Statement on White House announcement on the HHS mandate

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

February 10, 2012

“Today’s announcement by President Barack Obama on the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring individual and institutional support for abortifacients, sterilization and contraceptives suggests that the administration may be open to considering concerns about religious freedom. Certainly, the details of any proposed revision to the regulation will have to be studied once they are available. At first reading, significant concerns remain.

“What has become very clear since the final HHS mandate was issued three weeks ago is that Catholics and non-Catholics of all persuasions are united in the conviction that religious liberty must be respected. Regardless of whether or not they agree with Church teaching on a particular issue, people believe strongly that the government should not force the Church and its institutions to do things it considers morally wrong. Hopefully, the ultimate resolution of this issue will reflect this longstanding American principle. No matter the outcome, we must continue to be vigilant against the encroachment of government on the free exercise of religion.”

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