Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

An Open Letter to President Obama from a Faithful Catholic College

In a strongly-worded open letter to President Barack Obama, Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland voiced its protest of the federal government mandate requiring the provision of sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in all health care plans as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The letter was published in The Washington Post on March 12.

The President of Mount St. Mary’s University along with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees signed the letter to President Obama, protesting what they call the “unjust and intrusive mandate.”

They call for an “immediate religious exemption for all Catholic institutions and other employers.”

You can read the letter below:

Dear Mr. President,

Mount St. Mary’s University has special reason to treasure religious liberty. Father John Dubois could have stayed in France in the late 18th century, as long as he didn’t try to practice his faith. But he was called to live his faith in service to others. So, fleeing the persecution of an overreaching secular government, Fr. Dubois arrived in a new nation, one founded on basic principles of freedom – most notably the fundamental right of religious liberty.

In 1808, Fr. Dubois founded Mount St. Mary’s, and today, America’s second oldest Catholic university remains true to his vision: “mindful of its role in the Church’s mission to the world and respectful of the religious liberty of all.”

We are saddened to see that religious liberty is under threat in the United States today.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued rules requiring the provision of sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in all health care plans as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This would require many religious Americans, and other men and women of goodwill, to act against their conscience, but the HSS has refused to grant the standard and expected religious exemption called for by the First Amendment.

Compelled by the Catholic teaching on human dignity, Mount St. Mary’s has a longstanding commitment to providing quality health care benefits to employees and students in need.

The mandate compromises our ability to provide health care in accord with our religious mission. The Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, along with the entire Mount community, protests in the strongest possible terms this unjust and intrusive mandate.

As engaged citizens, we appeal to you for help. We call on you to provide for an immediate religious exemption for all Catholic institutions and other employers.

We appeal to you, Mr. President, and all those with responsibility in government, to preserve the religious liberty at the heart of our university’s, and our country’s, founding.

Respectfully,

Eugene M. Waldron, Jr., Chairman, Board of Trustees

Thomas H. Powell, President

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