An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Friday Fast: Pray to protect conscience rights for health care workers

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This week’s intention: For the approval of laws which will protect health care professionals from being forced to violate their consciences.

Reflection: In today’s first reading from Acts 9:1-20, we are reminded again of Saul’s fervent persecution of the early Christians, those disciples of the Lord “who belonged to the Way.”  While Saul’s persecutions occurred over 2,000 years ago, the persecution of Christians occurs even today.  Currently, government agencies are trying to coerce many Christians, including devout Catholics, into violating their consciences.  But it is important to remember that we are not alone.  Earlier this spring, Rep. Diane Black and other members of Congress introduced H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.  A press conference gave many medical professionals the chance to tell their personal stories of persecution or attempts to force them to violate their consciences.

Please join with us in prayer today, especially in union with the early Christians, for health care professionals who are being or who have already been coerced into violating their consciences.  We pray for their fortitude and ask that they are blessed with the knowledge that they are not alone in this fight.

Did you know? There are now 127 House co-sponsors of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, welcomed the bill’s introduction:

“While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this Act would make such protection truly effective.  This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act.”

For more information, see Archbishop Lori’s letter on the importance of conscience rights.

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