Bishop David M. O’Connell has released a message encouraging the faithful of the Diocese of Trenton to contact their senators to vote “no” on the healthcare bill S3804/A5508:
Legislation proposed in the New Jersey State Legislature – S3804/A5508 – raises serious concerns that put that religious freedom in jeopardy. In an attempt to provide a state version of the federal Affordable Care Act, this legislation would require insurance coverage to include contraceptive and abortifacient drugs that violate Catholic and other religions’ moral teachings and beliefs. To accomplish that goal, it would eliminate the religious employers’ exemption currently contained in New Jersey law that respects such moral teachings and beliefs.
The Catholic Church has consistently supported universal, affordable health care. As the Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, on behalf of the Catholic community I lead, I am not seeking something new from our state Legislature. I am simply asking that the religious employers’ exemption that is currently part of state law be maintained and protected as a continuing expression of religious freedom in our state.
I invite Catholics in the Diocese to contact their senators (visit https://njcatholic.org/faith-in-action) to urge them to vote “no” on this proposed legislation to change the current law, and to protect our parishes, institutions and organizations from this proposed intrusion upon our religious beliefs and religious freedoms.
To read Bishop O’Connell’s message in full, click here.