Thursday, February 2, 2012

Assembly of Bishops issues short objection to HHS decision

(AOB) - The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (see here), and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.

In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.


  1. Why the emphasis on "short"? I don't get it.

    1. Not an intentional snub. Though the AOB does seem to value brevity more than their USCCB counterparts do and even jurisdictional releases.

    2. Got it; thanks. Incidentally, have you seen any jurisdictional releases on this issue?

  2. While I side with those seeking religious freedom, I find it dubious at best that they chose an argument from corporate person-hood. I'm not sure I like the constitutional problem of arguing that a corporation has religious freedom. The AOB statement (particularly what you highlighted) seems intent on that notion as well.