Loading
US clergy declare 'state of emergency' over contraception mandate
By Michelle Bauman
US clergy declare 'state of emergency' over contraception mandate

.- A group of ministers from numerous religious backgrounds sent a message to the White House declaring a “state of emergency” over a health insurance mandate that may force religious employers to violate their consciences.

“Protestants are beginning to close ranks and join our Catholic friends on this issue,” said Lutheran minister Dr. Norman Lund.

Lund told CNA on Feb. 21 that he considers the issue to be part of his Christian identity and “an issue worth fighting and dying for.” He explained that the core problem “is not birth control” but “the freedom of churches to determine their own policies and positions on issues like birth control.”

“In other words,” he said, “this is an issue of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.”

Lund is a member of the National Clergy Council, a group that represents Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Orthodox leaders.

After deliberating with pastors and theologians across the country, the council has declared a state of emergency for the Churches in response to the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

The mandate will require employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences and religious beliefs.

A declaration outlining a “State of Emergency and Time for Speaking” was delivered to the White House on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, in an appeal to President Barack Obama.

The statement affirms the council’s “unwavering position” on the “sanctity” of conscience rights and maintains the “God-given” ability to live out principles of conscience within a religious institution.

Clergy members said they hope the matter can be resolved by a repeal of the mandate, but warned that “we must hold to our convictions and positions and act according to our prerogatives no matter the legal, social, pecuniary, or political consequences.”
 
The council noted that its statement was inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor and martyr who worked to resist the Nazis.

It described Bonhoeffer as “an exemplar of what it means to hold to and to exercise one's religious, moral, and ethical convictions, even to the surrender of every other right, including the right to one's life.”

At the Feb. 2 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., President Obama was given a copy of Bonhoeffer’s biography by author Eric Metaxas.

Calling for “all people of conscience” to stand with them, the council members informed Obama that they “must take extraordinary action to respectfully resist your decrees.”

The National Clergy Council joins with a growing number of faith groups that have objected to the contraception mandate on the grounds of religious freedom.

The U.S. bishops have called for the mandate to be repealed, and multiple members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities – representing both Catholic and Protestant schools – have urged the administration to substantially change or remove it.


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
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: