Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom.
Therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer that wisdom and justice may prevail and religious liberty may be restored. Second, I would also recommend visiting the Iowa Catholic Conference website or USCCB websites to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.
Thank you for your prayers and attention to this critical issue.
Sincerely in Christ,