This page contains the latest information on efforts by the Catholic Church to change the imposed HHS mandate. Resource material is for parishes, individuals and other organizations seeking official Church information on this issue. Many of the resources are courtesy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Never before has federal law forced citizens to purchase what violates their deeply held beliefs and ethical convictions. But now the Administration is forcing us to act as if pregnancy were a disease to be prevented at all costs. For many Americans that means choosing between violating our consciences and forgoing health care -- literally an unconscionable dilemma.
Our country's longstanding laws protecting conscience rights must now apply fully to the implementation of health care reform. For that we need more than rule-making, we need a law. The bishops are urging Congress to support the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act" in light of the new HHS rule and the "unprecedented threat to religious freedom" it poses.
New Conscience Protection Video
produced by the USCCB
(click on image for video)
Bogus Story about Catholic Bishops Pressing for Government Shutdown
You may be aware that a claim has circulated on some blogs and online news sites that the Catholic bishops’ conference urged a shutdown of the federal government (and a default on the nation’s debts) if it cannot “get its way on birth control.” This charge originated with a very ideological web site called “RH Reality Check” (“RH” for Reproductive Health”) and was picked up by some others. It seems an attempt to revive the “war on women” theme raised by such groups last year to submerge the genuine issue of religious freedom implicated by the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate...More
Fortnight for Freedom 2013
Prayers of the Faithful Life-Liberty-Marriage (posted May 21)
Current Threats to Religious Liberty (English/Spanish) (posted May 21)
Reflections for the Fortnight for Freedom (posted May 21)
Daily reflections with readings and questions that can be used for group discussion or personal reflection.
14 ways to celebrate Fortnight Freedom (posted May 21)
Download "Fortnight for Freedom" graphics
Fortnight for Freedom 2012
IMPORTANT NEWS: USCCB Responds to Innacurate Statement of Fact on HHS Mandate Made During Vice Presidential Debate 2012
July 3, 2012 - Bishop Edward M. Grosz presided at the Holy Hour for religious freedom (right) at the Dominican Monastery in Buffalo. From his homily: "Our cherished religious liberty is at stake. It is our right that is God-given." His homily concluded, "God, please bless America in this most troubling time."
June 28, 2012 - St. Gregory the Great Parish in Williamsville hosted a Fortnight for Freedom Evening of Prayer (left) that included live music by the parish young Adult Ministry, recitation of the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, presentations on the parish Ministerial Response as Catholics, and a Holy Hour of Adoration.
June 25, 2012 - Bishops' campaign is a teach-in for faithful - read this insightful column written by Douglas Turner of The Buffalo News Washington, D.C. bureau read more
June 21, 2012 - Bishop Edward U. Kmiec led a holy hour for religious freedom at the Shrine of the Little Flower of Jesus (right), the North Buffalo home of the Carmelite Nuns. One attendee said, "It was so beautiful to see the faithful joined together in prayer for religious freedom. I was proud to see so many from all parts of our diocese traveled to participate together to officially begin the Fortnight for Freedom”.
June 8, 2012 - Pro-Life director Cheryl Calire at the Rally for Religious Freedom on Buffalo's Niagara Square
May 21, 2012 - Cardinal Dolan applauds Church court challenges to HHS mandate
May 20, 2012 - Western New York Catholic Weekly, produced by the Radio Ministry of the Diocese of Buffalo, focuses on the fight for religious freedom
Download Our First, Our Most Cherished Liberty - A Statement on Religious Liberty
Mar 23, 2012 - Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally draws more than 1,000 in downtown Buffalo
Mar. 21, 2012 -
What war on women? Kathy Gallagher of othe NYS Catholic Conference debunks the myth
Women’s Health and Contraception, by Jann K. Armantrout
Mar. 14, 2012 - Bishops vow to continue vigorous efforts to oppose HHS mandate (read more)
Stand Up Rally set for March 23
The controversy over President Obama’s HHS Mandate is now pouring out onto the streets. On March 23, concerned citizens in over 50 cities—including Buffalo, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco—will gather at Federal Buildings for a rally with the theme “Stand Up for Religious Freedom—Stop the HHS Mandate!” Read more
The latest news 2012...
Bishop Kmiec speaks out against HHS mandate (Feb. 16, 2012)
Renewed effort to change HHS mandate (Feb. 10, 2012)
Bishop Kmiec says diocese will not comply with "unjust law" (Feb. 3, 2012)
The high cost of free birth control
Preventive services backgrounder
White House misrepresents its own contraception mandate
Cardinal Timothy Dolan: "I'm afraid the Obama Administration is on the wrong side of the Constitution again."