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:
Faith in the Public Square
We affirm our religious liberty, which is guaranteed in both the U.S. Constitution and the California state constitution.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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-Catholic Christians, Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In this second installment, we examine the life and legacy of Dorothy Day, with particular emphasis on her concern for the poor and the continued importance of that message today.
During his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis left us with a vast wealth of remarks and speeches that will provide us with much spiritual nourishment in the weeks and months to come.
Update on the Little Sisters of the Poor Case
On September 3, five federal judges of the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did something highly unusual in our justice system.