This past spring the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a Guest Commentary by Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, claiming that it is not President Obama’s administration interfering with Religious Liberty, but rather the Catholic Bishops. So who is right about Religious Liberty? Cardinal Dolan or Catholics for Choice?
O’Brien claims that Dignitatis Humanae (DH), the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, backs the administration:
In fact, by not bowing to the USCCB’s pressure tactics and instituting a more expansive conscience exemption, the Obama administration respected Catholic religious teachings in the Declaration on Religious Freedom, which said, “Government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons.” In this case, the bishops are the ones who are seeking the “discrimination among citizens” with their quest for an ever-larger exemption for religious institutions.
We are very fortunate to have a genuine expert on Catholic teaching regarding religious freedom in the person of our Spiritual Adviser, Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S., who cuts through this twisted mess in a short article posted at Roman Theological Forum.