WASHINGTON (from USCCB) - Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, offered the following joint statement in response to the creation of a new Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and other related administrative actions:
Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Bishops issued a landmark 99-page pastoral letter entitled Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy. Today, with a record number of people suffering in a flailing economy, the letter’s call to promote human dignity in economic, policy and individual actions is as relevant as ever.
"We must speak of man's rights. Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services."
Pacem in Terris, St. John Paul II
Every year, near the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, people of faith around the United States gather to witness for life. Several dioceses in California are planning major events or participating with other like-minded groups to promote a reverence for life:
One Life LA – Los Angeles, Saturday, January 20, 2018
Walk for Life West Coast – San Francisco, Saturday, January 27, 2018
Now is the time to contact your members of Congress and advocate for the protection of life and freedom of conscience.
The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644) has been included in appropriations legislation that must pass this year to keep the government operating. The Conscience Protection Act is common-sense legislation that will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children.
On June 25, the U. S. Supreme Court by a vote of 6-3 ruled that insurance subsidies created by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be offered in both states that established their own health care exchanges and states where the federal government established them. These exchanges are government-administered websites where consumers can compare and choose insurance plans.
On March 4, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case, King v. Burwell, claiming that subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) are available only for those who enroll through exchanges “established by the State,” as the law is worded.
On March 28th, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange and Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren joined forces to address a growing crisis in our country – the lack of adequate care and attention for those who suffer from mental illness. The two leaders hosted the inaugural Gathering on Mental Health and the Church bringing together national experts, pastors and individuals to discuss how to better equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care, how to educate families and encourage those who suffer with mental illness.