From our pastor, Fr. Neil Herlihy:
As Catholics and as Americans, I believe it is fair to say that we love our country dearly but many of us are rightly concerned with the tensions and conflicts involving the moral direction of our nation.
At this time our bishops remind us that our religious liberty is under threat, due to current efforts of some government officials. Some officials apparently believe our Catholic teaching should be kept within the walls of our Churches. Some would want us to participate in activities that would compromise our beliefs and teachings.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and his fellow bishops of the United States, serve as voices in opposing the misguided and ill-advised ways of those civil authorities whose actions are undermining our religious freedom. Specifically the bishops have vigorously opposed the mandate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which requires all employers, including Catholic institutions such as hospitals, charities, and schools to provide access to contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortion inducing drugs in their health care plans in direct violation of Church teaching.
The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that many recognize the mandate as an assault on the broader principle of religious liberty, whether or not they agree with the Church on the underlying moral question. They include many leaders from other Christian faith traditions.
As faithful citizens we are called to support our bishops in this unwarranted intrusion into our religious liberty. We have been asked by our bishops to clearly understand the issue concerning this mandate and make our voices heard and our views known. The spiritual integrity of our Church and its affiliated institutions is being challenged. We are asked to do our part to assist our Church and its leaders in meeting this challenge.
We invite you to view the brief video “Speak Up for Conscience Rights Today” at the USCCB.org which discusses the current status of the mandate and its potential spiritual and political implications for us as Christians. As faithful citizens we are called to strive to help make our country a place where our faith and our future can truly be lived and celebrated.