As President Obama prepares for his second term, he will face at least one formidable foe in his campaign against Judeo-Christian values. Following the election, Catholic bishops around the nation made it clear that on at least two fronts they will stand firm against the government: the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) contraception mandate, which requires employers — including Christian businesses and organizations — to provide health insurance that includes free sterilization and abortion-causing birth control pills; and the legalization of same-sex marriage.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that while Catholic leaders are willing to work toward a resolution of the the Church's conflict with the federal government over the mandate, they would in no way compromise on issues vital to the faith of Catholics. “The only thing we're certainly not prepared to do is give in,” Dolan told reporters at a November 12 bishops meeting. “We're not violating our consciences. I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation.”
So far scores of religious colleges and non-profits, a majority of them Catholic, have sued to stop the implementation of the mandate, and an increasing number of Christian-owned private businesses are joining the suits, paying heed to the counsel of church leaders nationwide who advise that Christian doctrine and teaching prevent believers from following the mandate.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who leads the bishops' ad hoc religious freedom committee, told the Catholic News Agency that with the election behind the nation, the HHS mandate is “what we actually concretely have to deal with now. And as it stands, certainly we would not be able to live with it.... That's just not who we are, and we don't find it appropriate for any government to draw lines in our mission where we don't draw them.”
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Photo of Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaking at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore Nov. 12: AP Images