Cardinal George warns US heading toward despotism, urges Catholics to lobby for conscience protection
Warning that the Obama administration’s proposed removal of conscience-protection regulations for health care workers “would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism,” Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged Catholics to contact the Department of Health and Human Services before the administration makes its final decision. “We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion-- including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves,” Cardinal George said. He added:
Conscientious objection against many actions is a part of our life. We have a conscientious objection against war for those who cannot fight, even though it’s good to defend your country. We have a conscientious objection for doctors against being involved in administering the death penalty. Why shouldn’t our government and our legal system permit conscientious objection to a morally bad action, the killing of babies in their mother’s womb? People understand what really happens in an abortion and in related procedures—a living member of the human family is killed—that’s what it’s all about—and no one should be forced by the government to act as though he or she were blind to this reality. I ask you please to let the government know that you want conscience protections to remain strongly in place. In particular, let the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington know that you stand for the protection of conscience, especially now for those who provide the health care services so necessary for a good society.