MIAMI (AP) — The top Catholic bishop in Florida says he “cannot” and “will not comply” with a federal dictate that church-affiliated institutions must cover free birth control for employees.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami has penned a letter to South Florida’s 1.3 million Catholics saying rules dictated earlier this month strike “at the fundamental right to religious liberty.”

Many religious leaders are calling for the rule to be overturned.

A spokeswoman for Wenski, Mary Ross Agosta, said the rule amounted to “the state interfering with religion.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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