For Immediate Release January 20, 2012

Contact: Roger Conner (703) 236-6218 (301) 252-7912 Contact: Patricia Cole (571) 527-3344

Statement from Catholic Charities USA
Rev. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA, issued the following statement today: “Catholic Charities USA is extremely disappointed by the Administration’s decision to ignore requests from religious institutions to broaden the exemption to a proposed rule that mandates that all employers offering employee health coverage provide access to contraception. “Catholic Charities agencies are first and foremost Catholic institutions - a manifestation of the Gospel call for charity and justice for all people. As such, remaining faithful to Catholic teaching is not a matter of choice, rather it is essential to our identity. With the existing restrictive definition in this mandate, the ministry of Jesus Christ himself would not be considered a religious entity. “Just as the identity of Catholic Charities is firmly rooted in the teaching of its Church, the identity of this nation includes a mandated respect of religious beliefs. It is this long standing history that gave us hope that as a religious institution we would be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.” About Catholic Charities USA Catholic Charities USA is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope for more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. ###

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