National News

Judges’ Ruling Threatens Church’s Freedom

PITTSBURGH (CNS) – A three-judge panel’s Feb. 11 ruling on a court challenge to the contraceptive mandate “says that the church is no longer free to practice what we preach,” Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said.

The panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a federal judge last November to grant the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses a temporary injunction against enforcement of the mandate.

Under the federal health care law, most employers, including religious ones, are required to cover employees’ artificial birth control, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs, even if employers are morally opposed to such coverage.

“I am deeply disappointed in this decision,” said Bishop Zubik. “Such a ruling should cause deep concern for anyone who cares about any First Amendment rights, especially the right to teach and practice a religious faith.”