The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to include in their employees' health insurance plans sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraception, as if pregnancy were a disease.
In so ruling, the administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty.
We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
Therefore, I ask of you two things. First, we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Second, I recommend visiting the website www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that well reverse the Administration's decision.
As a note: as a Byzantine I am not supposed to fast this week in honor of the extreme grace of Divine Mercy on this the feast of the Repentant Publican, but there are other ways to offer up prayers. Rosaries, daily Masses, novenas and other such things are marvelous ways to pray for the Lord's work in the world.