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A question of conscience

"A question of conscience" Continued...

Issue: "2011 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 17, 2011

The administration hasn't indicated when it may issue its decision on the religious exemption, but the government has just under two months to respond to Belmont Abbey's lawsuit. The religious community isn't cheering yet. "While there is the real possibility of a broader exemption, it remains to be seen whether it will protect all religious organizations and the conscience rights of individuals and insurers," said Bishop William Lori at the USCCB's fall general assembly. The Catholic Church has formed a new committee on religious liberty which Lori chairs, including bishops, consultants, a lawyer, and a lobbyist. Lori announced that the church plans to introduce curriculum to educate all its members on religious liberty.

"For some time now, we have viewed with growing alarm the ongoing erosion of religious liberty in our country," Lori told the room of nodding clergy. He read from Ezekiel 33 where God describes the prophet Ezekiel as His "watchman." "We see these and other threats no longer from afar, but immediately on the horizon. ... Together we will do our best to awaken in ourselves and in our fellow Catholics and in the culture at large a new appreciation for religious liberty and a new determination to defend it."

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emzleb.

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