June 14, 2012

Positivity: Nuncio applauds bishops’ unified efforts to defend religious freedom

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:30 am

From Atlanta:

Jun 13, 2012 / 04:16 pm

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Pope’s representative to the United States, urged the American bishops to view the difficulties facing the Church as an opportunity to unite in defense of the faith.

Current challenges to the faithful can be seen “providentially, as an invitation to the entire Church in the United States” to adopt “an attitude of deep communion with the local bishop, in filial obedience to the Successor of Peter,” the archbishop said at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This is particularly true for the Church’s “consecrated religious” and “educational institutions,” he said.

The papal diplomat, who is officially known as the apostolic nuncio, addressed the conference on June 13, the first day of the bishops’ three-day spring general assembly in Atlanta, Ga.

“It goes without saying that the Catholic Church in the United States is living in a particularly challenging period of its history,” Archbishop Viganò observed, specifically pointing to religious freedom and conscience rights issues.

These areas are “close to the heart of the American people,” and involve “the indispensable role of the Bishop as Chief Shepherd in his diocese,” he said.

All of this is taking place “in the context of an election year,” which requires “even more delicate” interventions, he added.

Religious freedom matters have become a key concern for the Catholic community in recent months. Chief among the threats to the Church is an insurance mandate issued by the Obama administration that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.

Archbishop Viganò thanked all the bishops for their unified work to stand up for religious freedom, emphasizing that “the Church must speak with one voice” in addressing modern challenges. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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