Cardinal Daniel N. Dinardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston wrote a letter to Congress this week urging them to address the religious liberty issues that are present in the current HHS mandate for healthcare. Cardinal Dinardo said,
“For our part, the Catholic bishops of the United States continue to advocate for life-affirming health care for all, especially for poor and vulnerable people. We do not see this policy as a step in that direction.”
Recently the House of Representatives incorporated a proposal into its Labor/HHS appropriations bill that would address the religious liberty concerns of so many Americans, but this proposal will not be considered until March of 2013, months after the mandate has gone into effect.
“I am writing again on this subject because, despite widespread opposition to this coercive policy by religious organizations, lawmakers and the general public, Congress has still taken no action to counter it. The time for such action is, to say the least, overdue.”
Cardinal Dinardo went on to explain why the current healthcare mandate does not protect the religious freedom of Catholic organizations and Catholic business-owners. Due to the widespread opposition of this mandate and the expense Catholic businesses would incur if they do not comply, Cardinal Dinardo fervently urged Congress to address this “urgent and fundamental” issue before it completes its business this year.
Read the full text of Cardinal Dinardo’s letter here.