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USCCB president weighs in on HHS mandate cases heard by Supreme Court

Catholic World News - March 28, 2014

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who serves as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an article for the religion site OnFaith that the Supreme Court should recognize that the right to religious freedom extends beyond worship.

“It is easy to see faith inspiring charity in the many homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable endeavors started by people of faith in our country,” he said. “But if we look more carefully, we can also see how faith can inspire generosity in other workplaces. Many businesses run by people of faith choose to pay employees more, commit to preserving the environment, establish college funds, or donate significant amounts to nonprofit causes.”

“Both the Green and Hahn families should not be forced to check their faith at the door of their businesses,” he continued as he referred to cases heard by the Supreme Court. “But Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood now face annual fines of millions of dollars if they do not provide life-terminating drugs and devices in their employee health plans due to a mandate from the US Department of Health & Human Services.”

“The government has already decided to exempt millions of employees from this mandate for non-religious reasons, but unfortunately, has not extended the same treatment to people striving to follow their faith in business and through nonprofit organizations,” Archbishop Kurtz added.

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