From a June 28th Vatican Insider interview with Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore:
The Church is in favour of health insurance for everyone, such at the insurance introduced by Obama. So why has this dispute come about? Couldn’t it have been avoided?
We are glad that there is universal access to healthcare insurance but our problem is that the government wants to interfere in the internal affairs of religious organisations and of people of conscience so as to force them to ignore their teachings and their consciences. We don’t have a problem with Obama: we would have acted in the same way towards any government of any political alignment, no matter what the issue. We tried to avoid this clash but we were ignored. And we will not remain silent just because this is an election year (U.S. Presidential elections, Ed.), allowing our religious freedom to be compromised for ever.
So you believe that religious freedom, the U.S.’s primary freedom is at risk…
Even if we win the appeal against the health reform, the government and bureaucracy have already formed a particular mindset. Religious freedom has been eroding away for some time now. Tomorrow (today, Ed.) I will attend the presentation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Religious Freedom Observatory: how can we speak credibly of religious freedom abroad when we are letting the torch of religious freedom go out at home? Religious freedom and freedom of speech go hand in hand: today our religious freedom is being questioned, tomorrow someone else’s, followed by the freedom of expression.
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