STEUBENVILLE, OH—“What’s at stake in the Church is the very idea of religious freedom as the ultimate human freedom,” says Richard Doerflinger, associate director of Pro-Life Activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Loss of freedom, he says, would prevent us from advancing the rights and freedoms of everyone in the world at large.
Speaking at Franciscan University of Steubenville on October 24, Doerflinger presented “Freedom for Me But Not for Thee: How ‘Reproductive Rights’ Is Threatening Freedom of Religion.”
The lecture was sponsored by the Franciscan University of Steubenville Institute of Bioethics. Video excerpts of his talk can be found at FaithandReason.com. Go to “Channels,” then “Toward a Culture of Life.”
He addressed what he called “a very disturbing trend” in which one claim for individual freedom is actually expanding and mutating to the point where it is now on the verge of infringing on religious freedom.
“Up until very, very recently, we had a very strong consensus in this nation on the rights of faith-based groups to exempt themselves from things they have moral or religious objection to, so that everybody could equally serve the common good,” he said.
Doerflinger has testified before the United States Congress, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the National Institutes of Health, and the President’s Council on Bioethics on ethical issues involving human embryonic research. He has also contributed to many publications including the Hastings Center Report, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly.