home
RSS
After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces 'religious freedom' campaign
The American Catholic bishops.
April 12th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces 'religious freedom' campaign

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church announced a major campaign Thursday aimed at bringing attention to what it said were growing threats to religious liberty in the United States, including the pending White House rule requiring health insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees of Catholic organizations.

An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the initiative would stretch out over the course of a few years and that it would include everything from encouraging priests to address religious liberty concerns in church to sending inserts for church bulletins.

“Religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad,” the American bishops said in a new document titled “Our first, most cherished freedom.”

Compared to other Catholic communications campaigns, “This is bigger in that it’s not a one-time thing, not aiming for a specific Sunday” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the communications director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s going to be extensive and it’s going to be occurring over a few years.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The Catholic bishops say a proposed White House rule connected to the Affordable Care Act requiring health insurers to provide free contraception coverage forces the church to fund an activity it opposes for religious reasons. The White House tweaked an earlier version of the rule that required employers, rather than insurance companies, to pay for contraceptive coverage, mollifying some Catholic groups who objected to Catholic colleges and hospitals having to fund contraception coverage.

But the bishops said the so-called White House compromise didn’t go far enough.

In their Thursday document, the bishops also said that a handful of American states and municipalities have driven Catholic foster care and adoption services out of business because Catholic charities refused to place children with gay couples or unmarried straight couples.

The document also said that the federal government recently revised its contract with the Catholic Church’s Migration and Refugee Services to require it to provide or refer women to contraceptive and abortion services, in violation of Catholic teaching.

“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the bishops said in a Thursday statement. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?”

“This is not a Catholic issue,” the statement said. “This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon or Muslim issue. It is an American issue.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (2,540 Responses)
  1. Leucadia Bob

    This is so rediculous – listen to my song instead – is very funny. no?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIu5aPIIzzM

    April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Southern Guy

    Those holier than thou liars just make me sick. They want to control the world. I don't see THEM adopting any crack babies!!

    April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Fred

      Southern Guy, the prez demanded they go against their values. They are guaranteed religious freedom in the 1st amendment. This was the prez's war on religion, not the other way around. The prez will be defeated by his own words in November.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chris

      If you don't know anyone adopting it's because you just don't care to know them. Christians adopt far more children than anyone else does.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  3. matt

    Religion and politics should not mix. The best thing the Republican Party ever did for itself was to conflate the two, but it's not working out so well for progress.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  4. Jim

    If they really believed all their own B.S. deep down inside, they would just pray really hard for god to dis-invent contraception, abortion, atheists etc.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Fred

      Jim, your obviously not a religious guy. Just so you know it does not work that way.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Magic Jew

      Yeah Jim, what Fred said. You can't really ask "God" for anything and expect a response because gods are creations of the human imagination to explain that which was, at the time, inexplicable.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  5. open400

    The people that founded this country were well aware of the religious wars, the burning of witches, Pope corowning Kings and the Inquistion. Our founders wanted none of this for America. While the founders were relgious people, they felt religion was a private matter for each individual. We have a Judeo-Christain morality, but not a national religion – tha's what Santorum wants.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  6. MrHanson

    Test

    April 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      Fail

      April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  7. Emile Barton

    Pst, hey, "Catholic church, it's the republican party. Shut up already, why don't you. We've already alienated women voters with our public stance on that issue. Now go away!"

    April 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  8. JACK

    If the Catholic Church implements a policy for political activism from the pulpit, their tax exempt status should be reviewed and revoked.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Rick

      I agree but our Supreme Court thinks that corporations are people and therefore the bill of rights applies to them, then it should apply to churches as well. I don't mean to go on a tangent here but I think the Citizens case should be overturned.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      The church also benefits from a NPO status without following the laws that all other NPO's must and do follow.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Rick

      I wonder if the GAO has ever calculated the amount of money doing away with tax exempt status for churches would bring in. They lobby for government programs but do not pay for them.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Chris

      Wow, this hasn't been threatened before. Churches can advocate political stances on moral issues. There's no reason a church can't do this.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cathy

      What ever happened to FREEDOM OF SPEECH??!!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Rick

    Nobody has done as much to hurt religion as the religious have done to themselves.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • DeE

      sooooo TRUE!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  10. Bob

    Its funny they are against all these things but child molestation to them is just fine.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • JACK

      The cover up and the conspiracy to hide the crimes and shield the criminals is as great as the crime and sin itself.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      It's not even that much of a cover up anymore. Several american Catholic leaders publicly lobby to restrict the statue of limitations in child sexual assault cases. How this organization can ever be viewed as a moral compass is far beyond me.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • DeE

      sickening.......I still can't believe it, they have there own rules and regulations They should have there own little Island.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • DeE

      sickening.......I still can't believe it, they have there own rules and regulations They should have their own little Island.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  11. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    thank god these mainstream religions stopped practicing human sacrifice

    April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      How dare you strip me of the right to rip your still beating heart from your chest! Stop persecuting me!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  12. jon

    They're trying to save souls.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      So was Andrea Yates when she drowned her children

      April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      ...one anus at a time.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      From what?

      April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Pipe-Dreamer

    Pipe-Dreamer Ramblings

    Freedom of Religions is not Religions of Freedom nor can one have it both ways. Either one is the one way or the other. Choose wisely and wise you may become,,,,,,,,,,,,

    The so-declared "two-way-streets" are akin to a field being fenced but unlike the fielded fences, the two-way-streets carry things one way and another. Knowing which way one is traveling is the importance of one's direction and destination.

    Moreover the road to Hell is much traveled while the road to the Heavens is less sought to be traveled upon and toward.
    All, "built by the hands of humanists" churches have no heart nor soul nor holy spirit of God! They are as empty shells with no powers! The "True Churches" of the Kingdoms of God lay within/inside the bodies of the people and all other forms of Life upon this Earth and where ever within the Celestial Cosmos of Dimensional Tranquilities!

    1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
    Do not women have misscariages? Do they not have still births? Who then is to say as one said I "feel" that abortion is murder when truly one considers the "natural" murdering ways of misscariages and still births?

    Losing one's faith in one thing, faith is found in another thing. The measuring of faith is shared and in sharing faith among others such faith becomes them yet still faith can not be one's abundancy for it is measured equally between and can only be shared with a give me some and I'll give you some acronism.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      Please take your meds and go back to sleep.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nate

      Not sure about all of that, but I think our highest social priority needs to be getting the One Ring back to Mt. Doom so we can destroy it. All life depends on it!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      And the dreamers do ever dream on and onward to ever consider and be considered. Some considerations are thoughtful while other considerations Truths to be reckoned and bantered about! Such are the meds of diaspercivities against the aspirins of unintentionalisms' bereavements cunning moments! eat freely and drink much with the zealots their fruited wines from their sheltered wineries!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      Put away the pot pipe and go away. Idiot.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  14. joe

    gimmee a break.

    It's the religous who wage the war. "Believe as I do. Believe in my God. Disbelieve in the other guys' God. And if you don't your punishment ranges from death to eternal damnation. But you decide, I don't want to pressure you."

    April 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      It is a Truth that many versionalisms regarding God is at an all-time high!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Southern Guy

      You're not kidding. I was brought up in a very conservative church, and was brought up to really pity the people that didn't subscribe to my particular religion. As I grew, the concept seemed a bit wrong. That's the problem with churches that can't behave realistically – as people become more educated, they'll eventually fail...

      April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Joe

    When will the church ever understand their antiquated beliefs are driving members away? The church has no problem "updating" the Mass, but refuses to update issues like birth control, gay and single parent adoptions and gay rights. Little wonder they have to resort to paid TV advertisements soliciting fallen away Catholics to return to the church.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Marion

      JOe, I agree with you. I am Catholic and I believe the Catholic church is burying reality in the sand.

      The article quotes:
      "Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the bishops said in a Thursday statement. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?”

      The Catholic church is FREE to make any doctrine they want. It is up to them to convince their "faithful" to follow. If their insurance coverage is required to provide free contraception, or their "Migration and Immigration" services are required to refer people for abortions (are all these migrants/immigrants Catholic?), their "faithful" are not being forced to use contraception or have an abortion. My goodness, it is not exactly a huge cost to the Catholic Church to provide this to their employees, whether Catholic or non Catholic. Why can't they be honest and say this is about MONEY and not about "religious freedom"..

      April 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  16. Southern Guy

    The Catholic church is so full of shat. (misspelled purposely...) Bunch of child-raping, pedophile-protecting, two-faced backstabbers. THEY are going to try and take the high road? Good luck...

    April 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Josef Bleaux

    Take away tax breaks for ALL religious organizations.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Kate

    I find this ironic coming from a religious organization that tries to pressure the government to pass laws based on its own doctrine. Seperation between church and state is a two way street.

    I believe the Catholic chuch should not be required to provide all of these health services to its employees for the same reasons that I believe the Catholic church shouldn't be lobbying the government to ban gay marriage, etc.

    Also, I'm Catholic. And not a Catholic who shows up at church only on holidays – an actual practicing Catholic who sits in church every Sunday and reads scripture each night.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Southern Guy

      Thank you! I'm a practicing Christian, and I feel the same way. There is church, and there is state. What we do NOT need, is a chruch-state!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  19. Sane

    If there was a" war on religion" those freaks wouldnt get together all in one place like that.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  20. Nate

    I'm sick of hearing about this "attack on faith" from all the whiney, wann-be theocrats. Every day when I drive to work, I pass dozens of churches, a few synogogues, at least one mosque and a few other religious centers. All of them pay nothing in taxes. All of them can host whatever services they want and send their members out into the public to try and convert us when we're on our lunch break. If there's a "war on religion", the attackers aren't doing very well.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.