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US bishops welcome end of government shutdown, lament HHS mandate

October 18, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement welcoming the end of the federal government shutdown.

“The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “With the government now open, beneficiaries of government services, particularly the elderly and children, can hope to resume a normal life with a safety net securely in place.”

The USCCB, which unsuccessfully advocated for the inclusion of a conscience-protection measure in the budget deal, also lamented the HHS mandate.

“The bishops have pressed for legislative relief from the HHS mandate since its inception more than two years ago,” said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. “Church efforts to protect rights of conscience will continue despite this temporary setback.”


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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 21, 2013 4:10 PM ET USA

    What I will be welcoming is a shutdown of the USCCB!

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 19, 2013 10:07 AM ET USA

    The bishops don't seem to be able to see and they do not seem to be able to listen. The HHS Mandate is not a "minor glitch" to be tweaked in an otherwise functional socialistic system. Rather it is a warning that socialism and the "welfare state" is most definitely the wrong way to go. The very fact that the "Church" in America both Catholic and protestant appear to be unable to minister to the poor without the aide of amoral politicians and their "programs" is an indictment against us and them.