Statement by Bishop Michael Burbidge on U.S. Supreme Court
 Decision on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

Throughout our nation's history, the deep faith of Catholic men and women has inspired them to assist those in need in many ways, including by caring for children without stable homes by providing foster care and adoption. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of the faithful to provide this life-giving aid to children without violating their religious beliefs. This right is concretely enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In a 9-0 ruling in favor of Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia, the Court made it clear that faith-based entities should not be forced to choose between their essential beliefs about the sanctity of marriage and their mission to serve those in need.  This ruling upheld a fundamental principle of our constitutional republic:  that individuals and organizations have the right to religious freedom, free from government coercion.

The decision benefits the children, biological parents and foster parents served by Catholic Social Services, and for all people of faith. It also reminds us of our continued need for vigilance against ongoing threats to religious freedom, including attempts to stifle the truth about marriage, human sexuality, and the human person.  It is my prayer that the spirit of this decision echoes throughout the nation, as religious liberty is being challenged each year by overreaching legislatures and courts that continue to enforce an ideological agenda at the expense of religious freedom.

May we continue to share the truths of our Faith, both through our charitable works and in the public square, and may our Lord continue to bless this nation and protect the rights enshrined in our Constitution and endowed to us by Our Lord.