Stand up for religious liberty and rights of conscience Print E-mail
Bishop's Letter
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 -- 12:00 PM

Faithful Catholics are asked to pray, fast, and act by visiting www.usccb.org/conscience in an attempt to have this decision reversed.

 

Below is the text of Bishop Morlino's letter:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you today, with regard to a very, very serious matter which I cannot allow to go unnoticed. It cannot go unnoticed or left to inaction by any of us, because it negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all Americans, of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino has written a letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Madison pertaining to the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring all health plans to cover contraception and sterilization free of charge. This ruling affects religious liberty and rights of conscience of millions of people in the United States.

All bishops in the United States are making similar statements and sending similar letters to the faithful in their dioceses. Bishop Morlino has asked that his letter be read, and distributed, at Masses on the weekend of January 28 to 29 in the Diocese of Madison.


Faithful Catholics are asked to pray, fast, and act by visiting
www.usccb.org/conscience in an attempt to have this decision reversed.

Below is the text of Bishop Morlino's letter:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you today, with regard to a very, very serious matter which I cannot allow to go unnoticed. It cannot go unnoticed or left to inaction by any of us, because it negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all Americans, of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Despite several appeals to President Obama and his administration that the “religious exemption” be extended to all Catholic institutions, they ruled otherwise, and Catholics in the United States are left betrayed. As Cardinal-Designate Dolan of New York said, in effect, the president has said to us, “you have a year to figure out how to violate your consciences.”

This cannot stand. We must stand for our First-Amendment rights to religious liberty, and we must stand for our rights of conscience.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, please pray with me and offer sacrifices. As a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

Every bishop in the United States has, or will be, issuing similar messages to their communities, because this unconscionable decision affects us all. If we stand together as Christ’s Church, in prayer and fasting, we can effect change in such matters of injustice.

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino

Bishop of Madison