They stated that the regulation lacks even “the semblance of an exemption” to address the concerns of individual insurers who object to offering the coverage, employers who object to sponsoring it or employees who object to paying for it in their premiums.
The Catholic bishops said they are “strongly unified and intensely focused” on pursuing multiple avenues to defend religious liberty.
In addition to continuing efforts aimed at education and public advocacy, the bishops emphasized their willingness to “accept any invitation to dialogue with the Executive Branch.”
They also said that they are supporting legislation to restore religious freedom protections and will continue to explore “options for relief from the courts.”
They noted that the conference’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty will soon publish a document reflecting on the history of religious freedom in America, appraising a broad range of current threats to religious liberty and reinforcing the bishops’ clear intent to work with their fellow citizens in defending the fundamental pillar of American freedom.
The bishops thanked all of those men and women of various religions and professions who have stood united with them in the fight for religious freedom.
They called for additional “prayer and penance” from Catholics and “all people of faith” for the protection of religious liberty.
“Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength,” they said, “for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.”
The bishops' full statement can be read at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=1060