A U.S. member of the College of Cardinals wrote an article Thursday asking President Donald Trump why the administration had not lifted the Health and Human Services contraception mandate.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote the article published in The Hill. DiNardo praised Trump’s promises to defend religious freedom but asked why the administration had not abolished the HHS mandate that has plagued faith based non-profits like Little Sisters of the Poor for four years. The mandate requires employer health plans to provide contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs.
“The HHS mandate puts an unnecessary burden on religious freedom, a burden that the administration has the power to lift, a burden that the administration has promised to lift. And yet the burden has not been lifted” DiNardo wrote.
“Mr. President, please lift this burden.”
DiNardo is the only member of the College of Cardinals from the southern U.S. Pope Francis stacked the College with liberal cardinals supportive of his progressive views, appointing 40 percent of the College as of May 2017 to the chagrin of conservative Catholics. While Francis and other Catholic leaders have taken decidedly liberal stances on policy issues like climate change, the church remains opposed to abortion and birth control, and by extension the HHS mandate.
“It is now time for the administration to take the next steps in the process of ensuring that the Little Sisters, and all those who seek to abide by their religious beliefs or moral convictions, would be able to continue to serve their fellow citizens in accordance with their consciences,” DiNardo wrote.
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