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About Religious Liberty

"At the very heart of human freedom is the right to religious freedom, since it deals with man’s most fundamental relationship: his relationship with God." - Pope John Paul II, Address to Diplomats, January 2005

Religious Liberty at USCCB

Faith in the Public Square

We affirm our religious liberty, which is guaranteed in both the U.S. Constitution and the California state constitution.

Download a backgrounder on Faith in the Public Square

August 11, 2016 News, News, Faith in the Public Square

This week, SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges and jeopardized higher educational opportunities for the tens of thousands of Californians they serve, has apparently been substantially amended to remove such questionable provisions.  The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities lead the effort to revise and improve the bill and the California Catholic Conference will now be evaluating the changes.  Here’s some background:

July 13, 2016 Faith in the Public Square

The Alliance for Conscience Rights applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Conscience Protection Act. Today’s bill passage is a critical step forward to ensuring religious health care entities are adequately protected against governmental discrimination with a private right of action, which would allow them to defend their civil rights in federal court. The Alliance for Conscience Rights thanks House leadership, bill authors Congresswoman Diane Black and Congressman John Fleming, M.D., and the over 100 cosponsors of the measure for their attention to this critical issue.

June 23, 2016 Faith in the Public Square

Each year dioceses around the country arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom.  The Fortnight for Freedom is from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day.  In this analysis, we take a look at how trends in society are impacting Catholic health care ministries in the United States:

June 22, 2016 Abortion & Procreation, Faith in the Public Square

Sacramento, CA – After almost two years of little or no activity, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) has ruled that the Bishops of California and others filing complaints do not have standing to object to a California agency mandating that religious organizations and individuals pay for all abortions in their managed health care plans.

January 13, 2016 Faith in the Public Square

Concluding Remarks by Bishop Jaime Soto:

“Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”  These are the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples in the gospel according to Luke.  This can be a high order or it can be the fortunate consequence of having been the object of His mercy.  To know God’s mercy compels one to be merciful as He is merciful.  To know His mercy is also to grasp the wisdom with which he mercifully cares for each one of His children. 

December 23, 2015 Faith in the Public Square

The following is a statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
 
The bishops of the United States are gravely disappointed that the 2016 omnibus funding bill did not include the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA).  While the omnibus bill certainly addresses other critical issues, the modest reform that ANDA represents -- to make federal conscience laws on abortion workable and enforceable -- was an urgent legislative priority in these final months of the year.
 

November 9, 2015 Faith in the Public Square

During his recent speech to Congress on September 24, Pope Francis paid special tribute to the contributions of four great Americans – two Catholics, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, and two non-Catholics, Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this final installment, we examine the life and legacy of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

October 28, 2015 Economic Justice, Faith in the Public Square

During his recent speech to Congress on September 24, Pope Francis paid special tribute to the contributions of four great Americans – two Catholics, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, and two non-Catholics, Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this third installment, we examine the life and legacy of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, who Pope Francis highlighted for "the capacity for dialogue and openness to God."

October 26, 2015 Faith in the Public Square

Oct. 26, 2015 – SACRAMENTO, CA – A Roman Catholic order of Sisters, the Guadulapanas Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, filed a petition today in California Superior Court in Sacramento asking the court to review a state requirement that compels the Sisters to purchase a health plan that provides coverage for all abortions, including late-term and gender selection abortions.

October 26, 2015 Abortion & Procreation, Faith in the Public Square

On October 9, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 775, (Chiu, D-San Francisco), the so-called Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency) Act.  The legislation forces faith-based, pro-life pregnancy resource centers that offer alternatives to abortion, to advertise access to “immediate free or low-cost” abortion.  The bill was co-sponsored by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice California and others. 

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