"... it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.."
Pope Benedict XVI
"Everyone should be immune from coercion by individuals, social groups, and every human poser, so that, within due limits, no men or women are forced to act against their convictions... The right to religious freedom is based on the very dignity of the human person."
Declaration on Religious Liberty, Second Vatican Council
"Religious liberty... is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day... if our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted by the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free and a beacon of hope for the world."
USCCB, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty
Have questions about Religious Liberty and the Catholic Church?
USCCB: Religious Liberty FAQs
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a rule forcing nearly all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as surgical sterilization. These are listed among "preventive services for women" that all health plans will have to cover without co-pays or other cost-sharing - regardless of whether the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman herself objects to such coverage."
Diocese of Austin
The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities or hospitals
The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral.
The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception.
Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate.
Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate.
The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates.
O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.