Latino Bishop Encourages Protest of Contraception Coverage

Catholic bishops are encouraging followers to spend the next two weeks praying and writing their representatives in Congress in what they are calling at "Fortnight of Freedom."

The bishops are upset with the Obama Administrations mandate that employers provide contraception coverage for employees either directly or through their insurance plans.

A 60-second ad by The Catholic Association posted on the group's website addresses religious freedom and alludes to believe that freedom is being threatened by President Barak Obama.

The Catholic Association is calling for Catholics to stand together in opposition of President Obama's healthcare mandate that would require employers to provide contraception coverage to employees.

Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin is also speaking out against the mandate.

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"We see this as a religious liberty issue. At no time in the history of our government have these types of impositions been made on a religious entity," said Bishop Vasquez.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched "Fortnight for Freedom," which is two weeks of prayer and education on the issue of religious liberty.

"We're going to have this prayer time, this study time, this time to make ourselves aware of what is indeed central to our faith, central to Americans. We as Americans hold dear this first amendment," said Bishop Vasquez.

As part of the campaign, Catholics are being asked to write letters to Congress expressing their opposition to the contraceptive requirement. But, not all Catholic groups want to have a part in politics.

"We're asking our members to engage their pastoral leadership, to ask their local pastors and priests to put aside the politics, take the politics out of the pulpit for the 'Fortnight for Freedom,'" said James Salt with Catholics United, a social-justice advocacy group.

He says in no way does he feel that the Obama administration has imposed on his religious freedom and that there are far bigger issues Catholics should be concerned about.

"Right now most Americans, Catholics in the pews are worried about the unemployment rate, the high level of poverty and the underwater mortgages. Contraception is not very high on the list," said Salt.

"Fortnight for Freedom" runs though July 4.


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