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At Installation, Baltimore’s New Archbishop Emphasizes Nation’s Heritage of Religious Liberty

By Mark ZimmermanMy Catholic Standard: Archdiocese of Washington
Posted on: Friday, May 18th, 2012

At his May 16 Installation Mass, new Baltimore Archbishop William Lori drew upon the heritage of that historic archdiocese to underscore the importance of religious freedom for all Americans and for all people of faith.

“We do not seek to defend religious liberty for partisan purposes, as some have suggested. No, we do this because we are lovers of a human dignity that was fashioned and imparted not by the government but by the Creator,” said Archbishop Lori in his homily. “We defend religious liberty because we are lovers of every human person, seeing in the face of every man and woman, the face of Christ who loved us to the end and who now calls on us to love and serve our neighbor…”

About 2,000 people attended the new archbishop’s installation, held at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen in Baltimore. The concelebrating bishops and priests, and the lay guests, came from his new archdiocese, and also from the Archdiocese of Washington, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 and later served as an auxiliary bishop, chancellor and moderator of the Curia; and from the Diocese of Bridgeport, which he led as its bishop from 2001 until his appointment to head the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

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About Preserve Religious Freedom

This lawsuit is about religious freedom and our ability to serve the public, not about contraception. The Church maintains that the First Amendment protects the Catholic Church's ability to serve the public in accordance with its faith and to operate its religious institutions without government interference. The argument challenges the way the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines what is, and is not, a religious institution. By including an exemption at all, the government apparently agrees that, in keeping with decades of practice and precedent, religious institutions should not be compelled to purchase drugs or procedures that violate deeply held religious or moral beliefs.

But, the Administration's HHS mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that religious schools, hospitals, and social services don't qualify as religious, and must therefore provide these drugs and procedures. This violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. It forces religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving the public. Read more about the plaintiffs filing this lawsuit here.

Preserve Religious Freedom
c/o Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260

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