NY Catholics protest US bishops’ ‘Freedom’ Rally against contraception bill
A group of Catholics in upstate New York has threatened to cut off charity contributions to the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference (USCBB) because of the bishops’ decision to protest the controversial Department of Health and Human Services’ Affordable Care Act.
The Act, which mandates that religious institutions provide employees with health care coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, has been fiercely protested by Catholic bishops in the U.S., but not all Catholics are against the bill.
“I believe that the Bishops do not speak for me on the issue of religious liberty. After learning of the campaign being promoted by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops called ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ I have decided that in good conscience I cannot support the stated causes for which my donation would be used,” reads a form signed by Call to Action representatives from Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Utica and Buffalo.
The U.S. bishops are strongly opposed to allowing insurance coverage for any form of artificial birth control methods, because such methods go against Roman Catholic doctrine. They are organizing a “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign, which begins on June 21, to promote religious liberty during the two weeks leading up to July 4. The USCBB hopes to raise awareness and convince President Barack Obama to remove such mandates from religious institutions in the U.S.
Earlier this month, a national protest led by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society was held in 160 cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. The protest attacked the Act, saying that it violates the Constitution’s First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
The Call to Action organization of Catholics, which is gay-affirming and holds liberal stances on many issues in opposition to Catholic doctrine, describes itself as a “Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society.” In a letter to the USCBB and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the group expressed its disagreement with efforts to protest the HHS bill. [More]