After doing so, the bishop stated that the final version had "only minor changes" and was still plagued by the same basic problems as the original version.
In his letter, Cardinal Dolan highlighted these problems, noting that the exemption included in the mandate is based on a narrow definition of "religious employers" as houses of worship and their affiliated groups, leaving religious service ministries to be given "second-class treatment" under the lesser provisions of the accommodation, which he labeled inadequate.
At the same time, he observed, the revised mandate fails to give "any relief at all to for-profit businesses run by so many of our faithful in the pews."
The cardinal noted that "Catholic Church in America has long been a leader in providing affordable health care, and in advocating for policies that advance that goal," noting that Catholic religious brothers and sisters have been at the forefront of providing health care to those who need it.
"Yet, instead of spending our time, energy, and treasure on increasing access to health care, as we have done for many decades," he continued, "we're now forced to spend those resources on determining how to respond to recently enacted government regulations that restrict and burden our religious freedom."
The mandate dampens the ability of these ministries to witness through their services, a central part of the Catholic mission, Cardinal Dolan said, stressing the bishops are continuing to work through venues including Congress and the courts "to develop avenues of response that would both preserve our strong unity and protect our consciences."
Mixed rulings on lawsuits challenging the mandate have led some observers to suggest that the Supreme Court may soon decide rule on the regulation.
Further discussion on how to address the contraception mandate will take place at the bishops' fall plenary assembly this November in Baltimore, Cardinal Dolan stated.
"We are united in our resolve to continue to defend our right to live by our faith, and our duty to serve the poor, heal the sick, keep our apostolates strong and faithful, and insure our people," he affirmed.