Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Religious Liberty

Of the many protections afforded by this great nation, few are as cherished and unique as the freedom of speech and the ability to freely exercise religious beliefs according to an individual’s conscience. Over the years too many have mistakenly been led to believe that the First Amendment provides a “separation of church and state” or a “freedom to worship”. These phrases appear nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The free exercise of religion is explicit and guarantees citizens the right to follow their conscience, not only at a worship site, but throughout their daily lives. In recent years, harmful and burdensome policies pursued by the federal government and special interest groups have shown great hostility to these bedrock principles. Accordingly, MCC supports:

  • Freedom for faith-based providers, institutions, and all individuals to serve the general public according to their religious tradition and without interference from the government, and
  • Opposition to government regulations and mandates that violate the long-standing religious practices of faith-based organizations.

“It’s the duty of everyone to defend religious freedom and promote it for all people.” — Pope Francis

News Releases

  1. Freedom to Serve Wins Top Award for Best PR Campaign (09/25/18)
  2. Catholic Church in Michigan Welcomes Settlement With Federal Government Over HHS Mandate Litigation (10/18/17)
  3. Michigan Catholic Conference Comments on Revised HHS Mandate (10/06/17)
  4. Catholic Conference Responds to National Efforts Challenging Michigan’s Adoption Legislation (09/20/17)
  5. With School Year Underway, Catholic Church Launches Statewide Education Commercials (09/08/17)

Additional Resources

  1. The Word from Lansing Column:
    1. The Issues, The Candidates, and Your Vote 2018 (09/28/18)
    2. Freedom of Religion and the Value of Interfaith Collaboration (10/20/17)
    3. Religious Freedom—An American Right for All (05/19/17)
    4. Promoting the Freedom to Serve Others (03/24/17)
    5. A Blueprint for the Common Good (02/24/17)
  2. Promoting Religious Freedom Through Interfaith Dialogue (Focus Essay, 6/2018)
  3. Freedom to Serve (Focus Essay, 9/2017)
  4. Conscience Rights, A Foundation for Democracy (Focus Essay, 6/2013)
  5. Forming Consciences for Religious Liberty (Focus Essay, 9/2012)
  6. Michigan Bishops Comment on HHS Lawsuit (Michigan Bishops, 6/2012)
  7. Legal Response to the HHS Mandate (Michigan Bishops, 5/2012)
  8. Promoting Religious Liberty Through Advocacy (Focus Essay, 2/2012)

MCC in the News

  1. MCC ‘Pleased’ With Decision to Settle Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate (The Michigan Catholic, 10/18/17)
  2. Catholic Church Settles in Contraceptive Litigation (MIRS, 10/18/17)
  3. Michigan Lawsuit Could Imperil Religious Adoption Agencies (Catholic News Agency, 09/24/17)
  4. ACLU Sues Michigan on Adoption Legislation (MLive, 09/20/17)
  5. Facebook Post Puts Catholic Farmer in the Crosshairs of Anti-Bias Ordinance (National Catholic Register, 08/17/17)
  6. Is Meaning of ‘Sex’ Ambiguous? (Detroit News, 08/17/17)
  7. National Effort on Religious Liberty Seen Helping State Advocacy on Issue (Catholic News Service, 06/23/17)
  8. New Campaign Highlights Catholic Services in Michigan (Catholic News Agency, 03/24/17)
  9. The Pope, a Historic Visit, and “a Deep Desire to Change the World” (Detroit Free Press, 09/17/15)
  10. MI Senators Propose Bills to Get Students Reading Important Historical Documents (MLive, 05/02/15)


For more information on religious liberty and the importance of conscience rights, visit

Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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