By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
Bishop Joseph Cistone
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The leader of the Saginaw Diocese has some sharp words regarding recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings and the Affordable Health Care Reform Act.
On this Fourth of July, Bishop Joseph Cistone talked about what he calls threats to religious freedom.
"We as a faith, believers, as a faithful people, understand marriage to be a certain way of life between a man and a woman," said Cistone. "We really believe that the Supreme Court absolutely got this one wrong."
The bishop celebrated a special mass in Saginaw on Thursday, attended by a small group of parishioners.
Cistone doesn't pull any punches over the same-sex marriage rulings by the Supreme Court.
"To equate their relationship with marriage is really offensive to us, and to those who have held marriage and esteemed marriage in its original purpose between a man and a woman," he said.
But the bishop didn't stop there. He also had some sharp words for President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, saying it's an attack on religious freedom.
The bishop says he supports affordable healthcare, but he's against the Health and Human Services mandate requiring that almost all employers - even those with moral objections to contraception, abortion and sterilization - provide employees those options.
"We have supported universal healthcare for all, we're very conscious of the poor, but we shouldn't violate God's law, our conscience, our principles," said Cistone.
The bishop says the Catholic Church is working with lawmakers to get rid of the provisions of the healthcare law that it disagrees with. He also says the church is concerned with changes to national immigration policies.
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