Loading
HHS Conscience Protection Rule
Cardinal George warns Obama against moving U.S. towards despotism

.- Cardinal Francis George has issued a video message asking Catholics to tell the Obama Administration to retain a conscience protection rule for pro-life health care workers. Its preservation is vital to keep the government from “moving our country from democracy to despotism,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation, implemented in the final months of the George W. Bush presidency, made explicit the existing legal protections for medical workers and institutions who object to cooperating in abortions.

On Feb. 27, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it was reviewing a proposal to lift or modify the HHS rule.

Cardinal George, who is Archbishop of Chicago and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), addressed the proposed change in a two and a half-minute video. Giving an overview of the issue, he said the rule is “one part of the range of legal protections" for health care workers who object to being involved in “abortion and other killing procedures” that contradict their faith.

He connected the HHS rule to respect for religious liberty and the freedom of personal conscience, both of which ensure “our basic freedom from government oppression.”

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. bishops “as Catholic bishops and American citizens,” the cardinal expressed deep concern that removing the rule would be “the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism.”

“No government should come between an individual person and God—that's what America is supposed to be about,” he commented. “This is the true common ground for us as Americans.”

This being the case, the cardinal said, it is necessary to have legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion, including “freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.”

He noted that conscientious objection is already recognized for war protesters and for doctors who do not wish to be involved in administering the death penalty.

“Why shouldn't our government and our legal system permit conscientious objection to a morally bad action, the killing of babies in their mother's womb?” Cardinal George asked. “People understand what really happens in an abortion and in related procedures—a living member of the human family is killed—that's what it's all about—and no one should be forced by the government to act as though he or she were blind to this reality.”

“I ask you please to let the government know that you want conscience protections to remain strongly in place. In particular, let the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington know that you stand for the protection of conscience, especially now for those who provide the health care services so necessary for a good society,” he concluded, giving his thanks and his blessing.

Cardinal George’s video is viewable on the U.S. bishops’ website at http://www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection/ and is also posted at YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NoCRwMqVzQ

The U.S. bishops’ conscience protection site provides additional information and resources as well as a link for concerned Catholics and others to express their views to the HHS. The site reports the submission deadline for comments is April 9.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: