“It’s just as much a part of our faith as saying prayers inside of church,” he said.
Refusal to provide the coverage could prompt civil fines of up to $100 per day for each uncovered employee. While the church leaders said they hope a resolution can be reached, such fines would leave no other option but to close the affected institutions.
The USCCB organized a two-week campaign called the Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness about the threats to rights of conscience posed by the HHS mandate.
The USCCB released a documententitled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty” in which the bishops emphasized they would not back down from their opposition the HHS Mandate.
The bishops said, “It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.”
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