DIOCESE OF ORANGE
Marywood Pastoral Center
2811 E. Villa Real Drive
Orange, CA 92867
January 31, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you may have read in the secular press, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception. Catholics make up ¼ of the population and this mandate flies in the face of our religious liberty.
In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Unless this is overturned, we will be compelled to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so. The Administration's sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
I ask two things of you. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail and religious liberty be restored. Secondly, visit the website, www.usccb.org/conscience, in order to learn more about this severe assault on our religious liberty and how to contact your representatives in Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision. There is also a link to the USCCB website provided on our diocesan website. www.rcbo.org. This unjust mandate cannot stand. In this election year, our combined outrage will have a strong impact.
Thank you for your attention to this timely issue. A bulletin or pulpit announcement with the above facts is strongly encouraged.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Tod D. Brown
Bishop of Orange