The following is a June 14 release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reaffirmed by a unanimous voice vote on June 13 a recent statement of the [bishops’] Administrative Committee regarding the HHS mandate.

At the end of their hour-long discussion of religious freedom in the United States, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the conference, asked the body of bishops if it would be willing to declare its approval of “United for Religious Freedom,” the unanimous statement of the Administrative Committee issued on March 14. Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California seconded Cardinal Dolan’s motion, which was put to the body by a voice vote and unanimously affirmed.

“United for Religious Freedom” describes the bishops as “strongly unified and intensely focused in … opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day,” and explains that the HHS mandate “demands our immediate attention.” The document identifies three basic problems with the mandate: “an unwarranted government definition of religion,” “a mandate to act against our teachings,” and “a violation of personal civil rights.”