Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2012 / 15:45 pm
President Obama's contraception mandate may only be the beginning of a historic attack on religious freedom, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan warned his fellow U.S. bishops in a Feb. 22 letter.
"If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end?" asked the cardinal, addressing the U.S. episcopate in a letter coauthored with the bishops' religious freedom chair Bishop William E. Lori.
The Health and Human Services' contraception mandate "violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded," wrote the cardinal and bishop. They noted that religious liberty "does not depend on the benevolence of who is regulating us."
The dispute with the administration is "not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals," and "not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization – although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program."