Detroit's Archbishop Vigneron: HHS Mandate Tramples Freedom of Religion, Conscience

Jan 21, 2012, 20:44 ET from Archdiocese of Detroit

DETROIT, Jan. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Catholic bishops of the United States have vowed to fight a mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services forcing all health care plans to provide contraception and sterilization coverage. This will revoke a decades-long conscience exemption for religiously affiliated plans. Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron made the following remarks regarding the mandate:

"During the same week we commemorated the life, ministry, and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his advancement of civil rights in this country, the Federal Government took the unprecedented step to affirm its discrimination against Americans exercising their right of conscience. With its edict on contraception and sterilization coverage in all health insurance plans, the Department of Health and Human Services is forcing insurers and purchasers to choose whether or not to violate their moral and religious beliefs. The inalienable rights guaranteed in our country's founding documents are being trampled. Where is the 'liberty' in a decision to intrude on freedom of conscience? The Constitution speaks of 'freedom of religion,' not 'freedom from religion.'

"Lawmakers in Washington need to step up, step in, and protect the rights of their fellow citizens from a government mandate that is truly unconscionable. This fight against the Federal Government's over-reaching exercise of its power is everybody's fight. As Pope Benedict reminded us just days ago, as citizens of the United States, we Catholics serve the whole nation by our witness to our moral convictions and our defense of the liberties that will always be ours by right, not by the permission of the government."

Archbishop Allen Vigneron

Archbishop of Detroit

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Additional commentary on the health plan mandate is available at



SOURCE Archdiocese of Detroit