify their particular religious beliefs and force others to act the way they would like their members to act.

I find it interesting that, when members of a certain church don’t follow the teachings of that church, the church tries to pass laws to force them (and everyone else, of course) to do what the church wants done (or not done). If the members of the church don’t obey the leaders, maybe they should take care of that within their own church. If a church doesn’t like the laws of the country, they should not ask for money from the country to run their charities.

Posted by jeangif | Report as abusive

Two Things You can take to the Bank:

1) The Time of religion commanding a priviledged and
determinitive status in U.S. law and social policy
is coming to an end.
2) Until that time the Roman Catholic hieracy will
squeal like stuck pigs, and play the victim card.

Posted by Frankjc | Report as abusive