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US Catholic Bishops Warn of Threats to Religious Freedom

By    |   Thursday, 18 January 2024 02:09 PM EST

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) warned of multilevel threats to religious freedom in 2024, a good deal of those coming from the Biden administration and the federal government.

The USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty released its 48-page annual report Tuesday, replete with what it sees as the top five threats to religious liberty this year:

  • Attacks against houses of worship, especially in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
  • The Section 1557 regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will likely impose a mandate on doctors to perform gender transition procedures and possibly abortions.
  • Threats to religious charities serving newcomers, which will likely increase as the issue of immigration gains prominence in the election.
  • Suppression of religious speech on marriage and sexual difference.
  • The EEOC's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations, which aim to require religious employers to be complicit in abortion in an unprecedented way.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who chairs the committee, wrote in the report about the "wide range of concerns" the panel has, not the least of which include "federal agencies misusing laws meant to aid pregnant women in order to promote abortion … and the FBI's suspicion of Catholics who worship in the traditional Latin Mass."

There is "no greater threat to religious liberty" than the Section 1557 regulation, which would force Catholic hospitals and religious-based healthcare professionals to "perform gender transition procedures and possibly abortions," Rhoades wrote in the report.

"While there is reason for optimism that such lawsuits would be ultimately successful once again, the regulation as proposed would undoubtedly exert a major chilling effect on the exercise of faith and conscience in healthcare, and would mark a regrettable entrenchment against the clear protections of the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act," the report stated.

Likewise, the report targeted the proposed changes to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that would require employers to give paid leave to employees who seek to get an abortion as "unprecedented."

"We have a distinctive voice and tradition, particularly with our understanding of human dignity, faith, and reason, natural law, the common good, and the rich heritage of Catholic social teaching," Rhoades wrote. "And so we Catholics have a vital role to play in defending religious freedom and promoting the common good."

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) warned of multilevel threats to religious freedom in 2024, a good deal of those coming from the Biden administration and the federal government.
catholic, bishops, warn, religious, freedom, biden administration
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2024-09-18
Thursday, 18 January 2024 02:09 PM
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