"The administration argued that if any 'ministerial exception' in employment exists it should be strictly 'limited to those employees who perform exclusively religious functions.' That caused Chief Justice John Roberts to ask during oral argument whether even the pope could meet the Administration's definition of a religious minister."The Supreme Court ruled unanimously against this attempt to redefine the American understanding of the role of religious ministers. The move to impose strict definitions of religious exemption as regards the most recent decision of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration directly relates to the effort to promote a narrow understanding of religious minister in the Hosanna-Tabor case.
The heart of Mr. Anderson's remarks lay in his belief that the protection of religious freedom transcends any partisan agenda, and is in fact a basic human right. He noted in particular the distressing rhetoric appealed to by HHS Director Kathleen Sabellius in her comments at a NARAL luncheon. Ms. Sabellius said, "We are in a war." Mr. Anderson responded to those words today by saying,
"I sincerely hope we can put away such partisan rhetoric. We do not need a government that sees itself 'at war' with its own citizens. We should counsel a different approach."Mr. Anderson's rally cry commends Catholics to stand together. We have been successful in the past, and through creative and determined efforts, we will be able to keep the doors of religious liberty open for future generations. Mr. Anderson concluded,
So this is a time for choosing--choosing whether as Catholics we will stand together to keep open the doors of religious liberty. If we do so, then we will make possible the next great awakening in America that will bring us closer to building that culture of life and that civilization of love about which John Paul II so often spoke. May we, like Blessed John Paul II, be not afraid in our choosing."To view the complete transcript of Mr. Anderson's speech, click HERE.
Dominican Province of St. Joseph post for NCPB.
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