Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is paying homage to religious freedom and the separation of church and state in a graduation speech at Georgetown University, after Catholic church authorities lambasted the school's invitation for her to speak.
In remarks prepared for the Georgetown Public Policy Institute's awards ceremony Friday, she calls the separation of church and state "a fundamental principle of our democracy." Sebelius urges graduates to weigh different views in policy debates and follow their own moral compasses.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said the invitation to Sebelius from the Jesuit school was unfortunate because her public actions represent a direct challenge to religious liberty. Bishops view the birth control coverage mandate and other parts of President Barack Obama's health care law as attacks on religious freedom.
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