Fri, Mar 23rd 2012 11:10 am
Bishop Kmiec's statement for the Rally for Religious Freedom in downtown Buffalo:
My dear friends,
As you gather here in the public square today, please realize that freedoms guaranteed in the United States Constitution hang in the balance.
This debate is about religious freedom, not about access to contraception.
It is not government's role to determine if Catholic or any other faith-based ministries are "religious enough" to qualify for religious freedom protection.
People of many religious beliefs agree that the government should not be allowed to stand in the way of the free exercise of religion. The government needs to either rescind the HHS mandate or provide full and effective measures to protect conscience and religious liberty.
Bishop William E. Lori, archbishop-elect of Baltimore and chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, said the Church will continue its strong defense of conscience rights through all available legal means.
"Religious freedom is at the heart of democracy and rooted in the dignity of every human person. We will not rest until the protection of conscience rights is restored and the First Amendment is returned to its place of respect in the Bill of Rights."
If we lose our religious freedom, what's next?
Thank you for advocating for religious freedom. May God continue to bless your efforts.
Mary Immaculate, patroness of our country ...Pray for us.