Register Radio: USCCB Meeting and Religious Freedom

Editor Joan Frawley Desmond and Belmont Abbey College President Dr. William Thierfelder

You will not want to miss today’s Register Radio, as we talk about the important topic of religious liberty and how it’s being threatened for Catholics and Catholic organizations.

In our first segment National Catholic Register senior editor and award-winning journalist Joan Frawley Desmond spoke about the highlights of this week’s United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall meeting. A veteran of covering the meeting, Desmond said that the media has characterized the bishops as becoming more focused on internal issues rather than economic issues. Desmond disagreed, saying that the bishops’ attention to religious liberty, for example, is hardly an internal issue, but one that should concern all, and is not just limited to the Church.

Desmond went on to talk about the unified approach that the bishops have taken in response to the Health and Human Services’ mandate on contraceptive coverage, as well as the individual approach that some bishops have taken regarding handling state issues such as so-called “same-sex marriage” laws and the life issues. She also spoke about the big news out of the meeting, which is that the Anglican-use Ordinariate will begin in January 2012.

In the second half of our program, Belmont Abbey College President Dr. William Thierfelder spoke about the school’s decision to file a lawsuit against the federal government because of the HHS mandate, which would require the college to cover contraceptives, voluntary sterilizations, and abortifacients in their health care coverage.

“We would close the college before we would do that,” said Dr. Thierfelder. “This is about the United States of America, and any religious organization that’s affected by this mandate - colleges, hospitals, anyone. We hope our small example will mobilize people to stand up and do something about this unprecedented mandate.”

To listen to the entire program, tune in at 2:00 p.m. Eastern to any of EWTN’s radio affiliates, listen live at EWTN, or you can hear the program and download the podcast here at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.