February 28, 2012

Jefferson on Religious Liberty

[Archbishop Niederauer] cited an exchange between an Ursuline sister in New Orleans, who, in the early 1800s, wrote to President Thomas Jefferson to ask whether her community’s property and religious ministries would be safe after the Louisiana Territory came under U.S. rule.

The president replied:
“The principles of the Constitution and the government of the United States are a sure guarantee to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules without interference from the civil authorities.”
Archbishop Niederauer questioned whether the Department of Health and Human Services has found a better interpretation of religious liberty than Jefferson.

Read more: here.

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