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Diocese of Orange Calender

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HHS Mandate and Religious Liberty - A letter from our Bishop Tod Brown English, Spanish & Vietnamese


Marywood Pastoral Center
2811 E. Villa Real Drive
Orange, CA 92867
January 31, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As you may have read in the secular press, 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. Catholics make up ¼ of the population and this mandate flies in the face of our religious liberty. 

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Unless this is overturned, we will be compelled 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.
I ask two things of you. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail and religious liberty be restored. Secondly, visit the website,, in order to learn more about this severe assault on our religious liberty and how to contact your representatives in Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision. There is also a link to the USCCB website provided on our diocesan website. This unjust mandate cannot stand. In this election year, our combined outrage will have a strong impact. 

Thank you for your attention to this timely issue. A bulletin or pulpit announcement with the above facts is strongly encouraged. 

Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Most Reverend Tod D. Brown
Bishop of Orange


Anonymous said...

Out of interest do you also believe that people employed by Jehovah's witnesses be denied blood transfusion or organ transplants in their health insurance? Even if the employee may not be a Jehovah's witness themselves.

XAndrewX said...

@Anonymous ...There is a huge difference between the "option" of contraception and the "need" for a blood or organ transplant dont you think?

Anonymous said...

As both are cases of religious beliefs vs. legislation, and as this is what you are stating as your basis for arguement, I would be interested to hear your opinion.

XAndrewX said...

The Separation of Church and State goes both ways. Many people and the Government forget this.

Kevin said...

Anonymous . . .

The government should not be mandating what type of insurance coverage a Jehovah's witness business owner should be providing for his or her employees, or if they should provide coverage at all.

The potential employees need to investigate what type of coverage the employer has before accepting a position with the company. If the individual is unhappy with what is offered, he or she is free to not accept the job offer or to pay for his or her own plan outside of the confines of the employer's plan.

There is nothing that compels an individual to work for such a company.

Kevin said...

Your real question should be whether or not a Jehovah's witness working for a non-J.W. employer should be compelled to pay for other people's transfusions.

Here, I say, no.

Witnesses deserve First Amendment protection as well. I don't know the judicial precedents involved, but I'm assuming the Jehovah's witnesses are considered an "established religion" and so deserve protection, in my opinion. I would say there should be a fair accommodation, e.g. some sort of voucher to be put toward a policy of like believers.