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Cardinal Mahony blasts HHS contraception mandate

January 24, 2012

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has blasted the Obama administration for announcing that Church-related institutions will be required to provide contraceptive and sterilization coverage for employees in their health-care plans. The new rule confirmed on January 20 does not apply directly to houses of worship, but does affect schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations.

Calling the mandate “probably the most expansive decision on the part of the US Federal government ever,” Cardinal Mahony said that “I cannot imagine that this decision was released without the explicit knowledge and approval of President Barack Obama. And I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.”

Cardinal Mahony added:

For me there is no other fundamental issue as important as this one as we enter into the Presidential and Congressional campaigns. Every candidate must be pressed to declare his/her position on all of the fundamental life issues, especially the role of government to determine what conscience decision must be followed: either the person's own moral and conscience decision, or that dictated/enforced by the Federal government. For me the answer is clear: we stand with our moral principles and heritage over the centuries, not what a particular Federal government agency determines.

As Bishops we do not recommend candidates for any elected office. My vote on November 6 will be for the candidate for President of the United States and members of Congress who intend to recognize the full spectrum of rights under the many conscience clauses of morality and public policy. If any candidate refuses to acknowledge and to promote those rights, then that candidate will not receive my vote.

“This is a sad moment in the life of our country, where religious freedom and freedom of conscience led to the formation of this new Nation under God,” he concluded. “Let us all pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will come upon all elected officials of our country, and that all will make decisions based upon God's revealed truth.”


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  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 25, 2012 10:23 AM ET USA

    I am grateful to God that the Catholic left is finally realizing the grim reality that has resulted from their support of the political left. I applaud Cardinal Mahoney for his public denunciation of the most recent Obama anti-Catholic policy.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jan. 24, 2012 2:18 PM ET USA

    Amazing. Can one read between the lines, "I won't be voting for Obama again?"

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jan. 24, 2012 12:55 PM ET USA

    This is an unexpected and welcome side of Cdl. Mahoney. His statements need wide dissemination.