HHS Mandate, Religious Freedom

Comments from Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, Neb.


“Pope Benedict XVI said in 2005 that in our time we are marching toward a “dictatorship of relativism.” With no sense of truth, with no sense of common purpose or common good, the Holy Father says that we are simply “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine” (April 24, 2005). The dictatorship of relativism, says Pope Benedict XVI, is the prevailing uncertainty, ambiguity, and confusion that we face in our culture today.

Certainly, we face this legally. The now infamous HHS mandate is a chilling example of our circumstances. Without a sense of the common good, we’ve legislated from a perspective of shortsighted, self-interest.

Contraception is not healthcare. Neither is abortion and sterilization. Contraception is an offense to our health and dignity.

While marginalizing the religious institutions and the people that are essential to the success of our democracy, we’ve legislated not to serve the common good by providing healthcare, but to serve self-interest, by providing unfettered access to the tools of indignity, injustice, and disunity.

The HHS mandate is not an example of a singular instance of bad law. It is a consequence of a culture with no sense of common justice or civic purpose; and with no sense of the great gift, dignity and beauty of sexuality. The HHS mandate represents unprecedented religious persecution. But it also represents the troubling absence of religious people participating meaningfully in public life.”

Comments from an address at Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas September 27, 2012

Culture, Transformation, and Law, Most Reverend James D. Conley, S….

One comment on “Comments from Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, Neb.

  1. I don’ t feel that most women expect to get abortion, contraception, etc. offered to them at a Catholic Institution . I think it is a way for our government to take away any rights from religious people, which is their mandate to rid the country of any Christian values.

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