Diocese Speaks Out Against Contraceptive Insurance Mandate

By Stephanie Parkinson

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The Catholic Church is fighting a major ethically battle with the federal government. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says it violates their freedom by being forced to offer health insurance that covers contraception.

On Sunday a letter from Bishop Rhodes was read at mass at every church in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese. The bishop is asking his parishioners to join him in writing letters to lawmakers in support of a bill that would allow religious organizations the option to not cover contraceptives in their health plans.

Not only does it go against what the church believes and teaches this comes with a hefty price tag if the church abides by it, or if the church goes against it.

"When we don't comply we will be fined and sanctioned to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. On the other hand, if in fact we do have to violate our conscious, now we have to pay money as individuals and employers to provide services that go against our deeply held religious beliefs," said Sean E. McBride, Secretary of Communications, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

If nothing changes, Catholic organizations will be required to start offering contraceptive coverage in their health plans in August 2013.

While this is a big change for Catholic churches, charities and schools for many other organizations it is nothing new. The Fort Wayne Community Schools say they already cover contraceptives and this is not going to change their policy for employees.

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