Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), says the Obama administration is threatening religious freedom with the Administration’s abortion coverage mandate.
“Freedom of religion has been the driving force of almost every enlightened, un-shackling, noble cause in American history. 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 Obama abortion coverage mandate, Dolan named it as a specific threat to religious freedom because it requires Christian 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 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 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 that Christians need “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.”