Greensburg, Pa., Oct 26, 2012 / 01:07 am
The right of the Catholic institutions to exist with integrity is threatened by the Health and Human Services contraception and sterilization mandate, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg said in a pastoral letter to his diocese.
The mandate "relegates religious freedom to the sacristy, and will not allow it to exist or be operative outside of the Church and in the public square," the Pennsylvania bishop wrote in "Integrity and the Political Arena," which was issued on Oct. 11.
"This corresponds to a conception of religious freedom which means only freedom of worship. But those who share the same faith also have the right to a collective or institutional religious freedom which is public," he stated.
Bishop Brandt's comments come with the elections only two weeks away, and Pennsylvania is expected to play a key role as a battleground state. Though Democrats won the last three presidential votes there, the Republican Party won the governorship and Senate elections in 2010.