Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented a lecture yesterday for the The John Carroll Society in which he indicated the Obama administration is threatening religious freedom.
Cardinal Dolan, who drew strong praise from pro-life advocates for his closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in which he called for a respect for human life and religious freedom, indicated the Obama HHS mandate is the source of the attack.
“This is good reminder, since, today, those who criticize the churches’ mobilization in defense of religious freedom often slyly muddy it with ‘war on women’ slogans,” he said.
Speaking specifically about the HHS mandate, Dolan named it as a specific threat to religious freedom because it requires Catholic and other religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-causing drugs.
“Thus, to say it again, the wide ecumenical and inter-religious outrage over the HHS mandate is not about its coverage of chemical contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs — in spite of the well-oiled mantra from our opponents — but upon the raw presumption of a bureau of the federal government to define a church’s minister, ministry, message, and meaning,” he said.
Cardinal Dolan also took on pro-abortion Democratic minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, who upset Catholics last year when she bemoaned their desire for conscience protections on abortion and pro-life issue, saying the Catholic Church needed “to get over their conscience thing.”
“No, we don’t; no, we can’t; as believers, as Americans,” Dolan responded, adding that the Catholic Church desires “the freedom to carry the convictions of a faith-formed conscience into our public lives.”
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The full text of Dolan’s speech can be found at: