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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

November 26, 2018 Economic Justice, Human Dignity, Education, Faith in the Public Square

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently approved a new pastoral letter - Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love – examining the “persistent” history of racism in this nation.  The report is particularly timely in that the FBI recently reported that hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 2017 with the most common bias being “race/ethnicity/ancestry.”  Fr.

June 26, 2018 Abortion & Procreation, Reverence for Life, Faith in the Public Square

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today concerning a US Supreme Court ruling overturning a California law restricting the free speech rights of crisis pregnancy centers.  The law, called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” (“FACT Act”), singled out crisis pregnancy centers and required them to post signs and provide information about the availability of abortion services. 

March 7, 2018 Abortion & Procreation, Bioethics, Health Care, Faith in the Public Square

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 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.

January 19, 2018 Abortion & Procreation, Bioethics, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Health Care, Faith in the Public Square

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:

August 23, 2017 Abortion & Procreation, Reverence for Life, Faith in the Public Square

In the ceaseless crusade to eliminate any conceivable barrier to abortion and reproductive rights and make life difficult for religious employers, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) is inventing “problems” that need “solutions.”

The latest is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) which imagines a widespread threat to reproductive rights despite the fact that they cite only one such case in California – and that was back in 2012.

June 26, 2017 Faith in the Public Square
June 26, 2017 - WASHINGTON– Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, in which the Court held that the exclusion of churches from an otherwise available public benefit violates the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  Trinity Lutheran’s preschool sought to participate in the State of Missouri’s scrap tire program, which would have allowed it to repave its playground with recycled tire pieces in order to provide a softer and safer playground surface for children.
 
June 8, 2017 Abortion & Procreation, Bioethics, Faith in the Public Square

Claiming widespread problems despite a complete lack of evidence, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is once again targeting religious employers with a bill in the California legislature.

The latest effort is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego).  She and NARAL are claiming that religious employers are consistently discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices.

May 4, 2017 Faith in the Public Square
WASHINGTON– Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a response to President Donald J. Trump's executive order signed this morning.
 
Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:
 
May 4, 2017 Faith in the Public Square

Statement by Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference on the issuance today of an Executive Order on religious liberty by President Trump:

“The President’s Executive Order reflects the pressing need to conduct a serious, non-partisan dialogue on the issues facing people of faith in this nation.   California’s political dynamics have presented challenges on this front for many years. 

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:

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